The Pick is in : Gabriel Rincones Jr - OF - Florida Atlantic - 21 years old
The Scoop :
“Rincones’ father, Gabriel Sr., pitched briefly in the Mariners organization. His son is a pure hitter who played for H.B. Plant, the Tampa school that produced Wade Boggs and Kyle Tucker, among others. Rincones went from high school to starring at St. Petersburg Junior College in 2020, then posted a 36-game hitting streak in 2021 and was a first-team All-American. He was drafted in the 19th round by the Padres, then moved on to Florida Atlantic in 2022, earning Conference USA Newcomer of the Year honors by hitting 19 homers with a 1.110 OPS.
It’s Rincones’ left-handed bat that has scouts interested. He’s always been able to hit with an advanced approach at the plate, something that continued with high walk and low strikeout rates after the move to Division I baseball. The power started really showing up this season, especially to his pull side, but he can drive the ball to all fields. He punishes fastballs with pitchers only finding success in getting him out with offspeed stuff.
Rincones is going to have to hit to become a big leaguer because he is limited defensively. He has a below-average arm and doesn’t run well, meaning he’s likely either a left fielder or a first baseman. He likely has shown enough on the offensive side for teams that like college performers to consider him on Day 2 of the Draft.” - MLB Draft Data Base
“Rincones set a St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC program record in 2021 when he managed a 36-game hitting streak during a season when he hit .415 with six home runs. The Padres drafted him in the 19th round, but instead of signing the 6-foot-4, 225-pound outfielder went to Florida Atlantic for the 2022 season.
The move has proved to be a wise one, as Rincones continued to hit at a high level in Conference USA, with some of the best exit velocity data in the country. Rincones hit .346/.451/.658 with 19 home runs, 17 doubles and 42 walks (14.6 BB%) to 51 strikeouts (17.7 K%). Despite future raw power grades that check in at plus and even plus-plus, Rincones is a hitter first who sees the ball well and controls the zone.
He hits fastballs well and performed against 93-plus mph velocity, with the power to clear the fence to all fields. Rincones had more swings and misses against secondaries, but scouts still believe he has a chance for an above-average bat. He’ll need to hit, as his defensive profile is limited.
He played right field for Florida Atlantic this spring but is a well below-average runner who might be a better fit for first base, where his tall frame could serve him nicely.” - Baseball America