CARLOS MUNOZ, FIRST BASEMAN
|Born: June 29, 1994
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2011, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|Munoz is a short, stocky first baseman from Mexico who signed at age 16. He spent three seasons in the Latin American summer leagues, but didn’t start hitting for power until his third season. He draws extremely large numbers of walks and rarely swings and misses. At this time, he’s more athletic and moves around first better than you’d expect, but that may not last long as he gets very far into his twenties.
Munoz got into only nine games in his debut.
Playing about two-thirds of the time, Munoz drew a huge number of walks, but didn’t hit for a lot of power.
Playing every day, Munoz continued to draw enormous numbers of walks and started to hit for good power.
The Pirates finally brought Munoz to the GCL and he continued to show exceptional strike judgment and contact ability, along with solid gap power.
Munoz had a remarkable season with Bristol, dominating the batting leaderboards and being chosen the Appalachian League’s player of the year. He started hitting for serious power and continued to show an extraordinary eye at the plate. He did tail off a little after posting an OPS of 1.194 in July. He had literally no platoon split at all, with a difference of one point of OPS between LHPs and RHPs. The Pirates moved Munoz to Morgantown for the last week and a half of the regular season and, as it turned out, the playoffs. In very limited action, he struck out with uncharacteristic frequency, while continuing to draw large numbers of walks. Baseball America rated Munoz the 20th best prospect in the Appalachian League. The fact that he ranked only 20th despite being the league’s dominant hitter probably indicates that scouts have reservations about him due to his physique, and possibly also reflects his age.
Munoz was eligible for the Rule 5 draft after the 2015 season, but wasn’t selected. He spent the season at West Virginia, alternating between first and DH with Daniel Arribas. The power spike he had the year before didn’t last, although he continued to make contact consistently and show excellent strike zone judgment. His hitting improved only slightly as the year went along. Munoz had significant trouble with LHPs, putting up a measly .431 OPS against them, compared to .820 against RHPs.
Munoz was eligible again for the Rule 5 draft and wasn’t selected. He wasn’t on any of the full-season rosters when the season opened because the Pirates weren’t happy with his conditioning. They sent him to West Virginia about a week into the season, though, and apart from improvements in his already-strong plate discipline, he hit about what he had the previous season. In August the Pirates moved him up to Bradenton, where he got into 15 games and didn’t hit. For the full season he had no platoon split at all. He split his time more or less evenly between first and DH.
Munoz is eligible for minor league free agency after the season. Obviously, he won’t be added to the 40-man roster.
|2018: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $175,000
MiLB Debut: 2011
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2017
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2015
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|May 9, 2011: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.