Friday, August 19, 2011

What's the future hold for Alfredo Silverio?

If the headline on this post looks like the Angelo Songco post from May, it's because I just changed the name. The Songco post was prompted by him hitting for the cycle. Alfredo Silverio hit for the cycle on Thursday, so here we are.

Silverio, 24, a non-prospect in my eyes for the last couple years (made my Top 40), has made a name for himself at Double-A Chattanooga. His triple slash line is .298/.326/.539. The batting average is nice, the on-base percentage, especially in relation to the batting average, is not. However, he makes up for it in the slugging department.

Before you ask, no, he isn't a power-hitting prospect. But he does get a lot of extra-base hits. He has 15 home runs, 34 doubles and a Southern League-leading 16 triples. That combination of slugging also makes him the league leader in total bases (248). His teammate, Scott Van Slyke, is second (231).

Silverio was signed in 2003 out of the Dominican Republic. He's is a free-swinger, to put it lightly. His walk rate is 4.6 percent this season, which is up from last season's 4.5 percent. His strikeout rate isn't overly concerning (17.2 percent), but compared to his walk rate, it's a little too high.

He made his first appearance in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook in 2008, when he checked in as the Dodgers' No. 29 prospect. He won the Gulf Coast League batting title in 2007, when he hit .373 as a 20-year-old.

The next year, he moved up to No. 27 after a mediocre season at Great Lakes in the Midwest League (.263/.279/.404). He jumped up to No. 18 in last year's book after repeating Low-A with a little more success (.284/.320/.457). He was not listed in the Dodgers' Top 30 for 2011.

So, what are his prospects? Well, that all comes down to his plate discipline. He isn't getting especially better in that department, but he's set career-highs in every significant offensive category this season -- runs, hits (three more), doubles (one more), triples, home runs, RBI, OPS (save 2007 in the GCL). The extra-base hits are impressive, as he doesn't need to hit home runs to have a respectable slugging percentage. And despite the 16 triples, he isn't a good base-stealer (10-for-22 this season after 17-for-24 in 2010).

If Silverio makes his big league debut in 2012, perhaps Davey Lopes can work with him to make him a better base-stealer. I mean, look at what Matt Kemp and Tony Gwynn have done this season (52-for-60 combined, 86.7 percent). But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Silverio has established himself as a legitimate prospect. I'll probably have him in my Top 25 come 2011. He's a corner outfielder, despite playing some center field in his minor league career. He's another in a long line of legitimate Dodger outfield prospects. A benefit he has is he's already in Double-A and 24 years old. Aside from Jerry Sands and maybe Van Slyke, Silverio is probably third in line, if the Dodgers need him (not counting minor league journeymen like Trent Oeltjen).

Despite his free-swinging, low on-base percentage ways, it's hard to argue with 65 extra-base hits in 115 games -- even if it is Double-A.

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