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August 22, 2013

What Scouts Are Saying

August 22, 2013

by Baseball Prospectus

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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

Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts: "Does just about everything but run above average. I've heard a lot of scouts say that they worry his body will eventually be too big for shortstop, but I think he can stay there. He's long and lean with room enough to add weight and strength on his frame without losing his mobility. And he absolutely destroys pitching with lethal bat speed and hand-eye coordination."

Mariners 3B Kyle Seager: "His brother Corey may end up being better, but Kyle is a really nice player. You don’t think of him as a true profile corner, but he has a short, quick stroke with surprising juice. He has a sound approach and is tough to pitch to. Left-handed pitchers can exploit some holes, but they still have to execute their pitches. He’s improved every year, though I think he’s coming up on his ceiling. Would really be turning heads if he wasn’t playing half of his games in Safeco."

Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg: “He] may have the best stuff in baseball, but you really start to question the makeup after what happened in Atlanta. Staked to four runs in the first two innings, he let the Braves back in the game and managed to get himself kicked out before the end of the second inning, causing his club to tax their bullpen. The expression he had as he came off the mound is probably similar to that of the Washington front office as they watched it unfold.”

Braves RHP Julio Teheran: “Has well above average stuff, but what struck me about him was the poise he displayed for somebody so young in what was a relatively big situation for him and his club. After a 15-inning, rain-delayed game he battled through adversity, had no clean innings, and came away with six scoreless innings.”

Minor Leagues

Astros Class-A SS Carlos Correa: “One of the best packages of talent and performance I have seen this summer. You can describe his skills and tools with any words you want, but the bottom line is that he can play and will play at a high level. His maturity stands out, he is the best player on the field, and his baseball acumen is impressive for a teenager. It shouldn't take him long to race through the minors based on how he is dominating on both sides of the ball.”

Rangers Double-A 2B Rougned Odor: “This kid plays with a swagger that is interesting. He thinks he can hit and I think he expects to hit. His swing is a little all over the zone right now, but he releases the barrel well. He will have to hit to get to the big leagues, but it was impressive to see his lack of fear or tentativeness in Double-A as a 19-year-old.”

Dodgers Double-A LHP Chris Reed: “I've seen two of Reed's starts this year and, despite having good outings both times, he continues to show pedestrian stuff and fair command. His body hasn't quite filled out like many may have thought, and he shows little sign of ever being any sort of feared presence on the mound. His fastball shows average velocity and effectiveness, and he has feel for an average changeup with some arm side fade and sink. His out pitch is a slider that lacks power and shows below-average command. For me, the Dodgers will have to choose whether to continue to develop Reed as a starter in hopes that he gains enough command and control to pass as a back-end-of-the-rotation guy, or throw him back into the bullpen, like he was at Stanford, and hope his stuff plays up and he is able to regain his college form as a middle reliever or seventh-inning type guy.”

Athletics High-A SS Addison Russell: "Interesting physical package of strength and speed, and he wins the eye test every time. There is plenty of swing-and-miss in the swing, but he has enough power and walks to project well. He is a real offensive threat, but has significant questions as to what glove to wear. He plays a little hard for me at SS and his natural rhythm is more strength than twitch. Good player I wish we had in our system, but no slam-dunk SS moving forward."

Tohoku Rakuten RHP Masahiro Tanaka: "Doesn't have Yu Darvish's 6-to-8 pitch arsenal, but he has three quality major league pitches and a true weapon in his splitter, which may be better than any one pitch that Darvish has. He has enough FB velocity now to pitch over here, though I have some concerns about whether or not losing a day of rest will negatively affect his stuff. I don't see him as a front-end starter, but he can definitely fill in the back end of a rotation and rack up the strikeouts."

13 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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I always enjoy this column, and I realize the assessment of Strasburg is a single scout's take, but it's completely overwrought.

Aug 22, 2013 05:53 AM
rating: 5

I don't disagree that it be a bit overwrought but I had the same concerns. He's either completely stoic or he didn't give a shit. The Nats chance may be gone but it was against the leader in a divisional rivalry. I expected more maturity.

Aug 22, 2013 07:03 AM
rating: 1

Don't you just think he was bemused at a bizarre ejection? I mean, it seems obvious that he just couldn't find the strike zone at all, and wasn't trying to hit anyone. I can't see what was immature about it in the slightest - he had just completely lost any command or control over the baseball. (which might actually be much more of a long term issue, if it recurs)

Aug 22, 2013 07:20 AM
rating: 2

This is easily one of the best columns I've seen. Great to see MLB players in here as well. Become commonplace to hear scouts' takes on prospects, but much more rare to hear them speak about MLBers. Your site has really stepped up its game this year.

Aug 22, 2013 06:29 AM
rating: 15
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Thanks, we appreciate it. Glad you're enjoying the column.

Aug 22, 2013 06:30 AM

I second that. Insider quotes are always interesting.

Aug 23, 2013 23:26 PM
rating: -1

Great column. This is the first time I've read that Addison Russell might not stay at short long term. I guess I don't understand what the author means by "more strength than twitch." I wonder what position the author thinks he might move to?

Aug 22, 2013 07:27 AM
rating: 2

I would assume 3B. I can't really explain it but I've heard smart people explain it before. Shortstop requires different types of muscles. It's not exactly reflexes - you need those for 3B too - but your whole body either moves fast or it doesn't. If it doesn't, you're not a shortstop. And you're probably not a second baseman either.

Aug 22, 2013 09:18 AM
rating: 0

I wondered how much Safeco has hurt Kyle Seager. Apparently a lot.
Home: 166g .236/.308/.347 74 OPS+
Away: 166g .283/.349/.462 124 OPS+

Aug 22, 2013 08:20 AM
rating: 3

Wow, the difference in those splits is even greater than I would have thought.

Aug 22, 2013 08:39 AM
rating: 0

Safeco destroys most hitters. Lefty or not.

Aug 22, 2013 14:56 PM
rating: 0

Always a great read -- got a chuckle out of an Russell passing the "eye" test, are the A's back to selling jeans?

Aug 22, 2013 16:58 PM
rating: 0

Love this column, and I've seen Tanaka's split - it's nasty - but saying it's better than Darvish's slider seems a bit crazy, no?

Sep 12, 2013 11:43 AM
rating: 0
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