Kendall Coleman spent most of the 2013 and 2014 seasons on the disabled list. He did not quite seize the moment in the little time he did play in rookie ball either. Last year I expected a major break out from him. The tools are off the chart and he has the makeup and work ethic to make those tools play up.
He didn’t quite live up to that potential the first half of the 2015 season. He seemed to be swinging for the fences every time up to bat, and was just 16 for his first 116 (.138) at bats in Pulaski. He did hit four homeruns in those first 33 games, but he wasn’t making much hard contact.
Then came August, where he absolutely exploded. He proceeded to go 31 for his next 86 (.360) to finish off the season. He had one homerun, one double, and five triples during that span, and hit .360/.417/.525/.940. He was finally showing some of that potential which has Yankees scouts ecstatic about his future. Moreover he really cut back on his strikeouts in those last 24 games. He had 41 K in his first 33 games, and just 21 in his last 24 games. In that time he brought his average from .142 to .236, where he finished the season. His ending line was .236/.336/.389/.725 with five homeruns, two doubles, and seven triples. This is a respectable line but it’s nothing compared to where his talent could take him.
Age: 20 (born May 22, 1995 in Rowlett, Texas)
Draft: 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Rockwall High School in Texas
Best tool: burgeoning power
Coleman’s meal ticket is in his power. He is a hit first outfielder, which is not to say he can’t field his position. As a hitter, he has a lot going for him though. As he showed by his 100 point average to OBP differential, he is clearly a patient hitter. Additionally, he is capable of having a good hit tool when he is going right. He showed some of that potential in the second half of last season, and I’m hopeful he can carry it over into 2016. He also has shown that he already has power at the age of just 20. Those power numbers could take a significant jump in the coming years with his size and ability. He could definitely cut down on the strikeouts, but I believe that will come with some more consistency at the plate.
Defensively Coleman is slightly above average in left field. If his offensive gifts play up as they should, being slightly above average will be more than enough. He has average speed, an average arm, and good instincts. Moreover, he is an average baserunner as well. At 6-foot-4 it’s hard to get the jumps necessary to steal bases at the next level.
With an above average hit tool, borderline plus power potential, above average patience, and average defense, we’re looking at a guy who could be a valuable asset to a major league team in the future. He has 30 homerun potential and the possibility of hitting over .300 with a good OBP if he reaches the ceiling. The floor is a bust, as he could flame out as soon as 2017. He’s not at make or break point yet, especially since guys his size sometimes take an extra year or two to physically mature.
He’ll either start at Charleston or at Staten Island this year, and it’s tough to predict which one. Given his potential, I think the Yankees will be aggressive with him and put him in Charleston. They will want a guy like him to get as many at bats as possible, and this is his best shot at that. From there it all depends on how fast he progresses. He could be very Aaron Judge-like once he reaches maturity, and that would make him a fast mover. For now he’s likely to be a one level a year guy, which would put his ETA at 2019.
Being a lefty with his size, youth, power, and tools, Kendall Coleman has all of the potential in the world. He’s the kind of hitter the Yankees love to have in their Bronx stadium. Lefties with power can hit a lot of homeruns in Yankees’ Stadium with that short porch. This year Coleman has a great opportunity to break out. He finished last year strong and if he can carry that success over into this season Coleman will undoubtedly put his name on the map.