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Juilo Mendez Scouting Report, Milwaukee Brewers — December, 2017

Full Name: Julio Rafael Mendez
DOB: October 24, 1996 (21)
Birthplace: Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela
Height, Weight: 5’10”, 140 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Evaluator: Bobby DeMuro
Dates Observed: August 7-15, 2017
Affiliate(s): AZL Brewers (Rookie, Milwaukee Brewers)

Tool (FV)
Notes & Comments
Hit (40)
Surprisingly advanced feel for the barrel relative to age and level; above-average hand-eye coordination with good contact skills. Over-aggressive at times and loves to hack, but can back it up by putting the bat on the ball. Tough out; will fight off pitches with feel for his swing to all points of the strike zone. Primarily a center/right-center approach, but enough bat speed to turn on inner half at times. Moderate lift in swing with some line drive feel, but weak hands and wrists, lean physical stature won’t contribute much pop. Contact guy with shot to have decent hit tool in time; more mature approach with improved patience and ability to draw walks/work counts will help boost overall profile.

Power (20)
Physically thin and lean; weak hands and wrists; plenty of room to grow into his body but unlikely to ever be much of a physical threat. Little leverage to drive the ball, but could find some life in gaps with good approach and line drive lift. Likely forever destined to be a low-power contact hitter working as table-setter at top/bottom of the lineup, but can make that role work with some line drive feel.

Glove (45)
Decent glove man with versatility across the infield. Unexceptional at any one position and likely ticketed to fall in more comfortably at second than on the left side, but enough athleticism and feel here to work as a utility man with no problem. Good lateral quickness and first step to both sides; mature/advanced situational awareness in the field with some ability to anticipate. Glove may prove to be ticket forward as carrying tool towards utility future.

Arm (35)
Below average arm strength in part due to small physical stature; will struggle with release and velocity from the left side of the infield, but should grow and fill out some in time. Accuracy and consistency are about where they need to be right now; long-term, arm will survive in utility role or at second base, but not enough strength here to be an everyday shortstop/third baseman. Aided some now by good footwork through ground balls; strength should improve with age as he physically fills out.

Speed (45)
Had him 4.31 - 4.37 up the line in several looks during the AZL season; ultimately slightly below-average foot speed, though good hustle out of the box. Speed manifests itself best in quick first steps and good footwork on defense; natural movement to the ball with good feet under him and internal clock to make plays at first base. May ultimately grade out as average foot speed in time, but unlikely to develop into a significant base-stealing threat.

Julio Mendez sustained a serious heart injury two weeks after our viewings at the end of the AZL season; he was hospitalized for quite a while and has since been on a very slow road to recovery back in Venezuela. Remains uncertain when (or if) he’ll return to the Milwaukee Brewers. Popular player who was very well-liked by teammates as well as opponents at the time of injury; everyone clearly rooting for him to make a full recovery … If he does make it back on the field, odds are stacked against him as a prospect, but some definite tools to work with (glove, hit); exceptional hand-eye coordination and engaged, advanced approach at the plate belie his age. Long road here to actualize talent into something of big league value, and likely to fall through as organizational depth at any of several points between now and then, but enough versatility to make it interesting and perhaps work his way into the conversation. 

OFP (35 FV)
Julio Mendez doesn’t have the tools to one day find himself in an everyday infield role, but his versatility and athleticism leave a utility infield/platoon gig at ceiling, if he proves he can hit enough with growth. Most likely, he’ll fall into an organizational depth role with a shot at and up-and-down role (35 FV) thanks to his defensive versatility and competitive, punchy approach at the plate. Most importantly, of course, is that he recovers from the summer’s freak injury and returns to professional baseball. Beyond that, though, there are some workable tools here and while the odds are against Julio Mendez  to ever reach the big leagues, his versatility and athleticism will give him a chance to stick around in pro ball for a few years assuming good health. MLB ETA: 2022.

Julio Mendez Scouting Report, Milwaukee Brewers — Game Video

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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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