Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #27 Humberto Artenaga

27. Humberto Arteaga Short Stop

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Age: 18
Position: SS
Height: 6-1
Weight: 160
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent on 8/10/10 for $1.1 million
From: Caracas, Venezuela

Paden Bennett (NR):  Arteage is a young pup, but it doesn't seem to be phasing him.  He has been called a smooth fielding shortstop with great hands.  His defense is what has people salivating right now but his hitting also has been better than I expected at his age.  His .274 avg last season is something to get excited about.  Keep your eye on this kid.

Joe Cox (28): Arteaga played his second professional season in the Appalachian League and impressed in every facet of his game.  Fangraphs Mike Newman ranked him as his 10th best Shortstop prospect in 2012, and was very impressed with how 'smooth' he was playing shortstop.  While Arteaga's best gift may be his glove, he also improved at the plate last season.  Arteaga only turns 19 in January and will look to continue to show an ability to hit older competition.  While Arteaga is a long ways away from the majors, he is a raw talent and an exciting prospect to keep your eye on in 2013.

Damion Mandalas (22): There was a brief moment following the breaking of the James Shields trade in which it seemed Arteaga would no longer after Clint Scoles incorrectly tweeted that he heard Arteaga was on the move. Ultimately, fellow Burlington Royal infielder Patrick Leonard was sent to Tampa Bay as the fourth piece in the deal. As a result, the Royals system will continue to possess a wealth of prospects at the lower levels of the system.

I like Arteaga and was impressed by his season in a tough hitting environment in the Appalachian League. It will be interesting to see how the Royals handle their shortstop prospects for the 2013 season. Quite frankly, there are three Royals short stop prospects that it could be argued should be assigned to Low-A Lexington. Adalberto Mondesi impressed in Idaho Falls and is clearly ready for full season ball. Humberto Arteaga had a nice debut in Burlington, and Jack Lopez could benefit from a return trip to Low-A. We will see how the Royals navigate this, but if I had to guess, I'd expect to see Arteaga get the large majority of his 2013 at bats in Idaho Falls. 

Dan Ware (NR): At age 18, Humberto possesses great potential at SS as he has an extremely advanced glove in the field, amazing range, strong and accurate arm, along with quality fundamentals.  A much improved line of .274/.313/.380 in 2012 should only improve with his short, compact swing, which has received great praise.  Some extra pop could always turn up at some point in the future, but the Royals aren't expecting much more than what he has presently.  Hopefully we can see Arteaga begin his 2013 campaign in Idaho Falls.

Total Points: 9

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