MLB Prospect Review: Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

USA TODAY Sports

The Padres drafted Hunter Renfroe with the #13 overall pick last year, but has been a bit forgotten at times among his draft class. Is he being overlooked for fantasy purposes, and when could we see him in San Diego?

Throughout the minor league season, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will look at a number of prospects for your fantasy and dynasty teams. Some will be prospects that you'll see this year in the majors, while others are interesting targets in longer term formats. Up today is Padres' outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

The Basics

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200 lbs.
On 40-Man Roster: No
Protect After: 2016 Season
DOB: 1/28/1992 (Age 22 Season)

His History

Renfroe was drafted in the 31st round out of Copiah Academy in 2010 by the Red Sox, but did not sign and opted to attend Mississippi State instead. Renfroe was a catcher primarily in high school, but also pitched and was considered a prospect at either position. His first two seasons at MSU were a bit pedestrian as he got his feet under himself, but emerged as one of the top college bats last year on the strength of a .345/.431/.620 slash line with 16 home runs. The Padres took him with the #13 overall pick, and he did not sign until early July after his Bulldogs finished as the runner-up in the College World Series.

After receiving a bonus of nearly $2.7 million, the Padres sent Renfroe to their Northwest League affiliate in Eugene, Oregon. He was promoted to full-season Low-A Fort Wayne after 25 games, during which he hit .308/.333/.510 with four home runs. Over his 18-game stint in Fort Wayne, Renfroe hit just .212/.268/.379, but had two home runs and seven RBI. He was moved up to High-A Lake Elsinore to start this season, where he has four home runs already but is hitting just .254/.333/.521. He also has three steals in three attempts through 18 games.

The Scouting Report

Hit (AVG): Renfroe is likely to be an average hitter at best, and has some work to do as he moves through the minors. He has shown issues with plate discipline so far in the minors, with a potential strikeout profile. That said, the reports on Renfroe seem to point more to a desire to swing than an inability to make consistent evaluations of the pitches being thrown his way, and if he can reign back a little on that aggression, should do alright.

Power (HR, RBI): Power is the calling card for Renfroe, as he has the potential to be a 25-30 home run hitter in the major leagues. There are questions surrounding how well it will play in game given the concerns about his hit tool, but he remains one of the few prospects with true high-level power potential.

Speed (R, SB): Renfroe is not a burner by any stretch, but has at least average speed which can flash a bit better at times. He won't be a baseclogger in the majors, and in fact could provide 15+ stolen bases a season in his prime with the potential for more some seasons.

Defense: Renfroe has a prototypical right field profile, with solid range and an excellent arm. He was viewed as an interesting prospect out of high school as a pitcher, and was even considered for the top outfield arm ($) in the minor leagues by the staff at Baseball Prospectus.

When Could He Arrive?

Renfroe could potentially see AA this season, but there is at least one prospect ahead of him that could keep him from moving too quickly (Rymer Liriano). I would expect that realistically we see Renfroe in San Diego at some point during the 2016 season.

What Can He Do When He Gets There?

I can see a line of .265 with 20 home runs and 12 stolen bases most years, with a 25+ home run and 15+ stolen base season possible as well. I don't believe he hits for higher than a .280 average at any point, unless he can make significant adjustments to his approach.

Conclusions

We had Renfroe as our #70 consensus fantasy prospect this offseason, and I had him as my #21 outfielder overall. That number will likely end up too low, as Renfroe can be kind of a poor-man's George Springer, providing a very nice power and speed combination, but with a bit more average and less power/speed overall. His power should play even in Petco Park, and should be a very interesting fantasy outfielder before too long.

Sources

Baseball America
Baseball Reference
Baseball Prospectus
The Baseball Cube
Fangraphs
MLB Farm
Gas Lamp Ball

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