Tigers Prospect Profile: Eugenio Suarez

After coming stateside in the spring, Eugenio Suarez stuck around in extended spring before having a monster start to the year with the GCL Tigers before being promoted to Connecticut. Despite being on the small side, Suarez has shown good power so far. What can Suarez provide as a prospect?

Eugenio Suarez
Position:Shortstop
Height: 5-11
Weight: 165
Born: 7/18/1991
Bats: Both
Throws: Right

Background
Suarez was signed to a modest bonus late in the 2008 international signing period, inking his first pro contract in October of that year. That contract set him on a course to play in the Liga Paralela and then make his official professional debut in 2009.

Starting the 2009 season as a 17-year old in the Venezuelan Summer League, Suarez held his own despite his relative youth. He logged a solid .262/.350/.360 line in 57 games for the Tigers that year while seeing time at shortstop, third base, and second base.

The Tigers sent Suarez back to the VSL for the 2010 season and expanded his defensive responsibilities to include center field and left field. Suarez bat improved dramatically as he posted a much more impressive .311/.389/.396 line in 61 games, and the Tigers named him their VSL Player of the Year.

Brought stateside for spring training this year, Suarez stayed behind in extended spring training before starting the summer in the Gulf Coast League. After hitting .341 with seven doubles and two home runs in 12 games for the GCL Tigers, Suarez was promoted to Connecticut.

With Connecticut, Suarez has faced much stiffer competition and is one of the younger players in the league, starting his time there as just a 19-year old.

Scouting Report
Despite being moved around the infield and outfield the last two years, Suarez has classic shortstop tools. He moves well at the position, getting good reads on ground ball and showing very nice hands. His footwork can get a little loose at times and cause his throws to go awry.

Some scouts have tossed 60 and 70 future grades on his defense, but the higher scores are pretty rare among those scouts that have seen him this summer. More often than not, scouts see a future solid average to plus glove with an above-average arm that should play at the position.

Suarez is an average to solid-average runner that has shown 4.3 second times from home to first. He gets out of the box well and gets up to speed quickly, but ultimately lacks top end speed.

Suarez is an aggressive hitter that is looking to swing as soon as he steps in the batter's box. He has shown a knack for making contact but he is currently struggling to adjust to better breaking balls from older and more experienced pitchers. As he improves his pitch recognition, Suarez has the bat control to regain his form as a solid contact guy.

Though he will likely make routine contact at the minor league level, scouts have trouble projecting his hitting ability to higher levels, including the Major Leagues. He has some natural strength in his arms and wrists, but not enough to consistently drive the ball at this time, and his body lacks physical projection.

With his above-average glove work and versatility in the field, Suarez looks every bit the part of a future utility player. After taking quickly to the outfield and showing above-average infield tools, Suarez could be a true super-sub at the highest levels. His bat will never carry him, but he could develop enough not to be a complete liability in the lineup.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

R

GCL Tigers

44

.341

7

2

9

4

3

.408

.636

SS-A

Connecticut

123

.220

5

2

12

23

8

.284

.374


Health Record
Suarez has not sustained any injuries throughout his three-year professional career.

The Future
After spending two years in the VSL, the Tigers have not been shy with Suarez this year, pushing up to Connecticut before his 20th birthday.

While he has struggled at the plate since his promotion, Suarez has still flashed enough tools in all phases of the game to earn big league projections from several scouts. With advanced defensive abilities for his age, Suarez could have a relatively quick path through the organization.

He will be in line for a trial at Low-A West Michigan in 2012 and should move at least a level per year if he performs even reasonably well. If he reaches Double-A for the 2014 season, he could be in line for a big league opportunity as an inexpensive utility option as soon as 2015.

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