Author Topic: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B  (Read 842 times)

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Online imref

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Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Topic Start: August 28, 2019, 09:39:44 AM »
Yasel Antuna | Rank: 8 (Preseason: 7)
Team: Status: Injured 7-Day   ETA: 2022
Position: SS/3B   Age: 19 DOB: 10/26/1999
Bats: S Throws: R   Height: 6' 0" Weight: 170 lb.
Signed: July 2, 2016 - WSH
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

mlb.com

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Antuna impressed scouts with his five-tool potential and overall feel for the game as a Dominican amateur and ranked as MLB Pipeline's No. 17 prospect for the 2016-17 international period. The Nationals landed the then-16-year-old with a $3.9 million bonus, setting a franchise record for an international amateur. Antuna looked every bit worthy of the high price tag during his pro debut, but struggled with a jump up to full-season ball in 2018 at age 18 before requiring season-ending Tommy John surgery in August.

The switch-hitting Antuna stands out for his impact potential at the plate. He does most of his damage from the left side, from where he exhibits preternatural barrel ability and a leveraged swing that produces hard contact. Scouts believe Antuna, who shows present pop to the gaps in games and good raw power in batting practice, could develop average over-the-fence power to go along with solid hitting ability. Antuna's plate discipline as well as his overall approach, however, will need to improve for him to achieve his offensive ceiling. Presently an above-average runner, he is likely to lose a step as he physically matures.

Antuna has the soft hands and body control needed for shortstop, but he's also prone to committing defensive lapses there, especially with regards to his throwing accuracy. Some evaluators believe he'll eventually land at the hot corner on account of his modest defensive actions, but, for now, making a healthy return to the field in 2019 is the top priority.

2080baseball.com

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Signed as an international free agent for a hefty $3.9M signing bonus in 2016, Antuna is one of a handful of Nationals prospects from the team’s revamped Dominican program. He’s listed at 6’0’’ and 170 pounds but looks larger than that, with long limbs and developing upper-body strength.

Antuna’s range and actions profile well at shortstop, but he will have to tighten up aspects of his defense to remain at the position long-term. He will get lethargic with his footwork and throw inaccurately across the dirt, routinely slinging two-seamers from a sidearm slot. He has the physical tools to be a solid defender, and projects as an average big league shortstop if he’s able to make adjustments. He would be above-average defensively at any other infield position if he does ultimately move off short. A switch hitter, Antuna has a quick bat through the zone and shows signs of an approach at the plate, advanced for a teenager. He only started hitting right-handed a few years ago and is understandably stronger offensively from the left side of the plate. The lefty stroke shows raw power to the pullside in BP, even though that power is still a year or two away from translating to game action in full-season ball.

Extremely young for the league, Antuna will play the entire 2018 season at just 18-years-old. The statline reflects a player overwhelmed at times by older competition, especially early in the season, but the Nationals have shown confidence in him by letting him work out the woes at the plate. Whether Antuna’s ceiling is that of an impact player or more of an everyday guy depends on whether he sticks at shortstop. The offensive upside is a .260-.275 hitter with average game power on the left side of the infield.

Had TJ in August of 2018, played 3 games in July for the GCL Nationals so far.  Anyone hear anything further on him? 

Online imref

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #1: July 17, 2020, 01:25:34 PM »
Zuckerman with an update on 7/17/21:

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Antuna, now 20 years old, left the Dominican Republic in 2016 to sign with the Nationals for a hefty bonus of $3.9MM. He has since split his time between rookie and Single-A ball. Although he missed all but three games last year because of Tommy John surgery and lower body injuries, Antuna’s still regarded as one of the Nationals’ most promising prospects. Baseball America (No. 9), FanGraphs (12) and MLB.com (12) each place him near the top of Washington’s system.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #2: July 17, 2020, 03:15:52 PM »
Zuckerman with an update on 7/17/21:

is he on the 60 man? 

Also, is the DR academy open for those in the DR not on the 60 man?

