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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.
The son of former Astros first baseman and current Angels broadcaster Jose Tolentino, Milan was one of the best defensive shortstops available in the 2020 Draft. He stood out at the inaugural Prospect Development Pipeline League last summer, starred offensively and defensively at the High School All-Star Game in Cleveland and started at short for the U.S. national team that won a silver medal at the 18-and-under World Cup in South Korea in September. The Indians drafted him in the fourth round and signed him for $800,000, early third-round money.
With his tools and high baseball IQ, Tolentino plays a quality shortstop and could man any number of positions. He has quick feet and hands and a plus arm capable of making throws from any angle. In a system loaded with talented middle infielders, he and 2019 second-rounder Yordys Valdes are the best defenders at short.
How much offense Tolentino provides will determine whether he's an everyday shortstop or more of a utilityman. A left-handed hitter who makes a lot of opposite-field contact, he has yet to provide much impact at the plate but has added strength to his lower half that could portend more power in the future. He's an average runner with good instincts on the bases but not much of a threat to steal.