Friday, October 5, 2012

DSL Standouts

DSL Pirates
The DSL Pirates - both teams 1 and 2 - are about as far off the prospect map as possible.  There is very little information about the players in the Dominican League.  Most are extremely young and a good number will never make it stateside.  Predicting which ones will make the major leagues, much less to AA, is pretty much impossible.  That said, going just off numbers, specific players can be picked out that have a better chance than others due to age, stats, and fragments of scouting reports.  Below are six players that stood out this year in the DSL.

Richard Mitchell

Measurables: 6'2, 185 lbs
Throws: R, Bats: R
DOB: 07/29/1995

Position: P

Mitchell doesn't make this list based on the merits of his statistics.  Mitchell pitched 28 innings, gave up 30 hits, 17 earned runs, walked 15 batters and struck out 16 batters. Those numbers aren't impressive, until you realize Mitchell pitched most of the season while still at age 16.  To log 28 innings proves the Pirates thought highly of his maturity and talent.  To put it into further context, Mitchell was the only player in the entire Pirates organization to play while 16 years old.

To add to the intrigue, reports also indicated Mitchell threw in the 89-91 mph range as a 15 year old, very good velocity for someone so young.  Mitchell also has a fairly projectable frame, at 6'2, and it's possible he could grow even more.  If Mitchell could make it stateside 2 years from now, in 2014, he would start the season at age 18.  He's certainly one to watch.  
Omar Basulto

Measurables: 6'3, 190 lbs
Throws: L, Bats: L
DOB: 08/24/1993
Position: P

Unlike Mitchell, Omar Basulto makes this list based on his stats.  In 46.2 IP, he gave up 33 hits, 9 earned runs while walking 15 batters and striking out 44 batters.  Basulto also only gave up 2 homeruns.  All of those numbers are excellent.

Basulto started the 2012 season at 18 and his performance should guarantee a move stateside next season at age 19.  Also in Basulto's favor is a lean 6'3, 190 frame and the fact that he's left-handed.  Watch for the young Mexican next year in the GCL.

Tito Polo

Measurables: 5'11, 180 lbs
Throws: R, Bats: R
DOB: 08/23/1994

Position: CF

Of all the players on this list, Tito Polo might be the most exciting.  At 5'11, 180 pounds, Polo doesn't have significant physical projection left, but that might not be necessary.  Polo has plus speed and an average arm, giving him a good shot to stick in centerfield.

Furthermore, Polo has a good statistical season at a young age.  He started the season at age 17 and posted a very strong .280/.404/.394 line, showing a willingness to walk, as he walked 10.3% of the time.  He also struck out 19.3% of the time, a fairly high numbers.  Still, those are excellent plate discipline numbers for a player so young.  The .114 ISO number - which included 2 homeruns in 121 at-bats - he put up also wasn't bad considering his age, stature, and position.  This was Polo's first full season of playing time.  It'll be interesting to see if the Pirates move him stateside in 2013, which would put him on a similar track as Alen Hanson, Jose Osuna, and Willy Garcia.

Carlos Munoz

Measurables: 5'11, 225 lbs
Throws: L, Bats: L
DOB: 06/29/1994

Position: 1B

Munoz, who also started the season at age 17, is a big kid.  He's listed at 5'11, 225 pounds, meaning he definitely lacks physical projection.  That said, Munoz showed an intriguing set of skills in his first full pro season, similar to Liam Neeson.  In 134 at-bats, Munoz posted a .261/.443/.366 line.  That's right, his isolated patience was .182.  Munoz walked 40 times and only struck out 18 times, a BB% of 22.9%, which is absurdly high.  Munoz's strikeout rate of 13.4% was also good.  Munoz didn't hit for a lot of power considering his size and mature frame, but he's still only 17.  Munoz is probably a longshot, but he's at least worth watching to see if he can maintain his elite OBP skills as he moves up the ladder.

Pablo Reyes

Measurables: 5'10, 150 lbs
Throws: R, Bats: R
DOB: 09/05/1993

Position: 2B

Reyes is a diminutive second baseman - listed at 5'10, 150 pounds - who put together a solid year as an18 year-old in 2012.  His tripleslash on the year was .284/.368/.399, showing good plate discipline and some power.  In 183 at-bats, Reyes walked 23 times and only struck out 12 times, a diminutive 6.5% of the time to match Reyes stature.  Reyes is fairly old and doesn't have much physical projection, but his plate discipline could help him to continue moving up the minor league ladder.

Gustavo Barrios

Measurables: 5'10, 157
Throws: R, Bats: R
DOB: 12/15/1993
Position: 2B

Barrios, 3 months younger than Reyes, is an eerily similar prospect to Pablo, at least on paper.  Like Reyes, Barrios is a diminutive second baseman who posted a good year as an 18 year-old.  Barrios hit for better average - he hit for .327 - but his plate discipline was a bit worse.  It was still very good, with 16 strikeouts and 11 walks in 107 at-bats. Barrios barely hit for any power though, with a poor .056 ISO with only 4 extra base hits out of a total of 35 hits.