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AAP: Mark Haddow

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2012-Intimidators-Mark-Haddow-01.jpg

 

Mark William Haddow, OF

Born 12/02/1987 in San Diego, CA

6’2", 215

Throws: R

Bats: R

 

OVERVIEW/SCOUTING INFO

Mark Haddow is a toolsy, athletic outfielder who was relatively old (23) on draft day from UCSB. In addition to being a plus athlete, scouts have said he solid-average speed, an average to plus arm, plus power potential and overall average to above average defensive skills at corner OF. He showed off the power potential in his rookie season at Great Falls, hitting more than twice as many HR's as anyone else on the squad. He's also been hitting a lot of doubles in 2012 in Kanny.

 

The two marks against him in scouts' eyes are his advanced age, and questions about making consistent contact. At age 24 now in A-, the bar is set quite high for him performance-wise to get any attention. As for his contact rate, his 24% K rate in 2011 was not particularly encouraging (though not problematic either), but that K/PA rate has dropped to 19% in 2012. Since this is the main knock on his game, this is an encouraging sign.

 

Minorleagueball.com mentioned Mark in the "next 10" of their Top 20 prospects list for the Sox in January of 2012.

 

Here is a video of Mark hitting a walk-off HR for GF in 2011.

 

A guy like Haddow, drafted in the 24th round and a year or two older most true prospects in Low A, will need to put up pretty big numbers with the bat to get any attention as a potential big leaguer in the future. So far he's done pretty well in that regard. At this point (May of 2012), you'll know the organization sees something based on promotions, if they happen. And he'll need to continue putting up big numbers, while keeping his strike outs down, all the way up to AA, if he's going to be taken seriously.

 

PRE-COLLEGE NOTES

Played at Scripps Ranch HS, San Diego, CA, as an outfielder. As a senior he batted .430 and was an all-League and all-Sectional team selection. Played in the Hawaii College Baseball League before entering UCSB, hitting .300.

 

COLLEGE

Haddow played 4 years at UC Santa Barbara, not starting his playing career there until age 20, and not playing as a starter until age 21 in his sophmore season. His soph and junior seasons, he put up decent but not spectacular hitting numbers, posting OPS' of .896 and .793, dropping off somewhat in that junior season. But he then broke out in his senior year, posting a .356/.437/.545/.982 line and leading the conference in batting average, getting the attention of scouts.

 

SIGN/DRAFT

Mark was drafted by the White Sox in the 24th round in 2011 as a 23 year old senior, signed 6/14/2011 for a $1,000 bonus.

 

MINORS

Haddow's professional career started at Great Falls (Rk) in 2011 after a quick signing, and he played 70 games between RF and LF (mostly RF). He led the team in home runs with 12 (next highest on the team was 5), SLG (.528), hits (84) and RBI (51), and finished with a .312/.375/.528/.903 line. He also walked 27 times (Iso OBP of .063), struck out 70 times (~25% K/PA), and stole 4 bases. And he picked up a Pioneer League POW honor in September.

 

In 2012, he started the season in Low A Kannapolis as their right fielder, and as of 5/25/12 has a .309/.387/.485/.872 batting line. More importantly, his walk rate has increased (.078 Iso OBP), and his K rate has decreased (~19% K/PA). In his last 10 games (again, as of 5/25) he's got a .333/.405/.545/.951 line.

 

PERSONAL/OTHER

Big San Diego sports fan.

 

STATS/REFERENCE

 

MILB page

 

Baseball Cube page

 

Bronze Titan article, includes BA and Baseball Draft Report scouting snippets

 

College Profile

 

Video Interview with Mark on a blog

 

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Mark is headed to the SAL all-start game...

 

Haddow, 24, has the third-highest batting average in the SAL, batting .338 (70-207) with four home runs and 30 RBI. The San Diego native currently has the third-most hits in the SAL and has hit safely in his last 17 games, tops in the league. Haddow also has six outfield assists this season. The White Sox selected him in the 24th round of the June 2011 draft out of UC-Santa Barbara, and Baseball America rated him the Best Power Hitting in the White Sox 2011 draft class. Haddow led Advanced Rookie Great Falls with a .312 average in his professional debut last summer, also leading the team with 12 home runs, 51 RBI, a .528 slugging percentage and 31 extra-base hits in 70 games.

 

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Monthly update...

 

Mark has cooled a bit from his torrid May (.383/.441/.551/.992), but still put up good numbers in June at the plate: .305/.385/.421/.806. His K:BB rate has improved each month of the year: 23:12, 16:9, 16:12, getting close to parity. The home runs haven't come as much this year as last yet, but he has more hits, walks, doubles and triples at a similar point, and his K rate (17.4%) has improved notably over last year (23.6%). That was his biggest weak spot coming in, contact rate, so that is very encouraging.

 

His season line at this point is .323/.401/469/.869. He's 24 in A ball, and has plus defensive skills. He should really be in High A at this point, but he's just plain blocked right now. Hopefully something happens and he sees W-S this season.

 

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Mark was injured in a game on 7/10, and is on the DL. Haven't been able to determine the nature of the injury or how long he'll be out.

 

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Mark came off the DL on 7/31, and celebrated with a 3-for-5 performance with a home run and a double. On the season thus far, his slash line is .322/.403/.466/.868. Has 66 K (17.8% K/PA) vs 40 BB. He continues to do well, but he was a victim of some bad luck. The one time a small window opened, where there was a slot open in W-S's OF that he was likely tagged for, he got hurt and Bill Rice took the job instead. Guys like Mark don't have much margin for error.

