Selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of UNC-Wilmington, outfielder Steven Linkous repeated at short-season Boise in the Northwest League in 2017, appearing in 63 games and slashing .308/.409/.348/.757 for the Hawks, making the mid-season All-Star Team along the way. In 250 at-bats this summer, Linkous hit five doubles and a home run, and posted 39 walks, 37 stolen bases, and 54 strikeouts in that span.
A singles hitter with plus speed but little else flashing above-average right now, Steven Linkous is already 23 years old (DOB: September 28, 1994) and behind schedule to move up into full-season ball, especially considering his major college program background. Nevertheless, his speed and defensive potential may carry him forward with the Colorado Rockies the next few years, and give him an outside shot to be more than organizational depth if his hit tool develops enough to produce modestly as a backup outfielder and pinch runner. Below, Baseball Census has a full Steven Linkous scouting report, including game video, tool grades, and projections for the outfield prospect.
Steven Linkous Scouting Report, Colorado Rockies — 2017
Dates observed in 2017: August 1-3
Steven Linkous Scouting Report, Colorado Rockies — 2017 Game Video
Steven Linkous Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis, & Projection
It’s never ideal when a Division I college guy repeats at short-season ball, turning 23 before he ever gets to a full-season league, but here the Colorado Rockies find themselves with speedy center field prospect Steven Linkous after spending two straight summers in Boise. A slap hitter with an extreme opposite field approach at the plate, the UNC-Wilmington product clearly understands how valuable his speed can be, especially considering his below-average hit tool and complete lack of power at the plate. The idea of it carrying him forward to the big leagues, though, is a very unlikely one without considerable improvements in at least one or two other tools to help him produce enough to keep a roster spot.
Linkous must now move fairly consistently through the Rockies’ system if he’s to put himself in a position to realistically reach the big leagues, and that means Low-A Asheville should probably be home in 2018. Plus speed will continue to play wherever he goes, but as we’ve noted about other speedy Northwest League prospects this winter, it won’t much matter unless Steven Linkous continues to prove he can still reach first base enough to use his best attribute. Expect him to remain organizational depth for the remainder of his career with little potential to reach higher ceiling.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Organizational depth likely with up-and-down ceiling thanks to speed/defensive capabilities; behind schedule at his age and must move consistently in window (35)
MLB ETA: 2021
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