Drafted: 4th round, 124th overall
AGE/DOB: 18, Nov. 17, 2001
COLLEGE: Santa Margarita HS (CA)
Mila Tolentino- Shortstop
- Baseball America- 94
- Fangraphs- 133
- MLB.com- 101
- IBI- 103
Willie Hood: The starting shortstop for Team USA in 2019 Tolentino displays advanced abilities defensively. To forego his college commitment to UCLA left-handed-hitting infielder will likely receive a bonus above slot at pick 124. Tolentino is the younger brother of former Indians farmhand Patrick and the son of former big leaguer and Angels Spanish announcer Jose Tolentino. MLB.com compares his left-handed swing to one time Cleveland Indians outfielder Johnny Damon. Tolentino briefly displayed increased strength this spring and better ability to drive the ball before the coronavirus shut down his season (see video here).
Tolentino is a plus defender with a high baseball IQ and advanced instincts for the game. His arm is plus and he displays the footwork to remain at shortstop defensively. The California native features an average bat with minimal below-average power at the plate. While he did show more ability to drive the ball this Spring his opportunity was limited. He will have to continue to add strength to be able to drive the ball more effectively in the future. Tolentino is an above-average runner with quality defensive footwork. Long-term Tolentino’s ability to progress will be limited by his ability to drive the ball. He possesses the defensive prowess to make it as an everyday shortstop on the big league level but will be limited by tools offensively.
Jeff Ellis:Milan Tolentino is another six-footish player with an advanced approach at the plate. He has a lot in common with the previous two prep selections. Tolentino’s dad played in the majors and is a broadcaster for the Angels. The Indians value defensive value at shortstop, and most people I talked with listed him as a no-doubter at short. There were a few that thought he might move to second long term. He is a good athlete with above-average to plus speed. While his power potential is often viewed below average, he posted exit velocity in the top 13% according to perfect game data. Indians are clearly looking for players with advanced approaches at the plate. The Indians land another up the middle talent with bloodlines with their second to last pick. – Read more from Jeff here https://mlbdraftnow.blogspot.com/
Press release: Participated in the 2019 Perfect Game All-America Game…Committed to UCLA…Hit a grand slam in season-opening game vs. John Wayne North on Feb. 21.
MLB.com on Tolentino
Comments: In 1983, Jose Tolentino helped the University of Texas win the College World Series alongside stars like Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi before embarking on a 15-year professional career that included one year in the big leagues. Now a broadcaster for the Angels, his son is making a name for himself as one of the better high school middle infielders in the Class of 2020. Tolentino has the chance to hit and be a big league regular shortstop. There’s no question about his defensive ability, with a plus arm and the feet and actions to stick at the premium position long term. How much he’ll hit will determine what kind of overall prospect he is. He’s a tough out with an opposite-field approach who sees a lot of pitches and makes a lot of contact with a Johnny Damon-like swing. He does roll over balls to the pull side at times and doesn’t barrel up the ball consistently enough with wood. He has added some strength to his lower half, giving some scouts hope that he’ll add some extra-base authority as he matures. The UCLA recruit does make the most of his abilities with a high baseball IQ, and the team that thinks he’ll impact the ball consistently will be the one to take him in the early rounds.