SF Giants Prospect Profile: 1B Ricky Oropesa

Oropesa was one of USC's all-time great sluggers.

Ricky Oropesa hasn't been in pro ball for long. But the big first baseman demonstrated equally big power potential while in college.

Position: First base
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225
Born: 12/15/1989
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Background

Ricky Oropesa was drafted in the third round (116th overall) by the Giants in the 2011 MLB entry draft. The 22-year-old first baseman spent the previous three years at the University of Southern California, where he compiled on of the best careers in Trojan history. He ranks top five in school history in both home runs (40) and RBI (159), and is tied for ninth in school history with a .596 career slugging percent.

Oropesa's most impressive season came in his sophomore year. He started all 60 games and batted .353 with 20 home runs, 67 RBI, a .711 slugging percent. He even netted seven stolen bases. In his college career, Oropesa also demonstrated a good eye at the plate, walking 85 times in 713 plate appearances and posting a .409 career on-base percent.

Scouting report

According to his pre-draft report coming out of high school in 2008, Oropesa was said to have plus, plus power. But he was also called inconsistent, especially against better pitching. The report also notes that he has a plus arm, but his size is likely something that keeps him at first base.

While not a particularly fast player, he does have good base running instincts, as evidenced by his 13 stolen bases in three seasons at USC. However, that was in 24 career attempts, a percentage that will not likely earn him the green light in professional baseball.

Future outlook

Oropesa began this season at high-A San Jose, and has had decent success thus far. Through his first 96 at-bats, he is hitting .271 with one home run and 14 RBI. He has shown a good eye at the plate, walking 14 times and posting a .364 on base percent. However, a big concern for Oropesa is strikeouts. He has piled up 29 strikeouts so far, striking out in 30 percent of his at-bats.

At 22-years-old and in his first professional season, Oropesa has plenty of time to get his game figured out. A major concern has to be the "inconsistent" label slapped on him as a high schooler. It's something that he appears to still have problems with five years later. Oropesa has the potential to be a middle of the order bat in the majors, but has a lot of work to do to realize that potential.

We see Oropesa as similar to Adam Dunn: a big player with big power, but with a the looming possibility of a paltry average and a ton of strikeouts. Like Dunn, Oropesa could find himself as a corner outfielder at some point during his career because of his arm strength. But, like Dunn, he ultimately projects as a first baseman or designated hitter.

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