The Cincinnati Reds signed Danny Lantigua in June of 2016 out of the Dominican Republic. He didn’t take the field until the final day of July in 2017 as an 18-year-old with the DSL Reds. He had limited playing time during the year, playing in just 17 games down the stretch. The switch-hitter hit just .200/.250/.317 in that span with 4 walks and 22 strikeouts.
The production in limited action in 2017 didn’t stop the Reds from believing in Danny Lantigua. Cincinnati brought the 19-year-old stateside in 2018 and played him nearly every day with the Arizona League Reds. The season got out to a quick start for Lantigua, who homered in the first game, tripled in the second, and doubled in the third. Before the first week of the season was over he added to more doubles and another triple. He didn’t slow down much in the final week of June, either. In 11 games played during the month he would hit .279/.319/.605 with 8 extra-base hits, 3 walks, and 12 strikeouts.
July did not pick up where June left off for Danny Lantigua. Over the first two weeks of the month the power showed up. He homered three more times and added a double in nine games played. But the outfielder also struck out 15 times without a walk, hitting just .222 along the way. The second half of the month was more of the same. In the final 13 games of the month he had six extra-base hits, but 16 more strikeouts and hit just .191. He would finish the month with a .205/.230/.446 line that included three walks and 31 strikeouts in 87 plate appearances.
After starting 0-3 with a walk to kick off August, Danny Lantigua caught fire over the next four games, going 7-19 (.368) with two doubles and a triple. But, he went into a slump, going 0-11 in the next three games before catching fire once again. From the 13th-18th he hit .400 with a triple, two home runs, and three walks – OPS’ing 1.433 in that stretch. The season ended with a big slump in the final week of the season where he would go just 2-23, with both hits being doubles. In 81 plate appearances during August he would hit just .211/.296/.408. He more than doubled his walk total on the season, drawing seven free passes. His strikeout rate, though, remained sky high as he fanned 32 times during the month.
For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Danny Lantigua Spray Charts
As a Left Handed Hitter
As a Right-Handed Hitter
Danny Lantigua Scouting Report
Position: Outfield | B/T: Switch/Right
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 165 lbs | Signed: NDFA, June 2016
Born: 3/7/1999 in La Romana, Dominican Republic
Hitting | The current tool that needs the most work, Lantigua’s got a below-average hit tool in the future. Currently his lack of contact ability doesn’t allow him to get much from this area of his game.
Power | This is where he stands out both now and in the future. There’s pop in his bat in games today, and he’s got plus power in the future to tap into.
Speed | He’s currently an average to fringe-above-average runner. He is expected to lose a step as he fills out his frame, though.
Defense | While he currently can handle center field, his speed is ultimately going to move him to right field where he can be an average fielder.
Arm | Another big tool in his arsenal, he’s got a plus arm that will play very well in right field in the future.
With Danny Lantigua there’s a lot of risk. He’s a guy who hasn’t made it out of complex level baseball with huge strikeout rates. His strikeout rate is going to absolutely have to improve moving forward if he’s going to make it out of A-ball, much less to the Major Leagues.
But when it comes to tools, he stands out on the field. He’s a switch hitter with plus power from both sides of the plate who could be a strong defender in the corner outfield. In a perfect world he would be able to remain in center, but that’s a very long-shot proposition.
He kind of represents the true boom-or-bust caliber prospect. The upside is there to be a 30 home run switch hitting, strong defender at the Major League level. But the strikeout rate and hitting concerns are also there that could mean he struggles to handle pitching in A-ball. We’ve seen players with similar issues overcome them in recent memory. Jose Siri had 64 strikeouts and just 3 walks for the AZL Reds at the same age in 2015. He made adjustments over the next few years and has held his own, and more at times, in the levels he’s played at ever since. Time will tell if Danny Lantigua can do the same.
Longest Home Run of the Year
434 Feet on August 18th.
Interesting Stat on Danny Lantigua
He slugged .649 in 63 plate appearances against younger pitchers in 2018. He slugged just .393 against older pitchers in 152 plate appearances in 2018.