Class: HS Senior
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Born: February 24, 1990
Coats spurned an offer from the Orioles after being drafted in the 12th-round last season, choosing instead to return to TCU to help guide a young, but talented squad. The results have been impressive as he has been the team’s top offensive player, pacing the team in hits, doubles and RBI. Once again, Coats looks like he’s going to be a sought after player on draft day, likely going earlier than his previous draft selection.
Coats snuck onto the scene in 2009 and hit .316 as a freshman. He also slugged six home runs in less than 200 at-bats, providing the Horned Frogs with a taste of the kind of offensive force he would later become. His breakout season came as a sophomore. He rapped 23 doubles and went deep 13 times, driving in 69 runs. He finished the year with a .361 average that dropped dramatically once TCU reached the postseason.
A big year was expected out of Coats as a junior, and while he performed well (.325, 8 HR, 56 RBI) he appeared, like most others, to struggle to hit the ball out of the park with the new aluminum bats. Once upon a time thought of as a potential second-round pick, Coats slipped to Baltimore in the 12th.
This season he has once again proven himself as an impact hitter (.341, 6 HR, 43 RBI), but he still hasn’t regained the power that made him such a force during TCU’s run to Omaha in 2010.
In addition to offering a slightly above-average hit tool, and average power, Coats also features slightly above-average speed. He’s stolen 25 bases during his four years in Fort Wayne. He’s drawn, on average, 20 or so walks per season, and during the past two he’s cut down his strikeouts. This season he has only 18, down from 57 during his prolific 2010 campaign.
Coats likely won’t be an everyday player for a first-division squad, but he could be a usable piece, and a solid fourth outfielder on any team.