Hey guys I took a run up to Johnson City, TN for two games this weekend. The JC Cardinals were hosting the Danville Braves. Young Venezuelan infielder Kevin Maitan was recently promoted to Danville and I watched 6 at bats, he’s very impressive.
Maitan- Age 17, listed 6’2″ 190 lbs, bats both and throws right. Maitan ranked #1 on Ben Badler’s (Baseball America) list of International free agents on July 2nd 2016. He was signed signed by the Braves for $4.25 Mil.
Maitan looks mostly filled out. He’s thick and muscular I guessed on the field 6’1″ 225 lbs. He’ll have to stay on top of the conditioning to not be 240+ in his mid 20’s
At the dish left handed, Maitan hits from a closed, upright stance. He’s very quiet in the box and there’s a small leg kick for timing. His strong hands and wrists generate plus bat speed. He keeps his hands low (at the belt) which gets him to the ball very quickly. His approach is to let the ball travel deep, which means he won’t be easily fooled by off-speed or spin. The approach seems fairly aggressive and he displays very good bat to ball skills. He should hit for a high contact %. With the combination of bat speed, approach and bat to ball skills. The hit could play plus of perhaps higher. Which, when combined with the power potential is scary to think about.
From the right side he has a similar setup and bat speed. He’s just a little more raw, which is to be expected as I’m sure he sees much fewer reps right handed. I saw one at bat from the right side so far. I’ll update this when I get more looks at the Right Hand swing.
The raw power is 60 right now and could be 70 or higher at peak. He can hit the ball out of any part of the park which is very rare for a teenager. From both sides his swing has lift and the ball jumps off of his barrel. I watched one home run on Saturday he seemingly just flipped his wrists and the ball exploded, carrying over the left field wall for an opposite field HR (I estimated 360′) Need I remind you he’s 17. He nearly had another today it was caught on the warning track in CF 380′ from home plate.
Not a gifted runner, average speed underway. Defensively he’s lined up at SS the last two games. He seems to have good hands and a strong arm. He doesn’t have the range for SS but he should be fine at 3rd as long as the agility is there.
Conclusion: Among the highest ceiling young players I’ve seen this season. He came in with a lot of hype and it’s justified. We could be looking at a player that hits 290+ with 30+ HR potential and moderate walks and strikeouts. Some chance he outgrows the left side of the infield though. As for time table, he could be a fast mover. I would not be shocked if he was in Double-A by the end of next yr. With a potential for a debut in 2019.
Next up at Notes, a piece on Braves young CF Drew Waters should be up tomorrow. Cheers