Under the Radar Yankees Prospects: Outfielder Carlos Vidal

Yanks Go Yard is combing through the New York Yankees minor league system in search of hidden gems in this ongoing series. Today, we look at Carlos Vidal.

Carlos Vidal became a cult favorite among those who follow the New York Yankees minor league system after his monster 2015 campaign with Pulaski. At just 19, Vidal hit .303/.389/.492 with nine home runs and 16 steals in 281 plate appearances (60 games).

Vidal had been similarly electric in his first taste of pro ball the previous year, putting up a .361/.482/.498 slash line in 278 PA while playing in the Dominican Summer League.

In the chat discussing Baseball America’s 2015 Appalachian League Top 20 prospects (subscription required), BA’s Hudson Belinsky revealed that Vidal fell just short of making the list, calling him “solid across the board,” and saying he “has some feel for the stick and could be a fringy power type.”

Patrick Teale of Pinstriped Prospects was also bullish on Vidal prior to this year, comparing him to Brett Gardner because of his ability to get the most out of his small stature (Vidal is listed at 5’11 160). He doesn’t quite have Gardy’s wheels, but he makes up for it with his instincts and aggressiveness on the basepaths. Teale sees Vidal’s floor as a useful fourth outfielder, but notes he “possesses viable long-term big league starting potential.”

Unfortunately, Vidal’s progress through the minors was halted by a variety of injuries this year. He was limited to just 19 games and 75 plate appearances, although he did get a taste of the New York Penn-League, the Sally League, and the Florida State League.

Overall, the 20-year-old hit a disappointing .194/.280/.239 in his 75 PA, but its easy to chalk his struggles up to health. Given his impressive numbers the previous two seasons, I’m more than willing to give Vidal the benefit of the doubt and see what he can do with a fresh start next year. It’s easy for prospects like him to fall off the map after a down year, but Vidal is still one of the team’s most interesting position players in the lower levels.

Vidal seems like a good candidate to make the jump to a full season league in 2017, most likely with Low-A Charleston. He played just four games with the Riverdogs this year.

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