Scouting Yankees Prospect #9: Abiatal Avelino

The New York Yankees signed shortstop Abiatal Avelino out of the Dominican Republic for $300,000 back in December of 2011. He not only has flashed some great tools over his first two seasons but he's proven to be one of the more polished young players on both sides of the ball around baseball as well.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Abiatal Avelino
Position: Shortstop
DOB: February 14, 1995
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

He followed up his solid debut season in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 that saw him hit .302 with 20 stolen bases by hitting a combined .303 with 28 stolen bases last season between the Gulf Coast League and New York Penn League.

"I feel like it went well," Avelino said of his season through the help of a translator. "Thank God it went well."

As solid a year as it was for him offensively, it's his rather refined defensive game that has and continues to stand out. He plays the game like he owns it.

"It's not everyday that you can see a guy play shortstop the way he is with his combination of range, arm strength, and feel," GCL Yankees2 manager Mario Garza said. "I think that's the most exciting part of his game, defensively.

"He's very exciting. What I think he did [last] year was really improve the feel for his game and took that with his tools, and we're really seeing his tools play now.

"Before he was a toolsy guy and [last] year with his maturity he really, really made some big strides. He's an exciting player and a great leader too. He was the leader of our a team and a unique spark when he was with us."

As confident as they come in the field, he exudes supreme confidence defensively and that is a rare thing indeed for a teenage shortstop.

"I'm confident because I know myself," Avelino said. "I know what I can do so it probably comes off that way out in the field.

"I feel like my defense is good and that's why I think if I can master the hitting a bit better that's the next step for me to be a complete player."

It's not as if he isn't just as confident when he steps to the plate either. As much as he looks like he belongs with a glove in his hand, he steps to the plate with the exact same professional mindset too.

"I first learned to play the game under control, being calm," he added. "Here it's very professional and playing under control was the biggest thing. [I am] just making sure you get a good ball to hit, see the ball well, and put a good swing on it."

Playing under control is the best term to describe him. He walked more than he struck out last year, which is atypical of most young hitters. He also wound up leading the entire farm system in stolen bases despite playing in just the short-season leagues last year.

"He [also] did a great job [last] year stealing bases which is also something that shouldn't be overlooked," Garza said. "During Instructional League we made a concerted effort for him to drive the ball a little more because sometimes he gets into a defensive mode when he's hitting and he made some really big improvements driving the ball.

"That was really good to see because he's explosive and he can impact the baseball. That's got to come out more and when it does it's going to be really fun to watch."

Already a polished two-way player with a lot more ceiling left to his entire game, Avelino has the chance to become a special prospect for the Yankees someday.

"I think he is already," a National League Central scout said. "I'm not so sure he isn't the best prospect they [the Yankees] have right now."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2013 Staten Island .243 70 2 0 6 10 2 4 6 .303 .271
2013 GCL Yankees2 .400 70 5 0 13 21 17 9 4 .481 .586
2013 GCL Yankees .259 58 2 0 4 14 9 7 7 .348 .328
2012 DSL Yankees1 .302 222 11 1 25 46 20 27 34 .398 .374


Batting and Power. What makes Avelino such a good hitter is superb bat control and an advanced swing path. He has an innate knack for making consistent hard contact by not pressing at the plate, employing a level swing, and taking what's given to him. He also has advanced plate patience and pitch recognition too, and all of it combines to make him a very consistent hitter. While he doesn't project to be much of a home run hitter -- he'll be more of a line-drive hitter who could collect a lot of extra-base hits -- he does have a very projectable frame and large hands, and that could allow him to develop average power potential someday.

Base Running and Speed. With 48 stolen bases and an 89 percent success rate in his first 108 professional games, Avelino acts like a plus runner when in actuality his speed is more above average overall. He is, however, a very aggressive runner who has very good base running instincts so his impact swiping bags can be higher.

Defense. With plus arm strength, incredibly soft hands, and above average range, Avelino has all of the physical tools to be an elite defensive player. However, despite his youth and relative inexperience, he is as heady as they come in the field too because he plays the game under control so he is already one of the better defensive shortstops around. He has Gold Glove abilities already, plain and simple.

Projection. Still just a teenager, Avelino plays the game like a seasoned veteran already. In Derek Jeter-like fashion he knows his strengths and limitations, he plays both sides of the ball with great feel and almost always under control, and his leadership presence is palpable. With his polished defensive game, tremendous makeup, and consistent bat, he projects safely as an eventual big league starting shortstop someday. However, there is still a lot of untapped ceiling too, including above average speed and some raw power potential as well which could allow him to eventually slide into the top third of a big league lineup down the road.

ETA. 2016. Avelino is ready for the low-A level and with remarkably few weaknesses to his game he could be one of the quicker risers through the minor leagues for the Yankees.

