Top 50 Scouting Report: #28 Ezequiel Carrera

Carrera hit a combined .329 last season

The New York Mets signed the young outfielder out of his native Venezuela in 2005. After an impressive debut in the Venezuelan Summer League the following year, he made his first appearance stateside this past summer to much success. Here is a scouting report on GCL / Brooklyn outfielder Ezequiel Carrera.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Ezequiel Carrera
DOB: June 11, 1987
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175
Bats: Left
Throws: Left

When the season started, Ezequiel Carrera, 20, had the look of a more long-term project despite a successful rookie season in the Venezuelan Summer League. Coming off that first campaign in which he hit .301, he showed a strong understanding of how to conduct himself at the plate. That set the stage for him to break camp with the Gulf Coast League Mets where he received an opportunity to play against peers of similar experience.

Right from the start of the season, it appeared as if Carrera did not miss a beat in his transition to Florida. He got off a .316 pace and proved to be extremely valuable at the top of the GCL Mets order. It was quickly evident that not only would he hit for a high average, but play a significant role because of his speed to not only leg out extra-base hits, but be a dangerous threat to steal every time he reached base.

There was no slowing down the young centerfielder. Even after one full month of play, he led his squad in numerous categories, including: batting average, RBI, hits, runs, doubles, walks and stolen bases. It was clear that he had the look of a player who could do just about anything.

First and foremost, it starts with his offense. While many young hitters struggle with their plate discipline and lack a firm sense of what do when they step into the box, such is not the case for Carrera. During his stay in the GCL [45 games], he earned one walk for every strikeout and raked 61 hits, on his way to a .430 on-base percentage which ranked third in the league.

His compact swing and fast hands permit him to reach balls that he can poke into base hits, but his good eye and quick bat also allow him to extend at-bats by fouling away pitches that many other miss for strikes.

Although he routinely stood out in his lineup for his production, his rather small stature does leave more to be desired in terms of power given his defensive position. There is little chance he will ever become a viable home run hitter, but heading into his third year, eyes will certainly be affixed to witness if he can breakaway from being a singles hitter into a greater gap hitter. Nonetheless, observers were more than pleased by the final .341 batting average he posted with the GCL Mets before a promotion sent him to Brooklyn.

Carrera took the test and ran with it. He did not show the same patience he previously did earlier in the summer, but he still raced to a .333 clip in his first ten games with the Cyclones before cooling to a 12-for-43 finish. But the performance was enough to show that he is ready for more challenges. On the bigger stage of KeySpan Park, scouts got to see just how good he stands to be with more years of seasoning.

There is plenty of deserving buzz beginning to circulate around Carrera. Though he is still rather raw in a few areas of his game, including his offense, last season he established himself as one who will stay fixed on the Mets radar over the next few seasons. His size and build may not be that of a traditional outfielder, but as long as he keeps hitting, Carrera will continue to receive opportunities to prove himself as he moves up the ladder.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2007

Brooklyn

.300

70

21

0

6

41

6

4

13

.347

.329

2007

GCL

.341

179

61

1

26

41

16

16

29

.430

.436

2006

VSL

.301

216

65

1

19

41

22

16

28

.365

.380



Batting and Power: Carrera has shown consistent growth and offensive prowess by hitting over .300 at every stop he has made. He has great patience at the plate and a short, quick stroke that allows him to slap the ball around the field. He will never display any significant home run power, but his ability to hit the ball line to line and motor around the bases makes him a legitimate leadoff hitter. As a left-hander, he bursts out of the batter's box with great speed that suits him as a very capable bunter. So far, he has shown no depreciation as he moves up the latter, and if he can continue to mature with the bat, he has the look of a natural .300 hitter because of his ability to keep at-bats alive. Yet, to stay at such a level he will need to improve on his vastly lower average against southpaws than righties.

Base Running and Speed: Carrera's excellent speed plays into many factors of his game. He has already demonstrated strong base stealing abilities with a career 72 percent efficiency rate. He has an excellent burst both after contact and off the base which allows him to leg out extra base hits and go first to home on balls to the outfield. His speed also plays an important role defensively as he can cover a large amount of ground in centerfield.

Defense: Thanks to that terrific speed, Carrera finds very few balls out of his reach. His good tracking abilities make his speed even more effective as he infrequently finds himself out of position. He can make all the routine plays while incorporating a flair for the dramatic. Given his size, he does not possess a very big arm but it is enough to make quick, on target return throws while ensuring runners do not take advantage of him.

Projection: Carrera has made very notable progress since signing on as a fresh face 18-year-old. He has shown advanced knowledge of how to handle the bat with patience potentially beyond his years. At such a young age, his pension for hitting for a high average with minimal strikeouts bodes well for his ascension in the system. When combining his offense, defense and speed, Carrera has the talent to put himself in the big leagues down the road if he can maintain a high average while possessing the multiple tools sough after in a leadoff hitter. He lack of significant power over the long term will most likely prevent him from being a starter at the Major League level, but his speed and defense could earn him a role as a reserve outfielder. At the very least, Carrera should remain a trusted organizational star when he reaches the higher levels.

ETA: 2011. In his first season in the States, Carrera made two very positive stops at Kingsport and Brooklyn and hit .300 or above in both locations. He appeared in only 20 games with Brooklyn, but that should be his only stay in the NY-Penn League. He should break camp with Savannah in the South Atlantic League this upcoming season to challenge for the starting centerfielder's spot and then move up one level per season before making to the Mets roster as a fourth outfielder during the 2011 season.

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