Bradley Suttle | 3B
Born in San Antonio, TX, Suttle’s family resides 30 miles northwest in the small surburban town of Boerne, TX, best known for the landmark Supreme Court case The City of Boerne vs. Flores. Suttle, who prefers to go by Bradley, had a dynamic high school career as a two-way player at Boerne High, helping the Greyhounds go a combined 100-30 during his 4 year career, which included reaching the 4A State Championship Title in 2004 (his junior year). At the plate, Suttle scored over 115 runs, and racked up over 60 extra base hits & 120 RBI in his career, while striking out 411 batters in 256 innings on the mound.
Suttle certainly filled up the mantle in high school, bringing home a ton of hardware:
- Lettered in baseball all 4 years
- All-District honors all 4 years
- San Antonio All-Area Performer his final 3 years
- Two-time team captain
- 4A Super Team honors his junior year (as a pitcher)
- San Antonio Area MVP as a junior
- 4A State All-Tournament Team honors as a junior
- Participated in the Texas Scouts Association All-Star game as a junior
- Named to the Texas Rangers Area Code Team & Texas Team Junior Sunbelt Squad as a junior
- MVP of the 17 and under Wood Bat Championships as a junior
- Named a High-School All-American by Collegiate Baseball as a senior
- Participated in the 4A-5A Texas High School All-Star Game as a senior
In addition to his outstanding career with Boerne High, Suttle also played for the South Texas Sliders summer team in 2004 & 2005, helping the team win the Connie Mack Championship in 2004. Off-the-field he participated in the Young Life and Peer Assistance & Leadership (PALS) programs. Suttle is a Type 1 diabetic, and endures a rather brutal daily regimen because of it.
Suttle had committed to Texas and made it known he was intent on attending, but the Angels rolled the dice and drafted him in the 21st round (646th overall) of the 2005 draft anyway. As expected, the Halos wouldn’t meet Suttle’s bonus demands, and he instead headed to Austin. An instant starter for the Longhorns, Suttle hit a solid .301-.366-.429 with 15 doubles & 36 RBI in 62 games as a true freshman. He was named a First-Team Freshman All-American, and was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s honor roll for the 2005-2006 academic year.
During the summer of 2006, Suttle played for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League, and helped the team win the Western Division and play in the Cape Championship Series. Suttle struggled with wood bats, hitting only .226 in 41 games for the Gatemen. Despite his lack of success, Baseball America rated Suttle the 22nd best prosect in the circuit.
Suttle headed into his sophomore year looking to improve his stock, and did just that. Batting primarily cleanup in a lineup that featured homerun machine Kyle Russell, 2008 draft uber-prospect Jordan Danks and personal fave Chance Wheeless, Suttle finished second on the team (to Russell) is most offensive categories. He finished with a .359-.450-.603 line with 17 doubles, 12 jacks and 68 RBI while playing in all 63 games for the ‘horns, and was named to the Big-12 All-Conference First Team.
Despite being just a sophomore, Suttle was eligible for the draft because he turned 21 within 45 days of the event. Suttle and his agents (the Hendricks Brothers) said it would take a cool million bucks to get Suttle to forego his junior year at Texas just prior to draft. Despite being one of the better college position players in a rather weak crop, teams passed on the Suttle early because of his bonus demands (although you have to believe the medical condition was also somewhat of a factor) until the Yanks bit with the final pick of the 4th round (#154 overall). Negotiations went down to the wire, but Suttle eventually agreed to a $1.3M bonus on the August 15th deadline, the largest bonus in the history of the round, and the second largest bonus handed out by the Yanks this year (behind Andrew Brackman‘s megadeal).
After signing Suttle spent some time working out in Tampa before debuting with the rookie level GCL Yanks. Appearing in only 3 regular season games, Suttle went 1 for 8 with an RBI, a walk and two strikeouts. After participating in fall Instructional League, Suttle headed to Hawaii Winter Baseball, where he’s currently continuing his Cape Cod League trend of struggling with wood bats.
Suttle’s not some tooled up uber-athlete; his lone plus tool is his arm strength, but everything else grades out as average or just a tick above. His power is more towards the gaps than over the fence right now, but he did hit 7 of his 12 homers last year at Texas’ Disch-Falk Stadium, which typically suppresses power output. At 6′-2″, 215 lbs, he’s plenty big enough to project greater power in the future.
His approach and plate vision are probably his best offensive assets, as he works deep counts and takes walks when they come (24-37 K/BB ratio as a junior). Suttle does have a knack for putting the ball in play, striking out only 54 times in 553 plate appearances with Texas. His makeup and work ethic are off-the-charts, something very typical of players with serious medical conditions. You can see his 8 minute-plus scouting video here.
The biggest knock on Suttle is his general lack of athleticsm, especially in his lower half. He’s a below average runner with an unorthodox running style, and he doesn’t have good footwork defensively. He’s nothing more than adequate at the hot corner, and a move to a corner outfield spot in the future is possible. I’m no doctor, but I imagine there has to be some questions about how a diabetic will handle a 162 game season, right?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure what the Yanks have in store for Suttle in 2008. A player with 2 years worth of experience at big-time college program and second-round pedigree would typically start his first full-season at the High-A level, but the Yanks have hit machine Mitch Hilligoss lined up to man Tampa’s hot corner in 2008. Either Hilligoss will slide to over to short (he saw some action there in 2007) and Suttle will play third, or Suttle will start the year with Low-A Charleston. It’ll be interesting.
I’m in-between on Suttle; Baseball America loves him, rating him the best pure college hitter available in the 2007 draft, but his lack of standout tools leaves me a bit tentative. Suttle is one of those guys that just always seems to win – he won in high school, he won in summer leagues, he won with Texas, and he won with the GCL team – so he’s got that working for him. There’s certainly a ton of potential here, but Suttle isn’t close to a finished product. I think he’s a wait-and-see kind of guy, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if the Yanks pull a CJ Henry with Suttle, and trade him just a year after drafting him.