As the July 2nd signing period has come and gone with more than 40 players signed during the 2012 season, there are still some notable power bats and arms available. Here’s a scouting report from Perfect Game on all DPL Elite Travel Team players still available.
Leurys Vargas-1B/3B It’s somewhat ironic that the youngest player on the DPL roster, Vargas, is also the biggest and most physically imposing. The 15-year old is listed at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, but that appears to be on the conservative side. If you’ve seen Keon Barnum from the 2012 class, you have an idea of what Vargas’ body looks like physically. Vargas turns 16 on August 30 which prohibits him to sign on July 2 but rather making him eligible to sign after his birthday.
Vargas isn’t as good an athlete as Barnum, with 7.32 present speed that is going to slow down and arm strength that will likely limit him to first base. He will be challenged to maintain his mobility defensively as he gets older, although he shows very good hands on low throws at first base and maintains his balance well.
The offensive comparison between Vargas and Barnum is very tight. The bat speed and power potential are obvious, but Vargas has a surprisingly short game swing and has the ability to stay inside the ball and square it up to the middle of the field. He lined two singles off Boston Red Sox minor league pitchers, both solid line drives registering in the mid-90s off the bat over the shortstop’s head, which was impressive work for a 15-year old facing A and AA pitchers. Vargas can unleash a power swing with more length and lift during batting practice and the results are impressive, especially given his age. But he doesn’t show that approach in games and there is really no reason for him to worry about doing it now. The tool and ability are there when he starts learning more about hitting.
Natanael Delgado-OF Delgado may be the least physically imposing player of the DPL prospects, with a slender build that doesn’t project to fill out that much. He’s a polished hitter from the left side with a sound, aggressive approach and creates some bat speed with power to the pull side. Delgado hit a grand slam off the right field foul pole in Arizona off a hanging curveball and it was a good illustration of what his skills are.
He’s a 6.9 runner who shows some outfield arm strength (85 mph) and has fundamentally sound defensive actions as a corner outfielder. If Delgado played in the United States he’d be the type of player who every major college in the country would have significant interest in recruiting, as he wouldn’t have the tools to be a high draft out of high school but would be a potential impact college player and a fourth-to-sixth round pick as a college junior.
Ronny Carvajal-OF Carvajal flashes tools in every area and has an outstanding 6-foot-3, 180-pound build that should fill out and get really strong. He has easy athletic actions and shows good instincts in centerfield but ran between 6.93 and 7.19 in his three 60s, so he’s not going to be any more than an average runner in the future. That will likely limit him to a corner outfield position and put pressure on him to develop his hitting potential.
Carvajal hits with a big leg raise trigger, which can negatively affect his timing, but has a long, loose swing that generates very good bat speed at times. He has plenty of lift in his swing, although he doesn’t quite show the power that a Jose Pujols or Amaurys Minier can generate. Carvajal is a mature player who shows lots of energy on the field and looks to have some leadership abilities.
Joaquin DelaCruz-3B Having Joaquin Delacruz and Julio Delacruz lining up at third base next to each other created an occasional confusing moment, but the two players are different types of athletes and prospects, making it a bit easier to identify them.
Joaquin Delacruz has a taller and leaner build that is often more associated with outfielders. He doesn’t have an outfielder’s speed at 7.49 in the 60, but has a very quick first step defensively and far ranging actions on ground balls. His hands are soft and fluid and he has very good arm strength from an over the top release point. Defense is not going to be a problem at the professional level.
Delacruz’s right handed swing will take more refining, though. He has the leverage and raw bat speed to be a hitting prospect, but is inconsistent in his present approach, leading to some long and fruitless swings. Delacruz has a big deep hand load to set up his swing and doesn’t start his swing path from a consistent point. When he’s hitting with his hands above the ball and driving it to the middle of the field the ball explodes off the barrel hard.
Alberto Sanchez-3B Sanchez has a mature body for his age with good physical strength, especially in his hands and shoulders. He shows much better in games than in workouts and is one of the most mature hitters on the team, with a short and crisp right handed swing that produces consistent line drive contact against good stuff. He has present gap power but doesn’t have much loft in his swing and will be more of a high average, doubles type of hitter who will draw some walks and rarely strike out.
Sanchez is a 7.1 runner who is a get-the-job-done type defender at third base. He is somewhat awkward in his footwork at the ball and has a pie throwing type arm action, but registers 86 mph on the gun across the infield and makes all the routine plays. Teams that traditionally spend their draft money on college players will likely be the most interested in Sanchez. He doesn’t have a high ceiling physically but his maturity on the field and ability to hit and make contact right away in professional ball will serve him well.
Other notable names still available:
Raivi Barias-MIF, Lugo Octavis-MIF, Felix Suarez-MIF, , Miguel Munoz-OF, Enmanuel Tapia-OF; Crucito Mieses-RHP, Winder Novas-RHP, Kelyn Jose-LHP, Alvaro Castillo-RHP, Jean Carlos Mejia-RHP, Bienvenido Morales-LHP