Luis Lara is the next Jackson Chourio. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but the truth of that statement is the fact that Lara is the next young international outfield prospect that you should keep an eye on this summer as he starts playing stateside for the first time in his young career.
Luis Lara is an 18-year-old (DOB: 11/17/2004) outfield prospect that played in the Dominican Summer League last season. He’s 5’9”, 155 lbs and is from San Felipe, Venezuela. He signed for $1.1 million and was apart of the Brewers touted 2022 International group that included Johan Berrios and Jhonny Severino. MLB Pipeline has Lara graded as follows:
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Lara, a switch hitter, who as a 17-year-old was almost a full year younger than the average player in the Dominican Summer League, slashed a respectable .260/.341/.385 with 2 HR, 21 RBI, 11 2B, and 4 3B all across 58 games and 229 PA. He also walked almost as much as he struckout (21 BB/28 K). I think that is where Lara is going to make his name early in his career as he continues to develop both and baseball and physically, as a player of his age showing off a 12.2% K rate is extremely promising, and as he puts on more muscle he may start to add power as well to his advanced vision at the plate. He also shows a promising FB% of 44.2%. However, his GB% is at 41.1% and his LD% is only sitting at 14.7%. My personal preference is to have a higher line drive percent compared to ground ball percent, but if a player has the speed to play that way, then more power to him. Only time will tell if Lara is that kind of player or not. Here are his offensive stats from last season (via Baseball Reference):
Luis Lara mainly played centerfield last season. He played 48 games out of 53 total games in center and excelled. He had 108 chances, had 104 putouts, 3 assists, and 1 error in center field alone over 360.1 innings. That’s good enough for a .991 fielding%. His range factor/9 innings was also at 2.67, which is exceptional for anyone. Lara seemed to patrol center with an outstanding. While there aren’t many stats to look at here, the amount of stats we do have paint enough of a picture to tell us who he is as a player on that side of the field. Stats (via Baseball Reference):
So, Where Does He Rank?
FanGraphs: 11th in Brewers System
MLB Pipeline: 15th in Brewers System
Luis Lara is an exciting name to keep an eye on. I would not expect him to ever put up gaudy power numbers as it’s hard to fill out a 5’9” frame without sacrificing too much speed, but similar to Jadher Areinamo, I believe Lara could make his living in this game by having an advanced eye at the plate, being a defensive stud in center, and having speed where he could steal 20 plus bases. There’s a reason he is ranked as highly as he is as one of the youngest players in the system, and I think we will all be witnesses to the talent in his first summer in the US. MLB Pipeline says it best, when they say “He’ll head to The States at the same age as many high school seniors, a sign of how advanced he is and how far along he still has to go in his baseball development”. He has potential and the aspect of youth on his side, and I think that will play a huge part in how the Brewers play him along in his Minor League career.