Eddiel Tolentino- 2021 C Figs
Tolentino had a very solid week at the OR Showcase, showing out on both offense and defense. Tolentino profiles slightly higher as a defender than a hitter, but his overall game is very polished. Behind the plate he’s solid defensively, showing smooth footwork, a quick transfer and an above average throwing arm. Runners had issues all week long trying to steal on Tolentino. During his I/O round, he averaged a 2.00 pop time, and clocked 79 MPH on his throws down to second base. Offensively, his approach is balanced and simple. His swing is quick and compact, allowing him to control the barrel and hit comfortably to all fields. He is listed at 5’10”, 140 LBS- but his frame looks a bit more filled out and athletic than that would suggest. Tolentino currently projects as a high D2 level catcher, with room for growth.
Randal Diaz Morales- 2021 IF OR3
Morales came into the weekend at the OR Showcase uncommitted, but it would not surprise me if he has found a school to play at by the time this article is posted. Morales is a strong and quick IF who showed the ability to handle himself at SS as well as handle the hot corner over at 3B. He has the lateral agility and speed to cover plenty of ground, and showed he has the arm strength to make the long throws across the diamond necessary for a next-level 3B. During I/O, he showed smooth footwork, and was clocked at 84 MPH across the diamond on his throws. His 60 time came in at a very respectable 6.96, showing that he also has some speed to his game. Listed at 6’, 170 LBS- his frame is projectable and athletic, although he could benefit from adding a few more pounds of muscle, but he is not far off from where he needs to be. Offensively, his natural athleticism and quick hands help him generate bat speed, which will lead to some power. Overall, Morales is a very solid infield prospect who should have no problem finding school to play at.
Adrian Roman Cruz- 2021 C/OF OR3
Cruz is a solid all-around athlete with the body type to play anywhere on the field. Although he is listed as C/OF, he profiles best as a catcher in my opinion. Listed at 6’0, 175 LBS, he has a solid frame for pitchers to aim at, and he is athletic enough to move around quickly behind the dish. His footwork and transfers are quick, and he showed the ability to block and smother pitches during his in-game action. During I/O, he averaged a 2.07 pop time and was clocked at 76 MPH on his throws down to second, with clean mechanics and solid on-line throws. Although he is a solid defender, his offense might be his best attribute. His approach is simple- hit the baseball where it is thrown; which he showed the ability to do by spraying line drives to all 3 fields with ease. He also flashed some power potential, driving the ball deep to the gaps when he wanted to. Finally, he even showed flashes of some speed, clocking a 6.9 60 time, which is impressive for a catcher.
Kenneth Maldonado- 2020 OF/1B/LHP OR1
Maldonado was one of the more interesting 2-way prospects at the OR Showcase. Listed at 5’9, 165 LBS, his frame is average, but he definitely has some room to fill out with muscle as he develops. The most projectable/interesting feature of Maldonado is his arm, which showed well from the OF, leading scouts to want to see him on a mound as well. From the OF, Maldonado clocked 84 MPH with a very clean arm action and accurate throws to 3B and home. On the mound, his velocity did not translate quite as well, as he ran his FB up to 82 MPH with some cutting action. This was most likely due to a combination of fatigue and mechanical inconsistencies. From the OF, he used his lower half well and drove through his throws, which he did not seem to do from the mound. With some small adjustments to his lower half, he can become a solid LH relief option. Offensively, he has a very classic smooth LHH swing, with a Robinson Cano type swagger and calmness in the box. He showed flashes of power, which will come mostly to his pull-side though. Overall, if Maldonado can clean up his pitching mechanics and continue to swing well and play an above-average OF, he can be a solid 2-way prospect.
Rafael Solano- 2020 RHP/1B OR1
Solano is a RHP with a large frame that suits him well as a pitcher. Listed at 6’1”, 265 LBS, his body is a bit soft and he could probably slim down a bit, but he currently carries the weight pretty well. Solano had an intriguing outing at the OR Showcase, as his arsenal looked pretty good, but he got hit around more than he should’ve. Solano easily ran his FB up to 87 with ASR and good downhill life, but he struggled to locate his FB to the corners, often leaving it center-cut, giving hitters a chance to barrel it. He paired his FB with a tight SL in the mid-70s that topped 77 that he would use as his out pitch, and showed an occasional CB that was a few ticks slower than the SL in the low-70s. His SL was clearly the better offering, but the CB was a decent 3rd offering that had some potential. Although his command was spotty at times and he got hit around a bit, I have no reason to believe that is the norm for Solano, who otherwise checked all the boxes that most recruiters look for when searching for RHP- big frame, clean arm action, ability to spin, etc. Solano could also perhaps benefit from adding a CH, something to get hitters of the FB/BB combo.
Pedro Crespo- 2020 SS
One look at Crespo and it’s easy to see that he looks and fits the part of a SS very well. Listed at 6’0, 170 LBS, he has a very athletic frame and he carries himself well in the field. His arm strength is well above average, as he was clocked at 92 MPH across the diamond, which lit up a few eyes at Willie Ronda Park, to say the least. His hands and feet are smooth, as he showed the ability to seamlessly transition from forehand to backhand and easily make plays that would require extra effort from the average SS. His game has a little bit of flash/flare, which can be useful, but could also be toned down a bit to his benefit. Offensively, he flashed some power potential, but his swing currently has too much movement to make solid and consistent contact. His swing path is not bad, and his hands are quick, but I believe he was simply trying to do too much at the plate, leading to some inconsistencies. He would be just fine cutting down his swing and simplifying some of his movements, as the base to be a good hitter is already there. Overall, Crespo is a currently very solid SS prospect who can play an elite defense and offer some pop at the plate.
