Date of Birth: 12/15/1997 (2016 Opening Day Age: 18)
Acquired: International Free Agent, 2014
Ranking History: #42 (2015), #26 (2016)
Body: Mature frame for his age; well-built with excellent natural strength; questions about where the body goes from here; modest athleticism.
Hit: Flashes a quality approach for his age; will lay off FB outside of primary hitting zone; can recognize spin at times but will still chase; despite ability to stay within strike zone, still has swing and miss to game when swing elongates and he doesn’t get to the zone quickly; at his best, bat explodes from the load to the hitting zone with plus bat speed and solid barrel control; can drive the ball to all fields, showing particular feel for driving the ball hard to right field; willing to work middle of diamond consistently to maximize hit tool productivity in games; potential average hitter with continued development; potential .260-270 hitte. Grade – Present 3/Future 5
Power: Primary tool; easy plus raw to all fields; wears out center field wall and beyond during BP; massive raw power that approaches double-plus when he turns on an inside pitch; quality approach for this stage of his development allows power to play in game situations; doesn’t punish secondary mistakes as much as he loads up and drives FB; potential carrying tool with 20-25 home runs or more at his peak. Grade – 5+/6+
Speed: Speed has improved since signing, showing fringe-average speed at times and some scouts believe he could have average speed once underway after his physical maturation is complete; more likely he settles in as fringe or below-average runner; lacks instincts for any speed to play on the bases; won’t be part of game long term. Grade – 4+/4
Defense: Defensive skill set remains raw; instincts are currently developing; doesn’t react quickly off the bat but puts forth considerable effort to make up for late reads; routes improved dramatically in 2015 with most direct to the path of the ball; remains limited to left field and projects there long term. Grade – 3+/4+
Arm: Improved from below-average to consistently fringe-average during first year of pro instruction; arm still limits to left field, but is no longer a complete detriment to defensive projection; some potential for arm to continue improvement toward average level. Grade – 4+/5
Other: Across the board improvement in 2015 speaks volumes of work player has put into developing game; not necessarily an instinctual player, but plays hard in all phases of the game.
Summary: Signed for $600,000 in 2014; previously power-only profile, but has improved in all facets of game during first season as professional; power is still carrying tool that projects to plus level with ease; hitting ability now projects to average level with solid approach, good bat speed, and some barrel control; hit tool could take time to develop; limited to left field defensively thanks to suspect instincts, fringe speed, and fringe arm strength; potential impact-level bat thanks to rare power.
Risk: Extreme risk; No stateside experience, many tools require at least a half-grade jump to make profile viable.
Projection: Should make stateside debut with GCL Tigers in 2016; extremely long road to Major League level; if hit tool develops, offensive profile could land him in the middle of an MLB order; considerable pressure on the bat given defensive projection.