Dec
19

Prospect Profile: Taylor Dugas

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(Photo via MiLB.com)

Taylor Dugas | OF

Background
A Louisiana kid from Lafayette, Dugas was a two-way star at Teurling Catholic High School. He hit .518 with 19 homers and 51 doubles during his four years with the Rebels while also going 31-6 with 195 career strikeouts on the mound. Dugas hit .640 with ten homers and 34 steals (in 35 attempts) as a senior, earning him the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year award as well as numerous other honors. He was also a standout quarterback on the football team and thrice earned Academic Honor Roll status.

Despite his high school accomplishments, Dugas wasn’t considered much of a pro prospect because of his small frame. Baseball America (subs. req’d) did not rank him as one of the top 40 draft prospects in Louisiana in 2008 and no team rolled the dice in the draft. Dugas followed through on his commitment to Alabama after going undrafted, and he stepped right into the lineup to hit .352/.412/.479 with a team-leading 83 hits and 13 steals (in attempts) in 56 games as a freshman. The performance earned him freshman All-America honors.

Dugas continued to hit for the Crimson Tide, posting a combined .351/.484/.543 batting line in 130 games as a sophomore and junior. He earned a First Team All-American, First Team SEC, and SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades along the way. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked Dugas as the seventh best prospect in Alabama prior to the 2011 draft, and the Cubs selected him in the eighth round (249th overall). He did not sign and instead returned to school for his senior season.

Following a big senior season (.343/.450/.498), Dugas left Alabama atop the school’s all-time hits (334), singles (234), doubles (67), and triples (18) list. He placed second on the all-time games started (239) and walks (151) lists. His .360 career average is the seventh best in school history, his .466 OBP the fourth best in school history. After more First Team SEC honors, Baseball America ranked Dugas as the 331st best prospect in the draft. The Yankees selected him in the eighth round (#277 overall) of this year’s draft and signed him quickly to a well-below-slot $10k bonus.

Pro Debut
Assigned to Short Season Staten Island after signing, Dugas hit .306/.465/.373 in 276 plate appearances with the Baby Bombers this summer. He lead the circuit in OBP and walks while placing eighth in batting average.

Scouting Report
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 170 lbs., Dugas is an undersized left-handed hitter who qualifies as scrappy and pesky and all those wonderful cliches. His best offensive asset is his supreme control of the strike zone, which allowed him to post a 35/51 K/BB (18.5 BB%) with Staten Island this summer and a 101/151 K/BB in four years at Alabama. Dugas’ swing is geared for contact and he makes a ton of it, though he only offers average speed and very little power.

Defensively, Dugas fits best in left field because he doesn’t have the range for center or the arm for right. He’s a bit of a ‘tweener because his bat falls short of the typical left field profile and he doesn’t offer say, Brett Gardner-level defense at the position. As you’d expect, Dugas earned that scrappy tag by playing hard all the time. Here is his 2011 Draft video and a more recent clip from YouTube.

2013 Outlook
As a four-year starter at a major college program, Dugas will jump up to High-A Tampa next season. A midseason promotion could be in the cards, though he’ll have to fight the likes of Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, and Tyler Austin for outfield playing time at that point.

My Take
Like a number of other teams, the Yankees targeted college seniors who would sign for relative peanuts to save draft pool money in the sixth through tenth rounds. Dugas is more than just organizational filler though given his contact skills and extreme plate discipline from the left side, so maybe he provides some value as a fourth or fifth outfielder on the heavy side of the platoon at the big league level. Improvements on defense and/or on the bases would increase that profile. I like Dugas because he’ll post fun K/BB numbers as he climbs the ladder, but he’s an older guy (24 later this month) who will get overrated quickly due to his statistical performance.

Categories : Prospect Profiles
  • trr

    love this type of player, hope he makes it!

    • Yankees Insider

      Me too with Williams and dugas it gives us some reason to trade Gardner within the next 2 years. Gardner could bring back a solid infielder/pitcher that’s in AA OR AAA. But Williams will hit for more power then both and dugas will hit for more average then each.

