EVERY WEEKDAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR FutureBacks.com will bring you a profile of a top Diamondbacks prospect. That's more than 35 profiles coming to you in just over a month and a half. It all leads up to the FutureBacks.com Top 50, a ranking of the 50 best prospects on the Diamondback's horizon. Today IN A FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT Managing Editor James Renwick profiles Jon Zeringue.

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Top 50 Prospect Profile: Jon Zeringue

<i>Zeringue swings a hot bat,/i>

<p><b><span style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #0099ff">EVERY WEEKDAY FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR</span></b> FutureBacks.com will bring you a profile of a top Diamondbacks prospect. That's more than 35 profiles coming to you in just over a month and a half. It all leads up to the FutureBacks.com Top 50, a ranking of the 50 best prospects on the Diamondback's horizon. Today <b>IN A FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT</b> Managing Editor James Renwick profiles Jon Zeringue.</p>

Vital Statistics:

Name Jon Zeringue
Position Outfield
Age 21
Height 6'2"
Weight 205
Bats Right
Throws Right
'04 Club Lancaster JetHawks (Hi A California League)

Zeringue was a hitter at LSU, and impressed during his college career when he played in the wooden bat Cape Cod league and hit .283 with 12 of his 36 hits going for extra bases.  Still, few expected his pro debut to be as successful as it was.  He had a five hit game during his first week at the Diamondback Hi A affiliate in Lancaster, and continued to produce all the way through the California League championship series where Zeringue got big hit after big hit. 

Batting and Power:  Zeringue hit .335 in 230 at bats at Lancaster, proving the adjustment from aluminum to wood wasn't a problem for him.  He has shown more power than the Diamondbacks expected this quickly, jacking 10 homers in his first pro season.  Though that's not an incredible number, he projects to a 30-35 homer guy as he gets stronger and more comfortable with wood bats.  He also has a knack for driving in runs.  One scout says Zeringue might be the best pure hitter in the Diamondback system, high praise considering Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin have showed no signs of slowing down and Sergio Santos had put up big numbers before his injury filled '04 season.

'04 Lancaster At Bats Avg. HR RBI SLG%
Jon Zeringue 230 .335 10 41 .552

Base running and Speed:  Zeringue has slightly above average speed, certainly enough to play either corner outfield spot, but not enough for center.  Though he swiped nine bases at Lancaster he was caught five times, indicating he still needs work on picking pitches to run on and getting good jumps.  Coaches have noted that he takes too many chances on the base paths but like the aggressiveness and credit the poor decisions to the adjustment from college to pro level outfield arms.

Defense:  He has enough arm to play right field, but is better suited to left, after being converted to the outfield from 3rd base at LSU.  His plus speed has sparked rumors that Conor Jackson may be moving to first base to allow Zeringue to stay in left as he moves up.  Takes good lines on balls hit to the outfield, impressive considering this is his first year in the outfield, gets to a lot of balls hitters and base runners think will drop.

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