Prospect of the Day: Carlos Peguero
When the Seattle Mariners dumped Milton Bradley earlier this month, the immediate beneficiary was outfield prospect Carlos Peguero, promoted from Triple-A and installed in the lineup. Is Peguero a long-term solution in left field?
Peguero was signed by the Mariners as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2005. Left-handed power is his best asset and he has a lot of it: he hit 31 homers in the California League in 2009 and another 23 last year for Double-A West Tennessee. In 511 career minor league games, Peguero hit 88 homers with an overall line of .271/.329/.497, including a .282/.345/.456 mark in Triple-A before his promotion.
The power comes with some significant flaws. He has big problems with breaking balls and a very high strikeout rate, including 660 career minor league strikeouts and 34 in just 25 Triple-A games this year. In his first 17 major league games, he's fanned 19 times and drawn just two walks, though he also hit a double, a triple, and two home runs. Contact is always going to be an issue for him, and he'll never likely hit for much of a batting average without big improvements in his approach. However, he has the potential to be a 25-30 homer hitter if he can make the necessary adjustments.
Despite his 6-5, 245 pound frame, Peguero is a good athlete who runs well. He was error-prone in the minors, though he did show a strong throwing arm and enough range to play center field on occasion.
At age 24, Peguero hasn't yet entered his peak seasons and still has slack on the classic development curve. He'll need that slack, as major league pitchers will quickly find the holes in his swing.