When the 2021 international free agent class was eligible to sign in January the Cincinnati Reds put together a strong class that included Ariel Almonte, signing him to a 7-figure bonus. It would be a while longer until he showed up on a field in a game, though. The Dominican Summer League didn’t begin until mid-July, a contrast to when it has begun in the past in early June.

The season began with a hit, walk, and a run to kick off his pro debut. Over the next three games he would pick up three more hits and five more walks before failing to reach base for the first time on July 19th. In the remaining six games of July Ariel Almonte picked up a hit in five games and walked in three, reaching base in each game at least once.

After picking up two hits and a walk in the first game of August, the outfielder went 4-27 over the next two weeks. But Almonte picked things up on August 21st, going 3-4 with a walk and a home run. He never looked back from that point forward, hitting .323/.407/.527 over the next five weeks to end the season.

For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Ariel Almonte Scouting Report

Position: Outfield | B/T: L/L

Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 190 lbs | Acquired: International FA (2021)

Born: December 1, 2003

Hitting | He has a potentially average hit- tool.

Power | There’s a potential for plus power down the line.

Speed | He’s a below-average runner.

Defense | He will likely be a below-average defender.

Arm | He has above-average arm strength.

In his professional debut we saw Ariel Almonte draw plenty of walks but also strike out 27% of the time he stepped to the plate. He’s able to read spin at an advanced level for his age, but he did still struggle at times to make contact. We’re dealing with a small sample size of just half of a season, but he improved at the plate as the season went along, showing more power along the way.

It’s that power that is his carrying tool. Already 6′ 4″ and 190 lbs, he’s got room to fill out his frame quite a bit and that could help him tap into his above-average to plus raw power that he’s already showing some flashes of in games. As a left-handed hitter he didn’t pull any of his five home runs he hit this past season, going to left field with two of them and then hitting three to center. He’s already using the entire field, and he’s doing so with plenty of power for his age.

Defensively he’s got the arm for right field, but he’s not likely to be more than a fringe-average defender. It may come down to how much, if any, speed he loses over the years as his body matures and he fills out his frame.

Ariel Almonte Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Ariel Almonte

Despite reports that he’s got below-average speed, Ariel Almonte stole 15 bases this year.

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9 Responses

  1. MK

    Where was this money when I was a kid. A poor defender with a descent arm who is slow a-foot and has potentially an average hit tool with potential power. So that scouting report gets a 7-figure bonus?

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, guys with plenty of power who have a chance to also hit for average get paid. And nearly every right fielder is a below-average defender (because these are graded against all fielders not just other corner outfielders), so that’s not exactly a knock on him.

      • MK

        So an average hit tool means he can hit for a high average. I thought it meant he hit like an average player or a 0 war.

      • Doug Gray

        An average hit tool means hitting .250-.260ish in the big leagues in today’s game.

      • RedsHead Analyst

        WAR is Wins Above Replacement, not Wins Above Average. An average MLBer is roughly 2 WAR. A replacement level player is worth 0 WAR. Also WAR is all aspects of the game, not just offense. A league average hitter would be a 100 wRC+ (Or 100 AVG+ if you only want to look at batting average).

  2. RedBB

    Thanks Doug. How did he get 15 SB’s in less than 200PA’s with below average speed? Not questioning but an honest question. TIA

    • Doug Gray

      The DSL is basically high school baseball, that’s how. The average age in the league is 18. These guys are all better than your typical high-end high school team, but you’re still talking about guys who are far more raw and athletic than skilled. If you are a smart baserunner, you can have a lot of success against that kind of competition on the bases, even if you aren’t particularly fast.

  3. DaveCT

    Doug, I’ve his bat speed is very good. Do scouts still think that?

    • Doug Gray

      Honestly, I didn’t ask and it didn’t come up. Was told that offensively he’s the best prospect on the team with the bat.