Signed out of Venezuela as an international amateur free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays back on July 2, 2014, middle infielder Kevin Vicuna has long been a defensive whiz kid in the organization, even while his bat has struggled to produce consistent hard contact. Across the first three years of his professional career, spanning five affiliates at four different levels in the Jays’ system, Vicuna has slashed .266/.338/.302/.640 with just 13 doubles and no home runs across 751 at-bats over 194 games. In 2017 alone, during which Vicuna saw time with short-season Vancouver, Low-A Lansing, and High-A Dunedin, the shortstop appeared in 84 games (323 at-bats) and slashed .269/.322/.303/.625 with five doubles, three triples, 17 stolen bases, 16 walks, and 68 strikeouts.
Exceptional glove work has carried Kevin Vicuna this far in pro ball, and it’s got a shot to carry him all the way to the big leagues, but a below-average arm and a complete lack of offensive tools will ultimately limit his profile even as the 19-year-old (DOB: January 14, 1998) grows into his body and matures in the game. Below, you’ll find our complete 2017 Kevin Vicuna scouting report, including game video, tool grades, analysis, projection notes, and more on the Toronto Blue Jays infield prospect.
Kevin Vicuna, Toronto Blue Jays — 2017 Scouting Report
Dates observed in 2017: August 3-4
Kevin Vicuna Scouting Report, Toronto Blue Jays — 2017 Game Video
Kevin Vicuna Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis
Few minor leaguers I saw this year are more glove-first (or more accurately, glove-only) than Toronto Blue Jays middle infield prospect Kevin Vicuna. The Venezuelan shortstop undoubtedly has the glove to play Major League Baseball, and enough arm strength to ultimately stick at second base, or in a utility role, but the prospect’s bat will forever remain a question thanks to a poor approach, poor results, and an inability to hit the ball with the authority you need in an everyday player. That doesn’t mean Vicuna will wash out in the upper minors; I believe his glove is good enough to be a true carrying tool, and he’ll get big league time simply by virtue of the fact that he’s such a good defender. But it does mean he will forever struggle to carve out consistent playing time in The Show if he can’t produce even modest offensive totals — which I believe will prove unlikely barring major changes in his swing and some serious physical growth over the next few years. Whether that manifests itself as a true utility role off the bench, or an up-and-down emergency call-up role at floor, we’ll see in time.
Kevin Vicuna Scouting Report — Future Projection
The Toronto Blue Jays tested Kevin Vicuna this year, ultimately sending the 19-year-old to High-A Dunedin to begin the season. And while he failed at the plate there, and eventually was demoted to Vancouver and later Lansing, I don’t think there’s any question about Vicuna’s glove being good enough to play in the upper minors now, let alone in 2018. His bat is what will ultimately limit him. Vicuna need not be a power hitter, of course, but he’s so remedial at the plate right now that he’ll struggle to legitimately earn an everyday role in the big leagues without some significant improvements, and to that end, I believe he’s likely to wind up a utility/bench guy who can play across the infield, with a floor below that as an extremely good AAAA infielder with occasional call-up potential.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Defense-first bench/platoon middle infielder; floor as up-and-down depth (42.5)
MLB ETA: 2020