Vinnie Pasquantino Has Passion For Hitting
First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino may not look very athletic, but that doesn't mean the 23-year-old is a non-prospect.
At 6-foot-4 and a hefty 250 pounds, Pasquantino is a well below-average runner. However, scouts note that the lefthanded hitter consistently takes professional at-bats and is likely to hit his way to a big league role. His makeup is another plus tool.
The Royals drafted him in the 11th round in 2019 from Old Dominion.
“Vinnie’s desire for the game is different than most players,” Royals director of hitting performance Alec Zumwalt said. “He truly has passion and love for the game, and it shows in everything he does.”
Pasquantino added home run power after his sophomore college season, more from embracing a philosophical change than any mechanical adjustment. After hitting 16 home runs as a junior, he added another 14 with Rookie-level Burlington.
“It was just a natural progression, changing my sights from hitting the ball directly back at the pitcher’s face to 10 feet above his head,” Pasquantino said.
In the meantime, Pasquantino is developing another way to stay in the game.
A communications major who recently finished his college degree, Pasquantino is co-hosting with broadcaster Alex Feuz a podcast called "A Whole New Ballgame." He shows a natural talent for broadcasting, with a personable demeanor and a dry sense of humor.
“It’s a really fun environment that we’re creating,” Pasquantino said.
Pasquantino revealed on the podcast a primary goal for the upcoming season: to steal at least one base.
“I want that SB on there,” Pasquantino states on the podcast about what the back of his baseball card would look like.
Acknowledging that speed is never going to be part of his game, Pasquantino believes he can still contribute by being a smart baserunner.
“He’s not been blessed with speed,” Zumwalt said, “but he’s blessed with that baseball mind . . . that will allow (his speed) to play up.”
— Many of the Royals' top prospects will be in big league camp, with Bobby Witt Jr., Daniel Lynch, Asa Lacy, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Kyle Isbel, Jonathan Bowlan, Nick Pratto, Alec Marsh, MJ Melendez and Seuly Matias among the list of non-roster invitees.
— The Royals traded outfield prospect Khalil Lee to Mets in the three-team deal that landed big league outfielder Andrew Benitendi from the Red Sox. Lee had played five years in the Kansas City organization after being selected in the third round of the 2016 draft.