Rocchio’s mix of youth, tools, and polish jumped out to me in a quick AZL backfields look last summer. His stock has really exploded in the time since, now a consensus top prospect in the Cleveland organization. Some thought the 18-year-old was ready for a full-season assignment to Low-A Lake County, but he stayed back in Extended Spring and headed to Mahoning Valley in June.
Rocchio doesn’t jump out physically, though he’s visibly stronger through the hips and core than last year. Teammates and coaches call him “The Professor” for his excellent instincts and feel for the game, aspects that show up on both sides of the ball. The switch-hitter has remarkable bat control and discipline for his age, making consistent line drive contact and showing a feel for the zone. Rocchio probably won’t ever be a huge power threat, but his quick bat and knack for squaring the ball could grow into more pop down the road. He’s a versatile defender who moves between middle infield spots, possessing the physical tools to profile at shortstop long term. Rocchio has a game clock you can’t teach, seemingly always in the right place on the field with soft hands and a quick transfer that help finish plays.
Though prospects this young and far away are often the hardest to forecast with precision, the ingredients of a big league shortstop are here. Rocchio has the building blocks of a future above-average to plus hit tool, with extra value considering he might ultimately grade better than average from both sides of the plate. His instinctive game and center-diamond defensive ability raise the floor a bit as well.