Kevin Maitan, SS, Atlanta Braves (short-season Danville) I saw the Braves $8 million investment two games recently. It was a reminder in patience, projection, and rawness, as the (listed) 6-foot-2, 190-pound (more like 205) 17-year-old has a ways to go to get to his ceiling. Maitan played shortstop in both games but will move, the hope being to third. He is already filled out, and the body will require some maintenance, especially into his mid-late 20s. While his footwork is good, his hands and arm do not portend well for the left side of the infield. At present it’s a 45 arm and a 45 glove at third base, so he could stick there, particularly if the bat profiles. Also he’s not a runner: 4.55 home to first (as a left-hander).
But we’re here for the bat. Physically, he is built for power, and the combination of bat speed, barrel control, and zone awareness projects to a plus hitter, should he commit to going the opposite way. He showed this in batting practice to some extent. At present, Maitan’s game swing gets pull-heavy and long. He starts his hands below the letters, away from his body, bringing them in and up (elbow above parallel), before forcefully accelerating through the zone. This swing provides the bat path and launch angle power-buffs drool over, but he was vulnerable to velocity up in the zone, and the swing produced more whiffs, pop-outs, and roll-overs than power at present. In his final two at-bats of the series, he raised his hands and took a more contact-heavy approach, which is promising. I did not see right-handed swing, but a pro scout confirmed it is similar to the left-handed one, such that one is not clearly superior to the other at present.
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