March 11, 2013
There are open questions about Lake’s ability to play shortstop and hit at the major-league level, but there are no questions about his arm. He has the ability to unleash lasers with tremendous velocity and good accuracy from anywhere on the infield, and possesses the athleticism and utility to flash similar strength while on the run. Lake’s arm is a legit 80-grade cannon and is quite easily the best among prospects currently in the minor leagues. As an elite tool, Lake’s arm strength would be a weapon at any position on the diamond, including on the mound, where some scouts believe he may end up long term.
Both Cowart and Machado have premium arms that earn consistent 70 grades and the occasional 75 or 80 from the left side of the infield. I (Mark Anderson) have gone on record multiple times as believing that Machado does in fact possess an elite-level arm. Gallo represents a lesson in tool utility: Although he shows raw arm strength in the 70-80 range, his footwork and lack of accuracy force the tool down the scale and out of true consideration.