- Full name Roberto Suliban Baldoquin
- Born 05/14/1994 in Las Tunas, Cuba
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 199 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Baldoquin first hit the international stage as shortstop for Cuba at the 16-and-under World Championship in Mexico in 2010, but he left his native country before getting any significant time in Cuba's Serie Nacional. Looking to beef up a farm system largely devoid of quality position players, the Angels decided to blow past their 2015 international bonus pool by signing Baldoquin for $8 million. With an assigned budget of $2,383,700 the Angels paid close to a 100 percent tax on the overage. Baldoquin started spring training a few weeks late due to visa delays before breaking camp with high Class A Inland Empire, where several nagging injuries slowed his development and adjustment to baseball in the U.S. He overcame the poor start to finish with a .235/.266/.294 batting line in 77 games. Baldoquin doesn't profile as an impact hitter, with a pull-only swing that makes it hard for him to cover the outer part of the plate. While he makes hard contact, he doesn't get a lot of loft from his swing and needs to improve his swing mechanics to reduce the high strikeout totals. Baldoquin has good instincts with some flash in the field, with good range and an above-average arm allowing him to make all of the plays at shortstop. An improved work ethic as the season progressed paid off. After making 12 errors over the first half, he finished the year with 40 straight errorless games. He's a below-average runner. Baldoquin will get a fresh start in 2016 with a return to Inland Empire. If he stays healthy and continues the strides he was making in instructional league, he should get to Double-A by midseason.
Baldoquin played shortstop for Cuba at the 16-and-under World Championship in Mexico in 2010, though he left Cuba before he ever had a chance to have an impact or play regularly for his Las Tunas team in Serie Nacional. Baldoquin impressed scouts with his excellent body control, sound footwork and smooth hands in the field. His body is strong and well-proportioned, but he doesn't have the prototypical lean, athletic shortstop's build. He's an average runner who should start out at shortstop with a chance to stick there, though several scouts think he would fit better at second base because of range, with lateral movement that could slow down due to his body type. His arm is average but plays up because of his quick transfer, stellar accuracy and ability to throw from a variety of angles. Reviews of Baldoquin as a hitter were mixed. His swing can get long and he's prone to collapsing his lower half and rolling over the ball. He has worked to shorten up and use the whole field, though his stroke can still get uphill. He never showed much power in Cuba, but after leaving he got stronger, increasing his bat speed and pop. He projects to be more of a doubles hitter than a home run threat, and evaluators were divided on his ability to handle premium velocity. Some scouts liked his plate discipline, while other felt he would have trouble against breaking stuff. He was reported to be close to signing as the Handbook went to press but had not officially signed. He's ready for an assignment to a Class A club.