One to watch for: Yohel Pozo’s Ridiculous Stateside Debut
Yohel Pozo is 19 years old.
Yohel Pozo plays catcher.
Yohel Pozo is in his first season of stateside baseball, having spent the last two years playing on the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League team.
Yohel Pozo is playing in the Arizona League this year, where stats generally need to be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s ignore that qualifier, and freak out about our new catching prospect overlord.
Let’s start with the basics. Among qualifiers, the Venezuelan prospect’s .390 average places him first in the league, .014 ahead of second place and .033 ahead of third. His .436 OBP ranks third, a category led by Jason Heyward‘s brother Jacob. Pozo’s .525 slugging percentage nets him sixth (teammate Curtis Terry sits in third). All in all, he sits third on the OPS leader board with an outstanding .962.
In 33 games this year, Pozo has walked on 11 occasions while striking out only seven times.
To put it into perspective, that is 52 behind league leader Seuly Matias. Among players who have appeared in 20 or more games, or 13 less than what Pozo has, he has the fewest Ks by two. Among players with 30 or more games played, the 6’0″ catcher has the lowest total by seven.
He’s not just a statistical darling, either. The catcher, who loves Phineas & Ferb, was impressive when I saw him in Spring Training this year. With an already large frame that will fill out with more muscle as he ages, he projects for plus raw power and is already displaying good bat to ball skills along with the ability to hit the ball to all fields (heat map courtesy of MLBfarm.com).
You want to see for yourself? Here’s a video Scott Lucas took at Spring Training a year ago of the then relatively unknown 18 year old.
In an organization that already has Brett Nicholas and Jose Trevino playing full-season ball and just signed David Garcia, considered to be the top catcher by many in the 2016 international class, the backstop I’m most excited about is Yohel Pozo.