Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top 15 Hitters: #8 Shawn O'Malley

Shawn O'Malley
5'11" 160 lbs DOB: 12/28/1987
Bats: Switch | Throws: Right
2009: Charlotte Stone Crabs
Acquired: 2006 Draft, 5th Round, 139th Overall

O'Malley's final 2009 OPS of .699 didn't open any eyes, but seeing his name atop the Florida State League in on-base percentage was a surprise.

O'Malley only hit .268 in 103 games for the Crabs, but he drew 58 walks on his way to a very healthy .388 OBP. Of course, with that good of an OBP and that low of an OPS, it stands to reason that he didn't hit for any power. Power isn't just a weakness for O'Malley, it's not even a part of his game. He hit only 12 extra base hits, one homerun among them. And his .311 SLG% was actually an improvement over last season's .296.

Still, he does enough other things well to make him a legitimate prospect. He gets on base, and once he's on, he's a constant threat to steal with his plus speed. He swiped 40 bases for Charlotte against 14 times caught stealing. He had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .313/.470/.344 with two steals.

O'Malley doesn't figure to develop much power, although he's got an athletic frame to add strength(he was an all-state wide receiver in high school in Washington). He saw a lot of time at 2nd base in Arizona and might not be able to stick at shortstop, although, again, he has the athleticism for it.

If he can continue develop his hitting while maintaining his on-base and stealing skills, he could become a valuable tool off the bench for the Rays in a few years. He'll start 2010 at Montgomery, where he'll primarily play shortstop but also see time at 2nd base. He'll only be 22 years old, but it'll be important for him to show that he's not overmatched by the pitching at the higher levels.


  1. Where is he now?

  2. Not many people know that Shawn, who was my ss at southridge High School in Kennewick, WA didn't start switch hitting until his second year in the minor league system. His power numbers would be significantly different if he had stayed on the right side. In 3 varsity seasons he had 211 at bats, with 16 2bs, 14 3bs, an 8 HR's with a .502 OBP. therefore, he is still learning the left side. He plays great defense and for a small frame can play ss with the best.

  3. That's my cousin Shawn whose an excellent player and can't wait to see him play :)