Jason Woodell’s Scouting Reports: 5/21 (Isiah Gilliam)

We are happy to have Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) working with our Farm Scouting Department so we can host some of his content here. Jason sees a lot of prospects up close and gives some great, detailed feedback on their tools in action. Here’s Jason’s look at Yankees prospect Isiah Gilliam.

Isiah Gilliam OF Tampa Tarpons
New York Yankees
21 years old
6’3 220 lbs
Bats: S Throws R

Gilliam is a physical specimen. At 6’3 and 220 lbs., he is solidly built and athletic. He has the frame to add more weight as he matures, although he doesn’t need to and it would not be worth losing his athleticism.

After being taken in the 20th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Gilliam, exploded onto the scene in 2017, slashing .275/.356/.468 with 15 HR and 33 doubles. Gilliam also stole 9 bases.

Watching Gilliam is like watching two different hitters. He is a switch hitter. From both sides of the plate, he spreads out wide and has a bit of a crouch. However, for me that is where the similarities end. As a LHH, Gilliam’s bat is a little slow and he looks like he is trying to slap the ball. His swing is longer and he doesn’t utilize his hips well, resulting in a lot of pull side weak contact. From the right side, his swing is much shorter to the ball and he seeks to do damage. His hands get to load and he explodes with his hips. He allows the ball to get deep as a righty and seems to trust his hands more. He has shown plus opposite field power as a RHH. Pitch recognition, as with all hitters, is still a work in progress. He will expand the zone and chase when he is down in the count.

In 2017 in the South Atlantic League, Gilliam posted a .950 OPS as a RHH and .764 and a LHH. I was expecting much of the same for 2018. However, Gilliam has closed the gap. .769 and .715. Neither is great, but it warrants mentioning that the Florida State League is a much tougher place to hit than the Sally. Gilliam has at times seemed overmatched. He is 3 years younger than the league average.

Defensively, Gilliam profiles as a corner OF. He has 60 grade speed and an above-average arm. In deep dynasty leagues, he is definitely worth a roster spot.

Here’s some of Jason’s video of Gilliam in action from spring training through May of 2018:

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