Name: Douglas Deeds
DOB: June 2, 1981
Douglas Deeds had another standout season during the 2006 year, but still flew under the radar for most scouts. A great bat, Deeds once again had success in the Eastern League, though most felt that he should have been in Triple-A. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League this past fall, Deeds seems poised to make the jump to Triple-A in 2007.
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 during his first year in Columbus, Deeds was right in the middle of the lineup as a red shirt 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.
The 2002 season would be his second, and final season with the Buckeyes. Deeds led the team with .386 batting average, while also leading the team in hits (81), home runs (12), and capped off his year by being named Second Team All-Big Ten.
The Twins took the slugger in the ninth round of the 2002 draft, and 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 Deeds to possibly make his Major League debut in 2007.
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, which was 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 leader board. 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.
This past season, most thought Deeds would be in the Rochester Red Wings outfield, but New Britain fans once again got the opportunity to see Deeds play on a daily basis. He batted .282 for the Rock Cats, smacking 14 home runs, while driving in 72. Deeds should make the jump to the International League in 2007, ending his New Britain career.
During the fall, Deeds was added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster, earning his place in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. With a good spring, Deeds could find himself on the cusp of making his Major League debut this season.
Batting and Power: Deeds is one of the more polished hitters in the Twins' organization, and each year he seems to grow at the plate. 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 hit 30 home runs during the past two season, proving that he has the power potential to hit around 15 home runs a season. 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 2007, 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. 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. The Twins have been taking their time with Deeds, but his inclusion in the Arizona Fall League this past fall shows that they do have plans for him. While he is likely to start the season with Rochester, it would not be a surprise if he made his way to Minnesota by the end of the 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 2008 season. Either way, there is no doubt that Deeds will put up solid offensive numbers in 2007.