Sleeper prospect, Jose Pujols, RF, Lakewood

Jose Pujols courtesy of dplbaseball.com

Hey guys I got my 1st two looks at the Lakewood Blueclaws over the last few days as they were in town vising the Asheville Tourists. There were a few players that stood out but none brighter than right fielder Jose Pujols.

Jose Pujols is 20 years old, listed 6’3″ 175 lbs (maybe 10-15 heavier than that) , he bats and throws right.   Pujols was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $540,000.

Pujols is tall and even with the added weight he’s still very thin but strong (there’s a lot of room for more good weight) which has me intrigued.

Pujols is an aggressive hitter.  He’s got an upright closed stance, a long swing, with quick wrists, above average bat speed and lift. He likes to get his arms extended.  I watched him hit two long home runs (1 each game) both came on fastballs on the outer 3rd. On Thursday it was cold, windy and rainy night the air was heavy and he smoked one it sounded amazing off of the bat and everybody in the building instantly knew it was gone. It easily cleared the 370′ sign in left center and left in a hurry.  On Friday he he hit one toward the end of his bat, it didn’t sound nearly as well and just kept going and it to cleared the 370′ wall.  He’s already got plus to plus plus raw with potential for more and maybe much more when you factor in the potential for added strength.

There’s holes in the swing, he’s a big dude so he’s got a big strike zone.  He struggles with spin and I haven’t seen anyone try but I’d bet he could be beat on the inner 3rd with good heat above the hands but don’t miss if you go in there.  I would anticipate strikeout rates north of 20% and maybe well north.

Asheville has a very small right field so I didn’t get a good read on Pujols’s defense but I was chatting with Adam McInturff during the game on Thursday  and he said he saw Pujols in Greensboro and he’s got a very strong and inaccurate arm. You can find Adam on Twitter @WAdam_McInturff he scouts for Baseball Prospectus.

Here’s a quick video but you get an idea how lanky he is and a look at the swing courtesy of baseball betsy.

Pujols is interesting. he’s got big time pop but he’s not going to win any batting titles and it’s debatable if he’ll ever hit enough to get the power into games.  He’s a high risk high reward type of player and a fun player to watch develop.

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