Top Prospect #18: 3B Juan Richardson

Top Prospect #18: 3B Juan Richardson

Juan Richardson's stock has fallen sharply because of injuries. First, he missed a big chunk of the 2003 season and now comes word that he's still not healed and will miss at least part of the 2004 season. When he's healthy, Richardson has a lot of talent. His injuries have slowed his development and he will now have to prove himself healthy and ready to go about getting his career back on track.

Juan Richardson saw his star start to rise after back-to-back impressive seasons in 2001 and 2002. Prior to those years, Richardson was an average type player who had never reached his potential. In his first two seasons in the Phillies organization, Richardson hit 8 homeruns, drove in 44 runs and hit .216, bouncing back and forth from one level to another. In 2001 and 2002, Richardson hit 40-166-.248 at Lakeland and Clearwater. The potential was starting to show. Along with the increase in numbers though, Richardson did set a career high with 122 strikeouts in 2002 and was on a pace to strikeout about the same number of times in 2003. The Phillies will need Richardson to either increase his power numbers a little or strikeout a little less if he's to justify the jump in whiffs.

 

The Phillies moved Richardson along to AA Reading for the 2003 season and he was tearing up the Eastern League. There was talk that Richardson could be at AAA by the middle of the season if he continued to hit the way he was. Then, trouble hit. Richardson suffered an ankle injury that wound up to be more severe than first thought and put him out for the rest of the season. Richardson's final numbers were still pretty impressive (15-34-.270), but the injury was a definite set back. It looked like Richardson would be back and ready to go this spring, but the Phillies announced that Richardson was having trouble. Richardson underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. The bottom line is that he will likely miss at least the first month, and probably even more, of the season.

 

If Richardson gets healthy and stays healthy, he has the ability to get himself back on track quickly. He will likely need at least some time at AA before moving along to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, but if he picks up where he left off in 2003, the move will come sooner rather than later. Richardson just turned 23 and the Phillies hope that he will see substantial time at AAA during the 2004 season.

 

On the upside, Richardson has always been steady and at times, spectacular defensively. Richardson is routinely among the league leaders in fielding percentage for third basemen and led the Gulf Coast League in fielding in his rookie season.

 

Juan Richardson's Career Stats

 

Year/Team

HR

RBI

AVG

SB

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

BB

KO

1999 GCL

(Rookie)

5

23

.226

7

46

164

27

37

14

0

11

46

1999 Batavia

(Rookie)

1

2

.125

0

7

24

1

3

0

0

2

8

1999 Piedmont

(Low A)

0

2

.167

0

4

12

0

2

1

0

1

5

2000 Piedmont

(Low A)

2

15

.242

0

43

149

19

36

11

0

17

43

2000 Batavia

(Rookie)

0

2

.154

0

10

39

0

6

2

0

3

15

2001 Lakewood

(Low A)

22

83

.240

7

137

505

68

121

31

2

15

51

2002 Clearwater

(High A)

18

83

.257

0

122

456

52

117

21

2

44

122

2003 Reading

15

34

.270

2

65

248

37

67

9

0

17

69

Career Totals

63

244

.224

16

434

1597

204

389

89

4

146

455

 

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