Luis Toribio, 3B
BATS: L / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: International Signing, July 2017
LAST LEVEL: High-A
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #30 Overall, #1 First Baseman
2022 Performance: In 2022, Luis Toribio moved towards his biggest strength by tapping into his power mid-season, but that came at a price. Toribio finished the season with 21 home runs, by far his season-high, which was ten back in 2018 in the Dominican Summer League. The jump came in the summer months, as he hit 15 of them during June and July.
Unfortunately, the cost came in the rest of his offense. His batting average was just .209, continuing a downward trend it’s followed for the past four years. Toribio’s previously lauded plate discipline dropped, as his walk rate dropped to 11.9%, by far a career-low, and his strikeout rate was 35.2%, close to his career-high.
All of this came as Toribio continued to trend towards first as his long-term positional home. Nearly 2/3rds of Toribio’s games in the field came at first base, with the rest at third. He handled the routine plays at first, but still had 12 errors and struggled to reach throws that were slightly wild. Toribio was very durable though, and played in a career-high 111 games.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Toribio’s biggest strength is now his plus power, and when he locked himself in over the summer, it was eye-popping, especially to his pull side. Unfortunately, unlocking his power seemed to come at the expense of his plate discipline, which once was what he was most lauded for. With just a .209 batting average at a level where most top hitting prospects excel, there are serious questions about whether Toribio will be able to unlock enough of it at higher levels.
Toribio’s defensive future was most helped by one thing: the adoption of the DH by the National League. He spent more time at first base this season with much of his time that did come at third coming as Marco Luciano’s injury shifted the infield around. Toribio’s defensive performance there was still lacking, as his range is subpar.
2023 Outlook: The mixed offensive performance won’t stop Toribio from moving on up to Double-A, a level that usually challenges power hitters (although not in 2022). He has a lot to prove. He must show that his power surge was for real, as the power could be a carrying tool, and that his hitting drops and fielding won’t be an anchor that will overwhelm what he can do with his slugging.
Future Profile: Toribio’s profile has changed significantly as he has moved up the system, and he now looks more like a first baseman/designated hitter with power upside at best, but the floor is very low.