The Next Phenom – Isaac Paredes

Always searching for the Next Phenom, I have settled my sights on a different type of player. While this next player might not have the ceiling of other guys I have covered in this series, I think he’s a prospect that has been overlooked and could be helpful to those in dynasty leagues: Isaac Paredes, 19 year-old SS in the Detroit Tigers’ system.

Paredes was originally signed by the Cubs in 2015 out of Mexico for an 850K signing bonus. He was traded to the Tigers last year along with Jeimer Candelario in exchange for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila in a trade that is looking worse by the day for the Cubs. He is currently playing for the Tigers’ AA affiliate the Erie Seawolves which is incredibly impressive for a 19 year-old. Let me run down the list of 19 year-olds to play in AA this season:

  • Vlad Guerrero Jr. 3B TOR (The Myth, The Legend, The True Next Phenom)
  • Juan Soto OF WAS (Already a OBP monster in the Majors at 19 years old!)
  • Jo Adell OF LAA (Future number 1 prospect)
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. SS SD (Top 5 prospect with limitless upside)
  • Andres Gimenez SS NYM (Mets number one prospect who has been flying up prospect lists)
  • Hudson Potts 3B SD (potential middle of the order power bat)
  • Cristian Pache OF ATL (former Next Phenom)
  • Andres Munoz RP SD (Flame throwing relief prospect with a wipeout slider, don’t usually buy into RP prospects but he might be worth a look)
  • Isaac Paredes SS/3B DET

These are the who’s who of the prospect world. It’s a rare feat for prospects to reach the AA level before the age of 20 and Paredes is one of the few to accomplish it. I also want to point out how ridiculous the San Diego system is. They have 3 guys on this list and I love each one of them. Even though I don’t think I’ll own Andres Munoz as a MiLB keeper but you better bet that when he comes up (as soon as next year) that I’m going to grab him. 

From a scouting aspect, Paredes’s calling card is his hit tool. He loves to hit and he’s very good at it. He has a potential plus hit tool when he reaches his potential (60 grade for those keeping score at home). Also, he should have enough power to hit for around 20 home runs on an annual basis. He has below average speed and hasn’t shown much base stealing ability in the minors thus far so there is no reason to expect him to be a base stealer when he arrives in the majors. He might steal a bag or two but to expect even 10 bags a season would be pushing it. Defensively he is a capable SS but will most likely move to 3B (he has played here more than short so far at AA) or maybe 2B. I think the best comparison is Johnny Peralta former Indians/Tigers/Cardinals SS/3B. That’s more of a defensive comparison but the power potential is similar. Paredes will be a better pure hitter than Peralta in my opinion.

Let’s dive into his numbers a bit:

2017 Cubs (A) 384 7 49 49 2 7.6% 14.1% .136 .294 .264 .342 113
Tigers (A) 133 4 16 21 0 9.8% 9.8% .130 .214 .217 .317 96
2018 A+ 347 12 50 48 1 9.2% 15.6% .196 .274 .259 .361 126
AA 107 2 15 14 1 11.2% 16.8% .100 .356 .311 .363 125

I’m going to point out the obvious and say there’s not much that is eye-popping about these numbers. However, there are some things to like.

First and foremost, I love his BB% throughout the last two years. Anyone who can approach around 10% walks is someone that’s going to catch my eye. There’s a trend between BB% and advanced plate approach and based on video scouting of Paredes that checks out here. This is also a guy that doesn’t swing and miss a lot, hovering right around 15%. The uptick in ISO this season while in A+ is also noteworthy and hopefully a sign he can reach his power potential sooner rather than later. It has dipped in AA but he has the third the plate appearances of his time at high A so that could be just a sample size issue. The Tigers’ farm system is not known for its position prospects, so it is nice to see he is producing counting stats despite the talent around him.

I am concerned about the fact he keeps putting up BAPIPs under .300. Looking at his batting profile, he has pulled the ball around 60% of the time this year. That probably helps explain the power uptick, but I’m worried that this could hurt him when he reaches the Majors due to the prevalence of shifts. I think he’s going to have to adjust his approach in this aspect to be a .300 hitter or so. Overall, I’m looking at a guy who could be a .280 hitter with 20 home run power, but little stolen base potential.  Paredes should be able to get on base at a consistent clip as well for those of us in OBP leagues. He might not be the Next Phenom but he’s going to be an above average MLB regular that going to help round out fantasy teams in deeper leagues. Look for him to make his MLB debut late 2019-early 2020.

Let me know what you think about Paredes and any other prospects you think could be the Next Phenom!

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