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March 19, 2014

Notes from the Field

Backfield Scouting Notes, 3/19

by Jason Parks and Mark Anderson

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(3/17) LHP Ricardo Sanchez (Angels)
Short but strong build; noticeably athletic on the mound; arm speed is very good; it can look very smooth and easy; from ¾ slot, can create some angle by staying over the ball and working down; delivery features a high/tucked leg; wasn’t loud on the frontside; has good balance and explosion to the plate; it's compact and efficient, but had a tendency to finish across his body; fastball was 89-92; popped a few 93s and 94s on the gun; some cutting action because of the cross-fire; struggled with command in his inning of work; inning was banged before three outs were achieved; hit a batter and had multiple walks; showed a slow, loopy curve in the low 70s; can spin the ball and achieve some two-plane shape, but the pitch wasn’t effective; was slow to the plate with runners on (1.5); struggled to stay in his delivery and establish mechanical rhythm. Outing wasn’t sharp but I love the arm and I’m glad we [Baseball Prospectus] ranked him in the Angels' top 10 despite no professional record. We should have ranked him higher. Will pitch the entire season as a 17-year-old; athletic lefty with stuff and swagger; lacks size but body could be strong and hold stuff. Mid-rotation type if everything clicks; extreme risk but I was impressed despite the results. –Jason Parks

(3/18) RHP Christian Binford (Royals)
Very tall; frame to hold more weight; looked a little awkward (athletically speaking); wasn’t fluid or easy in his release; from ¾ slot, delivery is herky jerky; arm heavy without a lengthy stride or leg generated push; stays tall with a late head jerk in his follow-through; falls off to 1B; release point was inconsistent; fastball was mostly 88-89; touched 91; pitch showed some natural cutting action; struggled to command the pitch; when he worked down, size allowed for steep plane; sweepy slider in the upper 70s; lacked sharp break but did start in the zone before falling out against righties; was 1.25 to the plate with runners on; worked behind in the limited two-inning look; command was below average; velocity was below average; breaking ball was below average. Despite the struggles, I like the possibilities. Excellent size and a good-looking arm; you can see more velocity; you can see a better breaking ball; has some pitchability and fielded his position well. Bad look but a projectable arm; possibly a no. 4 type at the end of the developmental day. Looking forward to watching him this season in Wilmington. –Jason Parks

(3/18) 1B Samir Duenez (Royals)
Body isn’t great; thicker lower half; bigger in the seat; played 1B; corner outfield spot could be an option if body doesn’t escape him; wasn’t a clogger; showed athleticism despite a more physically mature body than most 17-year-olds; swing is legit; loads hands at the letters; stays in a good hitting position through trigger; nice path into the zone; fast hands/hips; very legit bat speed; popped a triple to the gap and a bomb to the pull side; aggressive and looks to take the ball out of the yard; lost his way when he the approach was too power driven; I was sold on the hands and the raw pop; not an ideal prospect because of the body/defensive limitations; but the swing is something to pay attention to going forward; could develop the type of offensive profile to find value despite defensive role. –Jason Parks

(3/14) Zach Eflin (Padres)
Eflin stands out the second he steps on the field, owning a long, lean frame. He has surprising control over his length and the control/command profile is better than you might think of a player with his build and necessary growth; flashing the potential for at least average command. He pitches from a fairly typical 3/4 arm slot and glides down the mound with little evidence of significant drive toward the plate. He generates easy velocity, sitting in the 90-92 mph range over three innings and touching 94 mph when he elevated a few times. The breaking ball was short and lacked consistent bite, but the changeup has plus potential down the line. Eflin has room for physical maturation and could see a velocity bump into the 94-95 range consistently once the strength arrives and he learns to use that strength during his delivery. There's still work to be done here, but in a three-inning stint it was easy to see Eflin with a mid-rotation future. –Mark Anderson

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here
Mark Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mark's other articles. You can contact Mark by clicking here

Related Content:  Spring Training,  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues

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Premium Article Notes from the Field: ... (03/20)
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The Lineup Card: 11 Sp... (03/19)

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