    • Laz

      Me too. If he can continue to keep his obp high (was .465), I could care less about his lack of power. Bit odd type of player in that he has very little power, but just an OBP machine.

  • MannyGeee

    The Yankees drafted their own Dustin Pedroia. Your move, Boston.

    • Knoxvillain

      They have Jose Igleasias. We’re done. Imagine how many games they would win with Casey Kelley. At least 117.

  • your mom

    Taylor Dugas for prospect watch!

  • http://Bronxbaseballdaily.com greg corcoran

    I like his style. I wish there was a player who could put up the type of numbers he did in staten island this year for the yankees. Superior contact skills AND superior patience. A rare combo that to me makes a player invaluable at the major league level. Alas, I doubt if Dugas is that guy, but you really never know if you’ve stumbled upon a guy who will become that.

  • Kevin

    If he played middle infield then that would be something. But a corner OFer who doesn’t hit for power, have great speed or play great defense? He better really, really get on base. Like .380 or better.

    • Laz

      Yes, he doesn’t have power or terrific speed so he will need to make it up that way. If he can get obp of .380 he is definitely worth it.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    He looks about 14 in that picture. I must be getting old

    • Havok9120

      I’m not even 21 yet and he looks about 16 to me, so your advanced age isn’t hurting your perception too much.

  • Vertical Pinstripe

    Can’t keep this guy down. He’s been the proverbial “everybody said he’s too small” guy who overcomes the odds. His speed is avg. but he must be a very savvy baserunner to have the high SB %.

    • Havok9120

      I’m not familiar enough with player development to say this conclusively, but aren’t pick off moves and ability to hold runners on one of those things that gets developed later as a purely secondary skill? Not to mention that throwing guys out from behind the plate is as big a game of failure as batting (40% is a pretty great CS% by my understanding).

      Might be a bit too early to whip out the “savvy student of the game” label.

      • Laz

        That, and it’s only college. He only had 5 sb in 7 attempts over 260 PA at staten.

  • LK

    Might end up being a good value considering the bonus, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll hit enough to really become a factor in the Bronx. Hopefully he’ll surprise.

    • Laz

      If he can keep his obp up high enough he will be a factor. That is his game, and if he can keep it up at .380 he could be an exciting top of the order hitter.

  • Robert

    I saw him play in at least 10 games at Staten Island, Raval Santana was supposed to be the hot prospect but there was something about this kids ability to get on base that stood out.

  • tyrone sharpton

    why are the scrappy players always short, skiny, possibly balding white dudes? i mean, damn

  • Scout

    Yawn. Not the write-up, which meets Mike’s usual high standards. The player. Fringy prospects don’t excite me, especially at low A. If he’s drawing any notice when he reaches AAA, then we can talk.

    And, yes, I understand the need to fill up this blog during the slow holiday period. So call me Scrooge.

  • Brian S.

    Weird I thought he was black.

    • Milt Toast

      That’s a’ight. Thought Tyrone Sharpton was black too. Oh well, live and learn.

    • RetroRob

      I can top that. I actually saw him play in a game this year and I thought he was black. That probably tells you how close — or not close! — I was to the field. Seriously, though, it was more the angle. He’s a lefty and I was along the 1B-RF line, so I saw more his back and number than his face.

      I will say he left the biggest impression on me of any player on the field, even thought I apparently couldn’t pick him out of a police line-up. I vaguely recognized the name because the Yankees had just drafted him, but had no perception of him, good or bad. What was clear watching him is how polished he was compared to the other players on the field. Worked the count every time and was never off balance, reguarly squaring up the pitches from both the lefties and righties he faced in the game. He had several hits, including a double and a walk. Took the extra base going first to third, and also made a nice play in the field.

      Judging by his final batting line and what I saw in the game, power will be his drawback. Maybe that will materialize to some degree this year.

      Last, he does not look slim in person. He appeared a bit stocky to me. Not fat, but just a more solid build. He does appear small height wise compared to the other players. He’s list at 5’8″, but I doubt he’s even that. If he actually does weigh 170 lbs. that would explain the stocky look.