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AngelsWin.com Today: AngelsWin.com Top 30 Prospects: # 8 OF Michael Hermosillo


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Prospect: Michael Hermosillo           Rank: 18

2015/16: Honorable Mention              Position(s): Outfield

Level: Advanced A Ball                         Age: Entering Age 22 season in 2017.

Height: 5’11”                                         Weight: 190 lb.

               Present – Future

Hitting Ability         45  50

Power                      45  55

Base Running         55  55

Patience                   55  60

Fielding                    50  60

Range                       55  60

Arm                           50  50

Overall                      40  50

 

Floor: 4th OF in MLB.

Ceiling: Starting OF in MLB and top of the order hitter.

Likely Outcome: Starting OF in MLB, bottom of the order hitter.

Summary: There really wasn’t much in the way of expectations for Hermosillo coming into 2016, but that’s simply a reoccurring pattern in his career.  Hermosillo wasn’t expected to be a baseball player at all coming out of high school.  While he was obviously a good athlete, Michael experienced far more success on the gridiron, so much so that he had a scholarship offer to play running back at Illinois.  The Angels picked Michael up late in the 2013 draft (the 28th round) and shocked many when they signed Hermosillo to an over-slot bonus to play baseball rather than play football collegiately.  Even after he signed, it was the consensus that while Michael was athletic, he lacked the necessary refinement to someday be a major leaguer. Undeterred, Michael did a solid job in the Arizona Summer League. Still, there was a belief that he was more of an athlete than a ball player.

The next season in Orem, Michael again surprised many when he showed an advanced feel at the plate and increased pull-power (.358 OBP and 17 XBH in 54 games), you know, some of that “refinement” they like to talk about with baseball players.  This was done against competition that was generally a couple years older than him and for the first time, there were actually some expectations, though not many given his lack of pre-draft hype, and his unsightly .244 batting average.  The next season as a 20 year old in A Ball, Michael struggled.   Sure, he got on base and ran a little, but his batting average dwindled down to .218 and his defense was subpar in the outfield.  This sort of experience isn’t uncommon, as it was Michael’s first time in full season ball, and the step up from Rookie Ball to A Ball can be pretty steep.  In fact that sort of performance is generally what’s expected from players from the prep ranks that come off the draft board in the late rounds as Hermosillo did.

Michael entered 2016 with no hype or expectations yet again.  In his career, he’d been a Top 30 prospect only once (by yours truly back in the MWAH days), and even then it wasn’t a repeat performance.  The plan in 2016 was for Michael to perhaps get some time in at Orem and maybe give it another go in A Ball.  Except this time, through circumstances out of his control, Hermosillo was sent to A Ball without ever going to Orem, which turned out to be a very good thing.  Once Hermosillo landed in Burlington, he lit the Midwest League on fire.  In 37 games as a 21 year old (which is still younger than the average player in the league), Michael hit .326/.411 with notably better defense.  This was a surprise, not only because no one was expecting Hermosillo to do it, but also because he was doing this in rather considerable pitcher friendly conditions.  There was no way to fake that sort of success, Michael had clearly turned a proverbial corner.

In yet another surprise, the Angels found themselves promoting Hermosillo to Advanced A ball.  Typically, the Cal League would be a more inviting environment for hitter, except Angels prospects play their home games at Inland Empire, the only pitcher friendly park in the league.  This tends to even things out a legitimize their numbers.  Against better competition, Hermosillo hit an astounding .328 at Inland Empire with four doubles, four triples and a home run.  Hermosillo was equally as successful on the road, doing more damage with the long ball.  The end result here was a .309 batting average with a .393 OBP.  As if on cue, it appears the Angels brass, much like the fans, wanted to see more of Hermosillo’s breakout than a half season.  So the Angels sent him to the Arizona Fall League, to test his abilities against minor league baseball’s best talent.  Hermosillo didn’t disappoint, hitting .267/.353 with his signature solid blend of speed, power and defense.

Michael passed every test he faced in 2016.  And what we’re left with is a bit of an enigma.  Michael can hit for power, but he isn’t a power hitter (yet).  He can flat out run, but he isn’t a base stealer (yet). Michael is a good hitter, but typically won’t wow you in the batting average department as much as he will in the on-base department.   He’s a good defender, but not a defense-first outfielder.  What we can say is the way Michael plays, is reminiscent of Mike Trout went his was 18 or 19.  Now obviously we aren’t claiming Hermosillo will be Trout, in fact I don’t think any prospect anywhere deserves that connection (though to be fair, many said the same thing when Trout was compared to Mickey Mantle).  But Hermosillo’s strength, grace of movement, coordination, athleticism, and effort are all reminders of the most exceptional athlete to ever grace the Angels system.

And that in a nut shell wis why Hermosillo looks like a major leaguer out there.  It’s one thing to be strong and athletic, it’s another entirely to have that, plus strike zone judgement and a good head on your shoulders.

