Prospect Profile: Garrison Lassiter

Manny probably won't retire after all
MLB Network set to debut tomorrow

Garrison Lassiter | SS

Lassiter grew up in High Point, NC, just outside of Greensboro and Winston-Salem, where he attended West Forsyth High School. He had been “a guy,” as scouts call them, for several years, having played on the American Legion senior team as a 14 yr old after starring for years on AAU and UAAA teams. As a junior he hit .413 with 5 homers and 34 RBI, and he followed that up by hitting .500 with USA Baseball’s Junior National Team during the summer, where he was one of 20 players to make the team. He also participated in the prestigious Aflac All-American Game.

Lassiter hit .468 as a senior for the Titans, stealing 21 bases and scoring 29 runs in the process. He drove in the game winning run with a triple off the wall in the left-centerfield gap in the North Carolina vs South Carolina Senior Challenge in his last game as an amateur. Larrister was part of a powerful UNC recruiting class that included Tim Melville (Royals’ fourth rounder, but a top 15 talent), Derrik Gibson (BoSox’s second rounder), and LJ Hoes (O’s third rounder).

His commitment to the Tar Heels caused him to drop big time in the draft; Lassiter lasted until the Yanks bit in the 27th round, #830 overall. Considered a low priority guy, the Yanks ramped up their effort to sign him after first rounder Gerrit Cole decided to follow through on his commitment to UCLA. Lassiter signed late on the August 15th deadline for $675,000, equivalent to slot money for a mid-second round pick.

Pro Debut
Because he signed late, Lassiter appeared in only six games for the Rookie level GCL Yanks. He went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base in his first game as a pro, following it up with a 2 for 4 effort the next day. He finished up with a .261-.292-.261 line in 23 at-bats.

Scouting Report
The first thing everyone notices about Lassiter is his swing; he has a sweet stroke from the left side and outstanding bat speed. It allows him to hit for average and more power than expected out of a typical middle infielder. Standing very upright and slightly open in his stance, Lassiter uses a pronounced leg kick as a timing mechanicm, similar to Johnny Damon. His approach at the plate is unrefined and will need improvement, particularly for when he climbs the ladder and faces better pitching.

Lassiter has good actions and is athletic in the field, but he has to improve his hands and footwork. His strong and accurate arm is his best defensive attribute. Like his plate approach, his fielding skills need work. Listed at 6’1″, 185 lbs, there are no concerns that he’ll outgrow shortstop, however if he doesn’t improve his fielding enough he will have to move to either second or third. His speed is good and he’s a weapon on the basepaths.

You can see his MLB Scouting Bureau video here, and his video from various high school showcases here.

2009 Outlook
Although he could probably hold his own in full season ball because of his pure bat skills, Lassiter should start 2009 in Extended Spring Training to work on his plate approach and fielding. With Carmen Angelini set to repeat Low-A Charleston, Lassiter could move on to Short Season Staten Island when the season starts in June, or perhaps take over at short for the River Dogs if Angelini earns a midseason promotion to High-A Tampa.

My Take
You gotta love it. Anytime you get a player and prospect with this kind of ability in the 27th round you can’t not approve. Lassiter has star potential if everything clicks, but he’ll more than likely end up a solid regular, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It should be noted that he’s a bit of a project, and will likely need a full year at each level as he moves up the organizational ladder.

Manny probably won't retire after all
MLB Network set to debut tomorrow
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Love the Prospect Profiles. Keep up the good work Mike.

    • Jake H

      I enjoy coming to the site on wednesday’s to see if there is a new one and up who it is.

      • pat

        come for the prospect profiles but stay for the witty banter and facepalms!1!11!

    • ‘The’ Steve


      I’ve been waiting for this one, gotta love his upside. I suspect he winds up in the OF, but his bat will get him to the bigs.

  • Manimal

    You think he will be ready to take over SS when Jeter retires? 4 years isn’t THAT bad.

    • Matt

      To far out to even think of it. He may get traded, not show his value, anything can happen including being jeters replacement. On that note, anyone know what jeters profile was like coming up

    • 27 this year

      Plus, he is out of high school so it could take as much as five or six years to be great. I hope this guy turns out real good at the upper levels so even if he can’t replace Jeter, he could at least be a good trade chip. SS’s are valuble both for our team and others.

