Originally signed by the Colorado Rockies as an amateur free agent in the spring of 2016, Shael Mendoza is a Dominican-born infielder about to turn 21 years old (DOB: October 15, 1996) after having wrapped his second professional season (and first stateside). After slashing .272/.300/.339/.639 over 224 at-bats with the DSL Rockies in 2016, the big league club opted to send Mendoza to rookie-level Grand Junction this summer, and it proved to be the right call. Over 231 at-bats across 55 games in Grand Junction, the middle infield prospect slashed .364/.412/.519/.931, and put up 13 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 25 stolen bases, and 20 walks (against 38 strikeouts). Along the way, Mendoza earned both midseason and postseason All-Star nods in the Pioneer League.
A very good athlete with projectable size and some raw strength (listed at 6’0″, 165 lbs., Mendoza is both taller and thicker in person), the infielder has interesting utility potential with above-average athleticism in the field and a promising approach at the plate that could benefit the Colorado Rockies at the big league level one day. Nick Stephens and I combined to see him several times throughout the summer in the Pioneer League; below, you’ll find our full Shael Mendoza scouting report, including game video, tool grades, future projection notes, and more.
Shael Mendoza — 2017 Scouting Report
Dates observed in 2017: July 3; July 30; August 1; September 3-5
Shael Mendoza Scouting Report — 2017 Game Video
Shael Mendoza Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis
It’s a feather in his cap that Shael Mendoza had such a resoundingly successful first summer stateside at 20 years old; of course, it’s equally important to acknowledge he did so in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pioneer League along with a good amount of teammates who put up somewhat inflated offensive numbers at altitude. Accounting for whatever degree of that you believe is environment-driven, though, you’d do well to still acknowledge that the Colorado Rockies have an under-the-radar fringe prospect in Mendoza, and above-average athleticism with some hit-for-average ability could propel him quicker than most at this juncture realize. Unsure what to expect before seeing him, I liked Mendoza more than anyone else I saw during my time in Grand Junction save equally impressive and equally underrated teammate Javier Guevara; and as I counseled with Guevara, you’d do well to keep Mendoza in the back of your mind as a future prospect with some legitimate tools upon which to build. There’s no question in my mind he has the foundation and track record to reach Low-A Asheville in 2018, and while there’s no such thing as a second base prospect, Shael Mendoza will do well to play there in an everyday role and iron out much-needed defensive consistency while developing the nuances of his plus speed and finding gap-to-gap consistency with his promising bat.
Shael Mendoza Scouting Report — Future Projection
Whatever future Shael Mendoza may have in this game will depend largely on his defensive consistency and flexibility to work across the diamond as needed, and so it’s imperative he develops consistency with his glove and throwing arm to be nearly automatic in the field. His plus speed will help there and on the bases, and Mendoza’s promising hit tool will push his ceiling from productive bench guy to platoon infielder or even a potential starter depending on how well his approach matures against better pitching. Above all, though, this guy is a very good athlete with some raw tools that shouldn’t be overlooked; virtually unknown upon his signing two years ago, the Colorado Rockies may have in Shael Mendoza a future fringe prospect with the ability come off the bench with regularity at the big league level in a few years’ time.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Likely future big league bench role (platoon/utility infielder), but still time to out-play that projection and hit his ceiling — a second-division starter (47.5)
MLB ETA: 2021