Selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Tennessee, shortstop AJ Simcox reached Double-A in 2017, spending the entire summer with Erie in the Eastern League and playing every day at shortstop there. In 125 games with Erie (436 at-bats), Simcox slashed .250/.293/.378/.671 with 22 doubles, eight home runs, 12 stolen bases, 36 walks, and 72 strikeouts. In his career, across more than 1,300 professional plate appearances, Simcox is a .269/.308/.366/.674 hitter.
The Detroit Tigers prospect also spent the past six weeks playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, which is where Baseball Census observed him nearly a dozen times against some of the best prospects in baseball. In 26 games for Mesa, AJ Simcox slashed just .194/.229/.330/.559 over 103 at-bats, with six doubles, two home runs, five walks, and 29 strikeouts. From those viewings at the AFL this fall, we’ve pulled together a full AJ Simcox scouting report that you can see below — including game video, tool grades, analysis, future projection notes, and more.
AJ Simcox Scouting Report, Detroit Tigers — 2017
Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League
AJ Simcox Scouting Report, Detroit Tigers — 2017 Game Video
AJ Simcox Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection
A tough fall season in Mesa has probably only solidified AJ Simcox’s fate after larger offensive struggles at Double-A Erie during the summer of 2017. There are some workable pieces here, most notably some of the things he’s flashed defensively with a good glove at shortstop, but beyond using that as a carrying tool towards an up-and-down role, I’m skeptical there’s too much more the Detroit Tigers can develop into a serviceable big leaguer. Simcox has a lot of issues at the plate, and he was exposed in a few different ways in the Arizona Fall League; a slow bat with weak wrists and little manipulation doesn’t bode well for a big league job. Because of that, it’s likely he’s destined more for a bench/utility role than an everyday job, and I think his athleticism and defensive profile points to a more natural position at third than shortstop as the years go by.
Expect AJ Simcox to begin the 2018 season with Triple-A Toledo, with the outside shot that he could find himself up with the Detroit Tigers at some point later in the summer depending on roster needs. That’s likely where the infielder’s career is headed long term, too; Triple-A life with an up-and-down profile that should get him a little bit of big league time for a couple years here, but with offensive issues serious enough to prevent him from ever gaining a true foothold in The Show.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Limited bat, corner profile push him to bench role at ceiling; for me, more likely he fills out organizational depth with up-and-down profile (35)
MLB ETA: 2018
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