The LA Angels have signed ex-Braves farmhand and top prospect Kevin Maitan for $2.2 mil. The 17-year old Venezuelan shortstop will immediately boost the Angels farm system, and with a MLB ready time only a few years away he may be making a similar impact with the big league club very soon.
The LA Angels recently signed top international prospect Kevin Maitan after the Braves lost 13 prospects over their recent cheating scandal. Maitan was highly praised before entering the Braves system, back in 2016 he was touted as the top available prospect and best international prospect since Miguel Sano. Maitan’s minor league development with the Braves has only lent credence to his skill-set that ranks beyond his years.
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Maitan’s youth and development track attracted the interest of many clubs in the MLB once he became available to sign. International free agents, such as Maitan, can only be signed with money from the teams international bonus pool. While the Angels were expected to go all in on Ohtani, they swerved expectations and locked up the promising future star while keeping themselves in the Ohtani race.
The Angels were able to land Maitan using money from the dedicated 2018-19 international pool, leaving their international funds for the current free agent season of 2017-18 well in tact. Billy Eppler, Angels GM, is clearly focused on building the future while bringing success to the present.
Maitan is very young, so there’s little sampling regarding his development, yet what he’s done is already inspiring.
Throughout two different rookie leagues with the Braves in 2017, Maitan put up a respectable slash line of .240/.290/.340. At first those numbers don’t seem all too exciting, that is until you put into context the incredible consistency of those numbers and the youth of Maitan.
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All across the board Maitan has shown consistency in nearly all forms. His batters eye is already very developed for his age, he carries an intelligently aggressive swing and has high-grade bat-to-ball skills. Maitans various splits display an incredible consistency for a 17-year old, there are virtually no drastic breaks within his numbers.
While hitting at home Maitan pulled together a 241/.287/.333 slash line, and away from home he hit to the tune of .240/.293/.347
It’s very common to see players, especially prospects, struggle to find consistent comfort in both home and away performances. Right now we can already see that Maitan performs regardless of external circumstance, even in his splits against RHP and LHP he carries a similar consistency.
As a switch hitter, Maitan hit RHP (as a LHB) to a slash line of .237/.272/.354 and clubbed LHP (as a RHB) to a line of .257/.350/.286.
From those numbers we can see that Maitan puts the bat on the ball regardless of pitcher circumstance. Although he sees the ball much better from the right side of the plate he slugs against LHP. Given the natural prowess behind his swing it isn’t hard to see his splits even out with proper development.
Maitan rates highly across the board regarding his various skill-set. In the MLB, prospects are graded on a scale of 0-80 regarding individual abilities. Anything that clocks in at a rating of 60 or higher is projected as above-average for a developmental track.
A score of 60 is virtually a top ranking given the rarity of the perfect 80, and plenty of Maitans praised skills fall into the 60-ranking. The only tools he carries that appear to be average are his defensive abilities at SS and general mobility. Maitan isn’t seen as an incredibly mobile player, his base-running is average and defensive abilities needs fine tuning, yet above all that he still ranks as “solid” in those two categories.
Bringing Kevin Maitan into the organization is an immediate jolt to a middling farm system, and on top of that a projected future center-piece. Things aren’t just looking great for the 17-year old Maitan, they’re looking pretty good for the Angels too.