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July 30, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts

July 30, 2013

by BP Prospect Staff

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Direct Links to Individual Player Reports

Matt Stites Delino Deshields, Jr. Eddie Butler
Dan Vogelbach Nolan Sanburn Jose Berrios

Matt Stites

RHP

San Diego Padres

DOB: 05/28/1990

Height: 5’11”

Bats: L

MLB ETA: 2013

Weight: 170

Throws: R

Current Team: Double-A San Antonio

Date(s) Seen: 06/11/2013

Date Filed: 07/25/2013

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired: 17th round; 2011

Filed By: Jason Cole

Mechanics

High 3/4 arm slot; works solely from stretch; simple rock-and-fire delivery with standard leg kick; repeats compact mechanics/slot very well with all three offerings; maintains direction to plate; hides ball well, creating some deception despite simple delivery.

#1 Pitch

Fastball, velocity: 94-99 mph. Command: solid-average present, future plus. Movement: Slight arm-side wiggle at times, but generally lacking and straight. Notes: Despite short stature, can create good downward plane with high arm slot; fastball can become flat and hittable up in zone; this is the high end of velo I’ve seen; saw at 93-97 (sit 94-96) earlier in season; plus-plus pitch with a plus command profile; fills up the strike zone with fastball.

Grade: Present 70/Future 70

#2 Pitch

Slider, velocity: 84-87 mph. Command: plus present, future plus. Movement: short horizontal break with good late tilt/depth. Notes: commands in/out of zone extremely well; some of the best breaking ball command I’ve seen in the minors this season; will show get-me-over fringe slider for strikes early in count with some late depth; flashes sharper plus offering as chase pitch with two strikes; ability to command and manipulate velo on offering should enable it to play up from average in bursts.

Grade: Present 50/Future 55

#3 Pitch

Changeup, velocity: 87-89 mph. Command: average present, future solid-average. Movement: some late arm-side run and sink. Notes: definite third pitch; shows good feel for it; almost like a sinker used to lefties, thrown in upper 80s; maintains fastball arm slot and speed with it, creating some deception; should become average and usable as third offering out of ‘pen.

Grade: Present 45/Future 50

Other

Works primarily with fastball/slider combination to RHH; velocity/command combo with some deception makes him tough on righties; RHH hitting .158/.178/.377 vs. him this year with 1.7 percent BB rate and 28 percent K; will show changeup occasionally to lefties; used change more often in this look; should develop into a usable weapon to keep lefties honest.

Overall

In terms of his stuff, command, and delivery, Stites is close to being a finished product and isn’t far from San Diego. Stites flashes plus-plus velocity with quality command, and he mixes in two usable secondary pitches. Given his lack of height and big fastball movement, the fastball command will be very important. His slider isn’t likely to miss bats within the zone with consistency, but his ability to get ahead with the fastball and set up the slider as a chase pitch will be key to get K’s. He’s a no-doubt big-league relief arm––most likely a seventh-inning guy with the ability to work the eighth if the total package comes together.

OFP: 50; 7th inning relief with setup potential

Risk Factor: Low


***


Dan Vogelbach

1B

Chicago Cubs

DOB 12/17/1992

Height: 6’0”

Bats: L

MLB ETA: 2016

Weight: 250

Throws: R

Current Team: Low A

Date(s) Seen: June 29-30, 2013

Date Filed: 7/25/2013

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired: 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Second Round (68th Overall)

Filed By: Nick J. Faleris

Physical/Health

Big, bad body; not an athlete; can move some once underway, but slow ramp up; could tighten physique and improved flexibility would greatly help in the field; .

Hit Tool

Generates easy bat speed through compact swing; lots of swing plane/pitch plane overlap; at best utilizes full field approach and can drive pole to pole; still figuring out approach and pitch selection; can get locked on quadrants and fail to let ball travel; needs to focus on game plan in box; shows ability to make adjustments across at-bats, but can tripped up by quality sequencing; dangerous in fastball counts—when he figures out how to get to those counts more often, look out.

Grade: Present 35/Future 55

Power

80 raw, but utility is closer to future 60; swing isn’t naturally geared to easy lift; produces backspin—ball tough to track down to the gaps; may be best in two gears, reaching to power in hitter’s counts; when trying to drive, can get pull happy and make too much contact out front; will need to find balance between hard line-drive contact and over-the-fence efforts.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

Glove

Has made some progress during pro tenure, but not nearly enough to project as a solid future defender; improved footwork, but still very deliberate; stabs with the glove; upper- and lower-body don’t work in concert; shows some ability to pick it.