Bladymil Betancourt Negron- 2023 RHP/OF Team Pro
If you’re looking for a class of 2023 man-child, Negron just might be the guy you’re looking for. His profile listed him at 6’0, 185 LBS, but the eye test easily lists him a few inches taller and more than a couple pounds heavier. Long story short- Negron is a large physical specimen, let alone for someone who hasn’t been in high school for 6 months yet. Negron’s outing on the mound was brief, but he ran his FB up to 79 MPH with decent life, and his mechanics were clean. At the plate, he showed some easy power potential, letting his large frame handle the load as he took easy and controlled swings. He showed the ability to hit to his backside as well, sending line drives to RF when he needed, but his power will most likely come to his pull side. Shockingly, the most surprising aspect from Negron was his speed. His 60 yard dash time came in at 7.00 seconds on the dot, which is astounding given his size and age. Most players I’ve seen his size tend to run the 60 yard dash closer to 8.00 seconds, but Negron clearly is a different breed. Given how young he is, he is still raw and a bit rough around the edges, but he has plenty of time to continue to develop and refine his game.
Eduardo Rosado- 2020 1B/LHP Team Pro
Impressing in all facets of his game, Rosado is yet another solid 2-way prospect from the OR Showcase. Listed at 6’0, 185 LBS, Rosado has a very solid frame for a pitcher, and a respectable frame for a 1B. His game is all around solid, from his defense, to his hitting, all the way to the way he carries himself on the mound/field. Although Rosado has an advanced skillset, the most impressive part of his game was the dedication he put into his reps, and how he was always ready for action, even when the spotlight wasn’t on him. I watched during I/O as he meticulously worked his feet around the bag at 1B, picking errant throws with ease, while other 1B would lazily half-stab at a ball while it rolled by them. Although it may seem small and insignificant, actions like that speak to a players character and work ethic, and that left me with no doubt that Rosado takes pride in his game. At the plate, he profiles as a middle of the lineup hitter, showing above average contact skill and pull-side power. His swing is smooth and on plane, with minimal movement during his set-up. This allows him to control the barrel and let his swing take control of the result. On the mound, Rosado ran his FB up to 83 with ASR, which he paired with a serviceable SL 73-74. Rosado projects well as a primary 1B who could be used in a relief role as a lefty specialist or possibly more if he develops a 3rd pitch.
Gilberto Torres- 2020 SS TSD Elite
Gilberto Torres was the most talented player at the OR Showcase, without a doubt. Torres possesses the kind of raw talent that should lead him to hear his name called in the MLB Draft come June 2020. Currently committed to Wabash Valley College, it would be surprising to see him end up on campus next fall. Unfortunately due to weather complications, Torres was only able to perform in the showcase and not any game action, but his showcase performance was more than enough to warrant those statements. On a day where baseballs appeared to die in the wind halfway to the fence, Torres effortlessly smoked baseball out of the park to all fields. The ball came off his bat like a rocket each time, and it never looked like he was trying to hit the ball as hard as he was. Torres sets his load with a quick leg lift to start his load/create separation. He gets his foot down quickly then unloads his hands through the ball, with a slight lift in his finish. Defensively, Torres was just as impressive. He made plays to his backhand and forehand effortlessly, looking smooth as silk on each individual play. His arm strength is well above-average, as he clocked 93 MPH on his throws from SS. Overall, although his exposure at the OR Showcase with quick and limited, Torres took advantage of every single rep he was given, impressing all around.
Sebastian Zayas- 2020 1B/OF 7 Baseball
Listed at 6’1”, 190 LBS, Zayas is a SHH 1B/OF who plays above average defense and showed the ability to handle the bat from both sides of the plate. Zayas’ ability to switch hit is not a skill that has not been seen before, but he does do it significantly better than most “switch-hitters” that attempt to do so at this level. Most players at this level who attempt to switch hit have glaring differences between their swings/proficiency from each side, but Zayas was relatively balanced, minus the power aspect. Zayas is naturally a RHH, which is to be expected because not many natural LHH try to hit right-handed as well. Zayas will generate more power from the right side, and even showed his ability to do so- crushing a ball deep over the LF fence during game action. Surprisingly, his swing from the left side very closely mirrored his RHH swing, but with less power. Nonetheless, he showed the ability to control the barrel and make solid contact to all fields. Defensively, he is very fundamentally sound. In RF, he charges the ball well, making sure to receive it out in front and in the center of his body, and he uses his body well to make strong (90 MPH) and accurate throws to all bases. At 1B, his hands are soft and his footwork around the bag is clean and efficient. Shockingly, Zayas is still uncommitted, but that should change very soon.
Josue Serrano- 2021 RHP Team ESCA
At 6’4”, 230 LBS, Josue Serrano is an intimidating figure to stare down from the batter’s box. Before Serrano was finished throwing his first 8 warm-up pitches, he had a bevy of scouts gathered behind home plate to watch him work. Serrano did not disappoint. He ran his FB up to 91 MPH with heavy ASR and great downhill plane. His mechanics were fluid and repeatable, with a long but clean/efficient arm path. Serrano pitches from a typical H3/4 arm slot, which helps create the downhill action that makes his fastball crisper and harder to hit. He paired his FB with 2 secondary offerings- a sharp CB 74-75 and a power CH 80-81. He would use his CB as his out pitch, as it’s depth and spin produced lots of swings and misses. He would only occasionally flash the CH as his 3rd pitch, but it was nonetheless a serviceable offering. He was able to locate his FB to both sides of the plate, and filled the zone with his offspeed pitches as well. Currently, Serrano projects as a D1 type starting pitcher, and his ceiling is higher than that if he continues to develop.