28. Adael Amador (121 points, 12 ballots)
Amador was the highest-rated signing for the Rockies in the July 2 period in 2019, representing the 12th-highest ranked player by MLB Pipeline. The 16-year-old shortstop signed with Colorado for $1.5 million, giving him the equivalent of an early second round draft bonus. Yes, that means we’re really talking about prospects that were born in 2003—egads!
Because Amador has yet to make his professional debut, I’m leaning heavily on scouting reports to piece together what type of prospect he is. Right now what I’ve ascertained is that he is an athletic switch hitter (though his only plus tool might be his arm) with a 6’0”, 160 pound frame. He has a fluid swing and the ability to stick at shortstop as he matures.
FanGraphs ranks Amador 10th in the system with a 40+ FV tag:
Amador has already gotten stronger and twitchier than he appeared to be on the amateur circuit, and he flashed some in-game power in last summer’s Tricky League. For a switch-hitter this young, Amador already has fairly advanced feel to hit in games, even if the swings aren’t always pretty. He’s medium-framed and likely to grow into some more power, but probably not a ton. He’s graceful and athletic enough that we also consider him likely to stay on the middle infield, though we’re not sure if it’ll be at second base or shortstop. There’s everyday ceiling here, but of course, teenagers are quite volatile.
Amador is ranked 28th by MLB Pipeline:
The fifth-highest ranked shortstop in the class, Amador is a switch-hitter with tons of athleticism and a projectable medium frame. He impressed evaluators with good bat speed and an aggressive approach from both sides of the plate. Add good rhythm and a timing mechanism when he’s in the batter’s box, and there’s a chance Amador will develop into an above-average hitter with some power. He’s also improved as a runner and shows good instincts on the bases, a byproduct of playing in so many games and tournaments across the Dominican Republic as a youth player. Amador is a solid defender with plus arm potential. He shows soft hands and proper footwork and often makes the difficult plays look easy.
Like with all new international signees, it will be a long time before the Rockies know what they have on their hands. If he develops at a normal pace and continues to improve, the teen could develop into a .280 hitter who hits 10-15 home runs a season in the big leagues.
Here’s some video of Amador from a 2017 showcase (when he was 14), courtesy of JDB Baseball:
To paraphrase Fran Fraschilla, Amador is at least two years away from being two years away, with the longest gestation period of any prospect on this edition of the PuRPs list. That doesn’t mean he should be ignored altogether, as Amador represents a potential regular that could be part of multiple Colorado contending teams.
I’ll be eagerly following Amador’s DSL debut in 2020 to see how my 10th ranked player (I put a 40+ FV grade on him) compares to the other 2019 July 2 crew from around baseball.
★ ★ ★
PuRP No. 27 will be revealed Monday!