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May 31, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Fitzgerald, Castellanos, and other Salem hitters

This season, when we make significant updates to our player page scouting reports based on first-hand looks (as well as reports from trusted sources, as always), we will post them in their entirety on the News Page. This batch of updates is headlined by two intriguing prospects in shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald and first baseman Pedro Castellanos, and is the second of two posts covering updates to hitters who have spent time in High A Salem this season. One or two posts on Salem pitchers—with corresponding updates—will come after our draft coverage next week.

Ryan Fitzgerald, shortstop, Salem Red Sox

Physical Description: Lean, athletic frame without much projection. Looks the part of a middle infielder.

Hit: Starts close-to-even, with his hands up. Utilizes a leg lift timing device. Has some feel to hit. Knows the strike zone. Makes hard contact. Has a tendency to pull and will get shifted by some teams.

Power: Potential fringe-average power.

Run: Fringe-average speed.

Field: Average defender at short. Average range and hands. Can turn two.

Arm: Fringe-average to average arm. Can make the basic throws from short, but not a weapon.

Career Notes: Signed out of independent ball, was reportedly a launch angle adjustment success story. Has been old for his level after playing all four years at Creighton then a full year of independent ball. Participated in the 2018 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Has some catching up to do as an older free agent signee, but shows potential if everything clicks. Can field the position at shortstop. With continued development, you can dream on him filling a bench infield role on a contending team. Does not have much margin for error in his development given his age and will need to continue moving up the ladder steadily.


Pedro Castellanos, first baseman, Salem Red Sox

Physical Description: Looks taller and heavier than listed height and weight. Strong, large frame. Somewhat stiff and will have to watch body as he matures.

Hit: Starts square with hands high. Starts on front toe and never leaves ground, utilizing toe tap. Short stride, lot of upper body in swing. Long, rotational swing. Has a hole on the inner half; likes to get arms extended. Pitch recognition a work in progress. Lot of swing-and-miss. Struggles with identifying secondary offerings. Fringy bat speed.

Power: Plus raw power but curiously has below-average in-game power. Power comes mostly from strength. Will put on a show in BP, but power has so far failed to translate in game action. In-game swing fails to generate loft; hits far too many balls on the ground. Needs to incorporate lower half into swing to tap into power in-game, especially against more advanced pitching.

Arm: Average arm.

Field: Stiff, minimal range. First base-only profile. Uses height to his advantage, getting good extension when stretching for throws. Shows good hands picking throws from the dirt. Has played some outfield but does not project well there.

Run: Well below-average runner. Smart on the bases; will score from first on a double despite lack of speed. Takes very large leads.

Career Notes:  Excelled against DSL competition in 2016, when he was much more physically mature than most of the rest of the league. Participated in 2016 and 2018 Fall Instructional League.

Summation:  Bat will be tested as he progresses through the system as he hasn’t shown the bat speed or approach to succeed against more advanced pitching. Development will depend largely on fixing his issue of failing to tap into his raw power at all. First base-only defensive profile, so will have to hit both for average and power. High risk prospect with low floor due to potential for swing and miss.


Kervin Suarez, second baseman/center fielder, Greenville Drive

Physical Description: Short, athletic, skinny frame. Has projection remaining. Needs to add strength.

Hit: Loose at the plate. Uses leg kick timing device. Swings from both sides need work and lack fluidity. Very raw. Struggles with pitch recognition and has a tendency to expand the zone. Lot of swing-and-miss. From the left side, bat is noticeably slow. Gets shaded (but not shifted) to the pull side hitting left-handed.

Power: Well below-average power potential. Lacks physicality to generate much power. Likely will need to shorten swing to improve hit tool given likelihood he won’t hit for much power anyway.

Run: Slightly above-average speed. Very good instincts.

Field: Having previously been a second baseman, began primarily playing the center field in 2018. In 2019, has returned to mostly playing second base, but this may be in part caused by roster makeup. At second base, projects as an average defender.

Arm: Average both in the outfield and at second base.

Career Notes: Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018.

Summation: Large gap between what he is now and his future potential, but development seems to have stalled a bit in A-ball, particularly at the plate. Has to develop a hitting approach. Still needs to make great strides to reach his potential.


Dylan Hardy, outfielder, Greenville Drive

Scouting Report: Small, athletic. Minimal remaining projection. Starts even and slightly crouched. Uses leg kick. Lacks bat speed; bat drags through zone. Struggles with velocity. Pitch recognition is inconsistent. Below-average power. Average speed. Will steal the occasional base, but not a huge part of his game. Corner outfield profile. Gets good reads and moves well. Average arm strength. Potential average defensive profile. Low minors depth type. Will have to show significant improvement at the plate in order to succeed in the high minors.


Deiner Lopez, infielder/outfielder, Salem Red Sox

Scouting Report: Versatile player with a medium frame. Hits from an open stance with quick hands. Lacks strength, causing his bat to drag through the zone. Makes below-average contact with gap power. Limited approach at the plate. Will drop a bunt for a base hit if the defense gives that to him. Overall below-average hit tool and power. Above-average speed, but doesn't steal a ton of bases. Good defender who will play all over the diamond as needed, primarily at shortstop, second base, third base, and left field. Plus arm, but can have accuracy issues at times. Solid range. Was suspended for 50 games in 2018 after testing positive for amphetamines. Will be moved around between affiliates as his glove is needed. High minors organizational player with some value due to his versatility.

Photo Credit: All by Kelly O'Connor.

Chris Hatfield is Executive Editor of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPChrisHatfield.