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Ismael Munguia Scouting Report, San Francisco Giants — December, 2017

san francisco giants baseball prospects ismael munguia scouting report
Full Name: Ismael Humberto (Martinez) Munguia
DOB: October 19, 1998 (19)
Birthplace: Chinandega, Nicaragua
School: N/A
Acquired: Int’l Free Agent, 2015
Height, Weight: 5’10”, 158 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Dates Observed: August 7-14, 2017
Affiliate(s): AZL Giants (Rookie, San Francisco Giants)
Previous Reports: None

Tool (FV)
Notes & Comments
Hit (45)
Tall stance with over-exaggerated leg kick for leverage as his timing mechanism. High hands with downward plane through swing path. In addition to pronounced leg kick, takes an overly long stride forward to point of contact; shortens up considerably with two strikes and cuts out virtually all of leg kick. Imperative to get good timing with complicated swing mechanics, but surprisingly skilled contact hitter even with swing as it is now. Adjusts well with quick, late hands and can overcompensate by flipping the bat head out when he gets stuck out on his front foot. Line drive gap-to-gap hitter with feel to all fields; will go inside-out at times, particularly against better velocity. Will show slap tendency at times, too, as well as flashing bunt to get on base thanks to plus speed. Thin, tiny build, but swings like a slugger; above-average bat speed and really tries to do damage with every swing. Goes all out at the plate. Clearly believes hands are quick enough to commit late and hack even when he’s caught off balance or guessing; to this point in his pro career, that belief hasn’t been disproven. Plenty of holes here for pitchers to exploit (high hard stuff; busting inside to tie up long load; off-speed away to roll him over) but honestly there’s a lot to like in a unique swing and approach. Hand-eye coordination and contact skills make it work, and though Ismael Munguia will have to fight to maintain timing and consistency against better pitchers, good hands give him a chance. Fascinating hitter to watch.

Power (35)
Thin and undersized; plenty of room to grow into his body but even when he does, he’ll still be small. Little here in physical projection to think raw power can improve significantly in time. Swings to do damage with above-average bat speed and sense of attacking the ball, so he’ll get a few here and there, but swing plane more geared to ground balls and fits with role to date as table setter. Game power I have seen has been inside-out opposite field fly ball power, as well as slap line drives down the third base line; when he gets out front to pull the ball, will hit low line drives and ground balls without consistent feel for barrel manipulation to lift. As quick as his hands are, they lack signs of projectable strength — leads me to believe he’ll never manipulate the barrel enough for consistent pop. Enough foot speed to make him a legitimate doubles threat with line drive punch, but unlikely to ever see significant over-the-fence numbers.

Glove (45)
Good foot speed aids profile on defense considerably, but still raw in tracking balls off the bat and running routes in the outfield. For me, even with his foot speed, there’s not enough outfield range here to be an everyday centerfielder, and without power profile for right, left field or platoon/utility/bench future is likely. Lack of arm strength (more below) will limit profile, too. Athleticism and hard-nosed hustle (truly goes all out every play) will help him considerably in becoming a serviceable outfielder, but at present, can’t see him becoming an above-average defender.

Arm (40)
Below average arm across the board — velocity, carry, accuracy. May improve some with age as he physically fills out, but insignificant projection there. Profiles better in left and center than right.

Speed (60)
Fleet footed with some jailbreak out of the batter’s box; got him 4.04 to first base on a bunt in my only read time at AZL. Enough foot speed to make the bunt a legitimate part of his game; will at least flash bunt in one or two at-bats every game in my experience, so clearly a significant part of his approach. Aggressive runner who’s apt to move well on the bases, but long way to develop here to truly read pitchers and situations. Long term, will be an above-averag runner who could turn into a solid base-stealing threat.

To be honest, Ismael Munguia surprised me a little bit with his AZL showing over the summer. He’s not much to look at physically, and his unconventional swing mechanics are an eyebrow-raiser the first time you see him, but underneath he’s got legitimate contact skills with bat speed and a mindset to do damage at the plate, even in his table-setter role. He’s extremely raw, and that lack of experience will make his road ahead a long one with high risk to wind up organizational depth, but he plays harder than anyone on the field and he’s a real pleasure to watch. His lack of size and below-average defensive tools — even with plus speed — should limit his long-term profile to a bench/platoon role, and it’ll take a while — if ever — before the San Francisco Giants reap value out of their Nicaraguan outfielder, but there’s enough here with a serious competitive intensity that Ismael Munguia is worthy of tracking over the next few years. Most immediately, he’s getting good experience on the Latin American circuit this winter that should aid his development, and in 2018, he’ll likely be sent out to short-season Salem-Keizer with a shot at seeing time with Low-A Augusta if he continues to produce and develop as he has to date.

OFP (45 FV)
Extremely raw with considerable development ahead and high risk in profile; even with good statistical production, long way to go before he proves himself worthy as a fringe prospect.. Lack of size and positional projection both combine to hurt him; even so, strong offensive approach gives Ismael Munguia a shot to rise into a platoon/utility outfield role at ceiling; floor is organizational depth. Tough to crave out a path forward for him until Munguia proves himself in full-season ball—and he shouldn’t be confused with being a top-30 prospect type of player—but there’s enough in the profile here to really, really like him as a long-term sleeper who could help the San Francisco Giants one day. Easy to see him becoming a fan favorite undersized/underdog type of player who goes hard on every play with some sneaky tools to back it up. However things end up, he’ll make for a very interesting guy to follow the next couple seasons. MLB ETA: 2022.

Ismael Munguia Scouting Report, San Francisco Giants — 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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