Today on Jays Journal’s annual Top 30 prospect rankings, we take a closer look at IF Miguel Hiraldo, #10 on our list.
Name: Miguel Hiraldo
Position: 3B/SS/2B Age: 19
Height: 5’11” Weight: 170lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: Signed for $750,000 as an international amateur free agent on July 2, 2017
2019 Level: Rk/A ETA: 2022
Signed two years to the day after his fellow countryman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B prospect Miguel Hiraldo was MLB Pipeline’s No. 17 prospect for the 2017-18 international period, known for his bat as an amateur in the Dominican Republic.
He lived up to this reputation in his 2018 professional debut, crushing Dominican Summer League pitching with the Blue Jays affiliate to the tune of a .313/.381/.453/.834 slash line, before getting a 10 game taste of MiLB with the GCL Blue Jays in Rookie ball against players on average 2.8 years older than him, and playing alongside fellow 17-year old top Jays prospect Leonardo Jimenez.
He moves up from #13 in last year’s Jays Journal ranking to #10 this year after a solid 2019 season, slashing .300/.348/.481/.829 with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian (Rookie) League (29 games started at 2B with 22 games at SS) before earning a late-season assignment to A-ball with the Lansing Lugnuts (one start at 2B). Andrew Stoeten of The Athletic (subscription required) sees him as a potential breakout prospect in 2020.
MLB Pipeline Scouting grades:
Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50
MLB.com Pipeline grades Hiraldo’s hitting at 50 on the 20-80 scouting scale, with 55-grade power. Their scouting report says,
"“Strong beyond his years, he has plus bat speed and impacts the ball using a quick, compact swing in which he generates huge extension through contact, driving the ball with back-spin carry. He has innate feel for finding the barrel, too, though his approach can be too pull-oriented, and he’ll struggle with spin at times. The consistent gap power he showed in 2018, on top of his aforementioned swing mechanics, gives scouts the impression that Hiraldo could be good for 20-plus homers annually in his prime.”"
MLB.com grades his arm at 50 and overall fielding at 45. The scouting report says,
"“Questions pertaining to Hiraldo’s ability to stick at shortstop long-term will continue to follow him as he moves through the Minors, but he handled the position well during in pro debut, albeit while relying on his sheer athleticism and above-average arm strength. But as a physically advanced teenager with below-average speed and only modest defensive actions, Hiraldo likely will end up at the hot corner.”"
Hiraldo is projected to start this season with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, where MLB.com says his bat should help him adjust from 2B/SS to 3B “provided [his] development plays out as expected and he makes the necessary adjustments along the way.”
His MLB ETA is 2022, but he’s obviously a depth prospect behind incumbent Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who is under team control until 2024, and consensus #2 Jays prospect Jordan Groshans, who was ahead of him at Lansing before his injury.
Assuming Groshans forces his way into the 3B mix and pushes Vlad Jr. to 1B, Hiraldo could find himself either as a super-utility infielder with more power than Santiago Espinal, or (apologies in advance for using the expression) as “prospect capital” to help acquire talent to fill other identified needs when the Jays competitive window opens in 2021. Jays Journal contributor Clayton Richer recently suggested that he could be moved as part of a trade package to acquire Reds OF prospect Nick Senzel. He’ll be Rule 5 eligible after the 2021 season.
Best of luck to Miguel in 2020 and beyond!