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Selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of UNC-Wilmington, outfielder Steven Linkous repeated at short-season Boise in the Northwest League in 2017, appearing in 63 games and slashing .308/.409/.348/.757 for the Hawks, making the mid-season All-Star Team along the way. In 250 at-bats this summer, Linkous hit five doubles and a home run, and posted 39 walks, 37 stolen bases, and 54 strikeouts in that span.

A singles hitter with plus speed but little else flashing above-average right now, Steven Linkous is already 23 years old (DOB: September 28, 1994) and behind schedule to move up into full-season ball, especially considering his major college program background. Nevertheless, his speed and defensive potential may carry him forward with the Colorado Rockies the next few years, and give him an outside shot to be more than organizational depth if his hit tool develops enough to produce modestly as a backup outfielder and pinch runner. Below, Baseball Census has a full Steven Linkous scouting report, including game video, tool grades, and projections for the outfield prospect.

Steven Linkous Scouting Report, Colorado Rockies — 2017

Dates observed in 2017: August 1-3

Hit (35)
Slap hitter; opposite field approach with good strike zone coverage and average plate discipline. Tracks the ball well; above-average pitch recognition. Struggles to turn on the ball with authority; susceptible to getting beat on inner half. Ground ball hitter with little consistent ability to manipulate barrel and hit ball in the air with authority. Likely to be exploited by better velocity/command at higher levels.

Power (20)
Extremely little power right now, both in BP and games; unlikely to ever produce much pop, especially with opposite field/slap approach. Below average bat speed; weaker hands and wrists with little barrel manipulation. Speed for gap-to-gap power, but still unlikely to be a line drive doubles hitter in his role.

Glove (50)
Good reads in center field; will run down the ball with ease and good top speed. Unexceptional but certainly doesn’t lag behind; should patrol center field satisfactorily as he moves forward, with left field perhaps a better fit considering arm strength.

Arm (40)
Below average arm strength lacking punch with little carry; accuracy fine and fairly consistent, but non-impactful arm in my (admittedly brief) viewings in center field. Admittedly, need to see him throw some more to feel more confident in grade, but certainly below average with little potential to grow considerably from here.

Speed (60)
Legitimate plus speed; read 4.11 and 4.14 home to first out of LHH box. Good feel for how to use speed in offensive game at the plate; prolific stolen base threat already, though some issues here with reading pitchers and moves. Can be overaggressive at times, but clearly understands speed is his carrying tool. Uses speed effectively on defense in center field, too; will track down the ball well in all directions.

A Division I college product repeating in a short-season league is never ideal, but Linkous had a productive year in 2017 and that could keep him in the organization and moving forward in 2018. Still, he must move consistently if he’s to have any impact one day, and even that’s not likely. Remarkably little power and underdeveloped hit tool especially considering his age, so speed must continue to carry him forward; there’s a path there, though likely to remain organizational depth for the next few years.

Steven Linkous Scouting Report, Colorado Rockies — 2017 Game Video

Steven Linkous Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis, & Projection

It’s never ideal when a Division I college guy repeats at short-season ball, turning 23 before he ever gets to a full-season league, but here the Colorado Rockies find themselves with speedy center field prospect Steven Linkous after spending two straight summers in Boise. A slap hitter with an extreme opposite field approach at the plate, the UNC-Wilmington product clearly understands how valuable his speed can be, especially considering his below-average hit tool and complete lack of power at the plate. The idea of it carrying him forward to the big leagues, though, is a very unlikely one without considerable improvements in at least one or two other tools to help him produce enough to keep a roster spot.

Linkous must now move fairly consistently through the Rockies’ system if he’s to put himself in a position to realistically reach the big leagues, and that means Low-A Asheville should probably be home in 2018. Plus speed will continue to play wherever he goes, but as we’ve noted about other speedy Northwest League prospects this winter, it won’t much matter unless Steven Linkous continues to prove he can still reach first base enough to use his best attribute. Expect him to remain organizational depth for the remainder of his career with little potential to reach higher ceiling.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Organizational depth likely with up-and-down ceiling thanks to speed/defensive capabilities; behind schedule at his age and must move consistently in window (35)

MLB ETA: 2021

Did you like this Steven Linkous scouting report? Get more prospects here:

Colorado Rockies OF Daniel Jipping — CLICK HERE

Colorado Rockies RHP Brandon Gold — CLICK HERE

Colorado Rockies 2B Shael Mendoza — CLICK HERE

Colorado Rockies C Javier Guevara — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Connor Walsh — CLICK HERE


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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