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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - William Bergolla

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 2/4/83, Age: 19, Height: 6’0’’, Weight: 150, Bats: R, Throws: R. Acquired: Reds - Signed out of Venezuela in 1999. 2000 Stats: (Rookie - GCL Reds) .182 AVG, 22 AB, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 SB, 4 BB, 2 K, .308 OBP, .182 SLG. 2001 Stats: (Rookie - Billings) .323 AVG, 232 AB, 5 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 24 BB, 21 K, .387 OBP, .422 SLG.
   William Bergolla is a young Venezuelan that played both middle infield positions for the Billings Mustangs (a Reds affiliate) in 2001. Bergolla spent most of 2000 and some of 2001 at extended spring training, and the tinkering there appears to have paid off. Bergolla was hot from the start last year, spraying line drives around the park, exhibiting exceptional speed, and utilizing a rare trait in someone his age: patience. Bergolla is drawing walks roughly once every ten plate appearances so far in his career. That is not an unbelievable rate, but it is a good building point. I would be willing to bet that Bergolla is in the top quintile for slugging percentage by players who weigh 150 or less. Assuming that his body fills out over the next few years, that will lend itself to some exciting power potential. His speed is well above average, as evidenced by his 25 for 33 performance in what amounts to half a season thus far in his career. With the power potential, speed, and patience, Bergolla is a great candidate for the term “potential” to be thrown around liberally, as I have been doing. Enthusiasm, as always, must be tempered for a player that has 250 at-bats against other high-school age players. His defense is another question mark, which is nearly always the case for a young middle infielder. After nearly an error per game pace at SS, the Reds moved Bergolla to second base after fifteen games. The results weren’t much better there, but the Reds appear committed to Bergolla as a second baseman. He certainly has the athletic ability, but it will take time to translate that to skill.
   The Reds have a glut of young middle infielders, but none of them are “can’t miss” types. David Espinosa is the most likely candidate to play shortstop five years from now, especially following the castoff of the atrocity that is Pokey Reese. Gookie Dawkins and Rainer Olmedo are both possible solutions at second base, as is Todd Walker, the current Red second baseman. Therefore, forecasting upward progress for Bergolla is a difficult proposition. I would expect to see him make the jump to Dayton in 2002, which would be a challenge for a 19 year old. There, in his first taste of full-season ball, we’ll get a better glimpse of what kind of player he really is. I won’t even attempt to make a comparison for him: it is just too small a sample size. In my opinion, Bergolla has as good a chance as Olmedo of having a meaningful major-league career, slightly less than the chances for Espinosa and Dawkins. As long as the Reds pursue a low-budget philosophy, there will be chances for players that assert themselves as prospects. That can only help a player like William Bergolla.


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