Blue Jays Nation’s Mid-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 42: Rafael Lantigua

Photo credit:Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News
Ryley Delaney
9 months ago
One thing the Jays do a good job of is finding players with good hit tool, and this article will look at one of these players!
Just a quick recap of the mid-season list: We’ll look at the players stats, my observations, and finally other publications (Prospects Live, MLB Pipeline, Baseball America) scouting reports.
Today we’ll look at Rafael Lantigua, who’s having a breakout season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

Getting to know Rafael Lantigua…

Position: Second base/Shortstop/Third base/Centre Field/Right Field/Left Field
Bats: Right
Born: April 28, 1998
Acquired: 2016 International Free Agency
Current Team: Triple-A Buffalo
Previous Ranking: 48
It’s safe to say that the 5’7”, 153 lb Lantigua broke out this season. With the Buffalo Bisons, he’s slashing .288/.417/.471 with nine homers in 382 plate appearances. Moreover, he has a 17.8 BB% and a 18.6 K%, showing a great eye at the plate. Overall, he has a 127 wRC+ which is tied for his career-high.
The last time he had a 127 wRC+ was back in 2021 with the Vancouver Canadians, where heslashed .280/.375/.470 with 11 homers in 347 plate appearances. However, he had a lower BB% of 12.1%, while his K% was higher than it is in 2023, as it sat at 21.9% in Vancouver.
So what makes the 25-year-old so intriguing? Well for starters, he has experience at every position except for catching and first base. His natural position is in the infield, but starting in 2021, the Jays started to run him out in the outfield.
Lantigua is a great contact hitter, walking nearly as much as he strikes out, and has the ability to hit for a rather high average. On top of that, he has some pop in his bat, but not a ton. Defensively, he has good instincts on the infield with a strong arm. He’s athletic enough to make diving catches as he does in the video below, and he is a quick runner which allows him to cover ground in the outfield.
It appears that the Jays are prepping Lantigua for a super utility role. He’s shown improvement in his swing decisions (he had an 8.9 BB% in Triple-A last season), and he’s a good hitter. He’s Rule 5 eligible after the season is done, so the Jays may think about protecting him.

Next up:

In the next article, we’ll look at a young outfielder who is having a rebound season!

In case you missed it…

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