PuRP No. 27: Omar Carrizales (203 points, 28 ballots) | Winter 2015 Ranking: NR | High Ballot 11, Mode Ballot 27
Carrizales is a Latin American free agent that flew under the prospect radar when he signed for $30,000 in 2012, but since that point he's done nothing but hit for Rockies affiliates. After a .302/.355/.353 line in the DSL as an 18 year-old, Carrizales was named one of the top 20 DSL prospects by Baseball America's Ben Badler. Last year, the lefty outfielder came stateside and hit .307/.376/.379 in his age 19 season in Grand Junction, leading Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs to call him a "plus runner with contact skills" and landing him in McDaniels's "others of note" section.
This season the 20 year-old Carrizales is doing everything he can to make prospect hounds pay attention to him in Low-A Asheville. Hitting against pitchers on average 1.5 years older than him, Carrizales has been electric so far with a .332/.381/.474 line (144 wRC+) and 21 stolen bases (albeit with 12 CS) in 274 plate appearances. In other words, he's doing what he was doing the last couple of years, but now with more power and in full-season ball.
While I'm usually one of the few PuRPs voters to recognize and rank DSL players aggressively, I admit that, given his lower signing bonus, Carrizales really snuck up on me with his great year in Asheville as a 20 year-old. I placed him 28th on my ballot this time, and I sincerely hope that that ranking looks far too low at this time next year. For that to happen, he'll have to prove that his great numbers this year aren't just a function of hitter-friendly McCormick Field, where he's mashing to the tune of a .373/.420/.569 line in 111 PA's. I'm excited to see if he can make the leap to High-A ball without a hitch.
Contract Status: 2012 Free Agent (Venezuela); not Rule 5 eligible; three options remaining
MLB ETA: Late 2018