I think everyone is familiar with the story of the disaster of Shaq Thompson. With a name made for basketball and skills made for football, Thompson appeared in Deadspin and Baseball Prospectus for his notable futility. He eventually gave up, striking out almost every time and never getting a hit, and went back to Washington to play football. He has already sustained a minor concussion in practice. Brandon Weeden proved to be dominant in football as a quarterback at Oklahoma State and was eventually drafted by the Cleveland Browns. As a Yankee draft pick, he turned out to not be a very good pitcher.
Jarrad Page played in 74 games in the NFL and intercepted 12 passes. He then decided to give baseball a shot and was signed by the Dodgers. He was assigned to High A, where he was a utter failure in 26 plate appearances. He was released but then picked up by the Giants. In High A San Jose, he is hitting better, but still not very good with a wOBA + of 84 and OPS + of 65.
As you would expect, the switch hitter has good size. At the plate, he has an open stance as a lefty and is a pull type hitter. From the right side his stance is somewhat open but he closes it by the time the pitch gets there. I imagine his spray chart would be much more even on that side of the plate. Of course, for spray charts to be even, one must make contact and that is something Page seemed to struggle to do. He had a lot of big whiffs. He was mainly worked outside with fastballs and saw a lot of breaking balls in the dirt. This means the scouting report most likely says he is willing to chase them and you don’t want to throw it inside as he has the power to pull the ball a long way. In the field (right field), he showed off nice speed. I got him at 3.78 on a bunt from the right side, which is pretty fast. That shouldn’t be a worry and is probably his best tool. His arm was pretty weak though, which is probably why he isn’t playing center (he has classic corner outfield size but centerfield type speed. He really isn’t hitting well enough to play either, but CF is generally more forgiving for weak offense). He took a couple of close pitches, but overall he was pretty aggressive, chasing a lot of pitches. His swing looks really ugly as his body gets totally out of whack.
A former college football player, Kyle Parker, has had more success. After a frustrating career as a quarterback at Clemson, Parker joined the Colorado Rockies organization. This year with the Modesto Nuts (also A+) he has an OPS + of 154. Statistically speaking, only 1 player in the California League has been better than Parker with the bat (Tommy Medica, a 1B/DH type). Parker has been playing right field, just like Page. He isn’t as big as Page, but he still has decent size. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a good look at him defensively, but the arm obviously shouldn’t be a problem and he should have good enough speed to not be a liability out there unless he just takes awful routes (which I didn’t see in the routine looks he got).
His patience and approach seemed to be the biggest question at the plate. He is pretty aggressive on breaking balls (which is clearly in the scouting report, as he saw a ton of them in games I watched), but it looks like he can hit them. He has a good contact tool and the numbers show that his power tool is good as well. In just watching him, it looked like he had very good pull power, especially if you made a mistake middle to high. He has good plate coverage, and can spray the ball the other way when necessary. If he can lay off breaking balls that he stands no chance in hitting, he should be a good hitter.
The big difference maybe that Parker was a stud baseball player in college as well. In his junior year, he put up an OPS of 1.137. He wasn’t a raw baseball player like Thompson or Page. He was already really good, he just happened to play football as well. Baseball is a sport that is very specialized. Some of the best players in the Majors don’t look like athletes at all, especially players like C.C. Sabathia and Prince Fielder. Some of the best athletes aren’t very good at all, such as Dee Gordon and Brett Jackson. While athleticism and speed are tools that scouts look for in players, skills from one sport to another don’t always translate. One can think of some exceptions, most notably Bo Jackson, Todd Helton, Adam Dunn, Deion Sanders, and Mark Hendrickson are obvious ones, but you simply can’t take a raw athlete and turn them into a baseball player very often.