The White Sox inked the well-built infielder to an over-slot ($700K) bonus in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft. After missing all but three games of the 2017 season due to a knee injury, Curbelo spent 2018 in Class A Kannapolis, scuffling to a .237/.282/.338 line with troubling peripherals. He struck out in over 25-percent of his plate appearances, only walking at a five-percent clip. I’ve seen Curbelo a few times this season, starting in Extended Spring Training, then in early May, and again this fall during Instructional League.
Curbelo split time at third and shortstop in 2018, but he has outgrown shortstop and fits a better long-term profile at the hot corner where a 55-grade arm profiles well. That said, there’s much more pressure on the bat to fit a regular big league profile at third base. He has average major league raw power with the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field when he dials in a fastball, but his strikeout issues stem from serious issues with quality spin pitches. He chases frequently and struggles to lay off soft stuff out of the zone, leading to a low-grade hit tool projection that’s likely to diminish his game power to 40-grade at maturity. Curbello’s ceiling is as a utility infielder with some pop off the bench. Based on the lack of an approach and on-base ability, Curbello’s glove will need to be sharp to find a role. He will need to turn a corner in 2019 to maintain prospect status and could wind up a 4A type if no one tool winds up carrying the profile.