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FYPD Sleepers From The 2023 MLB Draft
Tyler Warren provides six deep league sleepers that you need to know for FYPDs.
It’s never too early to talk about the next wave of guys that are going to make a huge buzz in 2024. This list features six extremely under-the-radar 2023 draft-class bats that are poised to make some serious strides to stardom next season. Of the six players mentioned, Disla and Pimentel went undrafted, making this list filled with undiscovered talent.
Jalen Vasquez, SS, BAL, 21
First committing and playing with the University of South Carolina, Vasquez transferred to D2 powerhouse NGU after two seasons. Through his time with NGU and in the Coastal Plain summer league, Vasquez showed an elite understanding of the strike zone. Very rarely swinging at breaking balls out of the zone, Vasquez limited his swings to fastballs in the zone as he could pick opposing pitchers apart.
These advanced swing decisions transferred over to Low-A Delmarva as he posted a 13% O-Swing and a 76% Z-Swing. In his 75 Low-A at-bats, Vasquez also posted a 18% Hard Hit% paired with a .267 BA. On the defensive side, he saw time at both SS and 2B but looked more comfortable at second base. With the recent success of the Orioles farm system and their ability to transform underrated bats, I think Vasquez could see similar hype as farmmate Creed Willems.
Arturo Disla, 1B, TEX, 23
Coming to the MiLB in ways of undrafted free agency, Disla amassed 63 XBH in 2 years with Wayland Baptist. Disla shows a great understanding of the zone and rarely swings and misses at balls out of the zone. A key thing to note about Disla’s approach in college is that he did a great job of fouling off pitches that were borderline strikes and continued counts to get the pitch he wanted.
After losing nearly 50 pounds this offseason, Disla is emerging as one of the top prospects in a stacked Rangers farm. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Disla returned to the DSL to make his pro debut and posted a .274 BA with 3HR in 62AB. He kept the same approach as in college, and it proved to work well as he garnered a .411 OBP. His extremely power-filled bat (that displays remarkable bat speed) paired with his + approach will probably land him in Low-A next year where he should continue to excel.
Brandon Pimentel, OF, WSH, 23
Statistically, one of the best D1 hitters in 2023, Pimentel, went undrafted in 2023. Initially starting his college career at Mississippi State, Pimentel transferred to UTRGV after limited ABs. At UTRGV, Pimentel saw over 500 PA in 2 years and, in his senior year, nearly had a .500 OBP with 19 HR while slugging .710. One of the main risks with hitters coming from lower-end D1 schools is their exposure to solid competition. Through his two years at UTRGV, Pimentel had absolutely no issues with advanced pitching from solid competition as he hit for a .397 BA and a sub 20 K% against FB 90 MPH or higher.
The main weakness of Pimentel’s profile is his inability to lay off changeups and sliders below the zone; this showed in his debut and his time in college. Despite this, he showed off his elite bat-to-ball skills in his FCL debut, where he slashed .371/.463/.629 with a 1.092 OPS. I think there is a chance he sees Double-A next year to end the season, given his age (23), but I suspect a Low-A start to the 2024 season.
Alfonsin Rosario, OF, CHC, 19
A top 50 high school recruit, Alfonsin Rosario fell to the Cubs in the 6th round, where he signed for $325,000 to forgo his commitment to Chipola JC. Brother to Major Leaguer, Eguy Rosario, the 6’2” 210 LB OF, is known for his extremely loud and powerful contact throughout the summer circuit.
Posting exit velocities of over 110MPH in his pro debut, Rosario’s already solid frame generated some legitimate power. In addition to his big bat, Rosario holds an elite OF arm and above-average speed on the base paths after swiping four bags in 28 AB in his professional debut. With big power potential comes an aggressive bat as Rosario swung on the first pitch at an excelled rate in his debut. His profile compares well to minor leaguer Joshua Baez, as they both hold elite EVs, solid defense, above-average speed, and an aggressive approach while still taking walks.
TJayy (Tayshaun) Walton, OF, PHI, 18
Walton is one of the players where, if you follow the prep bat draft class, you begin to wonder why he wasn’t drafted before the 4th round. He didn’t want a crazy amount of money to forgo his commitment to Miami, as he signed for $2,000 below slot value. Hailing from the elite IMG Academy, Walton gives me immediate Elijah Green vibes (note both were committed to Miami and both went to IMG); physical, athletic, built-for baseball type players that will absolutely destroy the baseball if given the chance.
There are some immediate risks here regarding his plate discipline, as he loves to swing the bat, but he showed a solid understanding of the zone in a small sample size in his pro debut. He looked great with a .385 BA, .529 OBP, and 1.221 OPS in 13 AB in the FCL. He returns to the FCL to start the season but will quickly ascend through the Phillies’ org.
Sam Mongelli, SS, LAD, 22
By far the most hidden gem college bat in the 2023 draft, Mongelli was set to transfer to Auburn as a graduate student but decided to take the Dodgers’ offer after a 10th-round selection. In his final year at Sacred Heart, Mongelli hit for a .403 AVG paired with 20 home runs and 16 doubles. He made contact on 88 percent of pitches in the zone, while chasing at just a 16 percent clip. The exit velocities were firmly above average, with a 92 mph average exit velocity and a 105 mph 90th percentile.
He probably has the best eye for breaking balls out of anyone on this list, making an 86 percent contact rate against them, with an elite understanding of the strike zone. This transferred over to pro ball, where he reached Low-A and posted a sub-20 K% paired with a near .400 OBP. Though unlike Pimentel, Mongelli did struggle with high velocity in college, hitting just .214 with 5K in 14AB against FB 90 MPH or higher. This is the clear downfall to his game at the moment, but with more exposure to advanced pitching, Mongelli will develop into a top Dodgers prospect by the end of 2024.
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