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A late-round 2015 MLB Draft selection by the Chicago White Sox out of UMASS-Lowell, infielder Danny Mendick reached Double-A Birmingham for the first time in 2017, splitting the summer between there and High-A Winston-Salem before the Sox shipped the glove-man out to Phoenix for the Arizona Fall League in October and November. A versatile defender ticketed for a utility infield/platoon profile at ceiling, Danny Mendick struggled at the plate over the summer, slashing a combined .256/.340/.405/.745 between both levels (anchored by an ugly .197/.280/.293/.573 line in 41 games with Birmingham) before he went out to the AFL and redeemed himself some with a .290/.324/.391/.716 line across 18 games for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

Entering the 2018 season as a 24-year-old (DOB: September 28, 1993), Danny Mendick isn’t a frontline prospect, but his future is aided by versatility and a jack-of-all-trades profile on defense that could get him to the big leagues as a bench option if only he can hit enough to stick there. Below, Baseball Census has a full Danny Mendick scouting report based on multiple viewings across the AFL season, including tool grades, game video, projection notes, and more.

Danny Mendick Scouting Report, Chicago White Sox — 2017

Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League

Hit (35)
Extremely aggressive hitter; looks to hack and won’t shy away from first-pitch fastballs. Will get beat with off-speed once book on him gets out there; furthermore, susceptible to hard stuff on inner half and in top half of zone. Punchy swing with line drive look from gap-to-gap. Below-average bat speed. Lacks hand/wrist strength to create leverage for power in the air. Works inside out, and will pepper the right-center gap depending on how he’s being pitched. Good pitch tracking and strike zone discipline skills could aid and ultimately slightly boost his hit tool with age, but ultimately a contact guy with little pop who will be exploited by better and better pitching.

Power (35)
Surprised to see he produced ten home runs in 410 at-bats over the summer; below-average in raw and game power in my looks at AFL. Lacks feel to manipulate the barrel and will get beat on inner half and up with fastballs. Some ability in his swing to lift line drives, but insignificant physical strength and lacks remaining physical projection to grow. Unlikely to get consistent at-bats to develop power as he slides into inevitable bench/utility role.

Glove (45)
Best long-term fit is at second base; no such thing as a second base prospect. Lacks ideal range and arm for left side of the infield in longer stints, but could function there well in come-and-go utility role. Gritty at second with intensity and good situational awareness, though. Some team leader feel to him; may help glove play up a bit.

Arm (40)
Below-average on all counts, particularly lacking strength behind longer throws and to backhand, though fairly accurate and consistent. Arm profiles best for second base, same as glove; arm strength and consistency against better competition will prove to be a challenge in big league utility role of any significance.

Speed (50)
Had him between 4.29 and 34 in three times at AFL; average runner who can hold his own on the base paths. Hustles hard with efficient movements out of the batter’s box. Speed plays up with good instincts and advanced ability to read pitchers; that said, unlikely to ever be a stolen base threat; more a testament to his high baseball IQ and ability to draw some potential out of otherwise underwhelming tools.

Does everything a utility infield/bench type is supposed to do: hard-nosed, focused, hustles, squeezes everything he can out of his game. Plays the right way, but unlikely that’s enough to push him over the edge with below-average tools across the board. Likely future destined as organizational depth with emergency call-up potential; gritty competitiveness gives him an outside shot at a small, random window of modest success in the big leagues thanks to hard work and good fortune (think Bo Hart).

Danny Mendick Scouting Report, Chicago White Sox — 2017 Game Video

Danny Mendick Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection

A bit of an underdog second base prospect looking to make the jump to the big leagues with below-average tools, Danny Mendick will quickly find the utility infield path his best shot at prolonging his professional career with the Chicago White Sox. He’s not an ideal defender for the left side of the infield, even in a utility role, but he’s the proverbial gamer who squeezes every ounce he can out of a less than projectable frame and set of tools. He must prove he can hit far better than he did in a disappointing 41-game Double-A introduction over the summer to project into a big league role, though, and considering he’s already 24 years old with an insignificant track record at the plate, that may be difficult.

Mendick did represent the Chicago White Sox well at the Arizona Fall League in part-time action against good pitching, and a 2018 return to Double-A Birmingham will do him well to prove his ability to make adjustments and push forward to Triple-A Charlotte by the end of the season. Long-term, I’m not bullish on Mendick turning into much more than an emergency call-up option playing out a few more years in the upper minors with little upside, though versatility and a hard-nosed attitude may push his ceiling slightly and an up-and-down role may not be out of the question for a (short) time.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Over-aggressive and limited offensive profile will be exploited; glove could play in utility role but bat will limit future to bench ceiling/org depth floor (35/40)

MLB ETA: 2019

Did you like this Danny Mendick scouting report? Get more prospects here:

Tampa Bay Rays RHP Roel Ramirez — CLICK HERE

Kansas City Royals OF Elier Hernandez — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Connor Walsh — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Bryan Saucedo — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Zach Lewis — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Ryan Burr — 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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