Originally signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic ahead of the 2013 season, 2017 marked the fifth in professional baseball for Seattle Mariners outfield prospect Luis Liberato. The left-handed hitting speedy outfielder split the year between Low-A Clinton and High-A Modesto, totaling 125 games and slashing .246/.312/.438/.749 with 16 doubles, 14 triples, 14 home runs, 12 stolen bases, 44 walks, and 131 strikeouts over 125 games (448 at-bats). While Liberato filled up the stat sheet in quite a bit of playing time this season, he’s lacking in a few key areas—especially offensively—that’ll hurt him in the upper minors barring a major improvement in offensive approach.
That said, he’s a very good athlete who can move on the base paths and in the outfield, and after having gotten a significant taste of High-A at 21 years old (DOB: December 18, 1995) he’s in a good spot heading into the 2018 season. Below, we’ve got a full Luis Liberato scouting report, including game video and some projection notes on what the Seattle Mariners might have in this rangy, athletic Dominican outfield prospect.
Luis Liberato, Seattle Mariners — 2017 Scouting Report
Dates observed in 2017: June 18; August 1-2; September 12-15
Luis Liberato Scouting Report, Seattle Mariners — 2017 Game Video
Luis Liberato Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis
Only 21 years old, but very experienced — Luis Liberato will play his sixth professional season in 2018 — it’s almost certain the outfielder will hit minor league free agency before he makes an impact with the Seattle Mariners. Despite his extensive work (396 minor league contests and over 1,600 plate appearances), the lefty swinger still has considerable work to do, especially at the plate. He must refine his approach and iron out some major mechanical flaws in his swing if he’s to ever have success in the upper minors or beyond. I’m not bullish that’ll happen considering how significant of a hand hitch he has, and how much it’ll affect his ability to hit good velocity, but Liberato has age and above-average athleticism on his side. There’s too much raw talent here for the Seattle Mariners to jettison in minor league free agency without making a run at him, but his profile is ultimately high-risk and I believe it’s unlikely he’ll make a significant big league impact in his career.
Luis Liberato Scouting Report — Future Projection
To begin 2018, the Seattle Mariners would do well to send Luis Liberato back to High-A Modesto, where he must correct the aforementioned mechanical flaws in his swing and find consistency with his bat and power. Further maturity with age will help him, too, in giving away fewer at-bats, staying on pitches more consistently, and showing better outward focus in the field. Those are all correctable things that, to me, aren’t tied into a poor attitude so much as they are just youthful immaturity. His athleticism and speed both speak for themselves, and with good BP power there are enough tools here to follow in the next few years. That said, considerable work is ahead if Liberato is to actualize it all and be a big league contributor. I ultimately think he’ll settle into a bench outfield role at ceiling, with a realistic possibility that he’ll never be more than an up-and-down/emergency depth option who never quite reaches full prospect potential because of major offensive struggles.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Platoon/bench outfielder — definite defensive chops but significant strides to make offensively (40)
MLB ETA: 2020