The Cuban outfielder signed with much fanfare, agreeing to a $3 million amateur bonus with the Athletics in 2016. He showed big power potential in the Midwest League last year with questionable contact ability, and it has been much of the same so far in 2019 for High-A Stockton. Named to the California League All-Star Game, Armenteros slashed .227/.356/.437 in the first half this season.
A chiseled 6-foot and 182 pounds, Armenteros is a plus athlete and physical specimen. He looks more like a center-diamond defender and plus runner than his tools play in games, however, as a below-average arm limits him to LF and he isn’t very aggressive on the bases. The calling card here is power potential, as Armenteros puts on a show in BP with 60-grade raw to the pullside. There are ample questions about how much of that juice will translate to games, partially due to his stiff, unorthodox setup that causes length and lacks much natural rhythm. He whistles the bat through the zone with speed and strength, but a locked front arm bars off the inner-third of the plate and limits his present barrel control. Armenteros’ approach is geared to pull fastballs, and while his track record of drawing walks helps buoy a feast-or-famine mentality, the strikeout numbers will have to come down in order to have much big league value. He whiffed in above 30-percent of his Midwest League plate appearances in 2018, and that number has snowballed to over 40-percent this year in High-A.
The raw ingredients of a slugging corner outfielder are here, but the 20-year-old has a ways to go from a hit tool perspective to reach that ceiling. Hitters that strike out at the rate he has–especially through A-Ball–rarely ever cut into that number very much. This type of player needs to clear 25-30 HRs to be a FV 50 (or better) contributor on a corner, and though he’s a low-probability prospect, Armenteros at least has the raw power to have a puncher’s chance at finishing that type of slugger. A best-case scenario for this low-average, high-strikeout, right-handed corner profile is the man currently patrolling LF for Oakland, Khris Davis. More realistically, Armenteros falls a bit short of that upside given the burden of his strikeout numbers.