This is a name that should keep climbing up the prospect rankings over the next few years. Medina has barely begun his professional career, but he’s already viewed as one of the gems of one of the top farm systems in baseball.
Position: Starting pitcher
Weight: 175 pounds
Acquired: Signed for a reported $280,000 bonus as an international free agent in 2015.
Pitched in 10 games between the Dominican Summer League and the rookie Appalachian League, and had a 5.35 ERA. In 38.2 innings, he allowed 31 hits, walked 24 and struck out 39. He held hitters to a .214 batting average and averaged 1.71 groundball outs to every air out.
This is something a little bit different than what’s been done with this list. Below, Donnie Collins and I discuss why Medina comes in at No. 5, what we like about him and what might need some work.
CF: I would like to start this Luis Medina discussion with these videos, courtesy of Medina’s Instagram. First:
Now, obviously anyone can pick and choose a handful of pitches and make someone look great, but … wow.
DC: He has unreal stuff, and I’ve heard that from several scouts and players. I’ll ask from time to time, who is the guy in the system who impresses you most? I hear Medina a lot.
CF: I’m not sure there are words to describe that changeup in the one video. And, some scouting reports already have that fastball clocked at 100 mph, but watching the video, it looks like it might even play up, which is nuts.
DC: I think the movement that goes with it is what excites people. Sometimes, you see a guy can hit mid- to high-90s, and it’s just kind of a number on a gun. It’s flat or it’s got no late push. Medina actually has what appears to be some extra velocity at the end. It just looks like he’s powering the ball past guys. And then he drops a changeup that I’m not sure can be hit when that fastball is on.
CF: He’s so far away — only 18 years old — so there’s a lot of work to do. He walked too many people last year, but the delivery is so smooth that I’m guessing that’s more of an inexperience thing than a real issue.
DC: He just has a lot of nature ability. And I hate to use that term, because nobody gets here on natural ability alone. But it’s a compliment. You’d never think he was just 18.
CF: He’s going to be the main part of the next wave of prospects in this system. The kid everyone is talking about. Should be fun to watch.
DC: Right now he just walks too many guys. So, there are control issues. And I know this is going to sound hypocritical because I’ve questioned others who have similar issues. But when you’re 18, I’m just going to assume your command isn’t what it needs to be or is going to be and look solely at the stuff. Stuff-wise, he’s legit.
15: Ben Heller
14: Jonathan Loaisiga
13: Dillon Tate
12: Domingo Acevedo
11: Thairo Estrada
10: Chance Adams
9: Billy McKinney
8: Domingo German
7: Freicer Perez
6: Albert Abreu
5: Luis Medina
3: March 30
2: March 31
1: April 1
Photo courtesy of the New York Yankees