2080 Pro-Side: GCL Prospects (Yankees, Blue Jays, Phillies and Tigers)

Jordan Groshans participates in workouts for the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic at the University of San Diego on August 11-12, 2016 in San Diego, California (Bill Mitchell)

Featured Photo: Jordan Groshans, SS, Blue Jays

Pro Evaluators Steve Givarz and Jason Woodell have been combing the Florida backfields all season for 2080 Baseball, getting looks at players during Spring Training, Extended Spring, and the Gulf Coast League.  Here are some notes from around the GCL this summer. Thanks for reading!

Feature Spotlights

Jordan Groshans, SS, Blue Jays (Rookie GCL Blue Jays, Gulf Coast League)
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/178 lbs.       B/T: R/R              Age (as of July 1, 2018): 18y, 7m

Taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Groshans is a five-tool talent that needs polish, but the tools and ability are there to be a future impact player. Groshans hits from a balanced stance with a patient approach at the plate. He shows both patience to work into hitter’s counts and the plate discipline to do some damage, using the whole field when necessary. With quality bat speed and present strength, Groshans works the gaps while also showing over-the-fence power to all fields. While he has struggled against better breaking pitches, he adjusts and tracks pitches in the zone well and can make consistent contact. Still lean and young, Groshans has the frame and body to add some muscle, and project a future-plus raw power tool to go with a projectable-plus hit tool. Defensively, Groshans has the arm to play short, but his actions are inconsistent at present, and he shows average footspeed and range. His game clock is almost too quick, which leads to poor decisions handling balls, but has the athleticism to make the necessary adjustments to hold down the 6-spot on an everyday basis. He has a build that could lose a step as he fills out, and if so, third base could also be a landing spot, where his plus arm and power bat profiles well.

Groshans is an advanced hitter — one that is making quick work of GCL pitching — but he still needs to work on his defense and add some strength. That said, he has a high ceiling and could be a FV 60 player in the best-case scenario. -Steve Givarz


Luis J. Garcia, SS, Phillies (Rookie GCL Phillies West, Gulf Coast League)
Ht/Wt:  5’11”/170 lbs.    B/T: S/R              Age (as of July 1, 2018): 17y, 9m

Signed as part of the Phillies J2 IFA class out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, Garcia received $2.5 million, the highest of the Phillies signees that year. Garcia offers a mix of projectable defensive ability, speed, and offensive ability that makes him one of the higher-upside players grinding it out in the complex this summer.

At just 17 years old, Garcia already shows an advanced approach at the plate, rarely chasing pitches and working into hitter’s counts, and showing unusual patience for his age to wait for the right pitch to drive. From both sides of the plate, Garcia combines bat speed with a smooth, compact swing that uses the whole field. The overall hit tool is better from the left side, where the bat speed and pop manifest moreso than from the right. He could be a future 60-grade hit tool type if the offense improves as a righty, though there are ample signs of an at-least-average hitter simply because of his left-handed barrel feel. Garcia still lacks physicality and doesn’t project to fill out more than 15-to-20 pounds on his lean frame, so there isn’t much pop in the bat. He works the gaps well, but given his size, he doesn’t project to anything more than below-average raw power. A plus runner from both sides of the plate, Garcia’s wheels translate well to the field, where he shows quality range and the actions to stick at an up-the-middle position. His hands are soft and he’s able to make the routine plays, albeit with some “hair on fire” tendencies that cause him to overrun balls or make poor reads. The arm is a plus cannon that’s more than capable of sticking at shortstop, with throws that come out on a line and shoulder high, though there’s still some work needed on his the accuracy of his throws as well as his game clock.

Garcia is going to be a longer-burn prospect — one that needs to add strength and physicality to his frame, and his consistency at shortstop should come along with experience and reps. The ceiling is an above-average everyday shortstop. -Steve Givarz


Anthony Garcia, OF, Yankees (Rookie GCL Yankees West, Gulf Coast League)
Ht/Wt:  6’6”/237 lbs.      B/T: S/R              Age (as of July 1, 2018): 17y, 6m

Garcia was part of a loaded 2017 Yankees J2 class, signing for $500K from the Dominican Republic. Still just 17 years old, he’s a football-sized body type that has filled out since signing. Garcia shows batspeed and plus raw power from both sides of the plate, unique and advanced for a hitter his age. There isn’t much present approach, as Garcia is a guess hitter who is looking to hunt fastballs early in the count. If he can refine hit discipline enough to get even close to a future average hit tool at maturity, the power production will be significant. He’s currently a right fielder, though the routes and first step are fringy and he might be too large to play anywhere but first base.

Garcia’s size and raw power are the best in the Gulf Coast League this summer, and he comes with the ceiling of a big league regular due to the quality of his physical tools. Reaching that ceiling—and how impactful he projects to be at the big league level—will come down Garcia’s hitting ability and game contact. Far away from the big leagues and a definite “long burn” prospect, Garcia grades as a FV 50 player with high risk to the profile given his raw approach and potential to move down the defensive spectrum. -Steve Givarz

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