Thursday, October 01, 2009

Prospect Focus: Brahiam Maldonado

Maldonado was drafted out of St. Francis High, in Puerto Rico, in the 10th round of the 2004 draft. He was sent to the GCL Mets as an 18 year old, and struggled, hitting .185/.272/.238/.510 (28 for 151, 21 runs, 3 2b, 3b, HR, 12 RBI, 15/49 BB/K, 8/10 SBs), with a decent .3061 BB/K ratio, but an absurdly high .325 K rate.

Maldonado repeated the GCL in 2005, and posted markedly better numbers, hitting .256/.355/.359/.714 (30 for 117, 23 runs, 7 2b, 3b, HR, 21 RBI, 17/36 BB/K, 8/9 SBs), with a much better .4722 BB/K ratio, and an improved, but still much too high, .308 K rate. He hit .259/.382/.407/.789 (7 for 27, 2b, HR, 5/12 BB/K) vs LHP, with a .4167 BB/K ratio, and an absurd .444 K rate. Against RHP, he hit .250/.336/.333/.669 (24 for 96, 6 2b, 3b, 12/27 BB/K), with a .4444 BB/K ratio, and a .281 K rate.

Maldonado was promoted to Kingsport of the short season Appalachian League in 2006, where he hit .281/.363/.500/.863 (52 for 185, 29 runs, 17 2b, 4 3b, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 23/49 BB/K, 5/7 SBs), with a .4694 BB/K ratio, and a vastly improved (but still moderately high) .265 K rate (159 K pace in 600 ABs). Against LHP, he hit .246/.338/.574/.912 (15 for 61, 4 2b, 2 3b, 4 HR, 8/14 BB/K), with a .5714 BB/K ratio, and a .230 K rate. Against RHP, he hit a robust .298/.376/.508/.884 (37 for 124, 13 2b, 2 3b, 3 HR, 15/35 BB/K), with a .4286 BB/K ratio, and a very high .282 K rate. Maldonado hit markedly better at home (.362/.425/.628/1.053) then on the road (.198/.302/.429/.731)

2007 saw Maldonado in full season ball for the first time in his career (minus a 16 AB cameo for St. Lucie in 2005). He was in Savannah, where he hit extremely well, putting together a .310/.349/.500/.849 line (95 for 306, 40 runs, 20 2b, 4 3b, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 19/79 BB/K, 11/15 SBs), with a severely declining .2405 BB/K ratio, but a slightly improved .258 K rate. Strangely, Maldonado continued to struggle mightily against LHP, hitting just .224/.286/.395/.681 (17 for 76, 5 2b, 3b, 2 HR, 7/27 BB/K), with a .2593 BB/K ratio, and an abysmal .355 K rate. Against RHP, Maldonado fared much better, hitting .339/.370/.535/.905 (78 for 230, 15 2b, 3 3b, 8 HR, 12/52 BB/K), with a .2308 BB/K ratio, and a much better .226 K rate. For the second straight season, Maldonado hit much better at home (.338/.379/.606/.985), then on the road (.287/.322/.409/.731).

Maldonado spent his age 22 (2008) season with the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League, where he had a dreadful year, hitting just .232/.284/.327/.611 (63 for 272, 18 runs, 11 2b, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 15/76 BB/K, 6/7 SBs), with a not good .1974 BB/K ratio, and an equally bad .279 K rate. This year, Maldonado hit better against LHP (.262/.340/.333/.674, 22 for 84, 5 runs, 3 2b, HR, 6 RBI, 7/22 BB/K), and struggled against RHP (.218/.258/.324/.582, 41 for 188, 13 runs, 8 2b, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 8/54 BB/K). Maldonado's BB/K ratio was .3182 against LHP, and a woeful .1481 against RHP. He struck out at a .262 clip vs southpaws, and a .287 clip against righties.

THE FUTURE: A disappointing year for Maldonado certainly clouds his future considerably. We'll say the Mets keep him in St. Lucie for his age 23 season, which puts him about a half year or so behind the optimal age/level curve (21-22 A+, 22-23 AA). This is not to say he's not a good prospect, just that he lost a considerable amount of his luster with his subpar 2008.

UPDATE 2009: Maldonado spent the first two months of 2009 hitting as awfully (if not worse) than he did in 2008, his line for April and May combined was a pitiful .226/.277/.377/.653 (33 for 146, 16 runs, 8 2b, 3b, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 8/46 BB/K, .1739 BB/K, .315 K rate). However, from June 1st on, Maldonado went on a ridiculous hot tear, hitting .299/.384/.515/.900 (79 for 264, 46 runs, 11 2b, 2 3b, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 12/15 SBs, 35/80 BB/K, .4375 BB/K, .303 K rate).

Overall in 2009, Maldonado hit .273/.348/.466/.813 (112 for 410, 62 runs, 19 2b, 3 3b, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 43/126 BB/K, 13/17 SBs, .3413 BB/K, .307 K rate). He still strikes out way way too much, something he will absolutely have to work on, lest AA pitching chew him up as A+ pitching did for 1.5 seasons. Still, the advances Maldonado made in 2009 were both exciting, and wholly unexpected, as many (including myself) had completely written him off.

A very very good sign this season for Maldonado is his extremely balanced L/R splits. Whereas in the past, he struggled against lefties, this season, he hit .270/.353/.450/.803 (27 for 100, 14 runs, 7 2b, 3b, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 14/30 BB/K, 4/5 SBs, .4667 BB/K, .300 K rate) against southpaws, while hitting .274/.346/.471/.817 (85 for 310, 48 runs, 12 2b, 2 3b, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 29/96 BB/K, 9/12 SBs, .3021 BB/K, .310 K rate) against righties.

THE FUTURE: Maldonado will most assuredly open 2010 in Binghamton, where his resurrected prospect status will be put to the test. His .300+ K rate will not serve him well whatsoever in AA, as advanced breaking pitches will serve to eat him alive. My personal prediction is that Maldonado will once again lose his prospect status, this time permanently, in 2010.

1 comment:

  1. bb i love you your girl....M.J

    ReplyDelete