Jeter Downs

ehaz

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Sep 30, 2007
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Jeter D. Downs
SS / R/R / 5'11/180
Born: 7/27/1998
Draft: 2017, Cincinnati Reds (#32 overall)

Prospects Live: #60
The Dodgers took on the salary of Homer Bailey from Cincinnati and gained two prospects from the Reds. Both prospects significantly improved their stock in 2019. Downs had great season-long numbers, but he finished by going .333/.429/.688 over 12 games with Double-A Tulsa with five home runs to finish the regular season then hitting .349/.391/.674 with four home runs over 10 games in the postseason. His future home may be on the other side of the keystone, but the bat is absolutely legit.
Baseball America: #86
Scouting Report: Downs is a bat-first player with a pretty swing. His hands work, he stays on time and he turns around velocity with a quick, efficient path. Downs can be overly at passive and take at-bats off, limiting him to an average hitter, but he’s a dynamic extra-base threat when he’s focused. He drives the ball from gap-to-gap and projects for above-average power as he gets stronger. Downs is an intelligent baserunner whose average speed plays up on the bases. His reliable hands and above-average arm fit anywhere on the infield, but his range is suboptimal for an everyday shortstop.

The Future: Evaluators see Downs as a multi-positional, everyday infielder in the mold of Josh Harrison. He finished last season at Double-A and will open back there in 2020.
MLB Rank: #87
Downs has the tools to hit for average and power. He combines a simple right-handed swing with a patient, all-fields approach. He's strong for his size, delivering most of his home runs to his pull side and driving the ball to both gaps.

Downs gets the most out of his average speed, parlaying his aggressiveness and instincts into stolen bases. He played shortstop in his pro debut but spent more time in 2018 at second base, where his arm and range are better fits. He returned to shortstop at the beginning of 2019 and there's also a possibility that he winds up in center field, but the good news is that he has the bat to profile at all three positions.
Sickels (The Athletic): #95
Not previously ranked; hit .276/.362/.526 with 24 homers, 24 steals, 60 walks in High-A/Double-A; another multi-category player, this may be too low. — ETA late 2021
2019 stats (107 games A+, 12 games AA)
.276/.362/.526, 24 HR, 24 SB


Downs has been a polished, advanced hitter for his age dating way back to high school. He’s not a shortstop for me and his thicker lower half means his likely future home is as a shift-aided second baseman at maturity, in my opinion. He’s short back to the ball with some pop, and his swing is bottom-hand heavy, which leaves him somewhat vulnerable to velo in on his hands, but he’s selective enough to swing at pitches he can damage. Despite the patience and bat control, I think he ends up with closer to average contact ability but with fully actualized power production, a well-rounded offensive profile that cleanly profiles at second base. His average exit velo was 88 mph last year, and there’s not a lot of room on the body so that might be all. He’s a 50 FV prospect set to be around 60th overall on Wednesday’s Top 100.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Seems a bit like Michael Chavis, (a good thing) except 35 pounds lighter (also good). Chavis hit 31 HRs in his age 21 season in the minors.

They aren't really alike at all. Downs is a more complete player and speed is going to be a huge part of his game. He also has much better plate discipline than Chavis at the same age despite being at a more advanced level. Hell, he may have better plate discipline than Chavis does now.

There's also a chance Downs can be a competent CF. Chavis may end up a below average LF. I like Chavis but he wasn't nearly the prospect Downs was and his success will depend largely on his power.
 

terrynever

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They aren't really alike at all. Downs is a more complete player and speed is going to be a huge part of his game. He also has much better plate discipline than Chavis at the same age despite being at a more advanced level. Hell, he may have better plate discipline than Chavis does now.

There's also a chance Downs can be a competent CF. Chavis may end up a below average LF. I like Chavis but he wasn't nearly the prospect Downs was and his success will depend largely on his power.
What’s Jeter’s range to his left?
 

Cesar Crespo

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What’s Jeter’s range to his left?
He'll end up at 2nd or CF for a reason :D

I don't think the Sox have really had a player like Downs in a while. All the comps I can think of have some serious flaws. The closest I can think of is Luis Alexander Basabe, but Downs is a much better prospect.

Marcus Wilson too. Again, not in the same ballpark as Downs as a prospect tho.
 

simplicio

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Apr 11, 2012
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Downs is #70 on Keith Law's top 100 today.

