The 2018 season was one in which a then 19-year-old Leonardo Seminati would make his professional debut. The Italian-born infielder split his season between two rookie levels. He played 27 games with the Arizona League Reds and then 15 more for the Billings Mustangs, hitting a combined .252/.295/.367 with seven extra-base hits, seven walks, and 38 strikeouts.

When the 2019 season began for Leonardo Seminati he found himself back in Billings, Montana with the Mustangs. The season got out to a strong start for the first baseman, who reeled off an 8-game hitting streak to start the year before going 0-3 with a walk on June 24th against Missoula. He’d go back out there the next day and notch a hit in the next three games to round out the month with hits in 11 of the 12 games played during June. Over the course of those two weeks in June he would hit .391/.442/.543 with five walks and 11 strikeouts.

Leonardo Seminati extended his hitting streak to five games as he picked up hits in the first two games of July. But he went into a big slump over the next three weeks. From July 5th through July 24th he had hits in just two of the 14 games he played in, going 4-46 (.087) – one single, one double, and two home runs. On July 27th he started to come out of the slump, going 1-1 with three walks. He would also rack up a hit in two of the next three games to end the month. Overall, though, the month was one he’d like to put behind him, hitting just .152/.263/.333 in 76 plate appearances with 10 walks and 30 strikeouts.

When August began things were a bit better. Sort of. In the first two weeks he played in seven games and hit just .200, but he posted a .304 on-base percentage and he slugged .500. But he also struck out 10 times in 23 plate appearances. Over the final two weeks of the month the strikeouts still piled up – he had 19 of them in 62 trips to the plate – but when he made contact he made it count, hitting .396 and slugged .566 in that stretch. In the final five games of the season, all in September, he went 2-19 while striking out 10 times. The final 26 games of the season saw Leonardo Seminati hit .293/.350/.467 for the Mustangs. In 104 plate appearances in that stretch he would walk five times and rack up 39 strikeouts.

For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Leonardo Seminati Spray Chart

Leonardo Seminati Scouting Report

Position: 1B | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs | Acquired: International FA: July 2017

Born: January 2, 1999

Hitting | He’s got a below-average hit tool.

Power | He’s got above-average raw power.

Speed | He’s a below-average runner.

Defense | While he’s been at first base most of his career, he’s athletic enough to handle the outfield in the corners.

Arm | He has a solid arm.

Leonardo Seminati is a little more athletic than he may look initially. He runs better than you expect when you see him and is faster once he’s under way. At the plate power is the selling card, and it stands out on the raw side of the scouting report. In games it picked up some in 2019, too.

Contact was a real issue in 2019 for Seminati. He struck out 80 times in 232 trips to the plate – that’s a 34.5% strikeout rate. When he was able to get the bat on the ball, he performed, but that rate is going to have to decrease moving forward if he’s going to be able to hit for any sort of average and it’ll also make it tougher for him to tap into his power.

Defensively he saw most of his action at first base in 2019. But he did see limited action a third base, in left field, and in right field. He struggled at third base, making four errors in just 16 chances (.750 fielding percentage). In the outfield he projects better as a left fielder than a right fielder.

Longest Home Run of the Year

425 feet on July 4th.

Interesting Stat on Leonardo Seminati

He showed big home and road splits. Eight of his nine home runs came on the road, as did 15 of his 20 walks. At home he hit .265/.303/.324, while he hit .275/.377/.559 on the road.

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9 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      Spoiler alert had you paid more attention to the article: He wasn’t drafted.

    • MK

      In today’s game guys that strike out a lot make up half the big leagues.

  1. Big Ed

    Well, they didn’t draft Seminati, but signed him as an international free agent. So there’s that.

    Seminati is unlikely to make it, because any one guy is unlikely to make it, and there is no doubt that he has to improve his strikeout rate. But Seminati is inordinately strong, and had a near 9% walk rate at Billings at age 20, so he certainly has something to work with. Bear in mind that he grew up in Italy, and is just now acclimating to playing against elite competition.

    You would think that he will start at Dayton this year, in his first full season, so let’s hope he can progress into a full-blown prospect.

  2. RojoBenjy

    If this dude breaks out and makes MLB, he’s got a great last name for advertising in our town.

    “Seminati for Cincinnati”

    or better

    “Cincinnati Seminati”

    OK—maybe i saw someone else mention this over the years—or maybe i just invented it…

  3. Dbfromnva

    It is amazing how many Reds prospects have below average hit tools.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s really not. A lot of Major Leaguers have below-average hit tools. And those are the best hitters alive.