Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #32: 1B/OF, Leandro Cedeno
Johnson City Cardinals
International signing in 2014
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Cedeno has real, in-game power and he's shown it since entering the organization. It's not the type of projectable power that someone like Victor Garcia has been billed with. This is actual and real and has come with him through his lower-level ascent.
Cedeno is a line drive/flyball hitter. He's aware of what he's capable of and he plays to his strengths.
Cedeno takes a surprisingly good at-bat for a player that strikes out as much as he does. His walk rate is below 8% but I can't help but think that he'll get the number above that with a little refining.
He's big and strong and powerful and he has the ability to hit the ball out of the park even when he doesn't get all of it.
While his hands get weird sometimes and his swing can get long, Cedeno does a great job of barreling the baseball. When he's really dialed in his swing is fast, powerful, and quick and the ball jumps off of his bat.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
He's so far away from the majors. He's so young and so far away. I always caution to hold off getting too excited about a prospect that is stateside but isn't at a full season affiliate. Let's wait until he's at Peoria before we get too jacked up about his potential.
His strike out rate on the season is an abysmal 27.7% YUCK. That is going to have to clean up. He makes a lot of extremely hard contact and that helps his BABIP, but those numbers have a way of balancing out and correcting as players climb the minor league-ladder.
Cedeno has played the outfield exclusively this season but he's better off at first base. Unfortunately, he isn't great at first either and he might profile best as a DH. Again, he's still young and there's plenty of time get himself together.
He's pretty slow. He's lumbering, too. That's part of why he profiles best as a first baseman.
The rest is still up in the air. He's going to have to continue too hit the ball like a true power hitter and cut down the strikeout rate and become, at least, an average fielder to continue on as a ranked prospect. Obviously, that's a big-ask.
Cedeno is a longgggg ways away. Between his high strike out rate and his level-distance away from the majors, it's hard to even begin to guess what he might look like if/when he moves up the system. Shooting completely from the hip, if Cedeno absolutely maxes out then maybe, just maybe, his ultimate ceiling with a 5% chance of being reached is something like Randal Grichuk offensively. We'll just have to wait and see what his 2019 assignment looks like too get a better feel for Cedeno.
Thanks to Fangraphs for the stats!
Thanks For Reading!!