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #3: November 22, 2020, 05:36:07 PM »

Article discussing Nats position prospects coming into 2021.  All are A ball or further away.  Here's Mark Scialabba's take on Yasiel Antuna, who was added to the 40 man this winter.

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There were no big surprises on Scialabba’s list. All of the players he mentioned are ranked in MLB Pipeline’s most recent top 30 for the Nationals. Most of them also show up in rankings released by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus in 2020. But he was quick to mention Yasel Antuna, a 21-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic, and seemed very excited about how Antuna performed the past few months at the club’s alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va., and then in the fall instructional league in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“He repeats his swing from both sides extremely well. There’s legitimate impact-bat potential there — and he’s healthy now,” Scialabba said of Antuna, who missed most of 2019 with an elbow injury. “So we’re starting to see his tools play. We’re very excited about what he did this year.”

Antuna is a switch-hitting shortstop who could shift to third base or second base down the line, if needed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2020/11/19/nationals-position-player-prospects/

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #4: January 25, 2021, 02:36:04 PM »
https://www.mlb.com/news/prospects-who-will-break-out-in-2021

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Although injuries including Tommy John surgery in August 2018 have limited Antuna to just 138 Minor League games since Washington signed him in July ’16 for $3.9 million, a franchise-record bonus for an international amateur, he has long been viewed as a potential impact hitter and was perhaps the most advanced bat the Nats had at their alternate training site over the summer. Viewing Antuna as someone who can impact their Major League roster in the future, the Nats added him to their 40-man roster in November. Now, the 21-year-old switch-hitter just needs to get at-bats.

he was supposed to play in the Dominican league but didn't, I can't find any reason why.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #5: January 25, 2021, 08:50:50 PM »
I don't really get the hype here.  It's like people are bigging this dude up simply because there's nobody else.  He's 21.  He hasn't played in actual games since 2018 (save 3 games) and he wasn't good then; he was clearly out of his depth at Hagerstown.  He didn't look then like he could stick at SS long term, either. 

I know the world's been weird in the interim, but I'm failing to see why a 21-year-old who's basically been injured or otherwise sidelined for the equivalent of half a college career is suddenly anything more than a show-me lottery ticket. 

Offline RD

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #6: February 03, 2021, 11:54:05 PM »
I don't really get the hype here.  It's like people are bigging this dude up simply because there's nobody else.  He's 21.  He hasn't played in actual games since 2018 (save 3 games) and he wasn't good then; he was clearly out of his depth at Hagerstown.  He didn't look then like he could stick at SS long term, either. 

I know the world's been weird in the interim, but I'm failing to see why a 21-year-old who's basically been injured or otherwise sidelined for the equivalent of half a college career is suddenly anything more than a show-me lottery ticket. 

Because of his performance at the alternate site. He was a forgotten man, but multiple places have discussed how well he performed this year. Its not like all of a sudden he's a top 50 prospect or has the expectation of reaching the bigs this year. But his performance against generally older players was impressive, and of course he comes with the background of being a huge international signing. That performance isn't quite the same as performing over a normal season, for many reasons. But, its better to hear encouraging reports than nothing at all. I wouldnt equate him to a lottery ticket, but I also wouldn't be expecting him to be the next Soto, either. Hes just another talented prospect getting positive reviews. You hope it continues.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #7: February 04, 2021, 12:33:45 AM »
Antuna was highly touted when the Nats signed him out of the Dominican. He looked worth it in rookie ball, but then kept getting hurt, ultimately having TJS and then having leg problems in 2019.

But when healthy, he seems to have elite bat speed. Hes only 20, so he hasn't been set back too far yet.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #8: February 04, 2021, 09:38:17 AM »
At the SPH event last Saturday, FWIW, the only position player in the minors that Rizzo mentioned as somebody they are high on was Antuna.  No mention of Pineda / Reetz or any of the catchers.  No mention of Cluff, who has come up in articles.  None of the deeper in the system DR outfielders. No other position prospect.  It was Cavalli, Rutledge, Henry, and Antuna, IIRC.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #9: February 04, 2021, 09:48:53 AM »
At the SPH event last Saturday, FWIW, the only position player in the minors that Rizzo mentioned as somebody they are high on was Antuna.  No mention of Pineda / Reetz or any of the catchers.  No mention of Cluff, who has come up in articles.  None of the deeper in the system DR outfielders. No other position prospect.  It was Cavalli, Rutledge, Henry, and Antuna, IIRC.

