Prospect Profile: Jason King
By John Verburg
The Tigers went heavy on college position players in the 2011 draft, and while some of them are going to be in top 50 we are currently rolling out on the site, I wanted to profile one of them that just missed in Jason King. I will continue to bring you these profiles from time to time, as we look to bring you as much coverage as our minor league teams as possible.
As always, you can reach me at email@example.com if you have any minor league questions, or suggestions on profiles that would be outside the top 50. If I can get the information I will.
Here we go……
Jason King was drafted by the Tigers in the 4th round of the 2011 draft out of Kansas State University. At 6’0″ and 215lbs, King is a solidly built 3rd baseman, who is still developing his skills. King missed all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery, wiping out his junior season at Kansas State. In 2011, he bounced back to play well, leading his team in RBI. After signing with the Tigers, King began professional career in the short season with the Connecticut Tigers. There, the 22 year old King, posted a batting average of .251, with an OPS of .756. King hit 6 home runs, as well as stealing 6 bases for the C-Tigers.
King is a switch-hitting 3B that doesn’t have any standout tools. However, he does a lot of things well, and is known for a hard nosed approach to the game that helps him excel on the field. King tends to be a more natural hitter from the left hand side, and has ability use the whole field more comfortably from that side. King has good power from both sides, and could develop into a 20 home run per year type player, getting good backspin on the ball with his swing. King also has enough athleticism to leg out some doubles and triples. As a base runner, he is max effort but has pretty good instincts, and could steal 10 bags per year.
King isn’t the most patient of hitters, though he isn’t bad in that regard by any means. He does chase breaking balls out of the zone on occasion, and could struggle as he faces pitchers with advanced breaking balls as he goes forward. King can also get a little power happy from time to time and try and pull everything.
Defensively, King is a solid to a little bit above average at 3rd base. It sounds like after the Tommy John he should be just fine with arm strength, and he has solid range to both sides. He needs to work on being a more “natural” 3rd baseman however. He can struggle with making things look easy and plays himself into bad hops from time to time. He could also work on accuracy as well.
King isn’t what you would call a top prospect for a reason, and the Tigers might have popped him a couple rounds earlier than most. However, he is reportedly a tireless worker, and will no doubt put forth the effort to improve any deficiencies he may have. At the very least, the Tigers got themselves a good organizational player who will probably reach AA ball for sure. I don’t see a guy who is going to hit for average, but I do see a guy that could hit for some power.
I think it is a little early to make a call on what we are going to see from King down the road. I would like to see him in A ball at least to see how he handles a little better pitching. If the K rate stays rather static, I think I would give King more of a chance. If the better breaking balls eat him up, he is going to profile as a low average power hitter, with a solid glove.