Steady Gains Vault Vinnie Pasquantino Onto Royals' Radar
Vinnie Pasquantino was viewed by scouts as a prospect to keep an eye on after being drafted by the Royals out of Old Dominion in the 11th round in 2019.
With below-average defense at first base and well below-average speed, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound lefthanded hitter stood out for one tool—his bat.
Even as recently as a year ago, Pasquantino’s name wasn't on prospect lists. A solid 2021 season split between High-A Quad Cities and Double-A Northwest Arkansas has put the 24-year-old on the periphery of the Top 100 Prospects.
“Nothing that Vinnie Pasquantino has done surprises us as an organization,” said Alec Zumwalt, te Royals' director of hitting performance and player development. “We firmly believe in him and his tools.
"We’re just really excited about his progress last season, and obviously what he’s going to continue to do in 2022.”
Pasquantino hit .300/.394/.563 with 24 home runs in 2021, and his analytical numbers are equally impressive. His success and continual improvement are the results of how hard he works, as well as his cerebral approach to the game.
“I fine-tune every single pitch,” Pasquantino said. “I like to keep my swing consistent in my work and how I prepare for games, so there’s a base in what I’m doing every time . . . That means I’m going to find a way to beat the pitcher.”
Pasquantino struggled in eight games in the Dominican League this winter, but he viewed his first time out of the U.S. as a positive experience after he adjusted to the culture shock.
“I could have been in a better mindset going down there,” Pasquantino said, “but I was just trying to learn . . . I was able to take so much away from it that I have no regrets.”
Pasquantino has worked hard on his defense and now grades as potentially average.
“I think playing both sides of the ball is super important,” Pasquantino said. “Being a good baseball player doesn’t just mean you’re a good hitter or a good defender. It means putting everything together.”
The Royals, with an available pool of $6,262,600, signed 28 players—the largest class in team history—within days of the start of the 2022 international signing period. The top prospect from the group is catcher Juan David Olmos, from Colombia, who signed for $797,500. Henry Ramos, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic, signed for the same bonus as Olmos.