    • Doug

      Put down the kool-aid, my dude, it’s easy to get excited about prospects like these but they’re far from sure things.

  • Chris V.

    Yeh these prospect profiles are great Mike keep it up.

    Do you ever go back and take a second look at any of the players you have done in the past like McAllister or is it always new prospects? Again great info.

  • gxpanos

    Great job as always with these profiles, Mike.

    Ha, it’ll be fun to follow a Yankee prospect that isn’t a pitcher or Ajax. I hope he blossoms.

    • Ricky

      yea it will…and there is jesus montero too

  • Thomas

    Random question. Mike what is your opinion of Anthony Hewitt (Phillies 1st round draft pick)? I heard scouts that love his skill set and upside, while others bombed his lack actual results in a CT high school. Any comparison with Lassiter (obviously Hewitt is held with much higher regard)?

    • Reggie C.

      Me thinks you answered your own question. Physically, Hewitt looks like he could play in the majors tomorrow, but he’s so raw in his hitting approach and swing that the odds aren’t in his favor to ever become a consistent power hitter.

  • Manimal

    Angels got Fuentes.

    • Joey H

      Yea yea yea.. I’m looking forward to the Yankees and the rest of the AL teeing off on him.

  • Ryan S.

    While of course it is at this point unlikely he blossoms into a major league quality, everyday player, that at least does seem to be his upside. Even though he’s years away from possibly becoming a part of the Yankees, it is refreshing to see a noteworthy SS prospect at any level of the organization at all.

    • Reggie C.

      NO way would Lassiter have dropped into the double digit rounds had word gotten out that he wasn’t totally committed to UNC.

      • Ryan S.

        Great to hear that. Garrison Lassiter is a dude I’m going to start following closely, I’ll be very interested to see how he develops.

  • mg

    Great to see you posting another of these. It’s been to long.

    Happy new years guys. May next year be even more successful.

  • Joey

    Great job as usual Mike. Any chance of Matt Richardson coming up soon?

  • Moshe Mandel

    Mike, I was hoping I could get a brief opinion from you on DJ Mitchell, David Phelps, and Matt Richardson.

  • Joey H

    Great job Mike. Looking forward to watching this kid develop.

  • pat

    cojo and lassiter seem like the same kid at different positions, me likey

  • Ryan S.

    On the topic of prospects…

    On today’s ESPN’s livechat with Jim Callis, he mentioned how the Red Sox and Yankee’s farm systems were ranked in the upcoming 2009 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

    We were ranked 15th overall, and Boston 13th. Given that we’re stacked with pitching talent but we lack any kind of depth with position players, the fact that we’re in the middle of the pack makes sense to me. As Boston relies more heavily on their farm system than we do, its really not a big deal for the Sox to be 2 notches above us … 13th is still only ok.

    • pat

      Im sure if hughes and kennedy were included as “prospects” we would have been much higher. Both are most likely starting at scranton so you could make a case theyre still in the system, Reality is theyre technically not considered prospects anymore because both have had the requisite innings in mlb to lose such status. At least I think thats the case I could be wrong.

      • 27 this year

        i think you’re right. Joba/Hughes/Kennedy are all not prospects

      • Jake K.

        Sure, but you could say the same for Buchholz, which would move the Sox up too.

  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

    Guy looks like Giambi before the PEDs.

  • VinnyH

    Wow, glad another regular here turned me onto the site, great job. I was asking him about Lassiter and he sent me here for the profile. Sounds like he’s been worth the investment so far.

    Best to All,
    “Lifelong Yankee Fan”

  • Bonos

    But where are the OFs for the last three years? They couldn’t sign one that would at least play good A ball. Bad scouting or bad development?

    • pat

      We drafted a kid early on in this years draft, Chris Smith out of Hs from compton california but his debut was pretty bad so hes not exactly on anyones radar right now. We do however, have alot of OF depth in the Dominican right now. Kids like kelvin de leon, eduardo sosa and even carlos urena wil probably make their stateside debuts next season. Supposedly this kid we signed outta mexico Erickson Lianora whos 16 could start in centerfield for charleston next year. At least that was the rumor when he was signed initally.

  • Al

    I think Addison Maruszak has better upside than Lassiter as short stop, check out his numbers here.

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