Grade: Present 25/Future 35

Arm

Fringe-average; will play up once the footwork is cleaner; delivers to second with accuracy; can struggle off the cut when turning to throw.

Grade: Present 40/Future 45

Baserunning/Speed

Well below average; once underway can move a little bit, but takes a long time to get there; enough underway that speed shouldn’t hinder extra-base ability too greatly.

Grade: Present 20/Future 25

Other

Huge makeup; high-energy player with personality; bathes in the game of baseball; high level of comfort on the field; asset in the clubhouse; type of player you want in your system.

Overall

Definition of bat-only profile, but the bat could be impactful. Defense not progressing as much as I’d hoped from previous views; DH looking more and more like the best future fit. If everything clicks offensively, this is a potential .290/.360/.500 bat. That’ll play. Importance of offensive development and distance from majors mean high risk.

Grade: 55; fringe first-division player

Risk Factor: High

***

Nolan Sanburn

RHP

Oakland Athletics

DOB: 07/21/1991

Height: 6’0”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2016

Weight: 175

Throws: R

Current Team: Low-A Beloit

Date(s) Seen: 07/10/2013

Date Filed: 07/25/2013

Have Video: Yes

How Acquired: 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Second Round (74th Overall)

Filed By Nick J. Faleris

Mechanics

Compact core/lower half; some length on the back side; high 3/4 slot and firm front side can cause recoil in the arm, potential for added stress on shoulder; throws with effort; fastball lacks plane, even with high slot; solid balance through stride; heeled landing at times leads to instability in release; throws comfortably to both sides of plate, but lacks precision to the quadrants.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: 90-93 (T94); 91-92 (stretch); flat trajectory; lacks plane; deception with breaking balls up in zone, but advanced hitters will parse; up to mid- to upper-90s in the past, but still working back from shoulder injury earlier in year; could be plus-plus velocity in short stints once all the way back; doesn’t command in the zone, but can spray north/south and east/west.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

#2 Pitch

Curveball: 79-80, 12-to-6; hard bite; buckler; good trajectory deception with high fastball; future plus pitch that flashes now; will miss bats in and out of the zone; pitch was spot on for the evening.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Slider: 83-84; tilt and late action; some depth; works well away from RHH; effective bury; touch slot for slider but makes it work; tough to pick up out of hand; third potential plus offering; imprecise in the zone.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

Other

Throws changeup but did not utilize in two-inning appearance; start of season delayed by shoulder injury; has not shown ability to maintain stuff deep into games; lacks track record; arsenal to start, but high-effort delivery, lack of plane; recent shoulder woes, and “closer” approach all point to relief work; hard competitor; lacks height but very well put together; if the shoulder is not long term concern, stuff gives him a chance to start; needs to get into rotation next year to start logging innings.

Overall

Sanburn is clearly still working back from his shoulder injury earlier in the year. The stuff is loud, but there is almost no track record to point to for comfort that he can maintain multiple times through a line-up or over the course of a long pro season. If he can get his short-stint velocity back into the mid- to upper-90s, he profiles well as a potential late-inning relief arm. As a starter, the lack of plane limits his upside, and the missed time in 2013 puts him behind track in building up his innings. Assuming he works all the way back and is able to find consistency in his command and secondaries, there is mid-rotation upside. More likely, he shifts to the pen as a late-inning power arm.

OFP Grade: 55; no. 3/4 Starter or late-inning arm

Risk: High

***

Jose Berrios

RHP

Minnesota Twins

DOB: 05/27/1994

Height: 6’0”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2016

Weight: 187

Throws: R

Current Team: Low-A Cedar Rapids

Date(s) Seen: 07/02/2013

Date Filed: 07/18/2013

Have Video: Yes

How Acquired: 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Supplemental First Round (32nd Overall)

Filed By Nick J. Faleris

Mechanics

Compact delivery; solid tempo; easy arm action out of 3/4 slot; repeats slot and arm speed across offerings; maintains tempo from wind-up and stretch; some sweep on the backside but generally hits checkpoints; slightly larger circle than previous views; can occasionally get late hand break entering stride, causing arm drag.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: 91-93; velo built throughout start and sat in upper range in final inning; at best works east-to-west and sets up secondaries; lacks plane and is easy to lift up in the zone; enough giddy-up to miss bats, particularly when working backwards.

