Josh Thole Is What He Is

Max FidlerContributor INovember 8, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  Josh Thole #78 of the New York Mets bats against the Boston Red Sox on April 4, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Mets 9-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

For the record, I am an avid reader of Matt Cerone's Metsblog. Every morning before heading off to class I have to check to see what is going on in Mets land. 

This morning I saw Cerrone echoing a sentiment I have been hearing a lot about the Mets top catching prospect Josh Thole: I would like to see him stay in the minors to develop more power. 

Before I ask the important question as to what more power means, I would just like to say I dont really see that happening. Granted, as a player gets older and more experienced he may well start to hit a homer or two more, Im just saying I dont think it is bold of me to say that Josh Thole will never hit many homeruns in a season, let alone in his entire career. 

This is not to bad mouth my friends at Metsblog (because I love the work that they do!) or to bad mouth Josh Thole, as I am pretty high on him too. 

I didn't go to scouting school or anything, so take from this what you will. (But I did work a season in Minor League baseball, and have had the opportunity to speak with people who do know what they are talking about in that regard.) Just in the way Thole hits it seems to me that power will never be a part of his game. 

First, look at how he chokes up on the bat. This indicates to me a slap hitter, a guy who makes contact but isn't putting the ball out of the field of play. In fact the reason he started to do this was his success using this approach with two strikes, while he was in the minors. This is a style conducive to contact and hits, not home runs. 

The next thing that indicates that he isnt going to develop power is his stance in the box. Along with his choked up hold on the bat, the manner in which he positions his bat and legs seem to take a bunch of the power out of his legs. Short and sweet swing. He will make good and consistent contact, it wont generate much power. 

I see Thole, ultimately maxing out at between 5-10 dingers a year. However, more importantly I also see him batting in the .285-.310 range (yes that is a pretty broad range, cmon, Im not Nostrodamus- or Metsradamus for that matter). I think he projects as either an very good bench player at worst and at best a solid number 2 hitter for awhile. 

That being said I think Thole needs to stay in the minors for a bit longer as well. I think that he needs to work on a couple of things that would just be effective to hammer out in AAA ball. First, in working with more developed pitchers he can work on his catching and g