Aaron Bates (born March 10, 1984 in LaSelva Beach, CA), was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 83rd pick (3rd Round) of the 2006 Amateur Draft out of North Carolina State. Bates received a signing bonus of $440,000 from the Red Sox. The big 6' 4" 230 pound first baseman can also play catcher and scouts love his power potential.
- Slugger with high power potential - won the Cape Cod League home run hitting contest in 2005. Bates demonstrated his present power at the lower levels in 2006 and 2007, but it stalled out somewhat at Double-A Portland in 2008. The strength was always there, he just struggled with making contact and elevating the ball. Prior to the 2009 season, Bates altered his mechanics by shortening his swing and eliminating his leg kick timing step. The early results have been outstanding. He's shown more balance and has been able to turn on the ball a lot better. In addition to power, he possesses above average plate discipline, showing a selective approach at the plate and the ability to work the count. However, he can struggle with breaking balls and had historically reached for a lot of balls outside of the zone. Hits well to the opposite field. Average range and quickness at first base. Good glove, very strong fundamentally - he plays smart in the field. Excellent at picking balls in the dirt and grabbing errant throws. Bates worked a lot in the outfield at the start of the 2009 season, partly to add some versatility and partly due to the presence of Lars Anderson at first base. Likely won't stick in the outfield long term. Hard worker with a professional demeanor, well-liked and respected by his teammates. Prepares well mentally and physically for each game. ~ SoxProspects.com
- BA described him as a "mature, polished hitter who could move quickly through the minor leagues." Uses entire field with a good eye and strength.
Bates played two years at North Carolina State... Bates had a strong season finishing the 2006 season batting .354 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs. Named third-team All-America in 2005 by Baseball America and by Collegiate Baseball and Louisville Slugger. Recorded the second highest single-season batting average ever by an NC State player (.425). Led NC State in virtually every offensive category, including batting average, runs scored (61), doubles (16), home runs (12), RBIs (64), slugging percentage (.678), on-base percentage (.523) and walks (37). Drafted in the eighth round of the 2005 draft by the Florida Marlins, but opted to return to NC State for his senior season. Sat out 2004 as a transfer from San Jose State. Earned honorable-mention Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and Louisville Slugger in 2003 after hitting .297 with eight doubles, two home runs and 23 RBIs ... Had a .407 on-base percentage and a .393 slugging percentage ... Also was named second-team All-WAC as a designated hitter. He tore up the Cape Cod League in 2005 and is one of the more polished bats in the 2006 draft.
- 2005 All-America by Baseball America (Third Team)
- 2005 All-America by Collegiate Baseball (Third Team)
- 2005 All-America by Louisville Slugger (Third Team)
- 2005 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star
- 2003 Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball (Honorable Mention)
- 2003 Freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger (Honorable Mention)
- 2003 All-WAC as a designated hitter (Second Team)
Minor League Career
- 2006: Bates was originally assigned to the Lowell Spinners on June 20, 2006. After hitting .360 with a .966 OPS in 100 ABs in the New York-Penn League, with 3 home runs and 8 doubles, Bates was promoted to Single-A affiliate Greenville on July 20. In Greenville, Bates hit .218 (26-for-119) against righties and .455 (15-for-33) against lefties for an overall average of .270 with 4 homers and 7 doubles.
- 2007: Bates started 2007 with the Single-A Lancaster JetHawks. In 98 games he hit .332 with 24 HR and 88 RBI, before earning a promotion to AA Portland. In 27 games with Portland Bates only hit 0.198 (18-for-91), but did manage 13 extra base hits including 4 home runs and 9 doubles. Bates also compiled 17 walks with 29 strikeouts for 0.348 on base percentage.
Minor League Awards
- New York-Penn League Player of the Week (July 3-9, 2006)
- California League Player of the Week (April 30-May 6, 2007)
- 2007 California League Post-Season All-Star
- Red Sox Minor League Player of the Month - June 2008
- Eastern League Player of the Week (May 4-10, 2009)
- Eastern League Player of the Week (May 25-31, 2009)
- Eastern League Payer of the Month - May 2009
- Red Sox Minor League Player of the Month - May 2009
- Hit 4 Home Runs in one (minor league) game on 5/19/2007, for the Lancaster JetHawks.
- Aaron was selected to the Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star team with the Brewster White Caps in 2005.