Tigers Scouting Report #23: Steven Fuentes

Steven Fuentes was still under the radar when he came Stateside in 2013, but he made his presence known once he did. With 14 extra base hits at just 18 years of age in the GCL, can Fuentes bring power projection to the shortstop position?

Steven Fuentes

Vitals

Position: Shortstop/Third Baseman
Date of Birth: 10/21/1994 (2014 Opening Day Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 5-11/180
Bats/Throws: Both/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2011
Ranking History: #61 (2012), #86 (2013), #23 (2014)

Background: The Tigers signed Fuentes for $210,000 in 2011 and he posted a .257/.317/.354 line in his first summer of professional ball in the VSL. After coming stateside in 2013, Fuentes posted a .272 average and 14 extra-base hits in 46 games.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
GCL 1512641102224124150.272.353.404


Scouting Report

Body: Compact body; strong for his size; highly athletic; impressive movements on the field; lacks physical projection but doesn't need much with his present body and athletic gifts; takes conditioning seriously; should handle rigors of long season well; good middle infield body.

Hit: Very raw; need to develop approach/plan at the plate; likes to hack and swing at everything; highly aggressive; much better feel for barrel from left side; swing gets mechanical as RHH; may be better off hitting as LHH at all times; does not recognize spin/soft yet; can handle velocity and use entire field depending on placement in strike zone; potential to be average hitter but exceptionally raw and needs multi-grade jump; improvement must include step forward with approach/plan. Grade – Present 3/Future 5

Power: Good bat speed; can put some thump in it at times; more gap-to-gap power than over the fence; can pile up doubles with improved approach; not a big raw power guy but has enough to keep pitchers honest; potential for 25-30 doubles, 5-10 triples and 5-10 home runs at peak; hit tool must progress to reach power ceiling. Grade – 2+/3+

Speed: Consistently average down the line; doesn't always get out of the box well; can make up for slow start once underway but lacks overall consistency; potential to steal 10-12 bases a year but not much more; instincts are solid and will allow speed to play to highest degree. Grade – 5/5

Defense: Has raw shortstop actions; quick feet; good hands with softness; can make the transfer quickly; moves well to both sides; needs to develop smoothness on back hand; plays out of control at times; raw defensive tools are impressive; may fit better at third or second base but will get chance to play SS; well below-average at SS presently with potential to reach average. Grade – 3+/5

Arm: Very strong; easy left side arm; can let it fly when he needs to; trusts it consistently; legit plus; can make all throws from SS; arm will work at 3B as well if move is required; will play plus anywhere on the diamond. Grade – 6/6

Other: Promising athlete with plenty of raw tools; solid work ethic; needs game to slow down; has to develop plan/approach to maximize ability to use tools; reportedly strong makeup.

Final Word

Summary: Highly intriguing raw tools; has potential across the board; could have average tools in nearly every category; hit tool holds the key; needs experience in the box and development of plan/approach for hit tool to reach current average projection; power will come up short of average but still good to gaps; speed and glove can play average, though shortstop destination is questionable; easy plus arm; potential solid everyday player; excellent athlete with good makeup/work ethic.

Risk: Extreme risk; complex league resume only; hit tool and entire game are raw; defensive question marks; incredibly raw overall player.

Projection: Still not prepared for full-season assignment; likely headed to short-season Connecticut where he will be challenged by experienced college pitchers; has tools to make an impact at any time; will require patience and consistent developmental effort; 4-5 years away from big league radar.

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