June 30 - July 2: Chris Shaw started in all 3 games, 2 at LF and 1 at DH. In 13 PA, Shaw had 5H, 0BB, 4K. Of his 5 hits, he hit 2 HRs.
Scouting Report Framework
Org/Level: SFG, AAA
Drafted 31st overall in the 2015 draft out of Boston College. Former 26th round selection by the Mets in 2012. Started out his college career hitting below .165 as a Freshman, but the ex-hockey player gradually improved up to hitting .319 his last season at BC. Had a hamate bone injury in his hand limiting the amount of exposure he got in an abbreviated junior year. Most recently promoted to AAA on 5/23/17 after putting up a line of .301/.390/.511 in 150+ AA at-bats.
Working to improve defense. Putting in extra work pre-game to keep his infield defense sound while playing LF in games at the AAA level. Also putting in extra work during early BP.
Broad chest and shoulders with tree trunk legs. Shorter limbed but muscular everywhere. Looks like a traditional 1B from the mid-90s.
Athleticism - Fair
Changes direction poorly. Stands out as a limitation both in LF, on the base paths, and at 1B. Needs to be heading in one direction. Has reasonable balance and coordination otherwise.
Mid-depth in the box with a straight/upright posture, legs barely bent.
With hands just behind his back armpit, Shaw takes a small step forward into the pitch as his hips are sneakily triggered by the step, snapping his torso around, whipping a bat with strong hands through the zone. Simple, nearly singular motion swing. Fairly flat bat plane through the zone but Shaw gets (+) backspin on flyballs with such a swing. Relative to notes on Shaw in the past, I saw more use of his lower 1/2 in the swing than previously stated. While Shaw's not in any sort of crouch, he's still getting plenty of power from his base/hips.
Shaw's swing is short to the ball and he's able to manipulate his hands enough to cover both sides of the zone. Punishes mistakes in the heart of the zone and inside but shows a penchant for chasing high fastballs that he especially cannot catch up to given the low start of his hands and his lack of lower body bend. This lack of any change of levels in his body also leaves Shaw susceptible to (+) breaking balls below the zone as his hands alone are not enough to get on plane with such balls. Will be interesting to see if Shaw works to adjust his swing/body or his approach in terms of dealing with the breaking ball at the bottom of the zone.
Played up for me in this look as Shaw was swinging a hot bat and got pitched around. Credit where it's due, Shaw worked deep into counts and did not offer at many pitches out of the zone besides the tempting high fastball. Did not take any BBs, but it seems that his approach in AAA is similar to many prospects who smell the big leagues as Shaw is looking to do damage with the bat rather than get on base every time up.
Plays up even more due to swing plane getting good backspin on flyballs. Nearly maxed out in terms of physical projection, but true 60-raw
Even on half-swings Shaw has a ton of weight behind the barrel, makes consistently hard contact. Could actually decline if Shaw adjusts his swing to reach more of the zone and loses the backspin his flatter bat plane generates. Playing a bit higher than MLB will given the mistake pitches Shaw is doing damage with.
Relative to position, Shaw is a future 40 fielder at LF and 45 fielder at 1B. Shaw seems plenty comfortable moving in one direction and playing balls off the ground, but changing direction and adjusting to balls in the air gives him more trouble. Is putting the work in to bring the 1B defense up, but I don't think it gets to average, especially as Shaw ages.
For a LF, neither saw the kind of carry or accuracy of a MLB OF. Might be a better arm at 1B, did not see tested on the infield.
For a LF or a 1B, Shaw does not have a great first step but moves reasonably well
4.65s to 1B, max effort. Shaw does not get out of the box very well and takes several steps to get up to full speed. Has fair wits about him on the basepaths but not much else to offer.
Chris Shaw is a prototypical looking 1B prospect seen in AAA. Without the tools to succeed in LF, Shaw has been tasked with improving his fielding at 1B and appears to be working to get to a passable level there. Ignoring defense for a second, Shaw is a power bat with the ability to consistently put balls in the air with carry. Despite limitations at the bottom of the strike zone, particularly breaking pitches, Shaw has an ML ready bat that should be worth something to a 25-man roster. Ultimately the power is undeniable but the hit tool and upright approach will be difficult to get away with at the major league level. I see Shaw as a ML bat without enough true consistency at the plate or defensive ability to be an everyday player. Role 4.