Top Ten Venezuelan Prospects - American League

Venezuela has the second most major leaguers in baseball so myworld likes to list the top twenty in the American League and the top twenty in the National League to get as many prospects listed.  This is the least impressed myworld is with the prospects from Venezuela.

1. Bruce Rondon RHP (Detroit Tigers) - Bruce reminds me a lot of a young Jose Valverde.  Cocky, cool with a three digit fastball.  He still has trouble locating that fastball so the Tigers excused him from the closer role to begin the season and sent him to the minor leagues for a little more seasoning in AAA.  The big issue was his ineffectiveness after back to back outings.  At some point this season Bruce will get the callup.  Whether he gets the closer role will depend on how well he can locate his pitches.  His slider is considered the best in the Tigers system and when you combine that with a three digit fastball and an effective change you have a pretty good pitcher.  He needs to work on his conditioning to prevent him from ballooning out.

2. Oswaldo Arcia OF (Minnesota Twins) - Oswaldo is a pure hitter who should challenge for batting titles and add twenty plus homeruns per year.  He has a good arm and enough speed to patrol right field.  At 6′0″ 210 he has gotten bigger and slower.  If he wants to stay in the outfield he will have to watch his weight.  Last year he hit over .300 at High A and AA.  Because he was shy of 300 at bats in AA he may begin there to start the season and be ready for a promotion to the major leagues or AAA by mid-season.

3. Carlos Sanchez 2B (Chicago White Sox) - Carlos could play shortstop but the White Sox may have more of a need at second base if Gordon Beckham continues to struggle.  Because he has virtually no power he will be most effective if he can get on base and use his speed to steal bases.  This requires an improvement in his 26 for 41 success rate in stolen bases.  Carlos has gold glove potential at second base and can still find himself at short if the White Sox feel a need.  He could also end up in a utility role.

4. Avisail Garcia OF (Detroit Tigers) - Avisail got a callup with the Tigers last year and was on the roster for the post season games.  While he played centerfield in AA he is a bit bulky and slow afoot to play that position in the majors.  His nickname Little Miggy will give you an idea of what he could become.  While in the major leagues he showed little power, with none of his 15 hits going for extra bases and struggling with a .315 slugging percentage.  If he expects to be a corner outfielder with just average defense he will need to lift that slugging percentage into the .500 territory.

5. Jose Campos RHP (New York Yankees) - Jose was one of the players the Mariners traded to the Yankees for Jesus Montero.  Michael Pineda was the primary acquisition, but Jose also has an arm that can light up the radar.  He only started five games last year, shut down because of elbow issues.  When healthy he throws in the mid-90s, striking out more than a hitter an inning.  He also throws a curve and a change.  Jose does the Yankees no good if he can’t get on the mound because of a balky elbow.

6. Luis Sardinas SS (Texas Rangers) - He was a shortstop signed on the same day as Jurickson Profar.  Some may argue he has smoother actions at the position than Profar.  Injuries have prevented him from rising as quickly as Profar with last year’s 96 games played the most in his three year minor league career.  Luis has not shown a lot of power with only two homeruns in over 500 at bats, but he does show a good aptitude for stealing bases with 32 stolen bases in 41 attempts last year.  With the recent signing of Elvis Andrus to a long term contract and Jurickson being groomed for second base it leaves little room for Luis except in a utility role.

7. Danry Vasquez OF (Detroit Tigers) - The Tigers seem to do a good job mining outfielders from Venezuela.  They signed Danry for a record Venezuelan bonus of $1.2 million in 2010.  He was a bit overmatched when promoted to Low A, hitting just .162, but he was an 18 year old competing against 20 year olds.  He will be a power bat not noted for his defense, his speed afoot plodding with an average arm restricting him to left field.

8. Eugenio Suarez SS (Detroit Tigers) - Myworld was impressed with his defense the little we saw of him in spring during his late inning defensive activity.  His bat appeared a little light but the reports on him have him at gap power.  His lack of speed may limit his range at short and his lack of power could restrict him to a utility role or second base.  Despite his lack of speed he still had the instincts to steal 21 bases in 30 attempts.

9. Martin Perez LHP (Texas Rangers) - Myworld has never been impressed with his numbers, but scouts have been impressed with his stuff.  He made his major league debut last year but fashioned an unimpressive ERA of 5.45.  His 2013 season may be delayed after a line drive broke his forearm.  His minor league career ERA is 4.23 and his walk to whiff ratio last year in AAA (56/69) was not inspiring.  He has a low 90s fastball with a plus change.  He also has a curve and slider, but his tendency to nibble and get behind in the count makes him very hittable.

10. Eduardo Rodriguez LHP (Baltimore Orioles) - Baltimore is trying to expand their international presence.  Eduardo signed for $175,000.  He throws a low 90s fastball with a change and slider that still need work.  His strikeout rate dropped to 6.1 per nine innings after his promotion to Low A last year, but he still maintains a 2/1 walk to whiff ratio (30/73).  He will begin the 2013 season in High A.

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