Tigers Prospect Scouting Profile: Luis Cortez

After the top 50 and about 10 or so other profiles that we have done, we are digging deep here at MCB to continue to bring you profiles of players within the Tigers organization. That doesn’t mean these are insignificant at all, as the guy we are profiling today was brought in during the middle of the Venezuelan Summer League to help the Gulf Coast League roster out. Luis Cortez does have some ability, and fits in that group of players that could be lumped in the Tigers system anywhere in the next 30 or so after the top 50.

For a detailed scouting report, click on that continue reading thing…..

Background:

Luis Cortez was a July 2nd signing as a 16 year old in 2008 out of Barcelona, Anzoategui, Venezuela by the Tigers. A 6’0″ 160lb. right-handed hitter, Cortez didn’t see game action in the VSL until 2009. As a 17 year old, Cortez struggled to hit in his first season, posting just a .212 BA and an OPS of .604. 2010 was a different story for Cortez, as he saw a significant jump in his batting average, and began to have people take notice. Cortez got his batting average to .267 in 2010 as an 18 year old, and posted an OBP of .342. He even showed a little bit of pop, slugging .383, which isn’t good, but was an approximate increase of 70 points. Unfortunately 2011 in the VSL saw a little bit of a regression, but roster crunches stateside still forced a move for Cortez to the Gulf Coast League. Cortez responded nicely, posting a .275 BA and an OPS of .751. Cortez struck out around 20% of the time and only walked 7 times in 102 at-bats, but stole 7 of 9 bases for the GCL Tigers. Given that he is going to be 20 at the end of January, it is likely that Cortez will still see some time on a short-season squad to start 2012.

Scouting Report:

Cortez isn’t a big kid, but there is some room for him to add some muscle, and he has shown some ability to have gap power at times. His swing is compact, but currently lacks the bat speed to drive the ball out of the park on a regular basis. At times he can try and pull the ball too much and will have to strengthen his hands to continue to get better as he moves up the ladder. The plate discipline isn’t bad, and at times he shows a good idea of the strike zone, despite his K/BB ratio thus far. As he continues to see more breaking balls, he should be able to adapt a little bit better in that regard. His speed is just average on the base paths, and is better once he gets going, instead of initial burst out of the box or in stealing situations. If he does fill out a little bit more, his speed could end up just fringe, though with better instruction, he could maybe grab 10 bags a year.

Defensively, Cortez is much further along. He has played a couple of positions for the Tigers already, but he fits best at 2nd base, where he could be above average. Despite the lack of above average speed, he gets good jumps defensively, and has a natural knack for positioning himself for throws. His arm works plenty well enough from the 2nd base position, though it comes up a little bit short at SS. The hands are solid as well.

Outlook:

I don’t have as much enthusiasm for Cortez as some of the other Tigers middle infield prospects. Harold Castro, Hernan Perez, Dixon Machado and Eugenio Suarez come to mind. Cortez could develop though. He has the chance to be a solid hitter, and a good 2nd baseman defensively. The bottom line is we will know a lot more about Luis Cortez once he starts playing full season ball. Although I believe he will probably start in Connecticut in 2012, a late season call up to West Michigan isn’t out of the question. Cortez needs to get stronger, but he is one to keep an eye on.

Tags: Detroit Tigers Dixon Machado Eugenio Suarez GCL Tigers Harold Castro Hernan Perez Luis Cortez VSL Tigers

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