Acquired: NDFA (3/3/06)
Born: 6/3/88 (San Juan de La Maguana, DR)
Why Ranked Here: Veloz hit his way out of the SAL with a scorching performance after the All-Star Break at age 20. He brings plus big league speed to the ballpark every night. Veloz has the ability (range, hands and arm) to play MLB caliber defense at second, one of the tougher positions on the diamond to fill.
2008: Veloz hit .258/.304/.352 in 267 AB before the All-Star break but decided he’d had enough of the SAL and went out and hit .324/.388/.473 in 188 to earn his promotion to St. Lucie and the FSL. Veloz did not hit much in the season’s final month at St. Lucie, nor did he hit at all as one of the youngest players in Hawaii Winter Baseball. At all of his stops this year, Veloz hit better as a lefty than as a righty.
Dr. Pangloss Says: Veloz will be an MLB caliber second baseman who will be a threat to run whenever he’s on base.
On the Flipside: Veloz must walk more to be a true asset at the top of an MLB batting order because he has below average power. In 2008, he walked 39 times in over 550 PA. Moreover, his value as a utility infielder is limited because he doesn’t play short or third, so he’ll have to hit enough to hold down a 2B job to really deserve a roster spot. Scouts aren’t convinced he’ll hit at the higher levels.
Projected 2009 Start: St. Lucie as the team’s everyday 2B.
As an aside here, both Veloz and Josh Satin (a late scratch from the top 41) would have an argument to play 2B everyday in St. Lucie. Neither is ready for AA. It would be a disservice to either player’s development, and the team in Binghamton for either to be assigned to the Parlor City.