Courtesy: Baseball News Hound
The Latin American prospects intrigue me for two reasons. 1. The skys the limit. These prospects are always nabbed with having huge ceilings. It all depends on the right organization and how they develop them. The second reason is you can grow a personal (well, not so personal) bond with them, by just following their progression in the minors.
I emailed Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus and Texas Farm Review, who answered two questions regarding Texas Rangers slugger Ronald Guzman, and Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Wagner Mateo.
Starting with Ronald Guzman, he’s a sweet swinging left-handed bat, who has HUGE power potential. I’ve attached a video of his cage performance. Here’s what Parks had to say:
“Guzman could be a monster, with a swing similar to Eric Hosmer in the sense that he doesn’t power up and look for the long ball. His swing is measured and balanced, with contact first. He shows the ability to drive the ball with authority, and the ball just naturally explodes off the bat. I think he has a chance to be a superstar. 60+ future bat; 70+ future power. “
Moving onto Wagner Mateo, I was/am a huge fan of Mateo. I believed when he was being hyped that he was the real deal. Also, I find it unjustifiable to write off Dominican prospects. Many of these athletes never played organized baseball, so it’s all about becoming comfortable to your environment. However, his stats from last season were pretty head shaking, and have me second guessing myself.
Mateo has a major strike out issue that needs to be addressed. He whiffed 88 times in just 230 at-bats. This could be a part of why the Cardinals voided his contract. Mateo failed a physical with the St. Louis Cardinals, who originally signed him in 2009, because of an unknown eye issue. He’s only 18 years-old, however, he needs to take a huge step forward this season to remind people of what he was signed for. Jason Parks had this to say:
“I’ve seen Mateo a bunch, and it’s just not very pretty. I know scouts that saw him as an amateur and he was just awesome. If the eye is still an issue, it would make sense; he struggles with basic contact at the plate and his routes in the outfield are bad. It could be a number of factors, though. Based on what I’ve seen, he looks like a good candidate to never escape short-season ball.”
What are your thoughts about Guzman and Mateo?