2018 Farmhand Crop: Tristan Pompey

Bottom Line

The younger brother of erstwhile prospect Dalton Pompey, Tristan Pompey was Miami’s 3rd round pick after his junior year at the University of Kentucky. Marlins have pushed him up to A-Advanced ball already. Athletic/toolsy switch-hitting OF with a great frame and good feel for hitting from both sides of the plate. He has yet to show that he can hit for power using wood bats, and his natural speed has yet to translate into an in-game weapon. More valuable in OBP leagues. Athletic enough to stick in the OF even though he’s likely to shift away from CF.

Upside: Everyday OF, .260/.340/.460, 15 HR/15 SB, useful 5th fantasy OF

Downside: Athletic Quad-A OF depth, no fantasy value

Scouting

Athleticism

Listed at 6’4″, 200 lbs. which seems about right (I’d maybe guess he’s closer to 195). He’s got a high-waisted frame with long legs and a little bit of a baseball ass (a good thing). He looks like a big league OF to me at first glance. Alex Rios came to mind. He could add some weight/muscle moving forward, but I’d imagine that would cut into his speed a little bit. He seems to be more wiry and quick than strong at this point, but with his frame I could see him adding more power. Was generally viewed as a Day One pick heading into the draft due to his athleticism and 5-tool potential.

Hit (30/45)

Pompey is one of those rare switch-hitters whose swing looks equally adept from either side of the plate. Uses an open stance. Hands start up and back near the ears. He’s got more pre-swing hand movement than I’d usually like to see, as he pulls his hands away from the pitcher and toward his back shoulder prior to engaging his swing. Uses a loopy leg-kick, a little more pronounced when hitting from the left side. Works with the pitch and shows some good pitch recognition. He’s not afraid to lay back and take a pitch the other way. Swing stays pretty compact from both sides. Line drive/groundball hitting approach. Swing path doesn’t create much loft.

Power (30/50)

I think there’s enough pop in the swing to hit for power from both sides of the plate. Bat speed looks above-average from both sides of the plate. He looks more like he’s got doubles strength than HR strength at this point in his career, but there is room to grow. Fangraphs puts his RawPower at 60/60, which seems aggressive to me, but they are usually conservative. There were concerns about his pop after he struggled to display much power using wood bats in the Cape Cod League in 2017. However, Ted Lekas of 2080 Baseball, who saw Pompey in the Cape Cod League, noted that he thought Pompey had plus power potential.

Speed (50/55)

He’s fast, especially for his size. In several clips I watched, he seems to stumble a bit coming out of the box after hitting, but that could just be him trying to catch up with his long frame. I’ve seen home-to-first times in the 4.1 range from the left-hand batter’s box, giving support to a 55-speed grade.

Defense (45/45)

I haven’t caught his defense on tape, but the question mark regarding this aspect of his game is whether he can stick in CF or if he will need to slide over to LF. As of 8/7, Miami has used him in each OF position – 10 games in LF, 7 games in CF, and 7 games in RF. For fantasy purposes, his defense looks to be good enough for him to stick in the OF, and it shouldn’t hinder his playing time.

Stats

Level

Pompey started his pro career in Rookie ball, but after 4 games Miami pushed him to A-Full Season. After 24 Sally League games, Miami pushed him up again to the A-Advanced Florida State League’s Jupiter Hammerheads. I love to see a team push a college draft pick up aggressively early on, and it’s a feather in Pompey’s cap that the team thinks that he can handle the push. The FSL is a pitcher-friendly league and should provide Pompey with a challenge.

Hit

He’s posted a 22.0% K-rate and 16.1% BB-rate across 2 levels as of 8/7. Obviously, his ability to take a walk is excellent and speaks to his more-advanced feel for hitting compared to the competition he is taking on. I expect his BB-rate to be challenged (and come down some) in the FSL. I’m actually a little surprised that his K-rate is as high as it is. At 22% I’m not overly worried, as I can still project him to be a .250-.260 hitter in the majors. But if his K-rate creeps near 30%, my alarm bells are going off. He’s a more valuable player in OBP leagues. While he hit .314 in the Sally League, this was a BABIP (.403) and small-sample (103 PA) mirage.

Power

Put up a .116 ISO in 103 Sally League PAs, with 2 HR and 4 2B. As noted in his scouting report, he just doesn’t look like he’s got more than doubles-pop at this point in his career. He’s also not getting the ball in the air enough at this point to be a power-hitting threat: a 55.6% GB – 22.2% LD – 22.2% FB profile is not going to hit for a ton of power. I’d anticipate that his ISO would drop in his test at A-Advanced ball. Generally, I’m looking for hitting prospects with an ISO over .200 at each level.

Speed

Swiped 5 bags in 8 attempts in the Sally League, for a low 62.5% success rate. ‘Speed score’ of 3.6 rates as poor. This all suggests to me that he’s having difficulty translating his natural athleticism to a weapon to be used in game conditions.

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