Introducing uber prospect Carlex O'Galldor
Taking one tool from five Minor Leaguers, MLB Pipeline creates the ultimate position player
The evaluation of a player's talent is certainly a subjective task, with beauty very much in the eye of a beholder. How players are broken down, however, is universal.
Every offensive player is broken down into five tools. Most have heard of them already, as well as the term "five-tool player." But as a quick refresher, they are: Hit, power, speed, arm and field. Scouts will give players grades on a 20-80 scale based on how they evaluate each tool.
There are some multitooled players on our Prospect Watch rankings, starting with Byron Buxton atop the list. But what if you could create the ultimate hitting prospect, taking the best tool from players across the Minor Leagues? Think of it as "Weird Science," baseball-style. Not familiar with the Anthony Michael Hall masterpiece? Go check it out and come back.
The basic idea is to take one tool from five different players to create the uber-prospect, without doubling up from one player. Perhaps the most interesting thing to note before this creation is unveiled is that the top two prospects in the game, Buxton and Kris Bryant, were not mined in the process. The result? Allow MLBPipeline.com to introduce you to Carlex O'Galldor.
Hit: Carlos Correa, Astros
There are two players on the Top 100 who were given 70 hit tools. Buxton is one, Correa is the other. Even though both were hurt in 2014, there's no question Correa has shown a more consistent hit tool in games so far. He's hit .308 over the course of his Minor League career, including going 8-for-26 (.308) as a 20-year-old in Double-A this season as of Wednesday. This is after Correa hit .320 in his first full season, and he was hitting .325 last year before his injury. He has batting title written all over him.
Power: Joey Gallo, Rangers
Cubs fans, let the revolt begin. If I was going to pick the player most are convinced will have the most usable power at the big league level, then Bryant is the right choice. But we're talking pure raw power here, and anyone who watched the Futures Game understands why Gallo is the choice here. One of three on the Top 100 with an 80 power grade (Bryant and the Twins' Miguel Sano are the other two), Gallo is the only player in baseball at any level to hit 40 or more homers in each of the past two seasons, showing he's not too bad at using his power in games, either.
Speed: Mallex Smith, Braves
Smith is an easy 80 for his speed, and yes, Buxton has the same grade. But while I don't have concern over Buxton's long-term health, it is true that Smith has been on the field and using his wheels consistently over the past couple of seasons. While with the Padres, the outfielder stole 64 bases in 2013, his first full season of pro ball, then led the Minors with 88 steals in 2014. Now in Double-A with the Braves (he was part of the Justin Upton deal), the Braves' No. 16 prospect swiped two bags in his first four games as of Wednesday.
Arm: Justin O'Conner, Rays
Hanging an 80 on someone's arm doesn't happen very often, but that's what O'Conner's throwing ability rates from behind the plate. Not only is it extremely strong, it's very accurate. No wonder he's thrown out close to half of would-be basestealers at this point in his career.
Field: Francisco Lindor, Indians
The Top 100 has four players with a 70 for their defensive abilities: Buxton, Padres catcher Austin Hedges, Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor and Lindor. All guys profile as up-the-middle types, but when push comes to shove, I'm going to take the plus defender at shortstop any day. Lindor has proven he's as good as there is at the middle-infield spot, and as we've been saying for a while now, he's more than ready to dazzle there at the big league level.