- Full name Sebastián Elizalde
- Born 11/20/1991 in Guaymas, Mexico
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: L / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Signed out of Mexico during the 2013 season, Elizalde had Tommy John surgery after signing, forcing him to wait until 2014 to make his U.S. debut. He showed an excellent understanding of the game both between the lines and in the clubhouse, where his experience playing with veterans in the Mexican League was apparent. A plus runner when he signed, Elizalde dealt with hamstring problems and generally graded as a fringe-average runner in 2014. His best-case scenario is as a top-of-the-order hitter with on-base skills, but more realistically he'll be a fourth outfielder who can play above-average defense in either outfield corner--he has an average, accurate arm--or can play center field in a pinch.
As an organization that generally has stuck to slot recommendations for first-round picks, the Reds have been willing to get creative to acquire talent. That includes trading for Rule 5 pick Josh Hamilton in 2006, spending big for Cuban flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman in 2010 and taking a flier on former New York Giants safety Chad Jones in the 2013 draft. The Reds opened up another avenue by going south of the border to sign Elizalde, whom they spotted during a summer scouting trip to Mexico. He had little trouble keeping his head above water in the Mexican League, as the 22-year-old had played parts of four seasons with Monterrey, hitting .301 as a part-timer. Soon after signing, though, he had Tommy John surgery, which sidelined him for 2013. Elizalde is a plus runner (6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash) and solid center fielder. It's hard to project his arm until he's throwing again post-surgery. He projects as a lefty-hitting leadoff hitter with an average or better feel to hit and below-average power, though like many young players, he'll need to improve his plate discipline. Elizalde will start his Reds career at Class A, either at Dayton or Bakersfield.