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Columnist: Koby Schellenger

Felix Pie Scouting Report
April 11, 2007

Chicago Cubs prospect Felix Pie is back in the Pacific Coast League for a second year in a row. Although that generally means the player has done something wrong, in this case, it doesn't. Pie, at 21 years old, held his own against the more advanced players of the Triple-A circuit. He struggled in the first half of the season with inconsistency at the plate but went on a tear over the second half to end up with a final vital line of .283/.353/.459. Pie added 15 home runs, furthering the notion that he will develop into a solid power hitting center fielder. He smacked 33 doubles and legged out eight triples as well. He improved his defense and, perhaps more importantly, showed the ability to fight through adversity.

This year, Pie hopes to improve upon his already glistening set of skills and awards and, ultimately, get a shot to take over in Wrigley. The additions of Mark DeRosa and Alfonso Soriano would seem, at the moment, to prohibit Pie from making the leap to the major leagues. With Jacque Jones and Matt Murton flanking Soriano and DeRosa in a position to back up either of them, Pie seems destined for another year in Triple-A. But his production through five games suggests otherwise. He has collected 9 hits in 19 at-bats for a sparkling vital line of .474/.524/.684. Additionally, Pie has blasted one home run and one double while striking out twice.

Pie possesses great speed that helps him cover plenty of ground in the outfield. Additionally, he has an above average arm. He could play anywhere in the outfield, but his speed makes him best suited for center. He has improved the lines he takes to batted balls and has drastically improved his defensive value over the last year and a half.

Pie's attributes are impressive to traditional scouts and fans who like to see dazzling play. But there are questions about his major league ability. From 2005-present, Pie has taken great strides to improve his swing. It is now more smooth and a lot less erratic. He has a quick swing and covers the zone well. The problem is that he doesn't have great vision. He strikes out more than he should and doesn't draw nearly as many walks as one would expect from someone with his speed. Though his speed is very good, he is going to need to work on his baserunning ability. He was caught 11 times last season against 17 successful attempts.

Essentially, Pie's biggest detraction is his lack of instincts. He is a case study in the quest to decide if players can learn traits that are generally considered to be instinctual skills. If he can, he'll find himself guarding the ivy real soon. He's a leadoff hitter in the cut of Grady Sizemore. He's got good power potential and great speed. For Pie it's a matter of putting everything together and becoming more consistent at the plate.

Posted by Koby Schellenger: Apr 11 at 5:06 PM

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