Mendoza was a highly regarded prospect in the 2016 Draft, but a strong commitment to Florida State led to him being taken by the Tigers in the 36th round. Three years later, after batting .298 with 31 homers and 124 RBIs in 160 games with the Seminoles, he became the Nationals’ third-round pick and signed for above slot value. A successful pro debut at Class A Hagerstown came next, with Mendoza flashing his power potential while making a smooth transition as a first baseman.
As a 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed hitter, it is easy to dream on Mendoza’s potential at the plate. He gets good leverage in his swing and knows how to impact the baseball, showing plus raw power that should improve as he adds strength. He is still figuring out how to get to that power consistently, though, with swing-and-miss issues and a passive approach currently holding him back. Though he does work his share of walks, the Nationals would like to see him be more aggressive early in the count, viewing it as key for unlocking both his hitting ability and power.
Mendoza’s defense at the hot corner with the Seminoles drew mixed reviews from scouts, with most of the concerns stemming from his size and actions. The Nationals immediately moved him to first base in pro ball and have been pleased with the early results, noting that his feet and hands both work well there. They may still offer him reps at third base, where his above-average arm fits well, but their hopeful that Mendoza’s bat will flourish now that he no longer has to focus on improving defensively at third base.