When the Red Sox signed Miguel Bleis to a $1.5 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic in January 2021, he arrived with a sky’s-the-limit sense of five-tool possibility.
Over the course of the 2022 Florida Complex League season, he did nothing to diminish that perception.
In 40 games, the 18-year-old hit .301/.353/.542 with five home runs and 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts. Had he not experienced lower-back tightness in early August, he would have been promoted to Low-A Salem by the end of the year.
Beyond the numbers, Bleis registered upper-end exit velocities that stood out both for their ferocity and sound while showing plus speed that stood out in center field and made an impact on the bases.
“When the ball comes off the bat, it’s loud. It’s different. It’s sort of a righthanded version of (Rafael) Devers,” FCL Red Sox manager Tom Kotchman said. “He can mishit balls and they go out.
“Does he have holes? Yes. He’s a lot like a lot of other guys who need to see a lot of breaking balls and sliders, but there’s no doubting the sound that the ball makes with the bat. And there’s no doubting him as a runner and how he runs, because it’s easy.”
Bleis showed an aggressive approach that resulted in a high strikeout rate of nearly 27% and a 6% walk rate that suggests the need for discipline gains, particularly on breaking pitches.
But his ability to demolish high-velocity fastballs represented a promising baseline for a player who has the potential to excel in several facets of the game. He grades as an above-average to plus center fielder thanks to good jumps, speed and a strong arm.
“You don’t talk about five-tool players too often, but he is one of them,” Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham said of Bleis’ potential.
— The Red Sox promoted Paul Toboni from scouting director to VP overseeing both amateur scouting and player development. Devin Pearson will move up from assistant scouting director to the director.
— First baseman Triston Casas, playing for the Licey Tigers of the Dominican League, was shut down after three games due to knee soreness. An MRI and an examination in Boston revealed no structural damage to the knee.