The Baltimore Orioles, the long ball, and “Mesquite Cookery” all have a common factor-but we know enough about him. There’s a new “Boog” in the AL East, and you won’t find him or his barbecue joint (if he had one) lurking in the shadows of Camden Yards. Herschel Mack Powell IV was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays along with longtime teammate Daniel Robertson in the trade that sent Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to Oakland in January.
Powell was a 20th round selection by Oakland in the 2012 draft. He had a break out year in 2014, lining at .343/.451/.435 and lead the minors in OPS with a dominant .886. The 5-foot-10 outfielder is your guy for the one or two hole in the lineup. Scouts are concerned his swing may be too long for more advanced pitching, but he continues to succeed as he advances through the classes. In 153 at-bats with the Rays Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits, Powell is .314/.398/.392 and he drew a successful .300 average with a .831 OPS in the Arizona Fall League.
Coming into 2015, Powell drew more walks than strikeouts (102-96) and had a 60 percent success rate in stolen bases (35 for 58). The outfielder has plus speed that, transferred to the base path, will help him advance to higher levels in the minors.
So remember: Rays, speed, small ball. There’s a new era Boog Powell, and you’ll be sad if you miss out on him. I leave you all to indulge in his swing as much as you’d like:
Thanks Boog for taking the time to sit down and talk. We at Baseball Essential wish you the best of luck in your career.