Courtesy: Shaun P Kernahan
One of the top international prospects in 2013, Micker Adolfo Zapata has apparently dropped his final surname and is simply going by Micker Adolfo now. He signed for $1.6 million last summer, the biggest bonus given to any international prospect by the Chicago White Sox since their bonus-skimming scandal back in 2008.
Adolfo does not look 17 when you stand next to him. He has a mature body, looking every bit the 6’3″ and 225 lbs. he is listed at. Growing up in the US Virgin Islands until the age of 14 has allowed Adolfo to become fluent in both English and Spanish, making him one of the rare youngsters in Extended Spring that doesn’t seem to be stuck in a cultural click.
On the field, he has been described as a five-tool talent, but I give him three and a half. His speed is decent right now, but his already big frame will likely get a little bigger and slow him down some. Even as it stands now, he is not all that fast, and his base running is in need of real help. I saw him get picked off at first base when he took a secondary lead more than a third of the way up the line with a runner on second.
In the outfield, he has decent range and a very strong arm. He might see some time in center in the low minors, but I see him eventually settling into right field and being an above-average defender there.
At the plate, his bat is quick through the zone but currently has a big load, leaving him behind on some fastballs. He will probably be a big strikeout risk early in his minor league career, but as he improves his pitch recognition, the Ks should drop and the average should improve. He has real power in the bat, which is his greatest tool, and the power will only improve in time.
He will likely start the year in the Dominican Summer League, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him come back stateside before the season is over. If he makes contact consistently, he could easily flirt with being a top 10 prospect in the White Sox organization by the Spring of 2015.