Grade: Present 50/Future 55

#2 Pitch

Curveball: 77-78, 11-to-5; future plus pitch flashes already; good shape and late action; high comfort level with offering; worked inside to RHH without fear; first time through lineup set up with fastball, then flipped second time through; slight inconsistencies in arm action/release threw off command, but correctable; typical low-level inconsistencies in shape, but not long-term concern; will be a weapon at highest level.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Changeup: 79-81; will flash sharp late drop; not commanding pitch yet, but showed some ability to drop in the zone; enough comfort to throw when behind in count, but primarily a change-of-pace pitch when ahead; will be third average or better offering; enough overall feel for craft that it wouldn’t surprise if pitch ultimately surpasses future grade.

Grade: Present 40/Future 50

Other

Diminutive height robs fastball of plane, forcing him to work down in the zone; upper-level hitters will force more precision when he elevates; sturdy lower-half and arm speed help generate velocity; projects to solid durability in spite of size; advanced feel for sequencing, given developmental level; plus mound presence—handled bad hops and inconsistent defense behind him with aplomb; handles running game well; 1.29-1.37 to home; “gets it” on the mound; knows how to pitch.

Overall

The easy knock on Berrios is his height, and as noted he can get into trouble when he works loosey-goosey when elevating. While he’s shown a plus fastball in the past, the pitch and the package look more like a future 55 right now. Mature approach, centered mound presence, and feel for secondaries are all big pluses. Sequencing and quality of CB/CH combo should help keep barrels off the fastball, but he’ll need to be precise in the zone. Projects well as starter, but lack of dominant fastball limits overall ceiling. High risk due to distance from majors and lack of track record over full season. If shifted to pen, would not be surprised to see fastball sit mid-90s when all said and done. In short bursts, FB/CB combo could be late-inning caliber.

OFP Grade: 55; no. 3/no. 4 Starter

Risk: High

***


Delino DeShields Jr.

2B

Houston Astros

DOB: 08/16/92

Height: 5’9”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2016

Weight: 205

Throws: R

Current Team: High-A Lancaster

Date(s) Seen Multiple; most recent, 7/1/13

Date Filed 7/2/13

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired 1st round (8th overall) by the Astros in the 2010 Draft.

Filed By: Chris Rodriguez

Physical/Health

Stocky build; big upper body for being a relatively short player; former running back in high school; plenty of strength; had ankle wrapped prior to the game on 7/1/13, stated he was fine.

Hit Tool

Simple, balanced stance; flat-planed swing designed for contact; quick trigger allows him to let the ball travel deep into the zone; plus bat speed; good hands; swing oriented to hit the ball up the middle and the other way; strength helps him fight off better velocity; tracks off-speed extremely well for the level; may have the best eye in the Cal League; can get out on his front foot on occasion; shortens up with two strikes even more; approach is already advanced; the potential is there, but hitters hit and I’d like to see him swing the bat a little more often.

Grade: Present 40/Future 60

Power

Strong bat; swing mechanics aren’t designed for power, however; due to his solid upper body, may be able to muscle a few out to his pull side at the highest level; will rack up the doubles and triples because of solid gap approach and pure 80 speed; over-the-fence power will never be a big part of his game.

Grade: Present 20/Future 30

Glove

Well below average with the glove at present; hasn’t shown feel for the position; while he’s lightning fast, he could be a little stiff for the position and needs to work on his agility; range is just okay; gets to some tough plays; footwork can get a little out of whack; can stab at the ball with his glove on even some routine plays; depending on how he matures physically in his prime, he may need to move off of the position, possibly to CF; needs to lean out a little bit if he wants to stick. Still a long way to be league-average in my book.

Grade: Present 30/Future 40

Arm

Below average arm; has trouble throwing to first after ranging up the middle; okay for second base but would not play at the left side of the infield; can sling the ball sidearm on occasion; will limit his defensive profile if moved to the outfield.

Grade: Present 40/Future 40

Baserunning/Speed

3.7 on a jailbreak bunt; didn’t go all out to first on any regular groundballs; getting caught stealing a lot more this season which could be due to better catchers or simply bad jumps; has an awesome second gear, especially going first to third and second to home; recently stole home while the pitcher was intentionally walking a batter; plus athlete allows plus-plus speed projection for many years.

