Baseball Prospect Journal

Gabriel Rincones is high-impact player for FAU

JC Ridley, FAU Athletics

Gabriel Rincones received one college baseball offer during his prep career at H.B. Plant (Fla.) High School. He used the lack of recruiting interest as motivation and excelled in his two years at St. Petersburg (Fla.) College.

Rincones posted monster numbers at the junior-college level to gain notoriety from professional scouts and Division I programs over the last two years.

The San Diego Padres drafted the left-handed-hitting outfielder in the 19th round of the 2021 MLB draft. But Rincones declined the opportunity, believing he could enhance his prospect status at Florida Atlantic University this year.

This season, Rincones has produced at a high level for FAU. His performance has vaulted him up draft boards in anticipation of July’s draft. Scouts project Rincones as a potential top-five-round pick.

“It is a dream to play in the big leagues and get drafted,” Rincones said. “But I have done a good job of keeping a cool head about it, knowing that it is out of my control. It makes it easy for anyone who sees it that way.”

Rincones had a productive two-year career at St. Petersburg College. As a freshman in 2020, Rincones hit .432 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 28 RBIs in 95 at-bats in 24 games. Last year, he posted a .415 batting average with 19 doubles, six home runs and 43 RBIs in 176 at-bats in 47 games.

During his two years at the junior-college level, Rincones recorded 52 walks and 47 strikeouts.

Rincones has displayed more power this season. In his first year at FAU, he has a .344 batting average with 16 doubles, 17 home runs and 62 RBIs in 215 at-bats in 52 games. He has tallied 46 strikeouts to 34 walks.

“I knew that I would enjoy it and show I can play with anybody if I came here,” Rincones said. “If I produce here, I knew then it gave me a better shot (in the draft).”

Rincones is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound left-handed hitter with a strong hitting ability and impressive raw power. He uses a slightly open stance and quick swing to drive the baseball into the gaps.

Although his strikeout total has increased this year, he has a strong understanding of the strike zone and draws a respectable amount of walks.

Rincones has focused on getting the ball in the air and being a run producer this season.

Defensively, Rincones grew up playing third base before moving to the outfield as a junior in high school. He has played all three outfield positions this season, spending most of his time in right field. He profiles best in a corner outfield spot in pro ball.

“I take pride in my defense,” Rincones said. “I might not be a blazer, but I feel my reads and routes help me stay among the top outfielders. But definitely, my bat is my biggest strength. It gets me in the lineup.”

This season, the Owls have a 31-21 record and are seeking their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2019. This year marks their 24th consecutive winning season dating back to 1999.

The Owls are fifth in the Conference USA regular-season standings. They finish the regular season with a three-game road series against Marshall (20-30-1) starting Thursday. They hope to end the regular season strong and carry the momentum into the conference tournament.

“We need to ride the momentum going forward,” Rincones said. “Next thing you know, we will be in the running for a regional. From there, it’s just baseball.”

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Video of Gabriel Rincones

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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