Prospect Matt Lipka Headed To Center Field

Matt Lipka, the Braves first pick in the 2010 draft (35th overall), didn’t have a great year in 2011. And if he enjoyed playing short stop, his year just took another bad turn. The super speedy 19-year-old played short stop and wide receiver in high school but those days appear to be over now. The Braves figured Lipka would end up in center field on draft day and recently moved him there during the Instructs League. Take it away Dave O’Brien

The move hurts his overall value a little but not too bad if he can be a solid defender in center, a position still up the middle. Of course, he’ll have to hit for any of this to matter. In his first full season at Single-A Rome, Lipka hit .247/.305/.304 and a .283 wOBA (weighted on base average). That just isn’t good work with the stick for a kid coming into the season as the Braves’ sixth best prospect according to Baseball America.

I turned back to Twitter for some more insight on Lipka. Some may say I have an addiction to Twitter. And I’d appreciate it if those people stay out of my affairs. Where else am I going to get baseball news and pictures of dogs wearing hats? Where was I? Right, Lipka. Here’s my quick Q&A with the great Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus

Thanks, Kevin. It’s not terribly in-depth analysis but the dude got back to me immediately during Game Six of the World Series. That’s how we roll. Anyway, dear Braves fans, there is still hope for the new center field prospect. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement next season both in the batter’s box and on the basepath. For a player with plus-plus speed and decent base running skills, you’d like to see more from Lipka than his 28 stolen bases and 14 caught stealing in 2011.

Lipka is worth keeping an eye on for the future. Incumbent center fielder, Michael Bourn, is entering his final year of arbitration in 2012 according to Cot’s Contracts.

Tags: Kevin Goldstein Matt Lipka Twitter Conversation

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