Prospect Profile: Luis Sardinas

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jurickson Profar right garners much of the shortstop glory in the Texas system but Sardinas has the better glove and is a prospect in his own right

While Jurickson Profar made his debut in the major leagues in 2012, the other million dollar shortstop the Texas Rangers signed in 2009 was having a breakthrough season of his own. Luis Sardinas has always shown the talent, with a career slash line of .291/.346/.354 and plus defense as a shortstop. The breakthrough for Sardinas came in the form of a fully (well, mostly) healthy season. Prior to 2012 the most at-bats Sardinas had accrued in a single season was 103 over the span of a 26 games. But in 2012, Sardinas not only totaled 374 at-bats over 96 games producing a .291/.346/.356 slash line along the way.

Thus far 2013 has been more of the same, in a good way, for Sardinas. He was promoted to Hi-A Myrtle Beach in the offseason and has compiled of .281/.337/.349 slash line in 69 games. He's producing a walk rate consistent with the 7% rate he produced in 2012, though his strikeout rate has bumped up a couple percent. The good news is that his strikeout rate bumped up to...14.5%, which is certainly a workable number. There's very little power to speak of though, with a career high of two home runs. He does pack a punch on the basepaths though, swiping 32 bases in 41 total attempts and he is a career 80% base stealer. While Sardinas isn't going to be a complete fantasy player due to his lack of punch, he could produce an empty average and plenty of stolen bases which will be worthwhile in deep leagues.

Ranked #5 in the Texas system by Baseball Prospectus and #7 by Baseball America, Sardinas has achieved much of his prospect status via his glove. He's a no doubt shortstop, of which there aren't a ton in the minor leagues. His glove was rated a 70 by Baseball Prospectus on the 20-80 scouting scale with his arm checking in at a 60. Those are incredible tools to throw on a prospect and Sardinas deserves them. His defense is tremendous and it lets us know that he's going to to stick at a position of scarcity, but accolades aside, it doesn't do much else for as as fantasy players. Sardinas' plus-plus speed should appeal to fantasy leaguers who are desperate for stolen bases. It's not glorious, but if you can squeeze stolen bases out of a position as scarce as shortstop then you can focus on other categories most everywhere else. Sardinas isn't just a one trick pony though, as he has the hit tool to carry an upper .200s batting average if not breaking the .300 barrier. He's suffered injuries throughout his career, including to both shoulders and a broken finger but at only 20 years old, Sardinas still has time to add weight to his sleight frame to help him add to his meager power output.

In the end, Sardinas is a deep league prospect only. He might be worth owning as he gets closer to the big leagues, but as of now he's a future two-to-three category contributor who will actively hurt owners in a couple categories (especially for OPS leagues). That means he's best left on the wire (unless you're in a deep AL only league or have extensive minor league systems) for now, but worth adding to your watch lists. I think his fantasy upside is what many expected of Andrelton Simmons* but without the pop (which is saying something). We're talking about a shortstop that should contribute positively in average, runs and stolen bases while contributing little to nothing in home runs (or RBI but that's context dependent).

*Keep in mind this is from a fantasy perspective only. Not as a baseball player, though both are phenomenal defenders.

Source Material
Baseball America
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference
FanGraphs

You can follow me on Twitter at @cdgoldstein
You can find more of my work at The Dynasty Guru and MLB Draft Insider

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