A raw teenager, Natanael Delgado is already making a big impression in the Angels farm system.
Position: OF Highest Level: AZL
Bats: L Throws: L Height: 6'1" Weight: 170
Age: 18 Born: 10/23/1995
2013 Rank: Unranked
2013 Season Stats
AZL: 209 PA, .271 AVG, .311 OBP, .422 SLG, 16 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 43 SO, 4 SB, 0 CS, .327 BABIP, .336 wOBA, 101 wRC+
Contact = B
Delgado has an absolutely beautiful, fluid, loose swing that generates a ton of power, especially for his frame. He uses his long limbs and takes full advantage of his mobility to create torque in his pre-swing motion and leverage upon contact. He also does an outstanding job of swinging through the pitch and not simply meeting the ball as many his age, particularly power hitters tend to do. Like most raw Latin American prospects, Delgado is a super-aggressive hitter, but luckily for him, he comes predisposed with hand-eye coordination.
Power = B
This is a relative term so take it with a grain of salt, Natanael Delgado has a TON of power for someone his age. When he was signed, he may have been 160 pounds soaking wet. When the Angels made the aggressive decision to send him stateside without spending much time down in the Dominican Republic, he was probably a tick over 170. I’m told he eats, lives and breathes baseball and spends his mornings in the weight room even during the season. Given his age and frame, it wouldn’t surprise me if he were at least 180 by this next season. By the time he makes it to the major leagues he could be up over 200 pounds. What does this all mean for his power? Well as I said before, he has a loose swings and long limbs. When you start adding muscle while maintaining the type of torque and mobility (flexibility) he shows, you can stumble upon a whole world of untapped power potential.
Discipline = B
You’re probably going to think I’m crazy for awarding Delgado with a “B” in this department seeing as he managed to accumulate all of 11 walks in over 200 plate appearances. Delgado actually has a decent eye at the plate but more importantly, he’s willing to do anything to improve himself as a ball player. The Angels asked him to do something that was against his very own nature on the ball field, stop swinging at every pitch as it comes by, trying to yank it as far as you can. Work the count and then make the pitcher pay for his mistakes. You can see evidence of this shift in approach for the 17 year old. His first month in Rookie Ball, zero BB. His second month, 2 BB in 22 games. His third month, 9 BB in 22 games. His BB% climbed all the way up to 9.7% in only his third month using this approach. Prospects will usually take years to make this much progress if they ever do. Delgado’s discipline may just be passable right now, but it seems he has the willingness and skill-set to eventually grow into a patient power hitter.
Speed = B
Delgado has long legs and is most certainly an above average base runner. I don’t know what the future holds but if he stays as fast as he is, 20 SB on an annual basis shouldn’t be out of the question.