Ian Cundall, director of scouting for SoxProspects.com, offered an eye-opening dream scenario for Miguel Bleis last month when evaluating the burgeoning Red Sox prospect’s tantalizing upside.
“This is obviously very, very best-case — this is like the 99.9th-percentile outcome,” Cundall told NESN.com, emphasizing the pie-in-the-sky nature of such a player comparison, “is like Ronald Acuña-type talent.”
Ronald Acuña Jr., the National League Rookie of the Year with the Atlanta Braves in 2018, is a three-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and one of the most electric players in Major League Baseball. Bleis just turned 19 years old on March 1 and hasn’t played above rookie ball.
Yet, that’s the type of natural ability we’re talking about with Bleis. And the Dominican Republic native recently pointed to Acuña as the type of player he wants to become.
“Cinco herramientas,” Bleis told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
This, as Speier notes, is the Spanish phrase for “five tools,” an accurate description of Bleis’ robust skill set at this stage of his professional career.
Bleis has the potential to hit for both average and power, plus the speed to make an impact on the bases and in the field. He could provide elite defense in center field, a premium position, thanks to both his athleticism and his throwing arm. The package truly is impressive and, dare we say, Acuña-esque.
Of course, we probably won’t see Bleis in Boston for a few years. He has just 76 games (303 plate appearances) of pro experience since signing with the Red Sox as an international free agent in January 2021. But that’s not going to stop him from trying to force the organization’s hand at each step of the minors. Bleis even has an aggressive MLB ETA in mind.
“I have a goal. In my mind, at the end of my 21-year-old season, that will be a nice thing to do if I make my debut in the big leagues,” Bleis said, through translator Carlos Villoria-Benitez, per Speier. “I’m going to play hard and show the team I’m getting ready in all the aspects they want me to.”
Acuña, for what it’s worth, debuted in the majors with Atlanta at age 20 in 2018, less than four years after signing as an international free agent out of Venezuela. Each player has his own timeline, obviously, but Bleis already is garnering national attention as a consensus top-100 prospect, with bat speeds and exit velocities that would make many big leaguers blush.
We wouldn’t advise betting against Bleis, no matter how lofty his goals.