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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10 Opposing Players for 2012 - No. 9: Jiwan James

Bio: Jiwan James took an odd route to where he is today. The Phillies drafted him as a pitcher, and he spent a season doing that until a series of injuries, the most serious of which was a stress fracture, spurred him to try playing the field. After missing all of 2008 recovering from said injuries, he began 2009 as an outfielder with the Williamsport Crosscutters, Philly's team in the New York-Penn League.

In three pro seasons, James has shown he can play an excellent center field, with plenty of speed and range to go with an above-average throwing arm. He's not much for power, though, as evinced by his 10 career home runs in 1,203 at-bats. His .325 on-base percentage and 274 Ks against 86 career walks also shows that he could stand to be more selective at the plate, especially if the Phillies plan to keep developing him as a leadoff hitter.

2011: With Clearwater, one of the most prospect-loaded team in the sport, James posted a .268/.327/.363 line, with 26 doubles, six triples and four home runs. Given he'll be playing next season in Reading, a very hitter-friendly park, I'd expect those power numbers to take a spike, especially if he can pull the ball from the right side.

As a side note, James hit .308/.352/.400 with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs against Tampa last year, which should be interesting when he faces Trenton this year. 

What People Are Saying: Last year, in his Top 11 Phillies prospects, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein said this about James:

"James is a top-of-the-line athlete who is absolutely loaded with tools. He's a 70 runner with excellent range in center field and a slightly above-average arm. He shows good bat speed from both sides of the plate with game power, and projects to hit 10-15 home runs annually as he learns to take advantage of his long arms. Scouts love the energy he plays with."

When You Can See Him: Reading comes to Trenton July 19-22 and August 7-9. 


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