Name: Gabriel Lino
DOB: May 17, 1993
Height: 6′ 3″
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela by the Orioles on December 14, 2009. Acquired by the Phillies along with Kyle Simon in exchange for Jim Thome on June 30, 2012
Pre Draft Report: Lino was signed as a 16 year old out of Venezuela, he was not a high profile signing.
Career Synopsis: Lino made his professional debut in 2010 playing for the Orioles’ DSL team. Lino struggled to make good contact but he showed impressive plate discipline walking 28 times to only 21 strikeouts. His final line was .200/.359/.271.
In 2011 Lino started in Extended Spring Training before playing in the GCL. Lino had an impressive year, he showed a strong throwing arm behind the plate but was raw when it came to his receiving abilities. Lino showed impressive power as well as better contact and plate discipline. His GCL line of .282/.371/.462 over 28 games earned him Baseball America’s #21 ranking in the Orioles system, and the #15 ranking from Baseball Prospectus.
Lino made his full season debut in the SAL for Delmarva. Lino got off to a poor start the season and he struggled greatly at the plate, striking out 64 times in 56 games. He was traded on June 30 to the Phillies in exchange for Jim Thome. He was assigned to their SAL affiliate, Lakewood. Lino hit slightly better over the second half of the season with a slight uptick in walk rate and decrease in strikeout rate. His final line for 2012 was .222/.293/.352 with 7 HRs in 375PAs.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Lino’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment.
Hit For Average: 30/40
Hit For Power: 60
Throwing Arm: 70
Summary: At the plate Lino has a good approach and plus raw power, however his swing can get long and he cannot deal with off speed pitches. Behind the plate Lino’s arm is very strong and he transfers well and posts very good pop times. Lino shows good defensive tools but his footwork causes him to struggle to block pitches in the dirt. His speed is poor but as a catcher that is not a huge negative.
Upside: Lino has some loud tools for the catcher position, but he is still very raw. If he can fix up his footwork behind the plate he can be a plus defender which would carry him through the minors. The Phillies will see if they can work Lino’s swing and allow him to handle off speed pitches. He has the pitch recognition that he might be able to have his plus raw power translate to game situations. Lino won’t turn 20 until May of 2013 but it will be his 4th season of professional baseball. He may be forced to Hi-A Clearwater by need but another year in Low-A would not be a bad thing for his development.
Articles: Fangraph’s Trade Profile on Lino – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/jim-thome-trade-gabriel-lino-scouting-report-philadelphia-phillies-baltimore-orioles/
Update: After uninspiring seasons in 2014 (Lakewood and Clearwater) and 2015 (Reading and Lehigh Valley), Lino started the 2016 season back in Clearwater. He was pushed back up to Reading behind Jorge Alfaro when Chace Numata won the starting job in Clearwater.
After the 2016 season, Lino qualified for minor league free agency, and elected same on November 11th, 2016. He signed a minor league contract with a non-roster invite to spring training on December 12, 2016 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Profile updated: 1/23/2017