Daily notes on prospects from lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen. Read previous installments here.
Dawel Lugo, 3B, Detroit (Profile)
Level: Double-A Age: 22 Org Rank: 9 Top 100: NR
Line: 2-for-5, 2 HR
It isn’t always pretty, but Lugo finds all sorts of ways to get the bat on the ball and hit it to all fields. His aggressive approach produces game power beneath what he shows in batting practice, but Lugo manages to put the ball in play consistently. Not all scouts like him at third base, citing lack of range, but he has the arm for it and his hands are okay. It’s certainly a corner profile, defensively, and seemingly one without prototypical game power, but Lugo certainly looks like he’s going to hit. He at least has the makings of a high-end platoon or bat-first utility man.
Akil Baddoo, OF, Minnesota (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 18 Org Rank: 23 Top 100: NR
Line: 3-for-4, HR, BB
Baddoo has the speed to stay in center field and was just too physical for the GCL, hitting .267/.360/.440 there before promotion. He looks raw at times offensively, but is also flashing more raw power than I projected on the Twins prospects list. If he starts to show a feel for getting to that power in games, he’s a top-100 prospect. That seems far off for Baddoo, but he’s still just 18 years old and has already shown improvement at the plate in just over a year as a pro.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago AL (Profile)
Level: Hi-A Age: 19 Org Rank: 2 Top 100: 15
Line: 5-for-6, 2 2B, HR
Arguably the best power-hitting prospect in baseball, Jimenez hit several lasers to dead center and left field yesterday in his dominant outing. He’s had some injury issues which, at his size and age, is something to monitor, but Jimenez looks like a middle-of-the-order force when he’s on the field. He’ll likely be relegated to left field eventually, but with elite raw power and enough feel to hit to get to most of it, the defense is less important.
Oliver Nunez, INF, Kansas City (Profile)
Level: Short Season Age: 22 Org Rank: HM Top 100: NR
Line: 5-for-6, 2 2B, HR
Nunez was signed just a few months before his 19th birthday and then spent two years in the DSL, so he’s old for the Appy League. He does have catalytic qualities, though, and a .406 career OBP. Nunez is a plus-plus runner and a versatile defender with a plus arm. His approach to contact may not be as effective as he sees upper-level defenses, but he’s evolved from “speedy older AZL hitter” to a rather toolsy utility prospect who has shown signs of effective on-base skills.
Notes from the Backfields
I did my first scouting for the 2018 Draft over the weekend in Mesa at the Perfect Game World Series, which featured several interesting high schoolers who will be eligible for selection next June. Of note was Eau Gallie HS (FL) righty Carter Stewart, who sat 87-89 and touched 91 and flashed a plus breaking ball. He’s tall, a thin 6-foot-6, and of narrow build. He’s committed to Mississippi State.
Hattiesburg HS (MS) OF Joe Gray had some breaking-ball-recognition issues but has above-average bat speed and power with projection on the body. He’s among the most notable high schoolers in the class entering showcase season and committed to Mississippi.
Another Ole Miss commit, Dayspring Christian Academy (FL) RHP Gunnar Hoglund is 6-foot-4, touched 91 and showed touch on his overhand curveball. He also has power at the plate.
There’s a prep lefty of note in New Mexico for the second straight draft. Manzano HS (NM) Mitchell Parker touched 91 several times and threw some average big-league curveballs. His delivery is inconsistent but the moving parts make for an uncomfortable at-bat. He’s committed to Tennessee.
Laguna Beach HS (CA) RHP Blake Burzell has Chris Carpenter’s build and more mechanical consistency than is typical for a 6-foot-6 teenager. His fastball sat in the low 90s, produced with little effort. Gonzaga College HS (VA) RHP Jacob Hardney is an ectomorphic 6-foot-5 and has a good arm action. He’s going to throw much harder as he matures, not just because of physical maturity but because he’ll have hopefully improved use of his lower half. He’s uncommitted.
Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.