As for the tools, Michael has exceptional “quick twitch” reflexes, solid pitch recognition and bat control.  He’s lowered his hands and narrowed his stance slightly from earlier in his career.  This has created a clearly stronger load than he had before, but also more control.  Michael absolutely explodes through the ball.  There’s a ton of power here, but it’s the line drive type, so you won’t see many moonshot home runs because of a lack of loft.  A perfect example of this was against the Cubs this Spring when Michael turned on an inside fastball.  The ball got out in a hurry and wasn’t a wall-scraper, but at the same time, coming off the bat, it didn’t look like anything more than a line drive.  That’s how strong this kid is.

What to expect next season: Michael will likely be promoted to AA Mobile to begin next year, thought it wouldn’t surprise me if the Angels had him spend a month or so at Inland Empire.  Given what I saw Hermosillo do in, Spring Training, the Fall League and Burlington, another trip to Inland Empire would appear to be a waste of time.  But the Angels have been known to take such conservative routes before.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Hermosillo torched AA pitching, because of his ability.  It also wouldn’t surprise me if Michael struggled in high minors because it’s his first time facing this quality pitching.  But if I were to give it an official prediction, I’d say he goes to AA Mobile, and has a solid season for the Bay Bears.

Estimated Time of Arrival: 2018, as a 23 year old. .

Grade as a prospect: B-

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Michael Hermosillo Interview August 29 2016 from AngelsWin.com on Vimeo.

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Usually, when a 'toolsy' prep project breaks out in A/A+ at an age where he's still younger than the competition around him, it's legit.  

Mike went from an athlete to a baseball player last year.  

I like to think of it this way - if Mike had spent his 21yo season in college performing at the level he did in A/A+ last year, coupled with his tools and athleticism, he'd have been regarded as someone in the range between Corey Ray and Anfernee Grier.   The 5th and 39th picks of the first round from 2016.  Then he would have come in to A ball doing what he did and he'd be a consensus top 100 player right now.  Before college, Ray was taken in the 33rd round in 2013, and Grier the 39th round in 2013.  Mike was drafted in the 28th round in 2013.  

As we've seen with these rankings, it's all about timing.  If a player breaks out in college and gets drafted in the first round, he's a top 100 pick.  If he breaks out in the minors after being drafted in the 28th round, he's someone we take a wait and see approach on.  The only difference is geography.  And the upside for Mike and the halos at this point is that he's now had professional instruction and exposure to major and minor league spring camps for going on four years.  

His top 100 bio would have statements like advanced approach.  Developing power.  5 tools.  Tremendous Athleticism.    

You want another interesting comps?  see Andrew Benintendi (2015), Michael Conforto and Bradley Zimmer (2014).  He's not at Benintendi's level of course, but it's the same scenario for all three of those guys.  20th to 30th round as a prep guy.  Off to college and then a first round pick.   

This isn't just a guy to dream on.  He's a legit prospect and if the timing were different, he'd be our #1 guy.  

Nice Job Scotty.  

 

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Add in Marsh, AO. He hasn't yet played minor league ball but he's got really good upside and should be mentioned with the other two.

Anyhow, in a way Hermosillo is a kind of "inverse" Kole Calhoun: far more athletic, but similarly underrated and with a sense that the overall result is more than the sum of his parts.

I'm excited about Hermosillo, but maybe a bit more cautiously. He made the first big jump to A/A+ ball, but AA is another big jump (with the third big jump being to the majors). If he successfully makes the jump to AA, I'll be more optimistic about him being a plus player in the majors as he would have made two jumps successfully, but as of now we only have that one big jump to go on and some players flame out at this point in his career. But overall I'm optimistic.

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1 hour ago, Dochalo said:

Usually, when a 'toolsy' prep project breaks out in A/A+ at an age where he's still younger than the competition around him, it's legit.  

Mike went from an athlete to a baseball player last year.  

I like to think of it this way - if Mike had spent his 21yo season in college performing at the level he did in A/A+ last year, coupled with his tools and athleticism, he'd have been regarded as someone in the range between Corey Ray and Anfernee Grier.   The 5th and 39th picks of the first round from 2016.  Then he would have come in to A ball doing what he did and he'd be a consensus top 100 player right now.  Before college, Ray was taken in the 33rd round in 2013, and Grier the 39th round in 2013.  Mike was drafted in the 28th round in 2013.  

As we've seen with these rankings, it's all about timing.  If a player breaks out in college and gets drafted in the first round, he's a top 100 pick.  If he breaks out in the minors after being drafted in the 28th round, he's someone we take a wait and see approach on.  The only difference is geography.  And the upside for Mike and the halos at this point is that he's now had professional instruction and exposure to major and minor league spring camps for going on four years.  

His top 100 bio would have statements like advanced approach.  Developing power.  5 tools.  Tremendous Athleticism.    

You want another interesting comps?  see Andrew Benintendi (2015), Michael Conforto and Bradley Zimmer (2014).  He's not at Benintendi's level of course, but it's the same scenario for all three of those guys.  20th to 30th round as a prep guy.  Off to college and then a first round pick.   

