Top Puerto Rico 2019 MLB Draft Prospects
State List Talent Ranking: ⭐️⭐️
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)
The top Puerto Rican prospect in the 2019 class, Lugo isn’t at the level of Delvin Perez in 2016 or Heliot Ramos in 2017, but he gives the island a shot at a Day 1 selection that the 2018 Puerto Rican class didn’t possess. Lugo is a raw but toolsy, 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop who has a chance to provide long-term defensive impact at a premium position. In addition to being a plus runner, Lugo has above-average arm strength, quick footwork and fast hands. But despite all of that talent, he still needs to improve his defensive reliability, including his positioning and routes to the ball. Lugo has offensive upside as well, with a skinny but projectable frame that scouts think will one day hold above-average raw power. He showed some of this potential impact at Perfect Game’s Jupiter showcase last fall, when he roped a hard-hit double to straightaway center field that left that bat at 97 mph. However, his swing can get too long at times, and he often struggles against quality secondary offerings. Ultimately, there’s a lot to dream on with Lugo, and he has a chance for above-average tools across the board if he adds more physicality. But whichever team drafts will need to be patient as he learns the intricacies of the game and adds more polish. Lugo is committed to Miami.'
A two-way player committed to Florida International, Rivera is an athletic, 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder and lefthander. Rivera has two big tools in his natural arm strength—which is among the best outfield arms in the 2019 prep class—and above-average raw power from the left side, though he has some significant swing-and-miss tendencies that were evident at a few big showcases last summer. Rivera gets pull-happy and needs to improve his timing, and he’s added even more muscle to an already strong frame this spring, which has created bulk and slowed his bat speed. Because of his rawness at the plate, most in the industry might prefer Rivera on the mound, where he is in the 88-92 mph range with his fastball and has improved a mid-70s curveball this spring.
A 6-foot-2, 178-pound shortstop committed to Southern California, Rosario is likely the most polished prospect of the 2019 Puerto Rican class. He has quick, sure hands up the middle and has a chance to stick at shortstop with above-average arm strength and smooth, fluid motions in the infield dirt. Offensively, Rosario has a quick righthanded swing that gets started with a small leg kick, and while it’s more of a gap-to-gap line drive swing now, there’s chance for above average raw power as he matures.
A 6-foot-1, 178-pound shortstop, Contreras flashes defensive tools and bat-to-ball skills and is also an above-average runner. He’s long had impressive bat speed but lacks the strength to drive the ball with authority, but his wide shoulders and projectable frame could help in that regard. Contreras was one of the more impressive players at the Excellence Tournament, and showed more ability with the bat than scouts had seen previously. He has enough arm to stick at shortstop or, if necessary, third base. Contreras is committed to San Jacinto (Texas) JC.
A 5-foot-9, 155-pound shortstop out of Puerto Rico, Pena has gotten comparisons to fellow 2019 P.R. shortstop Yan Contreras, though Pena will need to add significant strength. He has some defensive ability and he’s an above-average runner, but Pena has minimal power thanks to his size. Pena is unlikely to become a top 10-round pick this spring thanks to his physical limitations, but he could go shortly after that to a team who believes he’ll add the weight and strength necessary to hold his own in pro ball.
6. Victor Manuel Torres, C, International Baseball Academy, Cieba, P.R.
Source: • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 165 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: -
7. Glenn Santiago, SS, International Baseball Academy, Cieba, P.R.
Source: • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 160 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Florida International
8. Jonnathdael A. Gonzalez Maldonado, OF, Colegio Angel David HS, San Juan, P.R.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Florida International