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May 1, 2014

What Scouts Are Saying

May 1, 2014

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

White Sox 1B Jose Abreu: “He’s a beast and for real. He may run into a few slumps as pitchers adjust, but he has excellent bat speed and some of the best raw power to come along in recent years. But he's not just a pure slugger. He knows how to control the bat and maintains very fluid actions with his wrists.”

Reds RHP Johnny Cueto: "He's thrown 26 innings in his last three starts and all of it has been quality. He will touch 96, but he mixes in a cutter, slider, and changeup, changing speeds and eye levels and locating with a Luis Tiant-type delivery. He's a no. 1 right now, and far and away the best pitcher on their staff. The only concerns, long-term, are whether his conditioning and the delivery will hold up."

Reds CF Billy Hamilton: "Yes, he's the fastest player in baseball, but if you throw him a good fastball on the inner half of the plate and jam him up inside, he is not strong enough to do anything but roll over to second base. He can almost out-run the ball in the outfield and his instincts are terrific given how little time he has spent there, but I just don't know that he will ever hit."

Minor Leagues

Rockies Double-A RHP Eddie Butler: "I like the way he goes about it and attacks hitters. His stuff is live and he doesn't back down. FB/SL combo is pretty rough on RHH and they don't look comfortable against his velocity or movement. He has some hurdles to clear vs. LHH lineups to be an elite SP, but the ingredients are there to stay in a rotation and be pretty good."

Rangers Double-A RHP Luke Jackson: "I saw a good power arm with arm action and delivery that make me think he will end up in the 'pen as a power power. There is no secret how this guy goes about it. He wants to throw hard and harder and sacrifices some control/command to do it. That being said, the fastball is a real weapon and he can spin it."

Padres Double-A RHP Matt Wisler: "This guy is starting to grow on me even though he hasn't been a huge prospect. He has four pitches and really knows how to use them. He misses just enough bats to be interesting and I'm stating to like the composure he shows. Hard guy to scout because he doesn't show you the wipeout anything, but there is something there to be a good major-league pitcher."


Cal State Fullerton RHP Phil Bickford (10th-overall pick by the Blue Jays in 2013)
"His fastball is more generic, working in the low 90s. Still working on sharpening secondary offerings. Command was good, but stuff not at the level that made him a top pick."

Southern California Scouts: "You guys are soft. It gets down to 60 degrees and you start shivering... and if there's a breeze to go with it you better call an ambulance." —Texas-based AL crosschecker

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Kyle Matte

Last line, best line.

May 01, 2014 05:30 AM
rating: 5

I can confirm from my time living in California that Californians are soft and spoiled by their weather.

May 01, 2014 06:54 AM
rating: 2
Dave from Pittsburgh

If that quote was left completely anonymous, I would have thought Jason said it.

May 01, 2014 07:49 AM
rating: 3

Totally agree. Went to Fenway for 2 yesterday and it was 52 degrees. Perfect!!!

May 02, 2014 08:17 AM
rating: 0
David Sullivan

This might be my favorite type of article. I love scouts commentary.

May 01, 2014 07:16 AM
rating: 6


May 01, 2014 08:49 AM
rating: 1

90+ degrees yesterday with howling winds haha. Ocean low 50s. Epic waves though in So Cal.

May 01, 2014 07:48 AM
rating: 0

More of these please. Love em

May 01, 2014 11:17 AM
rating: 0

We aren't soft. We are demanding. We demand weather to be a certain way like Cardinal fans demand baseball to be a certain way.

May 01, 2014 11:36 AM
rating: 2

Oh, I see, NOW Jose Abreu has good bat speed!

May 01, 2014 14:23 PM
rating: 3
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

Different scouts have different takes. Scouts have been split on Abreu for some time. I know some that still don't love his swing. But that's what makes scouting interesting. People sometimes see different things when evaluating talent.

May 01, 2014 15:15 PM

I thought the same thing when I read this comment. It seemed like every report on him before the season said he wouldnt be able to hit Major League velocity due to lack of bat speed.

Crazy how fast things can change.

Seems like bat speed is something that would be easier to scout.

May 02, 2014 06:29 AM
rating: 1
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

It could also be that Abreu made an adjustment. I haven't analyzed his mechanics so I couldn't tell you if something changed or not.

May 02, 2014 10:26 AM
Dan Farnsworth

I did a study on his mechanics when he signed this offseason in response to the whole bat speed discussion. He hasn't changed anything major since his Cuba swings from what I have seen.

Link: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jose-abreus-swing/

May 04, 2014 04:40 AM
rating: 0

Although the weather comment is true, what has continually confused me ever since I lived here is that you can't find a building in SoCal whose AC is set above absolute zero.

The residents want the outside temp to be in an extremely narrow range or they complain...yet they also somehow want to be frozen solid when inside any vehicle, office, restaurant, or dwelling.

May 01, 2014 14:30 PM
rating: 1

What happened to John Perotto, who used to do a weekly piece?

May 01, 2014 16:21 PM
rating: 1
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