LF Jordan Scott opened some eyes in 2011 as he hit .323/.380/.406 in 79 games between Greeneville, Lexington and Tri-City. He went from a relative unknown to being listed by Jonathan Mayo as the #11 prospect in the Astros organization who says of him, "His best tool is his bat, with a solid left-handed swing and good approach that should enable him to hit for average."
Scott started out the 2012 season at Lexington extremely well but then slumped a bit. He is showing signs of coming back around as of late with two doubles and three RBI's in his last three games and is currently hitting .257/.378/.294. Josh Bonifay, the hitting coach for Lexington, noted that he was working with Scott on getting him back to being aggressive with the fastballs early and taking fewer strikes in the zone. But as Bonifay put it, "Skinny's [as the 6'2" 180 lb. lefty is called] got an idea how to swing the bat and he'll come back around."
The impression I got of Scott was one of quiet confidence. He is an exceedingly polite southern gentleman with a delightful accent, signs of his Greenville, South Carolina upbringing leaving their mark. I get the feeling that Scott will never get too high or too low as he makes his way through the system. Here is what he had to say when we talked on April 29th.
On his 2012 season so far: "I started out pretty well but I've struggled a lot lately. Just been working with hitting coach Bonifay and trying to get stuff sorted out so hopefully I'll get back on track here soon."
On his strengths and weaknesses as a hitter: "Mainly doubles guy, singles double guy and try to get on base, get runs in for my team. What I need to improve on is probably my power, just getting stronger and hopefully I can use that to my advantage later on. I put on like 25 pounds this off-season but I've lost about 10 of it already so hopefully I can try to maintain."
On his fielding: "When I first came in I struggled because I first got drafted as a centerfielder, came in and started playing left all the time but I've gotten a lot better. It was a little rusty at first but I've been working a lot and it's getting a little bit better so hopefully I can keep working hard and I'll get even better."
On his increased walk rate: "Last year I didn't draw many walks because it's not that my approach is messed up, it's that I'm taking a lot more pitches that are good to hit so I'm getting deeper in the count. I'm glad I'm drawing walks but that's not what I want to do. I want to be ready to hit that first fastball, that first pitch strike that comes in there but some reason I'm hesitating and not swinging at it so that's pretty much why I'm drawing more walks."
On his success in hitting against lefties: "I've always hit lefties pretty well ever since I've gotten to pro ball. The first year I actually hit better against lefties than righties. Last year it was about the same. It helps me a lot in my swing because I don't try to do too much with a lefty. I let the ball get deep and try to really focus on going middle to the other way so it actually helps me a lot."
On how he likes the top of the Lexington batting order: "It's good. Definitely a huge number three guy with Zach [1B Zach Johnson]. I like our 1-2-3-4. Delino [2B Delino DeSheilds] gets on base. I hopefully can move him over. And then give 3 and 4 guys a chance to move [us] over."
On what he would do if he couldn't play baseball: "Probably be a pilot."
On what teammates he likes to watch play: "Trope [RHP Nick Tropeano]. I like watching Delino a lot."
On who he likes to field behind: "It would probably be Trope because you don't have to do much."
On which of his teammates he'd least like to face on the mound: "Trope. He throws pretty hard and he mixes everything up and he can throw everything for strikes."
Any final words?: "Just a great place to be. I love Lexington. We've got a really good fan base It's just fun playing here. The fans are so supportive. Nice facility. I love it here. Great town."