AnalysisNL West

Demetrio Crisantes on the rise in Dbacks’ farm

Demetrio Crisantes’ name hasn’t gained much traction in his first two years of pro ball, but it will soon. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of High School, the 19-year-old was promoted to Visalia Rawhide earlier this week after impressing the club in his second season in the Arizona Complex League.

The move to Visalia was well-deserved for the Arizona native, who was crushing ACL pitching this season, slashing .355/.431/.521 for a 141 wRC+ (41% above league average). However, his level of success digs deeper than just standard statistics.

There’s somewhat of a negative correlation between groundball-to-flyball ratio and swinging-strike rate for hitters, as more upward swings can produce higher launch angles at the expense of making contact, but that wasn’t the case for Crisantes, who was a big outlier on the scatterplot (bottom left corner in red text).

His 0.60 GB/FB ranked fifth lowest among 85 qualified ACL hitters and his 9% SwStr rate ranked sixth lowest. A lot of his contact came in the form of line drives, posting a 31% line-drive rate that led the ACL this season. Crisantes’ ability to hit the ball in the air and to make contact stood out not just compared to hitters this season but in comparison to anyone who played Rookie ball in a long time – there have been more than 1,000 hitters to record as many plate appearances as Crisantes at the Rookie level in the last six years, and none of them hit to both a lower groundball-to-flyball ratio and swinging-strike rate, per Fangraphs.

Crisantes’ contact tool was reflected in his 15.3% strikeout rate, which was one of the lowest in the league this season. Looking at his rolling average K% and BB%, he maintained a below-average K rate (orange line) this season in the ACL.  

The most Crisantes struck out came in a nine-game stretch from May 21st to June 4th, when he was striking out 22.2% of the time, which is still a chunk below the 26% league average K rate in the Arizona Complex League this season. After that, Crisantes improved his strikeout rate until his promotion, striking out 13% of the time over his nine final ACL games.

His walk rate (blue line) was less encouraging. After posting a stellar 18.2% walk rate in May for the first month of this season, his walk rate plummeted in June as he drew one walk in his last 56 plate appearances (1.8% rate) in the Arizona Complex League. Crisantes, however, put up a mature AB in his second game with the Visalia Rawhide. In his third trip to the plate Wednesday night, the righty drew a five-pitch walk by spitting on four borderline pitches on the outer half in a same-handedness matchup.

Crisantes only hit one homerun in the ACL, which is surprising considering his above-average 53% Pull% and 0.63 GB/FB, which are two strong indicators of a hitter with pop. He’ll likely go deep more often with Visalia, especially considering that Valley Strong Ballpark, home of the Rawhide, is the sixth-most homer-friendly ballpark for right-handed hitters among the 30 Low-A fields, per Baseball America’s MiLB Park Factors leaderboard.

Crisantes’ offensive skillset extends beyond his ability to make contact and to produce quality contact. Crisantes showed some wheels to him in the ACL, stealing ten bases in eleven attempts and tripling five times for a league-high. Crisantes spent the majority of his time in the ACL at second base with some experience at third as well, so his mobility will tested wherever he plays on the field.

Crisantes looked like an all-around hitter in the ACL with his combination of contact, power, and speed. He brings a lot of positives to a Rawhide lineup that has struggled offensively this season, batting to a .693 OPS – ranking sixth among the eight California League teams. Crisantes is currently not listed on the team’s top prospect lists per the three main baseball publications –, Fangraphs, and Baseball America – but if he continues to play as he did in the ACL this season, he’ll quickly cement his name as one of organization’s best. 

Follow us @Diamond_Digest for more throughout the season!

Featured Photo: Instagram / @dcrisantes5

Paul Beckman

Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Paul Beckman graduated from Arizona State University in 2022.

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