- Full name Abiatal Avelino
- Born 02/14/1995 in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 09/08/2018
Organization Prospect Rankings
Track Record: Avelino signed with the Yankees for $300,000 in 2011, but the long-time New York prospect was traded to the Giants alongside righthander Juan De Paula in the August 2018 deal that sent Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees. Avelino made his major league debut shortly after, appearing in six September games for the Giants.
Scouting Report: Avelino is an average defensive shortstop with above-average arm strength and average range. He's long been considered a future utility infielder in the major leagues because of his below-average power and fringe-average hit tool, but he did show improved power with 15 home runs in 2018. Avelino is an above-average runner and could be an above-average defender at second base, but he's a career .270 hitter who lacks the typical power production teams are seeking from everyday regulars
The Future: Likely to begin the season with Triple-A Sacramento, Avelino will enter spring training with the chance to make the Giants' roster as a backup infielder in 2019.
The Yankees scooped up a pack of international prospects in 2011, including righthander Luis Severino, third baseman Miguel Andujar and Avelino from the Dominican Republic. Avelino's $300,000 bonus was second-highest of that group, behind only Andujar. Since signing, Avelino has shown steady production. He bounced back and forth between shortstop and second base at high Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, but that was mostly due to the presence of Jorge Mateo and Gleyber Torres at Tampa and Tyler Wade in Trenton. Evaluators believe Avelino still has the range, instincts and arm to play shortstop despite the shuffling. Offensively he is a contact-oriented player with a hint of power, but the Yankees would like to see him work the middle of the field more instead of seeking to pull the ball over the fence. He is an above-average runner, but he needs to work on his base-stealing technique to maximize his speed. He is likely to return to Double-A Trenton, where he'll defer at shortstop to top prospect Gleyber Torres.
Among the Yankees' pack of talented and projectable young shortstops, Avelino stands at or near the top of the developmental chain. After impressing scouts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2013 with his combination of offensive and defensive skills, Avelino skipped up the chain to low Class A Charleston in 2014. He split time at shortstop with Tyler Wade there, but eventually had his season severely limited by a quad injury that kept him out for two months and away from Charleston slightly longer. Avelino utilizes a stocky and strong frame to hit to all fields, albeit without much power so far in his young career (just three home runs in 671 at-bats), but he has holes in his plate coverage and ability to recognize pitches. He possesses excellent range at shortstop, but scouts question his reactions in the field at times. His arm grades as plus. He's much more instinctual on the basepaths, where he's swiped 59 bags in 70 tries (84 percent) in his young career. Avelino likely will head back to Charleston for a second try in 2015.
Though preceded by less hype, Avelino stood out to evaluators as one of the two best shortstops in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2013, along with Phillies first-rounder J.P. Crawford. Signed by the Yankees for $300,000 the day after Christmas in 2011, Avelino stood out with his bat, basestealing and glove in his first season in the U.S. He has a body that has drawn comparisons with Brewers shortstop Jean Segura--short, stocky and strong--and showed the ability to hit to all fields. He gets to every ball on the infield, has an arm that already grades as plus and possesses impressive baseball instincts for an 18-year-old. While he's not a burner, Avelino's baserunning aptitude helped him lead the GCL with 26 steals despite being promoted to short-season Staten Island in mid-August. He also led all Yankees farmhands. The late-season promotion hinted that Avelino is at the front of the line for the organization's young shortstops, and that he could begin 2014 back under the lights at Staten Island or, if the Yankees choose to be aggressive, low Class A Charleston.
Minor League Top Prospects
The Yankees signed Avelino out of the Dominican Republic for $300,000 shortly before the calendar flipped to 2012, and he?s immediately shown a promising combination of athleticism and game awareness. After a strong debut in the DSL last year, Avelino tied for the GCL lead in stolen bases (26) despite a mid-August promotion to short-season Staten Island. Avelino has a mature hitting approach for his age, with good barrel awareness that allows him to use the whole field and the discipline to not expand his strike zone. He?s a line-drive hitter who doesn?t have much power, giving some scouts pause as to how much his bat will play at higher levels, but he has a fairly simple swing and makes plenty of contact. Avelino is a tick-above-average runner with good instincts on the bases, which is why he?s 48-for-54 (89 percent) in his career stealing bags. At shortstop he has a good internal clock, shows smooth hands and footwork along with an above-average arm.