Halo HQ Top 10 Prospects: #2 Matt Thaiss

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Updated: February 15, 2017

2016 first round draft pick and future Halo first baseman Matt Thaiss is next up on our top ten prospect countdown.

Matt Thaiss

Profile: 6’0”/195 lbs; Born 5/6/1995 (age 21); Jackson, NJ; University of Virginia; Drafted 2016, 1st round, 16th pick; 1B/C; Bats Left/Throws Right

Halo HQ 30-80 Scale (Current/Ceiling)

Hitting: 50/65, Power: 45/65, Run: 35/40, Arm: 50/55, Fielding: 40/60, Overall: 60/70

Hitting

Matt Thaiss was one of the better bats available in the 2016 draft class and so far, he has shown why. I’ve heard Thaiss receive some Kyle Schwarber comparisons, but that is solely based on the fact that he’s a power hitting former catcher. I can’t see anything that would draw those comparisons from a visual standpoint. Schwarber is bigger and heftier, while Thaiss is a bit smaller and lean. Thaiss’s stance looks like a left handed combination of Albert Pujols and Jeff Bagwell. He doesn’t crouch as low as Bagwell, but his stance is just as wide. He will hit for a high average, as he knows how to get his bat to the ball, and the power should develop as he gets older. His hands explode to the ball, allowing him to get a ton of hard-hit balls. His swing is definitely a power stroke, so it’s just a matter of time before he gets to the 25+ home run, 30+ double plateau. He also has great plate vision and will get on base very well. Last season, he got on base at a .361 clip and that number should stay around that mark as he sees more advanced pitching. That is very good for a power hitter.

Running

Thaiss was a catcher in college and a first baseman in pro ball. I don’t expect him to steal any bases or even stretch a double to a triple. All that we can ask of him is not to run into outs on the basepaths and beat out the occasional double play.

Fielding

Thaiss would be the number one overall prospect if it wasn’t for his fielding. He transitioned to first base this season after playing catcher at Virginia. The result wasn’t pretty. He committed 11 errors in 58 games, but I expect him to be a capable fielder at first. He was decent behind the plate for Virginia and the athleticism is there. Give him a few years and he’ll be just as good a fielder as C.J. Cron, another catcher turned pro first baseman.

Overall/Projections

Matt Thaiss is the real deal. He should zoom by in the minors and make to the MLB by 2019. He will maximize his power as he grows and will become a better fielder as he advances. Don’t expect him to be another Kyle Schwarber. Expect him to be his own player. He gets on base, hits for both average and power, and doesn’t strikeout as often as a power hitter should. He will get a whole season’s work in 2017, so watch him closely. If he hits and stays healthy, C.J. Cron’s time in Anaheim could be up by Opening Day 2019.

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