Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #5 Jorge Bonifacio

5. Jorge Bonifacio Outfielder


Age: 20
Position: OF
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 192
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent in 2010
From: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Paden Bennett (8):  Jorge Bonifacio is the guy that can ease the pain of trading Wil Myers.  He has that ability.  I don't believe his potential is as high as Wil Myers, but I do think Bonifacio has the ability to become a very good middle of the order hitter in the majors.  Still very young at age 20, Bonifacio had a solid season in A ball with a .282 average and a .432 slug.  Bonifacio needs to continue to develop in his approach at the plate and the power will continue to come.  The natural power is there, I just hope he has a big year this year so I get the opportunity to watch him in Northwest Arkansas.

Joe Cox (9)Jorge Bonifacio turns just 20 this summer, but the Royals are going to rely on him to be the power hitting outfielder that will lessen the blow of trading top prospect Wil Myers this offseason.  Bonifacio did well in his first full season in the Midwest league, hitting .282 with 10 home runs and a .768 as a teenager.  The younger brother of current Blue Jay Emilio, Jorge showcases his raw power as opposed to his brother’s natural speed.

Scouts see the younger version as a future third hitter at the major league level.  Bonifacio was able to cut down on his strike outs last season but needs to continue to improve on this aspect of the game.  Defense is not his forte, but he should be an adequate right fielder at the major league level.  It is likely that Bonifacio will begin 2013 in high-A ball, Bonifacio should be able to continue to develop in the minors but could see the major leagues by 2015, if not sooner.

Damion Mandalas (8): It was on the "Up and in" podcast last summer that it was suggested that some scouts believe long term Jorge Bonifacio was the top power prospect playing in the Midwest League circuit. This is especially exciting considering another high profile Latin prospect playing in the league: Miguel Sano. Personally, I'd have to take Sano when it comes to present and future power, but I think there is a good shot that Bonifacio is the better overall player.

Bonifacio ranked as the third youngest regular in the Midwest League in 2013 and will be on the youngest players in the Carolina League here soon. Given the lack of a long term right fielder ahead of him, I imagine that even average results in Wilmington could allow him to see Northwest Arkansas by season's end.

Dan Ware (10):  During his 2012 campaign, Bonifacio, the 20 year old from the Dominican, fared well against Midwest League pitchers, compiling a line of .282/.336/.432 with 10 HR and 61 RBI, 84 strike outs and 30 walks.  His brother, Emilio, who is already in the Major Leagues with the Miami Marlins, draw just one similarity in regards to the game: the last name they share.  While Emilio has a more athletic frame and could easily steal up to 40 bags this year, Jorge would be lucky to get 15.  He's not slow, but at 20 years old, he's already close to 200 pounds and could easily thicken as he matures a few years older.

His arm is considered to be plus but his range is far from it.  Depending on how he grows and whether he's able to get into a more physically fit frame, I don't see him lasting in the outfield on down the road, but you never know. Jorge will start off in Wilmington this season.  I'd be interested to see if they try him out at a different position, considering he did log a game at 3B in Kane County last year.

Total Points: 89

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