This isn't just a guy to dream on.  He's a legit prospect and if the timing were different, he'd be our #1 guy.  

Nice Job Scotty.  

 

You're absolutely right. This is all about timing. If Hermosillo had this breakout in college, he would've come off the board in the first or second round. But I just don't know if it would've happened for him in college. I mean his scholarship was for football, not baseball. That and I have no way of knowing if the instruction at the college level would've been quality enough for Hermosillo to break through. Also, for all we know he might've really taken off in football and would be a legit NFL prospect right now.

But yeah, in theory if Michael played in college and was this good of a player his junior year, he probably would've left the board before the 20th pick of the draft, would've been a Top 100 prospect and scouts would say he projects to be a star CF that bats lead off with power.

But since he made the smart decision, chose the safer sport, accepted the way above slot money the Angels offered him, and struggled a bit before putting it all together as a 21 year old, now suddenly he projects best as a 4th OF and he's not even a Top 10 prospect in his own system (unless of course you read AW). 

Kind of just shows how ridiculous some of these rankings are.

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2 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Add in Marsh, AO. He hasn't yet played minor league ball but he's got really good upside and should be mentioned with the other two.

Anyhow, in a way Hermosillo is a kind of "inverse" Kole Calhoun: far more athletic, but similarly underrated and with a sense that the overall result is more than the sum of his parts.

I'm excited about Hermosillo, but maybe a bit more cautiously. He made the first big jump to A/A+ ball, but AA is another big jump (with the third big jump being to the majors). If he successfully makes the jump to AA, I'll be more optimistic about him being a plus player in the majors as he would have made two jumps successfully, but as of now we only have that one big jump to go on and some players flame out at this point in his career. But overall I'm optimistic.

It wouldn't surprise me if Michael's numbers in Mobile aren't at the level they were in Burlington and Inland Empire. It's a big jump in the quality of pitching, and Mobile is a pitcher friendly park in a relatively pitcher friendly league. So hitting .250 and struggling to get his timing down to steal bases is a probability for sure. But he's hardly a finished project yet. He'll likely reach another level at age 23/24 and still another at 25/26. 

So I think long term, he breaks into the league, may be a reserve and up and down between Anaheim and Salt Lake for a year or two, but eventually will be a starting OF that can hit .250 with 15-20 HR and steal 15-20 bases and play pretty decent defense. Kind if an Adam Eaton lite. 

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I'll take it, Scotty, although I'm not sure where he figures in with Trout, Jones, and Marsh. I suppose realistically one of Jones, Marsh, and Hermosillo doesn't pan out. Further, their major league arrivals will be staggered, so we get to see them audition on their own, one by one.

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23 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

I'll take it, Scotty, although I'm not sure where he figures in with Trout, Jones, and Marsh. I suppose realistically one of Jones, Marsh, and Hermosillo doesn't pan out. Further, their major league arrivals will be staggered, so we get to see them audition on their own, one by one.

That's one of those "cross that bridge when we get there" types. God forbid it, but if Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun decide to test those free agent waters after the 2020 season, we may need replacements. Maybe best case scenario is they both stay long term and between Hermosillo, Jones and Marsh, one emerges as our starting LF, one a platoon player in both LF and RF and the other traded for whatever it is that we need.

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Well let's consider 2021 ages:

Calhoun 33

Trout 29

Hermosillo 26

Jones 23

Marsh 23

My guess is the Angels find some way to keep Trout, but Calhoun is gone after 2020. If one of Herm, Jones, and Marsh doesn't pan out, you've still got 3 outfielders going forward. If Trout shows signs of decline and/or wants to go to New York or Philly, we might have Herm/Jones/Marsh in 2021.

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Actually, it is kind of nice to know that we've got good outfield options in the long-term. The near-term is a bit more questionable; 2017 is set with Maybin and Revere in the fold, but what about 2018-19? Maybe Hermosillo is ready by 2019, but I'm guessing the Angels won't want to sign Maybin or Revere to a multi-year contract, so we might be back to the drawing board for at least one year (2018). If Maybin duplicates 2016 numbers, he'll probably get a 5/$80M contract. I don't see the Angels giving him that.

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30 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

Actually, it is kind of nice to know that we've got good outfield options in the long-term. The near-term is a bit more questionable; 2017 is set with Maybin and Revere in the fold, but what about 2018-19? Maybe Hermosillo is ready by 2019, but I'm guessing the Angels won't want to sign Maybin or Revere to a multi-year contract, so we might be back to the drawing board for at least one year (2018). If Maybin duplicates 2016 numbers, he'll probably get a 5/$80M contract. I don't see the Angels giving him that.

Indeed. I'd also openly wonder if Matt Thaiss starts logging some time in LF during pregame. If he could become an adequate defender out there, he could be our starting LF as soon as 2018. And it can't be that hard to play LF when you share the same acreage as Trout and Calhoun. It would really limit the amount if ground you'd have to cover.

The future holds infinite possibilities.

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