Every other day over the next two months, John Nagel and Kyle Reis will announce a new prospect on The Redbird Daily’s Top 30 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect List. For each prospect, John and Kyle will reveal where that prospect landed on their personal lists and also few thoughts on the prospect. We hope you enjoy!
Prospect #20: Randy Arozarena – International Signee, 2016
2016 Stats: Tijuana Of The Mexican League – 100/182/150, 20 AB, 1 Double, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 Walks, 3 Strike Outs
You’ll find prospect #20’s name spelt as both “Arrozarena” and “Arozarena”. The Cardinals official site has him as “Arozarena”, so we will go with that.
Kyle Reis (Prospect #23 On Personal List)
In case you aren’t paying the closest attention at home, Arozarena is the second straight Cuban prospect signed during the 2016 international signing period to appear on our list and the third in total (prospect #29 Jonathan Machado). This class could go down as one of the most important amateur-signed/drafted groups in Cardinals history. However, Compared to the other two Cubans on the list, Arozarena isn’t as much of a mystery. The soon to be 22-year-old is a very impressive player.
Like with many other international signings that I know very little about when they sign, the thing that I tried to look for when evaluating Arozarena was common words in scouting reports. When you read about Arozarena you’ll read terms like “fast riser”, “great speed”, “high contact”, and “advanced approach” almost unanimously. The way he is described as a hitter is exactly what you want to read.
But that doesn’t tell you enough.
I LOVE watching this kid take an AB. He has exceptional hand to eye coordination, quick hands that fire through the zone, great plate coverage, and gap power to both fields. The way that the ball slices off of the right-handed hitting Arozarena’s bat to the right field gap is a sight to behold. Just watch!
The ball just jumps. He hasn’t developed much power to this point, but I think he has Aledmys Diaz-type power waiting to blossom. Even if the power doesn’t blossom, Arozarena shows the potential of a top of the order bat that can hit near .300 while getting on base about 36% of the time. The kid is fast, too, and he really moves around the bases.
I love his size, too. He’s the right kind of build to last an entire season. He isn’t lanky like a lot of the other Cardinals CF prospects.
The question with Arozarena is his defense. It’s a fair criticism, but only in the vacuum that exist because he hasn’t had a chance to really stick at a position. Some thought he’d be a SS. Some thought a 2nd baseman. The Cardinals, and myself, fancy him a fit in center field. He’s played there before, but I think it’ll take him a while to acclimate appropriately to the demands of that position as a regular. That said, I think he profiles perfectly in CF. His arm is the second best CF arm in the organization (the CF with the best arm is a few weeks away on our list) and he has the speed to get to everything. This kid is a combination of Delino DeShields Jr and Odubel Herrera, which would make him an easy top 15 prospect in most systems. I could write about this kid all day, and the only reason he is #23 on my personal list is because he hasn’t done it stateside yet.
John Nagel (Ranked #19 on Personal List)
Finally, after a string of three prospects, we find a player that gets a better ranking from me over Kyle. With that said, we are only four spots away from each other. Again, Kyle goes into great detail breaking down Arozarena’s skill set, which I think is pretty impressive.
He will turn 22-years old in a couple of weeks and represents the fourth international signee to appear on our top 30 countdown (found below) so far. He is the second straight Cuban to appear, after Johan Oviedo.
Arozarena gets a pretty good ranking from me — even though he ha syet to play an inning in the U.S. — because of a couple of factors.
First, I think he can stick in center field. A strong defensive center fielder who can hit will always be ranked pretty high. Beyond maybe shortstop and catcher, center is one of the most important positions on the diamond. Arozarena is athletic enough to stick there, in my opinion.
Second, he will likely enter the Cardinals minor league system with the Palm Beach Cardinals, the team’s High-A affiliate. This is an impressive feat for someone who has yet to play in the system.
I would currently rank him after fellow center fielders Harrison Bader and Magneuris Sierra, but I think it is closer than one might think. There are questions about Bader’s defense in center and questions about Sierra’s bat.
Randy Arozarena is an exciting prospect and someone Cards fans will know by season’s end.
How we rank prospects: Click Here
Best of The Rest: Click Here
#30 Prospect: Daniel Poncedeleon
#29 Prospect: Jonathan Machado
#28 Prospect: Jeremy Martinez
#27 Prospect: John Gant
#26 Prospect: Alvaro Seijas
#25 Prospect: Nick Plummer
#24 Prospect: Jordan Hicks
#23 Prospect: Zac Gallen
#22 Prospect: Bryce Denton
#21 Prospect: Johan Oviedo
#20 Propsect: Randy Arozarena
#19 Prospect: 2/25
#18 Prospect: 2/27
#17 Prospect: 3/1
#16 Prospect: 3/3
#15 Prospect: 3/5
#14 Prospect: 3/7
#13 Prospect: 3/9
#12 Prospect: 3/11
#11 Prospect: 3/13
#10 Prospect: 3/15
#9 Prospect: 3/17
#8 Prospect: 3/19
#7 Prospect: 3/21
#6 Prospect: 3/23
#5 Prospect: 3/25
#4 Prospect: 3/27
#3 Prospect: 3/29
#2 Prospect: 3/31
#1 Prospect: 4/2