Chris Bostick Scouting Report: Texas Ranger minor league second baseman Chris Bostick ranked #23 on the LSB Community Prospect Rankings.
In the days leading up to Opening Day, I'm going to offer write-ups on the 31 players who made the Rangers' LSB Community Prospect Rankings Top 31. I've done this the last couple of years, and I don't want to re-invent the wheel, so some of this will be a repeat of what I've written before, particularly regarding draft history or performance pre-2013. Also, this is not based on my personal observations -- I'm not a scout, and haven't seen most of these guys. I'm just aggregating the numbers and what others say about these players.
So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at Chris Bostick...
Chris Bostick is a 5'11", 185 lb. righthanded hitting second baseman acquired by the Rangers from the Oakland A's this past offseason as part of the Michael Choice/Craig Gentry trade. Bostick was a 44th round draft pick out of the Aquinas Institute, a high school in Rochester, New York. The A's signed Bostick to a $125,000 bonus, significantly more than a 44th round pick would normally get, to lure Bostick away from a commitment to St. John's University.
Bostick only had a limited amount of action after signing with the A's in 2011, picking up 57 plate appearances in the Arizona League, but impressed in that limited action, recording a .442/.482/.654 line while playing shortstop and second base.
The A's assigned Bostick to the short-season New York Penn League for the 2012 season, a challenging assignment for a 19 year old, particularly one from a northern state where weather issues mean that baseball season for prep players is shorter than for players from warm-weather climes. Bostick didn't stand out, but he at least didn't drown, putting up a .251/.325/.369 line in 316 plate appearances, along with 12 steals in 17 attempts. The A's had Bostick play primarily second base, and he got just a handful of games at shortstop. Bostick was still pretty below-the-radar at this point, although John Sickels ranked Bostick his #13 prospect in the A's system after the 2012 season, grading him a C prospect who was a borderline C+.
Bostick moved to full season ball in 2013, being assigned to Beloit in the low-A Midwest League, and he took a step forward with the bat, hitting .282/.354/.452 with 25 steals in 33 attempts. Bostick had some contact issues, striking out 122 times in 555 plate appearances, but he also put up a respectable walk rate, drawing 51 bases on balls.
On December 3, 2013, Bostick was sent to Texas, along with Michael Choice, in exchange for Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom. While the deal was primarily Choice for Gentry, the inclusion of Lindblom and Bostick suggests that there was value balancing still to be done, and I'm curious as to whether Bostick or Lindblom was the more valued of the two secondary pieces. Bostick didn't appear on my Rangers top 10 lists, although Keith Law, who liked Bostick out of high school and had him rated as a sleeper prospect after the A's drafted him, ranked him 6th in the Texas system, ahead of, among others, Michael Choice, Nick Williams and Luis Sardinas.
Law did a Q&A with Richard Durrett after doing the Rangers' prospect list where he talked about what he liked about Bostick, praising his swing, approach at the plate and defense at second base. Sickels, prior to the 2013 season, highlighted Bostick's athleticism, as well. Law describes Bostick as someone who could become an above-average second baseman in the majors.
Bostick is likely going to start the season at high-A Myrtle Beach, and there are two interesting second basemen, Rougned Odor and Ryan Rua, who will be in front of him at AA Frisco, so you'd expect him to spend the entire season in the Carolina League. Bostick turns 21 exactly one week from today (on March 24, 2014), and so he's age appropriate for the league, and will get a chance to show his new organization what he is capable of.