BLUF: Shows ability with four tools and has solid all-around potential in right field.
The Player: Jorge Bonifacio (OF, Kansas City Royals) – Signed by the Royals in December 2009 and made his pro debut in the DSL in 2010. Hit .335/.429/.476 as a 17-year old that season and then hit .271 with five triples in just 21 games in the AZL at the end of 2010. Posted a .284/.333/.492 line with Burlington in the Appalachian League in 2011 and was named the team’s Player of the Year. Came out red hot in 2012 and slowed as the season progressed, finishing with a .282/.336/.432 line before a wrist injury shut him down in August.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (MWL 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-1, 195): Not an ideal body. Not bad, just something to keep an eye on. A little thicker and lacks high level athleticism. Has potential to get out of hand if not monitored closely. Thicker through the middle. Not a graceful player or fluid with movements. Body could be a long term concern. Some projection thanks to wide shoulders, but tough to see a radical change from here.
Hit: Very quick bat. Strong wrists and good hands give plenty of bat speed. Wide stance and almost no stride helps keep head still and allows for consistent, hard contact. Loud contact is routine. Uses the entire field well and with line-drive pop. Extremely aggressive swinger. Struggles mightily with breaking pitches and will regularly chase out of the zone. Must hone approach and focus on finding pitches to unleash bat speed on. Raw tools suggest potential plus hitter but approach has to come along to allow that to manifest. Would be exposed against advanced pitching right now due to inability to adjust. Conservative view is .270-.275 hitter with modest on-base ability. Questions consistently linger for me. Grade – 20/50
Power: Has strength in body. Generates plus bat speed and can really drive FB to all fields. Lacks hard contact on secondary pitches. Swing is line-drive oriented and lacks loft. Hits the ball hard enough to have average home-run power. Should add 30+ doubles if hit tool fully manifests. Improved approach would allow power to play in game situations. Big believers see potential for plus power. I come up short of that with average pop that is held back a tick by weak contact on softer and spinning offerings. Could still add strength and improve raw projection. Grade (raw power) – 40/50
Arm: Plus arm that fits RF profile. Throwing motion is slightly unorthodox but gets rid of it quickly and shows good accuracy on throws. Likes to show off arm and will need to learn when and where to let it fly. True plus with potential to be a weapon. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Holds his own. Gets solid jumps and typically takes appropriate routes. Struggled with balls off the bat of RHH. Didn’t always account for tailing action on the ball. Not an aggressive defender but shows good effort and can make plenty of plays. Has enough athleticism for RF and should be a solid-average defender long term. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Fringe-average to average times to first. Not a fluid runner. Choppy and uncoordinated at times. Has already slowed down since signing and should continue to slow as he reaches physical maturity. Below-average runner in future. Must improve base running and sliding. Grade – 50/40
Summation: Solid all-around player. Potential to contribute in a variety of ways. No carrying tool. Nothing really stands out. Key to profile is the development of hit tool. Ultra-aggressive approach could be undoing. Has to hit soft/spinning with greater consistency for gap and average home run power to play in game situations. Without hit tool development, the profile stagnates quickly. Solid defender with plus arm. Body type will slow as he matures and he’s not likely to age well. If tools manifest, should be solid across the board but not flashy in any area. Solid corner guy but not much more.
Relative Risk: High. Still young and has a raw approach that must be developed to reach ceiling.
Future: Really struggled down the stretch in the Midwest League and a wrist injury sidelined him for the final couple of weeks. If healthy, should be on track for a promotion to High-A Wilmington next year but could repeat to regain confidence and then advance in early summer. Will require time to develop and adjust against advanced pitching. Potential MLB piece late in the 2015 season, but more likely 2016.