Downs was part of the big trade that sent Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig to the Reds a year ago, just a year and a half after the Reds took him with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 draft. He took a big leap forward with the Dodgers last year, leading the California League in doubles (with 33) and homers (with 19) at age 20, even though he was promoted to Double A for the last two weeks of the season — and hit five more homers there. He’s really not a shortstop, but should be above-average at second base or third. And the power he’s shown now, especially after the Dodgers helped him better understand how to manipulate the barrel to drive the ball when he gets the right pitch, will play anywhere. Even after an awful April where he hit .213/.276/.371, he showed no panic at the plate and kept improving his approach, making swing adjustments as the season went on. He’d probably be a star if he could handle shortstop as an everyday player, but even at second or third he should be an above-average regular for a long time.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Realistically, how soon could Downs be up? It's looking like 2B is his for the taking for 2021. I'm expecting a call-up this season if the Sox are out of it (expecting this to be the case).
 

EricFeczko

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Realistically, how soon could Downs be up? It's looking like 2B is his for the taking for 2021. I'm expecting a call-up this season if the Sox are out of it (expecting this to be the case).
I wouldn't rush him -- he's 21 and played 12 games past high A and there's no need to accelerate his development this year with Sale injured. Assuming he progresses well, he probably starts the year in AA and arrives sometime in 2022.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I wouldn't rush him -- he's 21 and played 12 games past high A and there's no need to accelerate his development this year with Sale injured. Assuming he progresses well, he probably starts the year in AA and arrives sometime in 2022.
If he starts this year in double-A, it doesn't seem implausible, or overly speedy, if he gets promoted to Boston at some point in 2021. But I agree that 2020 sounds awfully soon.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, I think he'll get the call-up next year after they won't burn a year's service time to do it.
 

EricFeczko

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If he starts this year in double-A, it doesn't seem implausible, or overly speedy, if he gets promoted to Boston at some point in 2021. But I agree that 2020 sounds awfully soon.
Absolutely, agree! I could see a call-up in 2021 if he progresses quicker than expected and/or peraza/chavis falls through as a combination.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Absolutely, agree! I could see a call-up in 2021 if he progresses quicker than expected and/or peraza/chavis falls through as a combination.
Although if, after a quantum leap in his offensive game at age 20, he were to blaze his way through the upper minors in his age-21 season so meteorically as to force a promotion to the bigs before the year is out, this would not be unprecedented, and would supply a certain satisfying symmetry to the situation.

Just sayin'.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If he isn't called up at some point in 2021, things probably went wrong. I wouldn't be that shocked if he got some ABs this year but I'm not sure how September works in 2020.
 

oumbi

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I wouldn't rush him -- he's 21 and played 12 games past high A and there's no need to accelerate his development this year with Sale injured. Assuming he progresses well, he probably starts the year in AA and arrives sometime in 2022.
Indeed, a number of players have begun their MLB careers at a young age. I think it will be skill and not age that decides this for Downs.


And in case anyone is interested, the youngest ever to debut in the MLB was Joe Nuxhall at age 15 with the Reds. Ken Brett did it for the Sox at age 18.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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And in case anyone is interested, the youngest ever to debut in the MLB was Joe Nuxhall at age 15 with the Reds. Ken Brett did it for the Sox at age 18.
I think it was Chuck Stobbs for the Red Sox, b. Jul. 2, 1929, debut Sep. 15, 1947 (game 2) at age 18 years, 2 months, 14 days.
 

nvalvo

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If he isn't called up at some point in 2021, things probably went wrong. I wouldn't be that shocked if he got some ABs this year but I'm not sure how September works in 2020.
I wasn't sure either, so I looked it up.

The new roster rules are such:
  • The 25-man roster is now a 26-man roster.
  • For double-headers, teams will be allowed a 27th man.
  • Players are now designated at the beginning of the season as pitchers, position players, or two-way players; two-way players need 20 GS at a position other than pitcher and 20 IP the prior season. Teams are allowed a maximum of 13 pitchers.
    • Non-"pitchers" are only allowed to pitch in extra innings or in blowouts: 7+ run lead. That probably won't change much. There haven't been many position players pitching in situations that wouldn't meet that test.
  • September rosters had previously allowed anyone on the 40 man to come up, with teams allowed to carry any number between 25 and 40 players. Now teams will be requiredto roster no more or fewer than 28 in September.
    • Does this increase the 13 pitcher limit, e.g. to 14? I was unable to find out.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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Actually Jim Pagliaroni debuted at age 17 years, 248 days (thank you, Play Index).
Oh, I see what the problem was. The list the oumbi included from bb-ref only included the youngest player in each league for each season and in 1955 there was a younger player than Pagliaroni in the AL. BTW, there are a set of twins, Joe and Red Shannon, listed with the Braves in 1915; however, Joe made his debut in June while Red didn't make his until October. In actuality, one would be younger than the other.