#9: Reese Havens Scouting Report

Havens battled more injuries in 2010

Binghamton second baseman Reese Havens is another of the many second baseman jockeying for a shot to become the future at the big league position in New York. However, Havens - who moved to second base in 2010 - has battled repeated injuries that have limited his field time and development at the position. Can he be the answer to the Mets second base woes? Look inside to find out.

Vital Statistics
Name: Reese Havens
DOB: October 20, 1986
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Status: 1st Round (2008) – University of South Carolina

Repetitive injuries can be the most frustrating part of the game for players, particularly when that player is a former first round pick for whom the organization has high expectations. Such is the case for Double-A second baseman Reese Havens. The 2008 first round pick selected four picks behind Ike Davis was envisioned as a fast riser much like Davis. However, three years into his career and Havens has struggled to consistently stay on the field.

Though when on the field in 2010, Havens demonstrated every bit why he is on the short list of players being viewed as the long term solution at second base. Havens hit .281 with three home runs and seven RBI in 14 games with St. Lucie – a stopover after a delayed start to his season due to an oblique injury. Havens was off to Binghamton where he hit .338 with six home runs, 12 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage. He was all set for a big second half, but then the oblique injury popped up.

"Reese is interesting. He really came up here to Double-A and swung the bat well. His bat speed is tremendous. It's just unfortunately he just can't stay healthy," said Binghamton manager Tim Teufel. "He just can't stay healthy. He's certainly talented offensively to do a lot of impressive things."

"I've had a lot of different issues. It's been a struggle for sure. I try to do the best I can with putting it in the past and keep moving on and doing the things I've done in the past to get here," Havens said in a phone interview with Inside Pitch at the end of the season.

Havens got "there", there being Binghamton, for the first time in his career last season before going on the disabled list with a recurring oblique injury after just 18 games with the B-Mets. Considering he missed the 2009 Instructional League and all of spring training with the injury, the fact that Havens last dressed for a game on June 11 was disappointing to say the least.

"Right now, the only thing that is a concern to the organization is the injuries," Teufel said. "If he can get through the injuries and stay healthy, that'll be huge because he hasn't had a fully healthy year yet. Longevity is still something we want to see."

That is what the scouts and fans alike want to see in addition to the organization, but with 152 games to his resume over three seasons, Havens has a bit of an uphill climb. He has the talent to be a factor in the race for second base come 2012, but without health, Havens may be stuck in neutral.

"He's certainly a talent offensively," Teufel said. "He's got work to do defensively, but his body has not let him work defensively to gain some ground on what he needs to in order to be that guy in the big leagues some day. His body's got to let us know when he can hang in there and get the work in."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2010

Binghamton

.338

68

23

6

12

12

0

6

15

.400

.662

2010

St. Lucie

.281

57

16

3

7

9

0

8

18

.369

.509

2009

St. Lucie

.247

360

89

14

52

53

3

55

73

.361

.422

2008

Brooklyn

.247

85

21

3

11

13

3

11

27

.340

.471



Batting and Power: Havens is a plus contact hitter with good power. His excellent bat control and strong hands give him very good plate coverage and the ability to keep the bat back. That allows him to drive the ball to all fields though his home run power remains almost predominately to the pull side. He does a good job of working counts and executing on his pitch. His balance, weight transfer and finish in his hands and hips create his power. He does not generate much lift or carry; his power is more of a line drive variety with lower trajectory though he can drive the ball out of the yard. He still has a tendency of chasing pitches up and out of the zone, but his advanced swing and plate awareness will allow for consistency at all levels.

Base Running and Speed: Havens has good athleticism, but is a bit heavy-footed in his running style. As such, he is not a stolen base threat and is generally a station-to-station runner who does not take many chances on the bases. Speed is not part of his game though he is an intelligent base runner who rarely runs himself into trouble.

Defense: Havens' defense is the most anticipated part of his game. The organization moved him to second base with the hopes that his defense will develop enough to make him the second baseman of the future. So far, he has shown good adjustments. He has good hands and is quick around the second base bag with a snap trigger that makes him adept at turning double plays. The downside, however, is Havens limited range. He is better going to his right, but will not regularly make plays in the hole. He improved his play on the ball by not receiving it so deep into his body. Havens is not going to impress in the field, but his glove is serviceable given what he can bring with the bat.

Projection: Havens' defense is unlikely to take any significant leaps. At this point, he is fairly polished product. He is a very talented hitter who should provide above average production compared to his National League peers at the position while his defense will play, but with muted expectations. He has enough bat that he should hit for a good average while providing above average power for the second base. However, Havens checkered health history is now a legitimate cause for concern and a hurdle he has to clear.

ETA: 2012. Havens had a better shot at cracking the big league roster this upcoming season. However, being limited to just 32 games in 2010 all but eliminated that opportunity unless he simply tears the cover off the ball in an otherwise healthy year. The odds are more likely that the organization wants to see a healthy year from Havens before allowing him to compete for the second base job in 2012.

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