Seven More Arizona Complex League Players To Watch
Last week, Baseball America released its Top 10 Prospects list for each of the Rookie leagues in Arizona and Florida. Guardians shortstop Angel Genao led the way in Arizona, narrowly edging towering Nationals righthander Jarlin Susana, who was part of the massive trade that brought Juan Soto to San Diego. In Florida, Red Sox outfielder Miguel Bleis’ five-tool skill set made him the clear choice ahead of Pirates two-way talent Bubba Chandler and Yankees pop-up righty Luis Serna.
Each list only went 10 players deep, but there were plenty more prospects who were in consideration. Here, now, are seven more prospects to keep an eye on in the coming years who opened eyes in the Arizona Complex League.
1. Danyer Cueva, SS/2B, Rangers
Cueva might not be as electric as some of his ACL Rangers teammates, but he has perhaps the highest floor. His .330 average ranked third in the ACL, and the lefthanded hitter has enough power to peak around 15 home runs. Cueva has the chops to stick in the middle of the diamond, even if it means moving to second base.
2. Denzer Guzman, SS, Angels
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2021, Guzman has shown hints of being a potentially four- or five-tool player. He has a swing geared for line drives that play as doubles now but should turn into home runs as he matures. He needs to refine his swing decisions somewhat but has made progress in that department this year. Guzman has the hands, actions and arm strength to stick at shortstop, but his body could push him off the position in the long term.
3. Walbert Urena, RHP, Angels
Urena possessed some of the best pure stuff in the ACL but had trouble showing command and consistency. His fastball sits in the upper 90s and has touched triple-digits, and his changeup shows flashes of being an above-average pitch. He needs to develop more feel and greatly improve his control and command, but in terms of raw stuff Urena is one of the most talented pitchers in the Angels’ system.
4. Joel Ibarra, RHP, Dodgers
Ibarra is a converted shortstop who spent his first professional season in 2019 as a position player. He converted to the mound after the lost pandemic season and has shown intriguing pure stuff. He works with a powerful arsenal fronted by a mid-90s fastball that can touch a few ticks higher and backed by a mixture of cutters and sliders. Each of his secondary pitches can flash above-average or plus, but there isn’t enough consistency to confidently project that either pitch will reach that ceiling. His command is below-average and will need to be refined in order to reach his full potential.
5. Wuilfredo Antuñez, OF, Guardians
Signed for $10,000 out of Venezuela in 2019, Antuñez has hit his way to prospect status. After the lost 2020 season, Antuñez spent the 2021 season in the Guardians’ development group but has opened eyes in the Arizona Complex League this year. The 20-year-old shows plus speed and potentially plus defense in center field with an above-average arm to boot. Antuñez reworked his swing during the developmental year and has shown an intriguing mix of strike-zone discipline, power and speed.
6. Pedro Ramirez, SS/2B, Cubs
Ramirez was a standout performer in the ACL who earned a late-season bump to Low-A Myrtle Beach. His ceiling might not be as high as some of the other players who made the league’s Top 10, but his floor is sturdier. He fits in as a player who can bounce around the infield while providing excellent contact skills and present doubles power with a chance for a touch more as he matures and adds strength. He’s an average runner whose arm could fit on the left side as well.
7. Jorge Ruiz, OF, Angels
The ACL’s batting leader makes plenty of contact but without much impact. His swing plane is short and quick but with a flat plane that is more geared to slashing and burning than hitting for power. He’s an above-average defender in center field with speed that some scouts have graded as double-plus. His package of skills could give him the ceiling of a table-setter in the big leagues, but there’s a ways to go before he reaches that level.