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Can Brett Eibner salvage is offensive career? That's the question many people have right now. Many thought his mid-90s fastball and a great curveball would push his professional career towards pitching, but he wanted to play in the outfield, so the Royals gave him that opportunity. It hasn't worked like they wanted yet. Let's look at the evidence:
In his first season of professional baseball, Eibner hit .213, but his high walk rate (14.8%) pushed his OBP to a more respectable .340. Eibner also showed some decent power numbers (13 2Bs and 12 HRs in 324 PA), despite his low batting average. The most alarming statistic in was his awful strikeout rate of 27.8%. His OPS at Kane County in 2011 was something to build on - a decent .748.
If Brett Eibner could shore up some of his inefficiencies, then he could shoot up the prospect charts. Unfortunately, Eibner spent the 2012 season in a Wilmington - Death Valley for many hitters. His batting average dipped to .196, and his once great walk rate slipped to still decent 11.7%. Although his HR rate decreased a little, he did do a better job hitting 2B and 3B. His awful strikeout rate from 2011 actually got worse in 2012 - 34.0%, and his OPS dropped to .687.
The Royals should give Eibner one more opportunity, away from Wilmington, to prove himself offensively before they pull the plug on his offensive career. One thing is certain, he MUST improve his historically bad strikeout rate. If he doesn't improve by a good rate in 2013, the Royals and Eibner would be doing themselves a disservice if a return to the mound was not made in 2014.