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September 1, 2021 at 2:00 PM

Scout Chatter: Eduardo Vaughan, Freddy Valdez, Miguel Ugueto and more

The Red Sox Florida Coast League and Dominican Summer League teams are in full swing and it's time for another Scout Chatter with reports we've received on those affiliates. The data we’ve collected will be up on the News Page for your reading pleasure before we use it to update player page scouting reports, so forgive any inconsistencies until that point. Today, we focus on the outfielders from the Red Sox Florida Coast League team. 

Another player who has impressed scouts in the FCL is 19-year-old outfielder Eduardo Vaughan. Vaughan signed back in July 2018 out of Panaman and has one of the system’s most projectable frames in the low minors. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, and still has room to fill out. Vaughan already shows plus raw power, his best tool at present. He has three home runs on the year in the FCL and is hitting .221/.365/.412. His hit tool and approach are still works in progress, and his swing is on the long side, but his hands are quick. Vaughan has shown the willingness to take a walk as well, with 15 to just 17 strikeouts in 85 plate appearances. He is a fringe-average runner right now and will likely get slower as he matures, but he has a good arm and a typical right field profile. Vaughan is the quintessential high-risk, high-reward prospect; he’s got some very loud tools, but has a long way to go developmentally and a wide gap between what he is now and what he could be in the future. 

While Freddy Valdez fell all the way to 51st in the August SoxProspects rankings, it is better thought of as a correction following our receipt of information from scouts in Fort Myers. When we initially ranked Valdez after he was acquired from the Mets as part of the Andrew Benintendi trade, it was based on limited data after his performance in Mets’ extended spring training. Based on a much larger sample, we consider his current rank where he probably should have been to begin with. Valdez is hitting .221/.358/.325 in 92 plate appearances this year. He has four doubles and two triples, but has yet to hit a home run. Scout feedback has been tepid as well. His swing is ugly, and he lacks plate discipline. Valdez has a bit of bat control and some power, but as a potential below-average defensive corner outfielder, he is going to have to be an impact bat to reach his potential, and scouts are skeptical about that occurring. 

Outfielder Miguel Ugueto has been one of the better hitters on the FCL team this year, posting a .333/.373/.490 line in 102 plate appearances, but scouts are skeptical of his ability to hit more advanced pitching. His swing is ugly and he is a free swinger with poor pitch recognition and no approach at the plate. Unless his approach improves drastically, he will struggle to make contact as he moves up the system. Defensively, his profile also puts a lot of pressure on his bat, as he is slow-footed with a corner outfield profile—while he has played a significant amount of center field this year, he has moved to the corners in his last eight games.  

Outfielder Bryan Gonzalez narrowly fell out of the SoxProspects rankings, mostly due to his low-probability hit tool. Gonzalez has among the best raw power of any player on the FCL team, but his contact skills are rudimentary. Currently, he has 46 strikeouts in 132 plate appearances, good for a 34.8% strikeout rate. He does walk at a decent clip, and has 5 home runs, but the rest of his skills, especially on the defensive side, are lacking. He possesses a prototypical corner outfielder, masher frame, with limited remaining projection and a left field-only defensive profile, but his raw power alone is enough to keep him on the prospect radar. 

First baseman/outfielder Darel Belen is another prospect whose stock has dropped this year. Belen was one of the better performers in the 2019 GCL season and was solid at the Fall Instructional League last year as well. This year, however, his swing has gotten longer and he has struggled to make contact. He has 36  strikeouts in 93plate appearances this year, split between the FCL and Low-A Salem, and even though he has raw power, the rest of his profile is very limited. 

Photo Credit: Eduardo Vaughan, Freddy Valdez and Miguel Ugueto by Bryan Green.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.