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April 10, 2014

What Scouts Are Saying

April 10, 2014

by Baseball Prospectus


Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.

Major Leagues

Orioles 1B Chris Davis: “Looks to me to be pressing at the plate so far this year. He doesn't seem to be as comfortable working counts and that leads to him falling behind and/or trying to make contact early in the count. I think that's why he hasn't come flying out of the gate so far, he's just not putting himself into counts where he can do serious damage.”




Yankees RHP Ivan Nova: "I cannot figure this guy out. He looked every bit the part of a dominant pitcher this spring, pounding the zone with a live mid-90's fastball and bastard curveball, but he's just been a different animal since the season started. The command of the strike zone just is not there like it was even three weeks ago. He reminds me of A.J. Burnett with that fastball velocity and that quality curveball that just get whacked all around the yard."


Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka: "Without a doubt the splitter is a difference maker; it could very well be the best in the game. But I have concerns about the way he nibbles at the plate and drives up his pitch counts at times. He also gets a little too reliant on the fastball as well, using it instead of the splitter too often when he's ahead of the count. He does have velocity, but it's not nearly the same caliber of putaway pitch as the splitter. Why eat ground chuck when you've got filet in the fridge?"



Minor Leagues

Braves Triple-A 2B Tommy La Stella: "One of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues and yet you don't hear many people talk about him. I get that he's older and not going to win a Gold Glove at 2B, but what stops him from becoming the next Matt Carpenter? Look at the numbers, recognize the approach, and watch the swing, and it's clear he is something special."



Braves Double-A RHP Gus Schlosser: “I'm not sure if he will be able to start or relieve, but he can pitch and has a terrific mound presence. He sinks the ball, throws strikes, and gives a different look. No matter what his role ends up being he's going to be a valuable guy for Atlanta, in 2014 and the future.”



Royals High-A OF Bubba Starling: "I just don't see where all the baseball talent is. He's an athletic kid, but if his name wasn't on the back of his jersey, he'd be just another guy."





High School

Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego, CA) LHP Brady Aiken: "We are targeting a college pitcher with our first round pick, but Aiken would have been one of the exceptions for us. Now that he can hit a 7 (97 MPH) on the gun, there's just no chance he falls to us. Honestly, I'm not sure how he falls out of the top few picks now. What isn't there to like? You didn't need a radar gun to fall in love with him before, but now he's the complete package."

Lincoln-Way Central HS (Frankfort, IL) RHP Bradley Bass: "Bass is a projectable framed RH who boasts a heavy sinker and makings of a plus SL. He's just coming out of basketball, but his outings have shown he could be a Derek Lowe type starter. He might even see a velocity jump once he gets his arm in shape, although the 87-91 sinker works well enough now."

Grant Community HS (Fox Lake, IL) C Simeon Lucas: "Lucas may be the best pure hitter of the catching prospects up north and also has the best shot at remaining behind the dish. Signed to Illinois St U, he also may be viewed as the easiest sign of the HS crop, due to the rash of injuries to hit that program."

Hobart HS (Hobart, IN) RHP Brandon Murray: "Murray has made adjustments to his delivery and off speed stuff and now can be viewed as a starter down the road. He works comfortably 90-94 mph. Despite a slight head whack he throws strikes and continues to get better. He is also a great athlete which bodes well for his future development as a pitcher."

College

University of Evansville LHP Kyle Freeland, Southern Illinois Carbondale RHP Sam Coonrod‚Äč, and Central Michigan University RHP Jordan Foley: "All three can reach 93-96 mph, have solid breaking stuff, and are hard nosed competitors. Freeland can flash a 70 SL when right, but concerns with his frame and arm action may raise questions if he can log 200+ innings as a starter. Coonrod has an electric arm and perhaps the best three-pitch mix of the group, but is inconsistent and lacks the stats needed in today's scouting world. Foley has a strong build, but he too could end up in a pen due to his lack of feel for a changeup and effort arm."

Bradley University OF Max Murphy: "Murphy will flash plus tools, but hasn't put the entire package together. Gifted with tremendous bat speed, he can put on a show in BP and the game. A strong frame with at least avg defensive skills, he maybe the best value player in the area."

Amateur (Mixed)

Indiana University C Kyle Schwarber and Libertyville HS C Evan Skoug: "They are the same guy in essence, LH bats with power who likely end up in LF or 1B. Both look to be middle-of-the-order sticks, which are very difficult to come by."

Related Content:  Quotes,  Draft,  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues,  Scouts

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