Ranking the 10 Most Intimidating Power-Hitting Prospects of Spring Training
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Many of the game’s top prospects have been invited to big league camp this spring, which indicates that they’re within a few years of reaching the majors. This year’s group of top-ranked prospects is highlighted by a core group of promising sluggers, including Wil Myers, Mike Olt and Xander Bogaerts.
In fact, had the Twins extended an invitation to third baseman Miguel Sano, the only prospect in the minor leagues with 80-grade power (at least in my opinion), then all of the top young power hitters would have been represented.
Here’s a look at the 10 most intimidating power-hitting prospects participating in major league spring training.
*All scouting grades refer to the 20-80 major league scouting scale, where 50 represents average.
*Some offensive scouting reports have been derived from individual player profiles that appeared in Prospect Pipeline's Top 100 prospects.
10. Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets
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Offensive Scouting Report: 6’2” right-handed hitter has above-average bat speed; impressive raw power; lift to stroke; generates backspin carry; power frequency continues to improve; short, compact swing; good feel for bat head relative to zone; makes loud contact to all fields; has some swing-and-miss in his game; will pull open with front side; needs to focus on driving the ball to right-center gap; keeps hands inside ball when in a groove.
Future: 60; 20-25 home run potential
9. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs
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Offensive Scouting Report: Strong, physical player at 6’3”, 205 pounds; mature frame requires little projection; ball absolutely jumps off his right-handed bat; dynamic bat speed and plus-plus raw power; extension and lift after contact; true power frequency yet to be determined; comfortable driving the ball with authority to all fields; approach was more developed than expected in pro debut; comfortable hitting when behind in the count; decent pitch recognition relative to stateside experience; swing can be rushed and choppy; timing mechanism and load will be simplified; premium velocity may exploit weaknesses at higher levels.
Future: 60; 20-25 home run potential, maybe more.
8. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
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Overview: A left-handed hitter, Taveras employs a powerful yet balanced swing; keeps bat head in the zone for an extended period of time; strong hands and forearms; always gets head through the zone; extends arms; successful even when forced to muscle the ball; began to tap into his power last season against advanced competition; lift to swing; ball has carry; extra-base machine; hits same-side pitching; makes loud contact to all fields; comfortable hitting any pitch in any count; doesn’t walk a ton; strikeouts will always be minimal given his pitch recognition and excellent hand-eye coordination.
Future: 60-65; 20-30 home run potential.
7. Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers
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Offensive Scouting Report: At 6’2”, 210 pounds, Olt possesses tons of present strength; plus raw power to all fields; the right-handed hitter is adept to working deep counts; patient approach; sits on pitches; punishes mistakes; hit tool may turn out to be better than expected; ball really jumps off his bat.
Future: 60; 20-25 home run potential
6. Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners
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Offensive Scouting Report: Power is lone outstanding tool; drives the ball with backspin carry to all fields; doesn’t rely on exceptional pull power, but isn’t afraid to turn it loose; swing can get a little long at times; still finds a way to barrel and drive through the baseball; lots of extension after contact; power to right-center; advanced approach at the plate; may continue to exploit minor league pitching until challenged in the majors; given approach and hand-eye coordination, his hit tool may ultimately be better than expected.
Future: 60-65; 25-plus home run potential
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
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Offensive Scouting Report: At 6’3”, 175 pounds, Bogaerts is a right-handed hitter with one hell of a bat; employs an upright stance; big leg lift; gets all of his weight to backside and then through the ball; vicious swing results in loud contact to all fields; possesses plus bat speed with exceptional raw power to all fields; backspin carry; lift to stroke and flight of ball; extension after contact; can turn around good velocity; hit tool has developed better than expected despite aggressive, free-swinging approach; plus potential with improved pitch recognition; has posted oddly low line-drive rates throughout minor league career; will have to cut down on strikeouts; chases too many breaking balls out of the zone; lunges and dips during takes.
Future: 60-65; 20-30 home run potential
4. Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Offensive Scouting Report: Muscular and physical frame at 6’3”, 215 pounds; lots of lean and quick-twitch muscles; strong wrists and forearms; plus-bat speed; whips barrel through the zone; impressive hand-eye coordination; lofty swing; plus raw power to all fields; some swing-and-miss to his game; hyper-aggressive approach and inconsistent load; tends to get out on his front side too often; lack of experience is evident in his propensity to chase breaking balls out of the zone; needs to work more counts in his favor and employ a consistent approach.
Future: 70; 30-plus home run potential
3. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
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Offensive Scouting Report: Right-handed hitter with potential for above-average-to-plus hit tool; raw power is an easy plus attribute; elite, plus-plus bat speed yields loud contact to all fields; 20-20 potential; will jump on velocity; extremely strong wrists and top hand; max-effort swing every time; lacks a feel for the strike zone and will chase too many pitches; needs to show some restraint; will need to improve pitch recognition; chases too many breaking balls; can be beat by quality sequencing; needs to work more hitter counts; secondary skills leave something to be desired.
Future: 65-70; 30-plus home run potential
2. Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
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Offensive Scouting Report: Plus-raw power to all fields with improving frequency; strong forearms create excellent bat speed; ball jumps off bat; generates backspin carry; very loud contact; strikeout total and batting average do not accurately reflect advanced plate discipline; has been a younger player at each minor league level; strikeout and walk rates should continue to improve with more experience.
Future: 60-70; 25-35 home run potential
1. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
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Offensive Scouting Report: At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Myers' upper body is loaded with quick-twitch muscles; seemingly flicks his wrists at the ball without sacrificing hard contact; setup is upright and slightly open; allows him to clear his hips and tap into his plus pull-side power; excellent bat-to-ball skills; has a tendency to drop his back shoulder; swing can get long; streaky at times; gets out on his front foot; can overcommit against offspeed pitches; cast hands around ball; mechanical/timing issues that will be ironed out with experience.
Future: 70; 30-plus home runs