Sean Coyle is a power-hitting second base prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization. He hit 16 home runs in just 60 games in 2013 across three levels, but missed much of the year due to injuries.
Coyle very much fits the Red Sox second base profile in that … he is short. He is just 5-foot-8, but a much larger build than his 175-pound listed weight would suggest. He has average range, and his footwork is continuing to improve, especially around the bag when turning double plays.
His real strength is at the plate. He has real power, but his hands seem to be just a tick behind his hips, causing a slight loss in bat control. He struggles to catch up to a good fastball, and has a below-average approach at the plate. He looks to pull every fastball regardless of location, and can be caught off guard on off-speed pitches.
His four-season minor league career has netted a .246 average and just a .336 OBP, which doesn’t exactly profile as a Red Sox-type approach.
Due to injury late in the season, the second base in Salem was taken over by the hottest player in the Sox system, Mookie Betts, and both are in line to move up to Portland to start off the 2014 season. It will be interesting to see how the playing time and position breakdown will work out, but there is a real possibility that Coyle will get a majority of his at-bats out of the DH spot.
Coyle has the ceiling of an everyday big league starter, but with the emergence of Betts and Dustin Pedroia signing a long-term deal during the 2013 season, the question of Coyle’s fit in the Red Sox future must be asked. If he stays healthy and hits well, he could quickly become a trade chip by mid-2014.