Jhonkensy Noel has emerged on the minor-league scene with pure hard-hitting power this season.
Red-hot with stifling hitting talent, he has been promoted to four different teams within the Guardians organization through the last two seasons.
Now as the No. 1 home-run hitter in the minor leagues with a total of 27 on the year, he looks to continue working through the ranks of the Guardians organization.
Well, Who Is Cleveland Guardians Prospect Jhonkensy Noel Then?
Jhonkensy Noel was signed out of the Dominican Republic on July 15th, 2017 to a $100,000 contract.
Heading into his first season in the 2018 campaign, Noel played for the DSL Indians as a foreign rookie. With the DSL Indians, he batted .243 with 53 hits, 34 RBIs, and ten home runs at the young age of 16.
After his first season as a Guardian with the DSL Indians, he was assigned to the Arizona League to play for the Indians’ secondary team where he once again dominated with a .287 batting average, 51 hits, 42 RBIs, and six home runs.
With two seasons down under his belt, the future looked bright for the young prospect out of the Dominican Republic – until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Noel, and the entire minor-league system, would miss the 2020 minor-league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An entire year without professional baseball would normally cause a player to be rusty to begin the following season but with a solid start in the Arizona League through six games, he would be promoted to the Lynchburg Hillcats.
While with the Arizona League, and into his time with the Hillcats, he would make his transition from first base to third base. And with the 2021 season giving him the opportunity to showcase his talent in Low-A, he would dominate.
And that word would be an understatement.
Noel batted .393 while racking in 59 hits, ten doubles, one triple, and ten home runs. On top of his incredible hitting statistics, he showcased his ability to bring in runs by recording 40 RBIs.
He would do all of this through just 38 games of play for the Hillcats before being promoted to the Lake County Captains where he would finish the 2021 MiLB season.
Through 26 games with the Captains, Noel would fall back down to reality as his batting average fell from .393 with the Hillcats to .280 with the Captains to finish the season.
Despite dealing with injuries to his ankle and hand during the season, he still hit .340/.390/.615 throughout his time with the Captains and Hillcats.
What has the 2022 season looked like for the 21-year-old prospect?
Jhonkensy Noel has not slowed down in the 2022 season.
He started this year’s campaign with the Lake County Captains, batting .219 through 62 games while recording 50 hits. Within those 50 hits and 62 games sat a career-tying high of 42 RBIs and a career-high 19 total home runs with the season not over yet.
The Guardians organization obviously took note of the rising power hitter in the minors and elevated Noel to the Akron Rubber Ducks, the Guardians’ Double-A affiliate team.
He joined the Rubber Ducks on June 25th of this season, and through just five games he would have six hits and three home runs. His home-run hitting would continue to define his game as he’s smashed five more through the month of July.
Noel would also be invited to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game, where some of the top prospects in each league compete against one another.
So why has Jhonkensy Noel not gotten the call up to Triple-A?
Through his dominance in Low-A, High-A, and now Double-A, one issue major issue has formed.
His excessive amount of strikeouts.
While he didn’t strike out excessively in Low-A, he has shown little patience and poise inside the strike zone with the Captains and Rubber Ducks. One thing he needs is discipline against the more advanced pitching he has seen so far.
With the Lynchburg Hillcats, he only struck out 27 times in 150 at-bats, but when jumping quickly to the Lake County Captains he struck out much higher.
Through the 2021 and 2022 seasons he recorded a total of 111 strikeouts through 328 at-bats, a drastic difference from previous levels.
His strikeouts have only increased with the Rubber Ducks, where he would strike out 18 times through 66 at-bats.
His heavy-hitting power has been nothing short of phenomenal and game-changing, but with the recent influx of strikeouts at higher levels plaguing his game, Noel’s chances of continuing his fast rise through the ranks have slowed down.
Jhonkensy Noel is one of the best power hitters in the Guardians organization, and if he can find a way to lessen his strikeouts, he will find a spot in the majors in due time.
At the ripe age of 20 years old, the future is bright for the 6-foot-3 power hitter from the Dominican Republic.