Today’s special top prospect watch is going to be about Phillies’ prospect Malquin Canelo. Canelo is ranked as the Phillies 12th best prospect and is currently the second best shortstop prospect they have behind J.P. Crawford, who is their most prized possession. I finally got a chance to watch and meet Canelo, he sounds like a smart man, who is going to be a success on the diamond on how he thinks and plays the game. Now, he does have his ups and downs with his pros and cons, well he is only in Single-A and only 21 years old.
Now, Canelo will play shortstop at any level in baseball, if it is for the Phillies or another piece, as if Crawford progresses well, Canelo can either become their future second baseman or be a key trade chip for another team to become their shortstop. He has the tools to remain at the sixth spot on the field. He consists of quick and fluid hips to range deep in the hole to the left or right of him, plus he has a clean glove that does not record errors and he makes a strong throw every time to the base, which his arm delivers the ball quicker than a bullet leaving a gun. Lastly, he has the speed to stay there too.
Next, Canelo is going to take a little bit longer on the offensive side, but he does have some wheels on him, as he is a threat to swipe 30 or more bags per season. He needs to add some more strength to drive the ball deep into the gaps, but singles do not hurt, as his speed allows him to advance to any base. Canelo spreads the ball most of the time up the middle or by pulling it to left field, but he will need to learn the Derek Jeter way, which is by taking the pitch to right field. He needs to refine his approach, but that is an easy fix.
Finally, Canelo has had a hard time this year at the plate in high Single-A (Clearwater). He has produced a slash line of .225/.284/.316 with only two home runs, which his power will kick in later in his career. Also, he drove in 19 RBIs and stole five bases. This has all been done in only 53 games and in those games, he has only batted 187 times. He will remain at Clearwater for the remainder of the season and could see extend time there next season as well.