The 2021 Dominican Summer League season may only be five weeks old, but one Red Sox prospect in particular is already drawing early praise from scouts who are on hand to watch the action unfold.
Miguel Bleis, Boston’s top international signing of 2021, has gotten his first professional season off to a hot start down in the Dominican.
Through eight games with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Red team, the 17-year-old outfielder has slashed an impressive .391/.462/.652 (205 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, one home run, four RBI, five runs scored, two walks, two strikeouts, and three stolen bases in 26 plate appearances thus far.
In addition to what he has done at the plate, Bleis has also played 50 defensive innings in center field, has recorded 14 put outs, and one outfield assist while only committing one error.
While Bleis has played in just eight of the DSL Red Sox Red’s 22 games to this point in the season, he has been able to garner positive feedback from scouts and other evaluators.
According to SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, the consensus among scouts seems to indicate that Bleis “is the real deal.”
The Red Sox originally gave Bleis a lucrative $1.8 million signing bonus back in January, making him the highest-paid member of their 2021 international free-agent class.
Bleis, who was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 20 prospect coming into this year’s international signing period, which began on January 15, is now regarded by BA as the 20th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system, per their midseason organizational rankings update.
According to his Baseball America scouting report, the right-handed hitting, right-handed throwing center fielder “has a lean, lively frame that’s sleek and athletic with high physical upside. His tools have trended up over the past year as projected, with plus speed and a plus arm now. He has long, gliding strides with an easy gait, covering a lot of ground in center field with the physical projection for his arm to potentially develop into a 70-grade tool.
“Bleis has fast bat speed and his power has jumped up from a little below-average to now showing above-average raw power, driving the ball fairly easily with backspin from center field over to his pull side,” the Dominican native’s scouting report reads. “With room to put on another 25-30 pounds of good weight, there could be more power in the tank. Bleis isn’t an advanced pure hitter, but he isn’t raw either, so if he can develop into an average hitter, he has the secondary tools to be a dynamic center fielder.”
Currently listed at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, Bleis — who does not turn 18 until next March — hails from San Pedro de Marocis, a city on the Dominican Republic’s southeastern coast that has produced major-league stars such as Fernando Tatis Jr., Robinson Cano, Johnny Cueto, Tony Fernandez, Alfonso Soriano, and Sammy Sosa, among others.
Back in February, Red Sox executive vice president and assistant general manager Eddie Romero appeared on the SoxProspects.com Podcast with Cundall and Chris Hatfield and described Bleis as a “premium center field talent” who has “all five tools” in addition to “an absolute hose” of an arm.
“He’s got surprising power,” Romero said of Bleis. “Being so young and being able to have above-average raw power is something we don’t see often for a center field player given his body type and athleticism. So, really, what we need to hone in on with him is approach. He performed well offensively in competition for us, and he’s continued to do that in the academy.”
As Bleis looks to build off his strong start to the Dominican Summer League campaign as the summer continues, it should be noted that the young outfielder is still a ways away from netting any sort of major-league consideration.
That said, it should be interesting to see if Bleis at any point this summer earns a promotion to the Florida Complex League. If not, he will still likely receive an invite to participate in the Sox’ fall instructional league in Fort Myers later this year.
(Picture of Red Sox hat: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)