Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Arizona Fall League Scouting Report: Engel Beltre
From: Dominican Republic
Congratulations to the Texas Rangers on their American League Championship. Not only do you have a chance to win the world series but you still have some nice pieces in your farm system for the coming years. One of those pieces in Engel Beltre.
Beltre was signed for $600,000 out of the Dominican by the Red Sox who included him in their trade for Eric Gagne at the 2007 trade deadline. He’s always had an impressive set of tools but it looks as though he is beginning to put it all together and may be ready for the major leagues toward the end of next season.
Beltre has great bat speed. He can let the ball travel deep in the zone before he swings which allows him to spray the ball all over the field. He loads his hands a little deep, almost barring his lead arm so he might have trouble hitting inside pitches. He gets his weight back well and loads his hips, creating excellent rotation and leverage as he brings his weight forward with his swing.
Beltre doesn't have great plate discipline (he’s only walked 75 times in4 years of pro ball) and he swung an awful lot while I got to see him. At 20 years old he’s getting past the point where we can just wave off his lack of walks as a product of his youth. Only one major leaguer had as many PA as Beltre did in 2010 (488) while drawing fewer walks (A.J. Pierzynski, with 15), and it's time for Beltre to be more selective so he can start using his other offensive gifts. The plate discipline issue is more a lack of patience (perhaps the "I can hit everything" problem) than a lack of pitch recognition, because he seemed to have the ability to recognize breaking stuff and adjust accordingly.
He's an above-average runner with an above-average arm and should be able to stay in center field. I didn’t see him have to make any tough plays or get a read on the routes he takes to balls but things I’ve read indicate he has good instincts and could be an elite defender in Center.
Future MLB Comparison: Austin Jackson