Saturday, February 7, 2009

7. Chris Coghlan

7. Chris Coghlan - Second Base - 6'1 - 195lbs - Throws: Right - Bats: Left
(last year: 5)

Chris Coghlan was selected out of Ole Miss with the 36th overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft and was quickly signed to a $950,000 bonus. His final season at Mississippi, he hit .357/.424/.509 with 6 homeruns to go along with a 27:21 walk to strikeout ratio. Even though he never hit more than 6 homeruns in a college season, Coghlan is a polished hitter and most scouts believe he will be able to hit for a good average with a wood bat. Three summers ago in the Cape Cod League he proved them right, winning the batting title with a .326 average. Chris had a fine professional debut with Jamestown in 2006. Even though he did not show much power, his average and on base percentage were right where they should have been. Coghlan takes pride in not striking out and drawing plenty of walks. Chris made the move from the hot corner to second base a few seasons ago. The move was made possible because his arm was not quite good enough for 3b, nor was his pending power potential. Most believe he will be an above average defensive second baseman.

Chris was fantastic in low-A Greensboro in 2007, hitting .325/.419/.534 with 10 homeruns in 305 at bats. His 64rbi were good for third place in the SALLY as well. Furthermore, he had 19 stolen bases to just 4 caught, and had 47 walks to just 43 strikeouts.

Coghlan then saw a much-deserved promotion to Jupiter. As we know, Jupiter had not been kind to Marlins prospects in the past. Guys like Brad McCann, JT Restko and Gaby Sanchez have had their prospect status hurt by the Florida State League. The same happened with Chris although not to the extent as McCann or Restko. Even though his OPS was barely .600, there were some positives to look at. He still had a good walk to strikeout ratio and his isolated walk rate of .077 is still well above average. He didn't show much of anything else. The Marlins sent him to the Arizona Fall League to end the 2007 season and he showed that what happened in Jupiter was a fluke. In 73 at bats against some of the best prospects in baseball, Chris hit .329/.407/.425 with 6 extra base hits, 10 walks and just 8 strikeouts.

Following his success in the AFL, Coghlan made the leap to Double-A Carolina where he was a remarkable 2-hole hitter for the Mudcats. In 483 at bats, Chris hit .298/.396/.429 and again had more walks than strikeouts (67-65). He didn’t hit for much power but he did just about everything else right. He even stole 34 bases while being caught just 10 times.

There was talk that Coghlan would be starting at second base to begin the Marlins 2009 season but with the return of Dan Uggla for atleast this season, it would appear that Chris would spend the season in Triple-A New Orleans. The only thing holding him back right now is opportunity, as you would be led to believe that he is ready for the show.

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