Although Wendell Rijo wasn’t the best runner or had the best power, he was undoubtedly the best baseball player in the Dominican Prospect League in 2012.
His future tools grade out to be a solid Major League player as he runs plus, has a solid average arm and defense, and should hit for average and power. Wendell suffered an ACL injury during the DPL Elite Travel Team tour during the 2012 season. Prior to the injury Rijo took the league by storm, he was selected to the DPL All-Star Game where he was named MVP for deciding the game with a walk off hit providing the red team with the victory. The Boston Redsox have reached an agreement with Rijo for a contract value of $625,000.00. Congratulations to the Redsox, Victor Bruce and the Rijo family.
Perfect Game scouting report
IF WENDELL RIJO- PERFECT GAME REPORT
5-11/170, R/R, 9/4/95, La Romana, DR
Trainer: Victor Bruce
PG Grade: 10
Rijo sprained his knee during a rundown in the game at the Red Sox Complex in Fort Myers and was unable to play for the rest of the trip. The injury looked more serious when it occurred and it’s very fortunate that it wasn’t worse. Rijo is an outstanding prospect from a number of different perspectives. He is the son of a scout and has a deeper and mature understanding of the game than his fellow DPL prospects. He’s also the oldest of the players, having just missed being eligible to sign July 2, 2011 by four days, and is clearly the leader and most respected player of the group.
The first thing we were told in the Dominican was that Rijo was the best“player” we would see but his tools wouldn’t stand out. We respectfully disagree; this young man has some really high level tools.
He’s a 6.6 runner with a quick first step. You look at him and immediately thing second base defensively as his arm strength isn’t a plus and he has a fairly stocky build. However, he has plus range and a very quick release at shortstop and the instinctive ability to make plays. Offensively, Rijo has surprising pull power from the right side of the plate and it’s present usable game power. He approach is similar to Dustin Pedroia’s in that there’s a coiled aggression and explosion at the ball that generates more bat speed and carry on the ball than what you would expect from a player that size. A distinguishing part of Rijo’s hitting mechanics is that he keeps his hands above the ball as well as any young hitter we’ve ever seen.
Gustavo Cabrera has a higher ceiling than Rijo physically, but if there was one player from this DPL group you would want to bet is going to be a very good Major League player, it would be Rijo.