Lancaster, California —— At the top of this post, watch our scouting video of Colorado Rockies shortstop/utility infield prospect Garrett Hampson, taken from an April 2017 series he played for the Lancaster JetHawks in the High-A California League against the visiting San Jose Giants.
Garrett Hampson scouting report notes
When the Colorado Rockies drafted Long Beach State shortstop Garrett Hampson last year in the third round, the Troy Tulowitzki comparisons were all too easy but ultimately not very fair: Garrett Hampson’s game and ultimate projection are strong, but fall somewhere short of a legitimate star like Tulo. Hampson is spending 2017 with the Lancaster JetHawks in the High-A California League—a hitter’s paradise—and entering Saturday night he was holding his own at the plate with a .297/.350/.363/.713 slash line and a double, a homer, eight walks, and seven stolen bases in his first 21 games. That slash is appropriate for Hampson, who can handle the bat and barrel the ball but won’t ultimately hit for much power, even in the Cal League.
Hampson’s value comes predominantly from his defensive prowess. His range at shortstop is phenomenal and readily apparent even just through his first few Cal League games. He gets great reads on the ball off the bat at both shortstop and second base, and he can range well into the hole and up the middle to make plays. His arm strength doesn’t match his foot speed right now, though, and there are plays he’ll make fielding a ball deep in the hole at short only to be unable to turn and fire a perfect strike to first base. To that end, his future may either come at second base or, considering his bat, more likely as a utility infielder.
Hampson is patient and mature at the plate, and he’s already taking professional at-bats: slow and measured, with an obvious plan and understanding of the situation in which he’s hitting, and no rush to get out of the box. He has good hand-eye coordination and can put the barrel on the ball consistently, but he’s not overly strong and won’t hit for significant power. His foot speed is above average, though, and that coupled with his contact skills make him a tough out in the Cal League and could push him through the minors relatively quickly.
Long term, Hampson reminds me a great deal of Jamey Carroll, the former longtime big league utility infielder: never a ton of power, but good contact skills, good overall athleticism, and the glove work good enough to play wherever needed in the infield. With significant infield talent already in the big leagues (Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story), and prospects quickly coming (Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers), it’d make sense to eventually see Hampson as a super-utility type in that Carroll mold, with great defense across the infield and the ability to handle the bat well enough when called upon. If Garrett Hampson’s career turns out remotely as successful as Carroll’s, then, it’d be a draft-and-development win for the Colorado Rockies.
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Garrett Hampson scouting report: 140 characters or less
A glove-first defensive whiz with good foot speed and contact skills, Garrett Hampson has all the makings of a very good utility infielder.
Garrett Hampson scouting report video
Here’s a look at our most recent Garrett Hampson video, taken during a mid-April series for the JetHawks against the San Jose Giants:
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Garrett Hampson scouting report GIFs
In addition to our video clips, we broke out some Garrett Hampson baseball GIFs for a deeper look at swing mechanics, etc.:
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