Boston Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot has recently been promoted to Double-A, and in 16 games, as of July 8th, is hitting well (.295/.358/.443). He is considered one of the most exciting players in the minor leagues, with future five-tool potential--but is he really as good as many seem to think?
Margot has a solid hit tool, with a quick bat that moves well through the strike zone. He can put the barrel of the bat on the ball consistently and has fair pitch recognition, rarely striking out. He doesn't have a lot of trouble with breaking balls, which is especially impressive given the fact that he is only 20 years old. He has good bat speed and a compact swing, although it can get long on pitches out of the zone.
He is slightly too aggressive and rarely works a deep count, and in the few times I have watched him he chases pitches out of the zone. Some may think it is good that he rarely strikes out, but that also means he hardly ever walks and makes his strike zone bigger, leading to some weak contact. He has good loft in his swing. When I watched him he had trouble going to the opposite field. Future Hit-55
Margot has decent power, despite his small frame. Thanks to his swift bat and good barrel control, Margot can drive the ball well. He has good gap power, but little to no over the fence power outside of batting practice. I see the potential for 25-35 doubles a season, which is quite good, but am not as optimistic about his home run power, and see 12-15 home runs a year, as opposed to some other scouting reports which see him at 18-20. He needs to work on his power in the game, for when he gets too aggressive it is hard for him to make solid contact. Future Power-50
Speed is one of Margot's strong suits, and he consistently runs from home to first base in 4.23-4.28, according to Baseball Prospectus. Because of his good speed he can easily advance extra bases, but needs to choose his spots more wisely, as he doesn't always judge whether he should take the extra base correctly. He also doesn't get good jumps on the base paths, but I think that can be fixed. His speed plays up on defense and will allow him to stay in CF. Future Speed-65
Margot's arm is average, although he releases the ball quickly and has good accuracy. He has enough arm for CF and although he has a little trouble getting the ball to home plate, it is not as much of a problem for CF. Feel with proper training he could have a solid arm. Future Arm-50+
Along with speed, defense is Margot's calling card. Because he has such good speed, he can play shallow and backtrack. He reads the ball well and has good instincts. As at the plate, he is advanced for his age. He also takes good routes and can go side to side as well as backtrack and come in well. He always seems in control of the outfield and projects to stay in CF throughout his career. Future Defense-65
Although it is debatable whether Margot can be a leadoff hitter, thanks to his poor OBP, his well above average defense and speed should make sure he will be a solid first division regular. I project .280/.320/.400 hitter with 10-15 homers a year, 30-35 steals a year if he can get better jumps. His defensive skills will make sure he has a job no matter what.