MLB Prospect Watch is profiling individual prospects throughout the months of November, December and January. You can find all of the player profiles here.
In a weak Brewers system, Victor Roache stands out like that kid at a junior high tryout who has already hit puberty. In fact, even when standing among a group of physically gifted athletes, the chiseled Roache still stands out.
Roache is a physical specimen, coming in at 6'1" and 215 pounds of solid muscle. It's that size and strength that gives him his one plus tool - raw power - a tool he'll need in droves as a player who is already limited to left field defensively.
Roache is unmistakably a power hitter, with little indication in his swing that he has any interest in being anything else. That approach led to 22 home runs in a full season of Low-A ball, but also a .248 batting average and 137 strikeouts in 119 games compared to just 46 walks. Roache combines a powerful swing with an aggressive approach and an inability to identify quality breaking pitches, which leads to major strikeout numbers.
Some of this will never change, but some of it can. Roache will always be a big strikeout guy because of his swing and desire to hit the ball out of the yard. He rarely changes his approach with two strikes and always looks to do damage. That leads to swings and misses. What can change, however, is his recognition of off-speed pitches as he continues to develop. His ability to adjust will determine just how much of his power is allowed to play in games as he begins to face better competition.
The Florida State League in 2014 will be a big test for Roache. The parks are much bigger, robbing many prospects of their power. That shouldn't be an issue for Roache, whose plus-plus power can make any park look small, but that combined with more advanced pitching could lead to diminished power numbers.
Roache needs to take steps forward in his pitch recognition if he wants to become an everyday player. His other tools, specifically anything defense related, are all sub-par, leaving his bat to provide all of his value. Unless pitching in the upper minors completely baffles him, his power should get him to the majors, but it will be his ability to recognize advanced breaking pitches that determine whether he's an everyday player or a platoon/bench guy.