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Kevin Maitan is not the next Roberto Baldoquin, is he?

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How much of a difference is there between the two?

Photo by Cliff Welch - Baseball America

Back in 2014, former GM Jerry Dipoto left us the gift that kept on NOT giving by signing Roberto Baldoquin for 8 million dollars and locking up International spending for several years. Baldoquin was a hot prospect but not much was known about him (unlike Kevin Maitan whom we know a bit more about). Drafting young international players always has some risk. Will they develop how you expect them to? What similarities are there (if any) between these two short stops?

Let’s take a look at two scouting reports:

A. He can both stay inside pitches and extend to place the ball the opposite way and make contact on pitcher's pitches. He has a nice swing path, and stays in the zone with his bat throughout his swing, finishing strong and following through well. He has a somewhat wheelhouse like swing, which could result in fly balls, but also, with his natural strength, could result in well hit balls and power. He’s around an average runner and isn’t expected to be a big base stealing threat.

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B. He keeps his hands low (at the belt) which gets him to the ball very quickly. His approach is to let the ball travel deep, which means he won’t be easily fooled by off-speed or spin. The approach seems fairly aggressive and he displays very good bat to ball skills. He should hit for a high contact %. With the combination of bat speed, approach and bat to ball skills. The hit could play plus of perhaps higher. Not a gifted runner, average speed underway.

The second one sounds a bit better, but both sound pretty good. Can you guess which one is for which player?

How about their first pro year slash lines:

.235/.266/.294 vs. .241/.290/.340

Not a huge difference here BUT we are comparing a 20 year player in A+ to a 17 year player in rookie ball.

Based on the last statement, it’s pretty hard to compare the two. Maitan’s stock may have dropped a bit from his signing until now based on a mediocre first year as a pro, but for someone who doesn’t even turn 18 until February, there is still a lot of upside and high ceiling.

Maitan was listed as 6’2 and 180# compared to Roberto Baldoquin at 5’11 and 199#. That’s not a huge surprise for a teenager and as he’s about to turn 18, Maitan is already listed at 210#. He’s been working out, bulking up, and should grow even more into his power. Baldoquin? Well, he went from 176 to 199# since he was drafted and will probably never have much power.

There have also been considerable questions around both guys and their ability to stay at SS in the long run. For Baldoquin it’s more about arm strength and for Maitan it’s more about his size and agility.

Baldoquin’s scouting grades after his first year:

Hit: 45
Power: 35
Run: 40
Arm: 50
Field: 55
Overall: 45

Maitan’s scouting grades:

Hit: 60
Power: 60
Run: 50
Arm: 60
FIeld: 50
Overall: 60

Kevin Maitan has a high ceiling and an MLB ETA of around 2021 or 2022. Roberto Baldoquin has gone backwards in his development and has an unknown ETA for MLB. Aside from “similar” first year stats, running speed, and questions around whether or not they will stick at short stop - there are MANY difference in these two players. I’ll leave you with one more:

Roberto Baldoquin cost 8 million.
Kevin Maitan cost 2.2 million.
(also - the Braves had signed Maitan for 4.25 million so Eppler got him for almost half price!)

See the difference yet?? Thanks a lot Jerry Dipoto. Long live Billy Eppler!