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Inside The Halos Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Abiatal Avelino
\r\nPosition: Shortstop
\r\nDOB: February 14, 1995
\r\nHeight: 5'11\"
\r\nWeight: 185
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\nHe followed up his solid debut season in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 that saw him hit .302 with 20 stolen bases by hitting a combined .303 with 28 stolen bases last season between the Gulf Coast League and New York Penn League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like it went well,\" Avelino said of his season through the help of a translator. \"Thank God it went well.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs solid a year as it was for him offensively, it's his rather refined defensive game that has and continues to stand out. He plays the game like he owns it.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's not everyday that you can see a guy play shortstop the way he is with his combination of range, arm strength, and feel,\" GCL Yankees2 manager Mario Garza said. \"I think that's the most exciting part of his game, defensively.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's very exciting. What I think he did [last] year was really improve the feel for his game and took that with his tools, and we're really seeing his tools play now.
\r\n
\r\n\"Before he was a toolsy guy and [last] year with his maturity he really, really made some big strides. He's an exciting player and a great leader too. He was the leader of our a team and a unique spark when he was with us.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs confident as they come in the field, he exudes supreme confidence defensively and that is a rare thing indeed for a teenage shortstop.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm confident because I know myself,\" Avelino said. \"I know what I can do so it probably comes off that way out in the field.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like my defense is good and that's why I think if I can master the hitting a bit better that's the next step for me to be a complete player.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt's not as if he isn't just as confident when he steps to the plate either. As much as he looks like he belongs with a glove in his hand, he steps to the plate with the exact same professional mindset too.
\r\n
\r\n\"I first learned to play the game under control, being calm,\" he added. \"Here it's very professional and playing under control was the biggest thing. [I am] just making sure you get a good ball to hit, see the ball well, and put a good swing on it.\"
\r\n
\r\nPlaying under control is the best term to describe him. He walked more than he struck out last year, which is atypical of most young hitters. He also wound up leading the entire farm system in stolen bases despite playing in just the short-season leagues last year.
\r\n
\r\n\"He [also] did a great job [last] year stealing bases which is also something that shouldn't be overlooked,\" Garza said. \"During Instructional League we made a concerted effort for him to drive the ball a little more because sometimes he gets into a defensive mode when he's hitting and he made some really big improvements driving the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"That was really good to see because he's explosive and he can impact the baseball. That's got to come out more and when it does it's going to be really fun to watch.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlready a polished two-way player with a lot more ceiling left to his entire game, Avelino has the chance to become a special prospect for the Yankees someday.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he is already,\" a National League Central scout said. \"I'm not so sure he isn't the best prospect they [the Yankees] have right now.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

Team

\r\n

AVG

\r\n

AB

\r\n

2B

\r\n

HR

\r\n

RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

SB

\r\n

BB

\r\n

SO

\r\n

OBP

\r\n

SLG

\r\n 2013\r\n Staten Island\r\n .243\r\n 70\r\n 2\r\n 0\r\n 6\r\n 10\r\n 2\r\n 4\r\n 6\r\n .303\r\n .271
\r\n 2013\r\n GCL Yankees2\r\n .400\r\n 70\r\n 5\r\n 0\r\n 13\r\n 21\r\n 17\r\n 9\r\n 4\r\n .481\r\n .586
\r\n 2013\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .259\r\n 58\r\n 2\r\n 0\r\n 4\r\n 14\r\n 9\r\n 7\r\n 7\r\n .348\r\n .328
\r\n 2012\r\n DSL Yankees1\r\n .302\r\n 222\r\n 11\r\n 1\r\n 25\r\n 46\r\n 20\r\n 27\r\n 34\r\n .398\r\n .374

\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. What makes Avelino such a good hitter is superb bat control and an advanced swing path. He has an innate knack for making consistent hard contact by not pressing at the plate, employing a level swing, and taking what's given to him. He also has advanced plate patience and pitch recognition too, and all of it combines to make him a very consistent hitter. While he doesn't project to be much of a home run hitter -- he'll be more of a line-drive hitter who could collect a lot of extra-base hits -- he does have a very projectable frame and large hands, and that could allow him to develop average power potential someday.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. With 48 stolen bases and an 89 percent success rate in his first 108 professional games, Avelino acts like a plus runner when in actuality his speed is more above average overall. He is, however, a very aggressive runner who has very good base running instincts so his impact swiping bags can be higher.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. With plus arm strength, incredibly soft hands, and above average range, Avelino has all of the physical tools to be an elite defensive player. However, despite his youth and relative inexperience, he is as heady as they come in the field too because he plays the game under control so he is already one of the better defensive shortstops around. He has Gold Glove abilities already, plain and simple.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Still just a teenager, Avelino plays the game like a seasoned veteran already. In Derek Jeter-like fashion he knows his strengths and limitations, he plays both sides of the ball with great feel and almost always under control, and his leadership presence is palpable. With his polished defensive game, tremendous makeup, and consistent bat, he projects safely as an eventual big league starting shortstop someday. However, there is still a lot of untapped ceiling too, including above average speed and some raw power potential as well which could allow him to eventually slide into the top third of a big league lineup down the road.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2016. Avelino is ready for the low-A level and with remarkably few weaknesses to his game he could be one of the quicker risers through the minor leagues for the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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