Tue, Jun 7, 2011
The Oakland Athletics promoted second base prospect Jemile Weeks from Triple-A on Monday. The younger brother of Rickie Weeks (and the A’s No. 5 prospect according to Baseball America) is expected to fill in for the injured Mark Ellis. The recently acquired Scott Sizemore will likely move to third base.
Weeks was the A’s first round pick in 2008, but just like his brother, injuries have limited his production. Hip and leg injuries have prevented him from playing a full season. In three-plus seasons in the minor leagues, Weeks has compiled only 873 at-bats.
When he’s healthy, he’s a toolsy player that displays good upside. His career .286/.372/.420 slash offers promise, and his quick, explosive bat can do damage from both sides of the plate.
The 24-year-old is listed at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, but according to Baseball America, his “strength and outstanding bat speed give him the capability to hit for more power than his body type would suggest.”
Weeks was enjoying his first taste of Triple-A (and his best season yet) before the promotion. In 217 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats, he posted a .321/.417/.446 slash with 13 extra base hits (including three HRs) and 10 steals in 14 attempts.
Baseball America profiles Weeks as a “top-of-the-order catalyst” with “above-average athleticism and speed.” Where he’ll hit initially remains to be seen. Regardless, he’s likely to receive most of the playing time at second while Ellis remains on the shelf.
Comparisons to his older brother are inevitable, though Jemile doesn’t have the same offensive upside. Given a full season (which has yet to happen), Weeks could offer double-digit HRs, 20 steals and a .260s-.270s average.
The A’s are unsure how long Ellis’ hamstring injury will sideline him, but the same injury forced him to miss more than a month last season. Any struggle on Weeks’ part could land him back in Triple-A following Ellis’ return, but his energy could spark the light-hitting A’s offense. If that’s the case, Weeks might solidify his role as the everyday starter.
He’s a hot item in keeper/dynasty formats, and is worth a look in deeper leagues. Weeks has top-12 upside at his position, but it’s too early to get excited about him yet. Monitor his production over the next week before making a roster move.
Image courtesy of: Amanda Rykoff
Tags: Jemile Weeks