Because of his performance at the alternate site. He was a forgotten man, but multiple places have discussed how well he performed this year. Its not like all of a sudden he's a top 50 prospect or has the expectation of reaching the bigs this year. But his performance against generally older players was impressive, and of course he comes with the background of being a huge international signing. That performance isn't quite the same as performing over a normal season, for many reasons. But, its better to hear encouraging reports than nothing at all. I wouldnt equate him to a lottery ticket, but I also wouldn't be expecting him to be the next Soto, either. Hes just another talented prospect getting positive reviews. You hope it continues.

I'd be delighted to be wrong here.  The last time I saw Antuna - granted, just about the last time any random fan saw him, meaning a long-ass time ago - he was young for Hagerstown, had a flat, slap-hitting swing with no lift at all, a hitch in his throwing motion, and pretty limited range for a young SS.  He had little feel for the strike zone and was flailing at opposite-side Sally League off-speed stuff.  In short, he had a long way to go to even be average for that level.   

Perhaps the break helped him.  Obviously an arm injury is a good excuse to retool a throwing motion.  I'm sure he's added strength.  Hopefully that served as a platform for a new swing (at least lefty; I only recall ever seeing him bat RH once, and his RH swing looked much better).  I'm always extremely skeptical of guys whose hype increases based on the sole-sourced word of their employer, all while they conveniently haven't had to actually show it on the field with others watching.   Again, I hope I'm wrong to doubt here. 

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #10: February 05, 2021, 09:22:29 PM »
Natsarmsrace:

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After a down year, Yasel Antuna is now all the way up to #4. As we’ve heard repeatedly, he did well in the XST 60-man last year and is rounding into the prospect shape they thought they were getting when they spent $3.9M on him in 2016. For all the talk we have about whether Kieboom is ready … maybe we’re looking at the wrong 3B prospect right now. Could Antuna win the 3B job this spring??

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #11: February 05, 2021, 09:45:06 PM »
Natsarmsrace:

That's nuts.  The dude's never played above Hagerstown and has played 3 competitive games since 2018.  That's like saying Denaburg should be in the rotation to open the season.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #12: February 05, 2021, 09:47:17 PM »
That's nuts.  The dude's never played above Hagerstown and has played 3 competitive games since 2018.  That's like saying Denaburg should be in the rotation to open the season.

Yeah definitely an exaggeration. :)

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #13: February 05, 2021, 09:58:45 PM »
That's nuts.  The dude's never played above Hagerstown and has played 3 competitive games since 2018.  That's like saying Denaburg should be in the rotation to open the season.
Juan Soto started 2018 having only been up to low A ball.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #14: February 05, 2021, 10:09:24 PM »
Juan Soto started 2018 having only been up to low A ball.

Where he was a teammate of Antuna's.  Antuna's played 3 games since then.

And Soto, after killing it in Hagerstown to open the season, had to prove it at every level up through AA before injury ravages pushed him onto the MLB roster.  That's a dude who's on a clear HoF track, and he didn't make the team out of ST.  So a dude who hasn't played since 2018 and wasn't good when he did has a shot?

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #15: February 05, 2021, 10:17:42 PM »
Where he was a teammate of Antuna's.  Antuna's played 3 games since then.

And Soto, after killing it in Hagerstown to open the season, had to prove it at every level up through AA before injury ravages pushed him onto the MLB roster.  That's a dude who's on a clear HoF track, and he didn't make the team out of ST.  So a dude who hasn't played since 2018 and wasn't good when he did has a shot?
Sure, especially when you take into consideration the evaluation of those talents. Nats spent twice as much on Antuna as Soto. Theres a reason he was so highly touted and he performed well early on.

