Coming out of Cypress High School (Anaheim, CA), Josh Vitters was considered one of the most polished high school hitters in the 2007 draft.

His arm strength was excellent and considered his best defensive tool, but defense was his weakness. He had no range, was a below average fielder, and had no running speed.

Still, the Cubs selected him as their No. 1 pick in 2007, and Baseball America currently lists him as the No. 3 prospect in their organization.

That decision appears to be starting to pay off. Last summer Vitters hit for both average (.316) and power (15 home runs) in 70 games with Peoria. He advanced to High-A ball and played 50 games with Daytona but did not perform as well. He hit .238 and only had three round-trippers.

This season Vitters started out strong with Daytona (.291, three HRs, 13 RBI) and after 28 games was promoted to Tennessee (AA). In 42 games with Tennessee he has struggled, hitting .233 with four home runs and 17 RBI.

There has been some concern with his patience at the plate. He walked only 12 times in 458 at-bats between Peoria and Daytona last season but has improved this season, walking 14 times in 258 at-bats between Daytona and Tennessee.

On a positive note, he appears to be a good contact hitter, striking out once every 7.05 at-bats last season and 5.40 this season.

Vitters continues to show that he will be a good major league hitter but needs to work on his defense. He is still a few years away but is someone the Cubs will be looking to when Aramis Ramirez’s contract expires (2012).


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