Name: Douglas Deeds
DOB: June 2, 1981
Douglas Deeds could very well be the most underrated player in the Minnesota Twins organization. One of the best overall players in the Eastern League this past season, Deeds is at least beginning to raise eye-brows within the organization. One this is for sure, he will definitely give the Rochester Red Wings' fans something to watch in the 2006 season.
Deeds played his high school ball at Bexley High School in the State of Ohio, earning himself a scholarship to Ohio State University. During his high school days, Deeds was a two-time All-State selection, and set his high school's record with 28 career home runs. During his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons, Deeds led his team in batting average.
After redshirting to begin his collegiate career, Deeds was right in the middle of the lineup as a redshirt freshman for the Buckeyes. During the 2001 season, Deeds was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, and ended the year as the Big-Ten Freshman of the Year.
In addition, the sweet-swinging outfielder was named First-Team All-Big Ten, and finished the year with a .343 batting average, and 14 home runs.
In 2002, which would be his second and final season with the Buckeyes, Deeds led the team with .386 batting average. He also led the team with 81 hits, 12 home runs, and was named Second Team All-Big Ten.
The Twins took the slugger in the ninth round of the 2002 draft, and originally assigned him to Elizabethton of the Appalachian League. It would mark the beginning of a great Minor League career, that has set the stage for a possible appearance in Minnesota during the 2006 season.
For Elizabethton, Deeds finished fourth in the Apply League with a .325 batting average. Showing an incredible batting eye, Deeds walked 41 times, good for fifth in the league, and smacked seven home runs.
After laboring through an injury plagued 2003 season, in which he appeared in only five games, Deeds had a tremendous year in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in 2004. He batted a respectable .294, good enough for eighth in the league, and led the league with 12 triples.
In 2005, Deeds had a breakout-type season with the New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League. The slugger was a member of one of the better lineups in the league, and was all over the league's leaderboard. Overall, Deeds batted .304, ripping 150 base hits, and finishing the year with 16 home runs. He also drove in 82, smacked 34 doubles, and was named to the Eastern League All-Star Team.
Batting and Power: Deeds is one of the more polished hitters in the Twins' organization. He has the ability to hit to all fields, and has shown the ability to hit at every level he has played at during his Minor League career. He has pretty good pop, as he blasted 16 home runs last season, and is very deceptive when you see him in person. Not a huge guy by any means, Deeds uses his entire body to drive the ball, and also compliments it with a good eye at the plate. He should be right in the middle of the Rochester lineup in 2006, and will likely hit close to .300 in his first season of Triple-A ball.
Base running and Speed.While he isn't slow by any means, Deeds is not going to wow anybody with his speed. He does have good closing speed, which enables him to be an above-average defensive outfielder, but he does not scare pitchers when he takes his lead. He usually does not have the green light, and will only pick up a situational stolen base here and there throughout the season. However, he has played enough baseball to become a solid base runner, something that is very different from just a bag stealer.
Defense. Deeds is a great defensive outfielder, and should have a future as an everyday corner outfielder in some organization, hopefully the Twins. He makes all the plays in right field, and has a tremendous arm that enables him to scare potential base runners from advancing a base. He uses good closing speed to get to balls that most outfielders do not get to, and has had his fair share of outfield assists throughout his Minor League career.
ETA. 2007.While there is a good possibility that Deeds could crack his first Major League roster this coming September, it is more likely that the Twins will give him an entire year of seasoning in Triple-A before promoting him to the big leagues. With Jason Kubel coming back, and the logjam of potential outfielders at the Major League level, Deeds will have to once again put up huge numbers to get a call-up this season. However, it will not be the end of the world if he does not get a September call-up, and he should fight for a spot on the 25-man roster to open the 2007 season. Either way, there is no doubt that Deeds will put up solid offensive numbers in 2006, while playing both left and right field for the Rochester Red Wings.