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July 8, 2013

Monday Morning Ten Pack

July 8, 2013

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff

OF Micker Zapata (White Sox)
Zapata was one of the standout talents on the field during MLB’s International Showcase in the Dominican Republic back in January, as the power potential was on full display. At the end of the day, it’s most likely a corner profile, but the power could make him a middle-of-the-order masher, as some scouts have put plus-plus grades on the tool. Given the lack of high-end talent in the White Sox system, Zapata found himself a top five prospect in the system the day he signed for $1.6M. Obviously he’s raw, and this will be true of most of the talent found in the July 2nd talent window, but Zapata shows good bat-to-ball ability, and could develop into more than just an all-or-nothing power hitter. Kudos to the White Sox. This is going to be a very good prospect. –Jason Parks

RHP Marcos Diplan (Rangers)
Despite a market reputation as a baseball factory, the Dominican Republic doesn’t produce a lot of quality major-league starters, a reality with numerous explanations [possible explanations]. A lack of pitchability is often seen as the biggest villain. Diplan stands out for his impressive raw stuff and his advanced pitchability for his age, attributes that help offset his diminutive size and the reputation of the region for producing more relief arms than impact starters. When I saw Diplan back in January, the right-hander pounded the zone with a low-90s fastball (touched 93) delivered from a lower slot. He showed feel for both a fading 80 mph changeup and a low-70s curveball, brought into game action with the swagger of a much more physically imposing arm. He was the best arm I saw at the Dominican Showcase, and it wasn’t even close. –Jason Parks

RHP Mayky Perez (Padres)
The Padres inked Perez at the end of last week, adding another promising young arm to a very solid core already in the pipeline. While the young Dominican lacks big “now” velocity, he routinely sits in the 88-91 mph range (touching 92) and creates solid plane to go with boring action. While he will throw both a slider and a changeup as secondaries, the slider is the only offering with current in-game utility. It’s a short breaker in the 77-78 mph range (touching 80/81), but matches up well with his fastball trajectory, creating deception and helping miss barrels. The off-speed is a hard straight change that too often creeps to the mid-80s and lacks deception and proper velo delta off the heater.

The current arsenal isn’t eye popping on the whole, but he has made strides over the past nine months smoothing out his delivery, which has allowed him to more frequently execute his pitches, and has additionally led to an incremental bump in his control. The hope is that Perez sees an uptick in stuff as he continues to mature and hang strength on his projectable body—a medium broad frame with the makings of a powerful trunk and core. –Nick Faleris

IF Lucas Tirado (Dodgers)
A seven-figure signee for the Boys in Blue, Tirado’s calling card is his bat from the left side. At his best, he stays compact to contact and shows an ability to produce good backspin and drive from line to line. As he continues to mature and add strength, he should have little trouble manifesting average-or-better playable power, with his approach and in-game utility ultimate dictating where he grades out. While the offensive promise is solid, Tirado currently fails to square too many balls in game. He can give away at-bats and will need to rein in his approach and attack his plate appearances with more intensity and focus as he continues to develop. He can also load to a non-uniform starting point in his swing, which could be a cause for his inconsistent barrel delivery to contact. There is work to be done here, but there is also plenty of time for him to find his stride.

Tirado looks the part of a corner defender in frame and in actions, possessing a bottom-heavy build and longish torso, and showing less-than-lithe footwork at the six spot to go with stiff and stabbing glove work. He has plenty of arm for the left side, and could deliver the ball with improved accuracy once he switches to the hot corner, where the variations on his angles will be limited. As with his approach at the plate, Tirado will need to improve his focus and limit his “effort” errors. There is potential for a fringe-average glove at third to go with an above-average offensive profile if things click. –Nick Faleris

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