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2016 Draft Profile: Matt Thaiss

School: University of Virginia; Class: Junior

Position:  C; B/T: L/R

Height: 6-0; Weight: 195

Previously Drafted: Boston Red Sox, 32nd round, 2013

 

Background: After a quiet, albeit moderately productive freshman season with the Cavaliers of Virginia, the lefty-swinging backstop had a coming out party of sorts during 2015. In 67 games for the collegiate powerhouse, Thaiss slugged a robust .323/.413/.512 with 18 doubles, 10 homeruns, and four stolen bases (in four attempts).

And then the bottom fell out.

Making his first – and only – trip through the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League, the 6-foot, 195-pound backstop laid an absolute goose egg – basically becoming one of the least productive bats. In 17 games with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, Thaiss batted .149/.197/.254 while stringing together an abysmal 18-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio (a drastic difference between the 26-to-33 mark he finished with in school).

Anyway, Thaiss, for whatever reason, was able to right the ship during a wildly successful – and dominant – junior campaign with the UV, slugging an impressive .378/.474/.584 with 12 doubles, a pair of triples, nine homeruns, and a jaw-dropping 11-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

For his career, he’s sporting a .337/.425/.518 triple-slash line with 35 doubles, two triples, and 19 homeruns in 147 games.

 

Projection: So. Context.

  • Between 2011 and 2015, no Division I catcher with at least 250 plate appearances posted a walk rate north of 13% and a strikeout rate below 5%.

Let’s take it another step, shall we?

  • Between 2011 and 2015, no Division I position player with at least 250 plate appearances posted a walk rate north of 13% and a strikeout rate below 5%.

Tremendous, tremendous eye at the plate – regardless of his struggles in the Cape last summer. He has the chance to develop into a perennial 15-homerun threat. If he proves to be adequate behind the plate, Thaiss could be a 3.0- to 3.5-win player.

 

Ceiling:   3.0-win player

Floor:  1.5-win player

Risk:  Moderate to High

Grade:  First Round

 

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.


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