Just 24 hours before I was at the same ballpark to scout some of his teammates play in cold and windy conditions. So why was I back the next night, putting myself through equally as bad temperatures? Because Adonis Medina is really damn good, that’s why. He was my #83 prospect entering the season, 23rd amongst pitchers, and one of my top prospects on the rise for the 2019 season. So yes, braving the cold was definitely worth it to get live looks at one of my favorite pitching prospects in the minors. Here are my takeaways.
Final Line: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K | 85 pitches, 60 strikes.
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Adonis Medina Scouting Report
Height: 6’1 | Weight: 185 | Throws: R | DOB: 12/18/96 | From: Dominican Republic
First, let’s get a little background on Adonis Medina. The Philadelphia Phillies signed Medina as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in May of 2014 for $70K. He didn’t begin to show up on industry prospect lists until 2016 and has been steadily climbing ever since as he continues to post good numbers at each level.
Early on in his career, the strikeout numbers weren’t overly impressive for Medina, but have gotten much better as he continues to refine his secondary pitches into true weapons. Medina throws three pitches, which we will get into below, and all three project to be plus or better pitches in my opinion. His above-average command has helped him limit hard contact and keep the ball on the ground consistently throughout his career, never falling below a 48.1% ground ball rate.
Just call him “Easy-A” Medina. You would think the below deliveries are just him throwing warmup pitches before the inning. Nope. That’s Medina throwing 93mph cheese, along with a slider. Out of a 3/4 arm slot, Medina has clean mechanics with a delivery that he repeats consistently. He uses a stomach-high leg kick and creates good extension with a strong back leg push. When pitching from the stretch, Medina gets rid of the leg lick and goes with more of an abbreviated side step towards the plate. From start to finish, everything is fluid and there’s very little effort in his delivery. Medina is able to generate high velocity from his arm speed, torque, and strong lower half. I don’t see any glaring issues with this delivery.
Arsenal (With Scouting Grades)
You’ll see a lot of sites give Medina’s fastball a grade of 60. Me? I give it a 65 due to the combination of velocity, movement, and command. Medina was sitting 89-93 during this game, but I was expecting his velocity to be down in this one as it was the first start of the season and the temperature was in the 30’s. As the season progresses and the temperatures rise, Medina’s velocity should tick up into its usual 92-95 range, topping out around 96-97.
As you can see below, Medina gets a ton of arm side run on his fastball, making it a tough pitch to hit for both righties and lefties alike. Against right-handed batters, Medina will run his fastball in on the inside corner and also threw a few that tailed back onto the outer black. Same thing for left-handed batters too. Medina will never be a guy that records the sexy triple-digit velocity, but with the command, movement, and low to mid-90s velocity, this is easily a plus fastball.
And here’s another fastball, this time to a lefty batter out of the stretch using the quicker movement towards home that I mentioned above.
In the early stages of the game, Medina was throwing a bunch of changeups, accounting for nine of his first 26 pitches through two innings. He toned it down as the game went on, but the changeup was a staple for him throughout with most of them being good ones, outside of a few he buried in the dirt. Medina will mostly sat in the 83-87 range with his changeup, with both fade and tumbling action. He was using it effectively against both right-handed and left-handed batters. When he was commanding the pitch away versus lefties, they had basically no chance.
If you turn your volume up, you’ll hear me go “oooooh” after that slider below from Medina. To be honest, I don’t recall saying that, but it makes sense that I did with how nasty the pitch was. Medina followed up with an equally as nasty slider even further out of the zone with Dalbec couldn’t resist either. Long story short, Medina made the Dalbino look like a fool in that at-bat, which is impressive as Dalbec is a damn good prospect.
While most sliders are in the low to mid 80s, Medina throws his mostly in the 77-81 mph range, with some tonight sitting at 75-76. As you’ll see below, the movement is nasty with sharp two-plane tilt that takes off against righties and buries near the back foot of lefties. This has turned into a third plus pitch/weapon for Medina. Not fair Adonis, not fair.
After being a little wild, but without issuing a walk, in the early innings, Medina was able to settle down and showed solid command of all three of his pitches. That’s been status quo for Medina throughout his career as well. Even with the three nasty offerings, he’s been able to command his arsenal fairly consistently and keep his control in check. He’ll locate his fastball to both sides of the plate, even with the strong movement, and can throw his changeup for strikes when he needs to. As you can see above, his BB/9 rate has never been above 3.3 at any level thus far and that’s a trend I expect to continue in the future.
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of Adonis Medina for the future. With three plus pitches, clean/repeatable mechanics, and solid command, I truly believe he has top of the rotation upside with high strikeout potential in the 10-11 K/9 range. He was my #23 pitching prospect and #83 overall prospect heading into the season, but those are bound to be much better by my mid-season update and again next spring. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have to be excited about the future 1-2 punch of Aaron Nola and Medina atop the Philadelphia rotation. And for all you dynasty leaguers out there, I’d be trying to get Medina on my team ASAP as his price tag is only going to go up from here.
Photo/Video Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire (Featured Image), Prospects Live (Medina chart). All video recorded by me.
Eric Cross is the lead MLB/Fantasy Baseball writer and MiLB prospect analyst for FantraxHQ and has been with the site since March 2017. In the past, he wrote for FantasyPros and FanSided. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and a contributor in the best-selling Fantasy Baseball Black Book. For more from Eric, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter @EricCross04.
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