Feature Photo: Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets
Editor’s Note: We’ve added all of our recent scouting reports, spotlights, and live video from the Arizona Fall League to our 2018 sortable libraries at the links below:
Also, be sure to check out our podcasts page for episodes of Defensive Indifference (AFL Edition) with your hosts Ryan Sullivan and John “Uncle Jack” Eshleman.
Featured AFL Videos
- Miguel Diaz, RHP, Padres (Peoria Javelinas)
- Daniel Johnson, OF, Nationals (Salt River Rafters)
- Drew Ellis, 3B, Diamondbacks (Salt River Rafters)
- Meibrys Viloria, C, Royals (Surprise Saguaros)
- Steven Sensley, 1B, Yankees (Glendale Desert Dogs)
Featured AFL Reports
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (Surprise Saguaros) -John Eshleman
- Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Dodgers (Glendale Desert Dogs) -Adam McInturff
- Tyler Nevin, 1B, Rockies (Salt River Rafters) -Adam McInturff
- Abraham Toro, 3B, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions) -John Eshleman
- Trent Thornton, RHP, Astros (Scottsdale Scorpions) -John Eshleman
Featured AFL Spotlights
Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets (Salt River Rafters)
Ht/Wt: 6’3”/245 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of September 1, 2018): 23y, 8m
Selected in the 2nd Round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Alonso has been stellar and lived up to the hype surrounding his power potential. The University of Florida product split time between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018, slashing a cumulative .285/.395/.579 with 36 home runs and 68 extra-base hits in 574 PA’s.
Alonso has a thick and powerful frame that generates plus bat speed and 80-grade raw power. Alonso is a below-average runner, but his footwork is good enough to make the routine plays at first base. An average defender, slow foot speed and 40-grade arm strength profiles him best as a 1B/DH option. Offensively, Alonso is aggressive on every pitch and looks to ambush fastballs. His short stroke creates tremendous loft and consistently hard contact that produces 60-grade game power that plays from pole to pole. Alonso is prone to expand the zone in hitters’ counts and to chasing spin. Overall, he is making solid decisions at the plate, and he’s put professional at-bats together throughout the Fall League. His combination of approach, bat-to-ball skills, and tremendous power help project an overall hit tool of 55.
Alonso has an MLB-ready profile right now, and he could become a force in middle of the lineup for the Mets next season. His floor is that of a Role 50 second-division regular at first base, and ceiling as Role 60 first baseman with the potential to lead the position in home runs on a regular basis. -Jack Elliott
Yu Chang, 3B, Indians (Glendale Desert Dogs)
Ht/Wt: 6’1”/175 lbs. B/T: R/R Age (as of September 1, 2018): 23y, 0m
It has been a steady climb through the system for Chang, who has played each season as a pro at one level since signing in 2014. He was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster to protect him from the 2017 Rule V Draft but did not debut with the big league club last season. Cleveland sent the infielder to Fall League for some last-minute polishing after spending all of last season with Triple-A Columbus.
At the plate, Chang is direct to the ball with a slight uppercut that allows for both line-drive contact and loft power. It’s a quick swing with good balance, and he’s consistently able to take pitches on the outer half the other way in my looks. He has gotten stronger in the last two years, showing surprising above-average power to the pull side that has started showing up in games. He has struck out at a healthy rate at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels, though aspects of his approach and swing mechanics hint at some ability to cut down on the k-rate as he acclimates to high-level pitching. A former shortstop who plays the position decently, Chang fits better at third base over long stretches. His range and first step are solid at the hot corner (as opposed to being fringy at shortstop), and his quick reflexes and first step also play well at the corner.
Chang could be a 50-grade hitter and power producer in the best-case scenario, though he’ll have to get to those thresholds fully to play every day on a corner. I like his fundamental game and think it allows reason to project across the board. If the sum-of-the-parts come together enough, Chang could be a regular third baseman in his peak years. In the event his bat winds up a tweener for third base, he’s no less than a quality role player who hits enough to spot-start at numerous positions. -Adam McInturff