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January 6, 2004

2004 Scouting Report: OF, Bubba Crosby

Bubba Crosby, OF
OF, Bubba Crosby

The Yankees acquired Bubba Crosby from the Dodgers in the trade that sent Robin Ventura to the West Coast. Crosby was the Dodgers' first-round pick in the 1998 draft and is a former high-school teammate of Lance Berkman. With good speed, a good eye and decent power, Crosby should be able to make a splash in the majors but, for this 27-year-old, time might be running out.

Vital Statistics:

Name: Richard Stephen (Bubba) Crosby
Position: Outfielder
DOB: August 11, 1976
Place of Birth:  Bellaire, Texas
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185 lbs
How Acquired: Via trade (along with RHP Scott Proctor) from the LA Dodgers for 3B Robin Ventura.  Drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1998 amateur draft.

When the Dodgers drafted Crosby out of Rice University in June of 1998, they were expecting a player that could hit for power, average and run.  He hit .394 for Rice with 25 homeruns and 91 RBI in just 58 games, but since turning pro, Crosby never put together a season even remotely resembling that kind of production.  That is, until 2003.  

Crosby went on a tear to start the season and was hitting over .400 for a while.  The breakout earned him a promotion to the Dodgers in late May.  He got a hit in his first major-league at bat (a pinch-hit, RBI single on May 29), but then he got no hits in his next 11 at bats and was sent down to make room for the returning Daryle Ward.

Coming into 2003, Crosby was considered a bust.  He had never shown the power that he displayed in high school and at Rice, and he couldn't consistently hit for average.  His excellent 2003 campaign has given his career new life, however, and he would be a good fourth or fifth outfielder for most teams.  

Crosby's best tool is his command of the strike zone.  He doesn't strike out much and puts the ball into play with authority.  Crosby is a line-drive hitter that uses all parts of the field and his speed to get on base.  He used to be more of a threat to steal bases, but he has suffered several minor hamstring injuries that may have cost him a step.  The injuries may be a result of his all-out style of play.  Crosby plays hard and is always running to beat out ground balls.  While still playing for Rice, he was compared to former major-leaguer Lenny Dykstra for this.

The only real problem with Crosby is his advanced age.  He's been in the minors for five seasons now, while a lot of players that were taken with him in the '98 draft (Pat Burrell, Mark Mulder, Sean Burroughs, Austin Kearns, C.C. Sabathia, J.D. Drew and Jody Gerut, to name a few) have already reached the majors.  Crosby's chance to have a real impact on the majors is probably already gone and, at best, he can only hope to be a reserve at this point.















Columbus Clippers .302 63 2 2 8 9 3 6 12 .366 .460
2003 Las Vegas 51's .361 277 24 12 57 57 8 25 47 .410 .635
2003 Los Angeles Dodgers .083 12 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 .083 .083
2002 Las Vegas 51's .262 279 12 9 36 26 3 19 47 .312 .409
2002 Jacksonville Suns .260 150 6 2 20 14 7 11 23 .317 .367
2001 Las Vegas 51's .214 42 2 0 5 5 1 1 8 n/a .310
2001 Jacksonville Suns .302 384 22 6 47 68 22 37 60 n/a .432
2000 Vero Beach Dodgers .266 274 13 8 51 50 27 31 41 n/a .460
1999 San Bernardino Stampede .296 371 21 1 37 53 19 42 71 n/a .377
1998 San Bernardino Stampede .216 199 9 0 14 25 3 17 38 n/a .281

*Stats as of 9/7/03

Bubba CrosbyBatting and Power: A good eye, quick swing and good contact abilities are Crosby's trademarks.  He doesn't have serious power and only projects to hit around 10-15 homeruns a season, if that many.  He could hit around .280 in the majors, however.

Base Running and Speed:  Crosby used to have 25-steal potential, but hamstring injuries and possibly a disinclination to steal bases have hindered that.  He is a very good baserunner however and still has good speed.  He hit nine triples this season.

Defense: In college, Crosby was a centerfielder, but he's played mainly left field as a professional.  He has a good glove and an adequate arm.

Projection:  Reserve outfielder.  He's been compared to Mark Kotsay, but I think that might be a bit generous.

ETA: 2004.  Crosby is ready for the majors right now.  The problem is that he may not have a chance to play there if he stays in the Yankees' organization.  The Yankees already have five outfielders signed for 2004: Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams, Kenny Lofton and Ruben Sierra, and there doesn't appear to be room for Crosby unless someone gets hurt.