View Full Version : Jacob Kahaulelio

05-03-2009, 07:58 AM
This is a kid we don't discuss much on this forum, but I notice he's off to a good start as a lead-off guy at Sarasota. Its interesting that he has 7 walks in 41 PAs and has a .290/.463/.452/.915 line. I've considered Kahaulelio more of an organizational guy than a big league prospect, but his start would seem to at least merit a little discussion on the kid. Here is what I know:

He hits and throws Right-Handed, he'll be 24 in June and was a 20th round pick in the 2007 draft. He tore his ACL and his meniscus in a run-down drill shortly after being drafted which wiped out his 2007 season. Last year he split the year between Dayton and Sarasota and in 296 combined ABs he put up a line of .257/.323/.375/.698. (His OPS was .871 in 106 AB vs LH Pitching and his LD rate was 50% better versus lefties.)

The fact that the Reds chose him to be the lead-off guy after a season like that makes me wonder if they expect more from him and his 2008 line was more due to recovery from injury than it is a reflection of his true talent level. I honestly don't know, but I find it interesting that the Reds started him off in Dayton and didn't have him spend any time at Billings in 2008.

Anyone have anything to add about this kid?

05-03-2009, 12:18 PM
The Reds clearly like the guy. They've been very patient with him, even when he has struggled. His best skill is his plate discipline, which reminds me a bit of Paul Janish (but with less defensive ability, obviously). He makes all the routine plays at 2B and has enough range to stay there. I think it all comes down to how well he can drive the ball, but like you said, he's already off to a good start this year, so he's worth keeping an eye on.

05-03-2009, 01:55 PM
Kahaulelio hasn't been the leadoff guy. Justin Reed has been, but for some strange reason despite leading the team in OPS (for guys qualified) he was optioned to Billings on the 1st. He is off to a strong start in a tough league to hit in, so we should be keeping an eye on him, but its very early.

05-03-2009, 02:24 PM
Jake is the kind of player that managers love because he does all the little things. He makes the plays that should be made. He is not going to scare anyone at the plate, but he will execute what is asked of him. Not the most gifted kid in terms of talent but right now, a better player than many less-polished players in Single-A baseball that show up on the prospect lists.