What They Are Saying About Gilbert Lara

With Gilbert Lara's signing now official, the Brewers are proving their renewed commitment to international free agency.

We already know that Scout.com's own Kiley McDaniel ranks newly signed Brewers prospect Gilbert Lara highly. Now lets take a look at what some other reports have on the highly touted Dominican slugger.

From MLB.com

Some scouts believe that only Dermis Garcia has more raw power than Lara in this year's class. That same group also says Lara might be a better overall hitter than Garcia. This is what we know: Lara can appear out of control at times, and he's a max-effort prospect, but he hits balls hard and can hit home runs. The shortstop starred in the multiple prospect leagues in the Dominican Republic and built a reputation as a quiet but focused teenager with a big body and a strong desire to win. Like many his age, Lara sometimes struggles with breaking balls and offspeed pitches, but his pitch recognition should improve with experience. He crushes fastballs and has noteworthy pull-power. He's a shortstop now but could end up at third base or right field because of his future arm and decent hands.

From Baseball America

Lara is one of the most physically mature players for 2014 and it shows in his offensive game. His plus raw power ranks second in the class only to Dominican shortstop Dermis Garcia, but Lara takes his power to the games with much higher frequency. His swing and hitting approach are unorthodox, but he has good bat speed and seems to find a way to make it work against live pitching. He's extremely pull-oriented, starts from an upright stance with his hands up by his ear, takes a deep leg kick and unloads with a max-effort swing with some length. Despite his grip-and-rip style with a tendency to expand the strike zone and pull off the ball, Lara gets the bat head out front and has a track record of producing with power in games, including the MLB showcase in January when he went 5-for-6 with a home run, a double and two walks. Lara may be getting by on his advanced strength and will have to make adjustments against better pitching to avoid too many strikeouts, though he shouldn't have much trouble in Rookie ball.

Shortstop isn't an option for Lara, who's a below-average runner and lacks natural infield actions. He might get a chance to begin his career at third base, where he does have a quick release to make up for below-average arm strength and a funky throwing stroke. He doesn't have great hands, range or timing in the infield though, and he's going to be so big that most scouts consider him a first baseman or left fielder exclusively. Usually scouts are cautious about righthanded-hitting Dominican teenagers who project as first baseman, but there's enough offensive upside with Lara that scouts still consider him one of the better 2014 prospects. Sources expect the Brewers to make Lara their centerpiece signing, with a possible bonus in the $3 million territory that would rank among the highest in the class.

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