Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #10 Damiano Palmegiani
Photo credit:(Mark Steffens - Fotoguy)
5 days ago
Damiano Palmegiani was born in Venezuela but grew up near Vancouver, British Columbia, where he spent a large part of the 2022 season.
Palmegiani was one of the quickest-rising prospects in the Blue Jays organization after a fantastic 2022, but before we look into that, let’s look at the criteria.
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll review their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Damiano Palmegiani‘s career so far:
The 22-year-old Canadian third baseman/first baseman was selected in the 14th round of the 2021 draft.
He started the 2021 season with the Florida Complex League Blue Jays, only registering 48 plate appearances. There, he slashed .333/.458/.538 with two homers and had a 14.6 BB% and an 18.8 K%.
Palmegiani started the 2022 season with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays, where he slashed .256/.351/.508 with 11 homers in 228 plate appearances. His K% jumped slightly to 20.6%, but he maintained a good 10.1 BB%. Per Exit Vel’O’Clock, he had an average exit velocity of 87.4 mph during his time with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Moreover, he had a maximum exit velocity of 109.2 mph and a hard-hit percentage of 38.7%, great numbers.
He spent the second half of the season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians, where he slashed .224/.335/.443 with 13 homers in 272 plate appearances. Three of those home runs were grand slams, and his BB% increased to 11.4%, while his K% of 22.1% was still relatively solid.
He was one of only three Blue Jays prospects to register more than 20 homers in the minors this season, ranking third behind Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger.
Tall frame, muscular legs, broad shoulders, and a long torso, Palmegiani’s calling card is the raw power he possesses. He has plenty of strength, elite bat speed, and a fluid swing, meaning when he barrels the ball, there’s a good chance it’s gone. He also has a solid hit tool, able to hit tough pitches and take a walk, although there is a little bit of swing and miss in his game. Defense at third base is still a work in progress but has gotten better with practice. Good instincts and a strong arm should keep him at third. Fringe-average runner.
Where he’ll start in 2023:
It’s likely that Palmegiani will take that next step and start the season in Double-A New Hampshire, where Vauxhall teammate Adam Macko could potentially join him. There is a slight chance that the soon-to-be 23-year-old will repeat the level in High-A, but that’s unlikely.
To take it to the next step, he’ll have to continue to work on his defense, something which is capable of as he has a great work ethic.
Next up, we’ll have a pitcher with an interesting story who has quite a high floor. Stay tuned for that on Sunday morning!
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