Cody Bellinger was supposed to be the big power source for the Dodgers at Double-A Tulsa this year. He's done pretty well, hitting .259/.360/.458 with 17 knocks, but lately he's been overshadowed in the Drillers lineup by fellow slugging prospect Edwin Rios.
Rios has split the 2016 between three levels; as a result his campaign is easy to miss with a casual look. but he's been quite devastating the last three months. He opened with a .252/.305/.487 mark in 119 at-bats for Great Lakes in the Low-A Midwest League, then exploded on promotion to Rancho Cucamonga in the High-A California League, hitting .367/.394/.712 in 177 at-bats with 16 homers in just 42 games.
Yeah, that's the Cal League but he's remained very hot since being promoted to Tulsa, hitting Texas League pitching at a .298/.339/.632 clip in his first 57 at-bats. Overall he's hitting .317/.354/.623 on the season with 23 doubles, 27 homers, 20 walks, and 96 strikeouts in 353 at-bats.
Okay, so who exactly is Edwin Rios?
Rios is from Puerto Rico and attended college at Florida International University. A strong 2015 season (.314/.421/.592, 18 homers) resulted in a sixth-round slot last spring despite concerns about his defense and a long swing. His pro debut was nothing special with 20 games for Ogden in the Pioneer League, resulting in .235/.307/.471 mark, but the sample size was too small to be meaningful.
As noted, he's picked up where he left off in college and has continued mashing this year. The scouting reports from college still hold true: big power is the calling card (he's hit 30 doubles and 30 homers in 112 professional games), but his approach is aggressive and contact could be an issue at the highest levels. Major league pitchers may find success busting him with heat inside or getting him to chase breaking pitches away, although so far minor league pitchers haven't been able to make that strategy work consistently and he'll punish any mistakes.
Personally I think Rios may be able to make sufficient adjustments, sufficient to hit .250 with enough power to be valuable.
A bigger issue may very well be defense. He has a strong throwing arm but the rest of his defensive tools are mediocre at best. The Dodgers are using him at third base but he doesn't seem to have the range or instincts for the position; he's basically a butcher with a career .887 fielding percentage at the hot corner and poor range metrics. He is much better at first base but it is harder to find a job there.
Overall, Rios is a power bat who is absolutely worth tracking even though it is presently unclear how he'll fit into a lineup. He rates as a Grade B- prospect at present.