 

Ideally, you'd like to see him in AA some time next year, given his age. Sort of a Shoemaker-like path. He'll be in W-S to start next year almost assuredly (even if he gets to W-S late this year), but if he does well, might see AA during the season.

 

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Mark has been promoted to High A Winston-Salem, who are getting ready for a playoff push. The slot opened up with Trayce Thompson went up to B-Ham.

 

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Well that was fast. After just 4 games with the Dash (where he went hitless in 10 AB), Mark has been promoted again, to AA Birmingham.

 

This was part of an outfield promotion parade. Trayce Thompson is going to AAA and Courtney Hawkins is going to A+. I assume this is mostly to get both of them some post-season experience and more AB's. But it left an OF hole in B-Ham, and Mark got the call. They probably wanted to leave a raw but talented Walker in W-S for their playoff run.

 

I doubt this means he's in AA in 2013, as that would be a pretty big surprise for a guy who started the year in A-. Then again, he did do pretty well this year, and he'll be 25 next season. AA is closer to age-appropriate for him.

 

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End of 2012 season update...

 

Mark had an interesting season. He opened strong and kept it up pretty well, but had a hamstring injury on 7/10 that put him on the DL for 3 weeks. Prior to the DL stint, he had posted a .322/.403/.466/.868 line, pretty much in line with his first year in 2011 at Great Falls. The biggest knock on him in the scouting reports had been his strikeout rate, but he was keeping that under control this year at about 18% K/PA (vs a 23% number last year). He also increased his walk rate, raising is Iso OBP from .063 to .082. He did fall back a bit in his brief 3 weeks in August at Kanny, after not playing for three weeks, and his final line was .306/.388/.434/.822.

 

Things got interesting late in the year. He was promoted to High A Winston-Salem on 8/27, when the slot opened up with Trayce Thompson's promotion. Then after playing in just 4 games, he was promoted yet again, to AA Birmingham. He only got into 5 games there.

 

It is hard to tell if those promotions (which were primarily due to the movement of higher level prospects) might also mean the organization sees him moving up faster. He was 24 this year, which is a little old for Low A, but not as much at High A, and right in line for AA. Where will he be next year? With the Sox moving up some outfielders very quickly, and with Mark's improved performance and his age, it is possible he starts in AA B-Ham for his age 25 season. But he could also be in High A. Where he ends up may tell us about how the org views him.

 

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It would seem that the organization took notice of Mark, because he played in 4 games in spring training this year, surprising for a guy at his level. He's been assigned to Winston-Salem, likely starting in RF. No big surprise there - AA was a long shot if the stars aligned, but with the crowd of talented OF's ahead of him, that wasn't likely.

 

Having shown his contact rate is better than expected, and coupled with the strong offensive numbers and good defensive reports, Haddow now faces two other issues: age questions, and the mutliple highly regarded OF prospects ahead of (and alongside) him in the minors. He'll need to have a big year in 2013 to find his way into an AA slot during the season, and doing well there is a big key.

 

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Mark has a 10 game hitting streak, the longest this year in his league (Carolina). His slash line so far: .359/.422/.590/1.102. K rate 15.5%, pretty reasonable, continues to decline every year as he moves up.

 

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First monthly update...

 

Mark had a decent, if streaky, first month with Winston-Salem. Scuffled a few games early, then went on an 11 game hitting streak, then had a few bad games, now back going well again. His current slash line is a nice .286/.389/.429/.817, and he has almost as many walks (14) as strike-outs (15). His K rate is a very reasonable 13.9%, and he continues to push that down each season. Walk rate is increased as well, and that .103 Iso OBP is pretty.

 

Would be nice to see a few more home runs (he as 2 right now), but overall he's in a pretty good place. At this point, with Hawkins struggling, if an OF slot should open up at AA, he's probably first in line. And he'd be more age-appropriate at that level.

 

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Haddow's May wasn't as good as April, posting a .260/.370/.380 line. K rate is up a bit at 18.7%. which is OK, and he continues to draw walks at a solid pace - his 42:30 K:BB ratio is significantly better than previous seasons. But the AVG is down a bit, and power is lacking. The AVG is up again lately (.282 in last 10), but with even less power (.308 SLG).

 

He's still probably the OF most in line for a promotion to AA at this point, if opportunity arises. But that could change quickly.

 

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Mark had just started to heat up in early June, posting a .370/.452/.444 line in 9 games, but then he went on the DL. He's still there, been a month and a half.

 

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Further on the injury... just confirmed with W-S, Mark Haddow had a broken hand thanks to a HBP in June. 6 week return timetable from the injury, he's started throwing recently, but no hitting yet.

 

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End of season update...

 

Mark ended up missing about 6 weeks' time due to that broken hand from the HBP. And for a fringe guy already old for his level, that is a bad thing. On his return, he scuffled a bit at first, then went on a mini-tear in his last 7 games, going .391/.461/.522. His final season line on the season at W-S was .272/.376/.391, 75 K vs 44 BB in 357 PA.

 

The K rate (21%) was pretty close to his usual numbers, though slightly higher. His walk rate was nearly identical. Average and slugging dropped.

 

Haddow's already-narrow window is closing, as he'll be 26 next season, and likely in AA, where he'll be 1-2 years older than you'd like to see for that level. A breakout year could still, maybe, put him on the edge of the radar, especially since he does bring strong defense to the table. But he's just not hitting enough, or for enough power, to be a serious corner OF prospect.

 

Given the time he missed, I am surprised Haddow or Earley weren't sent to AFL, instead of Jared Mitchell.

 

 

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