Roberto Baldoquin, Infielder
HT : 5'11
WT : 176 lb.
DOB : Unkown, 1994
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : International Free Agent 2014 (Signed for $8 million)
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Admires Derek Jeter for on and off field manners
Esta perspectiva debe excitar te gusta nadie más. Hopefully you understood that. If not, google translator is a nice helping aid. Roberto Baldoquin signed the biggest international contract in Angels history, and there was a very good reason. It's time to be excited about having top notch prospects in the minor league baseball again, and it begins with this international stud.
If it isn't obvious yet, we'll make it obvious for you. Us "professionals" really don't know that much about Baldoquin. He's 20-years-old, and won't face MLB talent in Spring Training, so he can face competition he matches up with and develop the proper way. Who wants to put a 20-year-old in the box facing guys like Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw within his first few weeks of professional baseball development?
Baldoquin is a nice physical specimine, standing at five-foot-11 and 176 pounds. He spent this past off-season working out in the Dominican Republic, and not many people know how long he's actually been there training and playing. We do know he's a hard worker, who's been harshly criticizing his own defensive and offensive game, while also lifting weights to put on proper muscle to build his physique.
Baldoquin does have a nice, line-drive stroke. He has the power to put the ball over the fences at times, but is more of a gap power kind of guy. He can both stay inside pitches and extend to place the ball the opposite way and make contact on pitcher's pitches. He has a nice swing path, and stays in the zone with his bat throughout his swing, finishing strong and following through well. He has a somewhat wheelhouse like swing, which could result in fly balls, but also, with his natural strength, could result in well hit balls and power.
Defensively, Baldoquin is a gift. He has good range to both sides and has the arm to back it all up. He has soft hands and quick feet, which could mean he sees time at third, short, and second. Where he truly excels defensively is his glove-to-hand transition, and his arm, which is not only strong, but also accurate. A big question mark comes with his speed, but he registers currently at Major League average at the moment for a middle infielder.
Scouts have told us that Baldoquin has an advanced approach at the plate. For a 20-year-old that no one knows about, it's rough to estimate how good he actually is while in the box, but his numbers from Cuba do say he can make nice contact and can draw high counts and walks as well. Many said he has outstanding knowledge of what a ball and strike are, but this will be tested with advanced pitching in Double-A and higher.
Baldoquin played three years in Cuba, which nearly equates to High-A and Double-A talent. While there, Baldoquin played in 85 games, and collected 218 plate appearances. He held a career .254/.340/.323 slash with two doubles, four triples, one home run, 22 RBI, and 35 runs scored. In his final season in Cuba, which was 2013, Baldoquin held a .279/.372/.324 slash. There isn't a whole lot more to his statistics.
Baldoquin will face some tough competition next season, mostly swapping time between High-A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas. There, he'll be able to take a steady development, against some of the toughest pitching the minors has to see. As for his Major League ETA, Erick Aybar's contract is over at the end of the 2017 season, and the Angels believe Baldoquin should be ready to take over shortstop by then. He could either be a Major League talent, and be a multiple-time All-Star, or just be an every day shortstop, but one thing for sure is that the Angels believe he is a future Major Leaguer (thus, $8 million dollar contract).
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.