Grade: Present 80/Future 80

Other

Way too many mistakes on defense really makes me question whether he can stay at second base. On top of that, after those fundamental mistakes he’s been seen sulking back to the dugout and inside the dugout. At times he can look lethargic and simply not interested on defense,which can lead to those said mistakes. It’s tough to scout DeShields because one minute he’s dropping what should be a routine pop-up and the next he’s stealing second base while the pitcher is trying to pick him off of first. Don’t want to call out his “want”, but it seems he needs a little push in the rear end to get going, especially defensively. Regarding his passive approach at the plate, DeShields himself said the Astros as an organization want him to take a lot of pitches every time he leads off an inning, so that could explain a lot in that aspect of his game.

Overall

DeShields is an interesting prospect; a physical presence at second base which doesn’t exactly fit the profile. The hit tool could become plus assuming he begins to attack pitchers more often, without sacrificing his solid plate approach/on-base ability. His speed is fantastic and could become a huge weapon for him at the major-league level. Unfortunately, those two tools are most likely his only plus potential weapons going forward. The defense is too much of a question mark to overlook at this point and the negative marks on his makeup could end up lowering his ultimate ceiling as a player.

OFP Grade: 55; Fringe first-division player.

Risk Factor: High

***


Eddie Butler

RHP

Colorado Rockies

DOB: 3-13-91

Height: 6’2”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2015

Weight: 180

Throws: R

Current Team: High-A Modesto

Date(s) Seen: 7/17/13

Date Filed: 7/25/13

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired: 1st round (46th overall), 2012 Draft

Filed By: Chris Rodriguez

Mechanics

¾ delivery; repeatable; athletic, smallish frame; could add some weight; small stab with the ball in the back of delivery; upper body tends to open up and can miss arm-side and high every so often; very loose/quick arm; arm strength is plus-plus; some effort; gets whole body into the pitch; stays in control of his body from both windup and stretch; doesn’t fall off the mound; fields position well.

#1 Pitch

Butler features two different fastballs, a four-seam at 95-96 and a two-seam at 92-94; four-seam has an extra gear he can try and pump by hitters; two-seam features great arm-side sink that should be a worm killer at the highest level; showed good command/control with both pitches; loves to come inside to RH with the two-seam; elevates the four-seam to LH to get swings and misses; two-seam could be a huge weapon in Coors Field when/if he gets there.

Grade: Present 6/Future 7

#2 Pitch

Slider was a quick, darting pitch that showed some great life throughout the game; sat 87-88; resembled a cutter on occasion, due to the speed and lack of severe horizontal movement; still had a lot of tilt and depth to the pitch; was able to throw it inside and outside to both RH and LH; got hitters out in front; lots of weak grounders and ugly swings; lots of confidence in pitch.

Grade: Present 5/ Future 6

#3 Pitch

Changeup was as good or even better than his slider; sat 88-89; resembled his two-seam until you saw the batter swinging over the top of it; good sink and fade to the arm-side; threw a could plus-plus offerings; great deception and arm speed; consistent in delivery and stretch; should be plus or better; command is average and if he can improve it, the pitch could be a monster.

Grade: Present 5/Future 7

Other

Threw a handful of curveballs; sat around 82 and flashed plus with tight spin and break; showed ability to drop it for some first-pitch strikes; limited look but could be at least league average; 1.40-1.45 to the plate; sacrifices some quickness to the plate to get more stuff behind his pitches; plus pitchability; very poised in tough situations; sequencing ability is solid; can show four different pitches in any count with confidence.

Overall

Butler has three pitches that have plus potential with the confidence to throw them in any situation. His fastball is a real weapon that can show two different looks. His secondary stuff is not as far behind as I anticipated, and it currently looks like his arsenal as a whole can play in a major-league bullpen very soon. The plan is to start him, and I believe this is the right idea. He shows good poise and knowledge for setting hitters up. Shows a plan on the mound and is able to make adjustments on the fly. There is some concern that his body isn’t conducive to logging innings, so it would help to add some strength to his frame. After that one inning showcase at the Futures Game, many saw a relief profile but with his stuff and poise on the mound I think he could become a top-of-rotation starter and get there rather quickly. He will most likely reach Double-A by the end of the year.

OFP: Role 7; fringe no. 2 starter

Risk Factor: High

Related Content:  Minnesota Twins,  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues

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