He's had injuries and they have set him back, but he's only 21 and still very talented. If he was looking good on the alternate site last year, that's a good indicator, as he was facing off against people who were much better than any other level he has previously faced.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #16: February 06, 2021, 11:59:12 AM »
Where he was a teammate of Antuna's.  Antuna's played 3 games since then.

And Soto, after killing it in Hagerstown to open the season, had to prove it at every level up through AA before injury ravages pushed him onto the MLB roster.  That's a dude who's on a clear HoF track, and he didn't make the team out of ST.  So a dude who hasn't played since 2018 and wasn't good when he did has a shot?
maybe it's just the Nats pumping him up, but there's no one in the media who follows prospects calling them out for BS.  Of course, let's get a perspective.  He isn't even in the top 8 prospects in an organization that gets 1 or 0 in most top 100 lists. He's more of a "don't give up on him yet, he may develop into something and has shown signs" than a Soto / Robles / Kieboom level prospect hype.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #17: February 06, 2021, 01:38:32 PM »
maybe it's just the Nats pumping him up, but there's no one in the media who follows prospects calling them out for BS.  Of course, let's get a perspective.  He isn't even in the top 8 prospects in an organization that gets 1 or 0 in most top 100 lists. He's more of a "don't give up on him yet, he may develop into something and has shown signs" than a Soto / Robles / Kieboom level prospect hype.

he's complete unknown outside of the nationals organization now given that he's played a grand total of 3 games in the last 2 years.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #18: February 06, 2021, 02:57:36 PM »
he's complete unknown outside of the nationals organization now given that he's played a grand total of 3 games in the last 2 years.
They don’t have many everyday prospects now so they need to pump up who they have. Who knows.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #19: February 09, 2021, 11:05:14 PM »
Natsarmsrace:


freaking why not.  3B is going to be a shot show regardless this year unless we sign justin Turner or make a trade.  Might as well go for the upside play

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #20: February 10, 2021, 10:19:17 AM »
Q for me is when do you move Antuna and / or Garcia off SS?  One way to play things is to assign Garcia to Rochester and Antuna to Harrisburg and let both play SS as Turner re-signing insurance.  I think Harrisburg is an aggressive assignment for Antuna since he'd essentially be skipping A ball based on his alternative site performance. I'd be astounded if he's assigned any higher, and if he's not on the same team as Garcia (or Cluff), then he should still play SS.

Offline Slateman

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #21: February 10, 2021, 10:40:07 AM »
Garcia stays at SS. He has zero future beyond a good fielding SS.

For Antuna, it's probably when they see enough of him to know he can field the position. Which they really haven't in the last couple years.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #22: February 10, 2021, 10:41:15 AM »
Q for me is when do you move Antuna and / or Garcia off SS?  One way to play things is to assign Garcia to Rochester and Antuna to Harrisburg and let both play SS as Turner re-signing insurance.  I think Harrisburg is an aggressive assignment for Antuna since he'd essentially be skipping A ball based on his alternative site performance. I'd be astounded if he's assigned any higher, and if he's not on the same team as Garcia (or Cluff), then he should still play SS.

Garcia played 36 games at 3B in 2018 but other than that, has split time between 2B and SS.  I think he can cover any infield position and if he's able to contribute offensively, you either put him at 3rd, or move Castro to 3rd.

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #23: February 10, 2021, 11:26:31 AM »
Garcia played 36 games at 3B in 2018 but other than that, has split time between 2B and SS.  I think he can cover any infield position and if he's able to contribute offensively, you either put him at 3rd, or move Castro to 3rd.
Garcia either starts in the majors or is in the minors, and the Nats are praying he's in the minors.  That's the Jordy Mercer signing.  But let's not turn this into a Garcia thread or else some mod for the Farm will have to start moving posts.

:lol:

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Re: Follow the Prospects: Yasel Antuna, SS/3B
« Reply #24: February 10, 2021, 11:42:53 AM »
Garcia either starts in the majors or is in the minors, and the Nats are praying he's in the minors.  That's the Jordy Mercer signing.  But let's not turn this into a Garcia thread or else some mod for the Farm will have to start moving posts.

:lol:

;)