My favorite part of prospecting outside of going to games and wearing sweatpants on Sunday afternoons is digging for deep league target years before they pop onto the radar of your league mates. Sometimes I’ll spend three days digging through scouting reports and videos from the far corners of the internet. Other times I ask Barry Baker. Not kidding, follow Barry. About 27 percent of the stuff that comes out of his Twitter fingers isn’t crazy. That’s an exact figure by the way. Today we take a look at a dozen such players with varying levels of hype. Only two of these players made our top 300 and just barely. But all of these players have the ability to break out in the coming months and years ahead.
Jeremy De La Rosa, OF Nationals
The Nats look like they perhaps uncovered another jewel on the international market, plucking the powerful De La Rosa for $300,000. Blessed with quick hands, a keen eye, and natural raw pop De La Rosa looks like he could really pop out of rookie ball. Drew rave reviews for his bat in instructional league, but he’s likely relegated to left with a poor arm and only average projected defense at peak.
Jairo Pomares, OF Giants
Signed for $975,000 out of Cuba, he has drawn a fair amount of interest due to his bonus and reputation as an advanced bat coming into the 2018 signing period. Our own Jason Pennini caught him in January instructs and here’s what he had to say “Who has the smoothest swing in Giants camp? For my money the honor belongs to Pomares. He has a moderately high, aggressive leg kick that propels his lower half. The hands slot around shoulder length with the back elbow raised slightly over his shoulders. In spite of this his hands fly through the zone quickly, simultaneously allowing for loft and a relatively short swing.” That’s enough to get me interested in a few shares, the Giants have really added to the system over the last two periods, let’s see what the new regime can get out Pomares.
Luis Toribio, 3B Giants
Another Giants youngster added on the international market for a discount. He did sneak into Baseball America’s Giants top 10, but there’s still a long way to go. Plus raw power is his calling card, but at present the hands are noisy and he’ll need to get more consistent with his bat path if he’s going to consistently tap into raw power in games. That said, Toribio has the type of game-changing raw that if he ever channels it he could be a middle of the order bat.
Victor Mascai, 1B Astros
Signed out of Brazil in 2017 for just $100,000, Mascai is a slugging first baseman with all fields pop and the ability to turn on a fastball. It’s an all-bat profile so there’s some risk attached but at this point you’re buying at the ground floor. Definitely the next man up on my Houston Top 30.
Raynel Delgado, INF Indians
A physical switch hitter with feel for the barrel, the Tribe snagged Raynel in the sixth round and paid a very above slot $900,000 to steal him away from a FIU commitment. His feel to hit from both sides combined with a plus plate approach make him a surefire pick to crack our next Top 300.
Raimfer Salinas, OF Yankees
It was Salinas and not Antonio Cabello that was all the rage 15 months ago when the duo put pen to paper with the Yankees. Since then Cabello has taken off and Salinas has flatlined and become somewhat forgotten. There’s still premium pedigree and raw tools. Years away but he’s a great throw in target in dynasty trades.
Trent Deveaux, OF Angels
The numbers are god awful, but the skills are there. This is a case of betting on the athlete. Not every player from the Bahamas is as polished as Kristin Robinson, so don’t hold Deveaux to that standard. What I will tell you is a scout that works complex ball prefers him to D’Shawn Knowles, and that’s saying something. I know, unnamed sources and such. Fake news!
Sergio Campana, OF Pirates
Another 2018 J2 kid with a ton of promise. An inconsistent performer over the course of the showcase circuit, Campana still showcases positive attributes at the plate and in the field. Quick hands, good bat speed, and a compact stroke, Campana flashes gap power with promise for more. His lanky athletic frame looks like a perfect chassis to build a major league body on. There’s an outside shot for a five-tool player.
Diego Rincones, OF Giants
Hit tool over everything right? Well unfortunately that’s not how it works in real baseball. Rincones is a one-dimensional player but the bat is enough to make him worth a roster spot in any league where 300 or so prospects are owned. The swing is a thing of beauty, and he shows an uncanny ability to get bat to ball. If he get continue to hit, walk a little more and add some pop he’ll be a top 100 prospect.
Omar Florentino, SS Royals
Ranked 18th by Ben Badler in the 2018 International class. Florentino is a high energy player with a balanced line-drive swing, and plus bat speed. His running is average, but he shows good instincts at the plate and in the field. Smaller in stature at 5’9”, but his switch-hitting ability and strong bat to ball skills made him a higher bonus target.
Junior Sanquintin, SS Indians
A power hitting switch hitter likely to move off of short, Sanquintin’s bat will be his carrying tool. There’s some swing and miss in the profile but also potential for plus-plus raw from both sides. Those kind of hitters don’t come around often, I’d get Sanquintin where I can.
Eduarqui Fernandez, OF Brewers
A super athletic player with a collection of projectable skills a the plate. Gap power that should develop into over the fence power in time. Plus run times and strong play in centerfield point to his off the charts athleticism. More tools over skills at the moment, so it could be tough to stick by him early in his professional career.
Video Courtesy of: Matt Pullman, Jason Pennini, Jason Woodell, Ben Badler, and JDBbaseball.com