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May 15, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

May 15, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Endrys Briceno

Born: 02/07/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 5" Weight: 171
Mechanics
High 3/4. Quick, whippy, and loose. Some of the best arm action in the minors; can be free and effortless. Similar to Neftali Feliz. Generates plane, and uses his 6-foot-5 frame to his advantage. Front side can get weak, and needs to get front arm up, pointed toward the target. He can put on muscle in his legs, but the flexibility may go away if he adds too much weight overall.
Evaluator Jordan Gorosh
Report Date 05/01/2014
Affiliate Lakeland Flying Tigers (High-A, Tigers)
Dates Seen Spring Training 2014
OFP/Risk 55/High
Realistic No 4 Starter
MLB ETA Late 2016
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 65 93 96 Fastball is free, easy, and loose. Has some arm-side wiggle and two-seam dart at times. Plenty of life, both up and down in the zone. Command is still an issue, and he often misses high and toward arm side. Loose arm, and should have no problem staying at his current velocity, and may even add a tick.
Change up 45 55 84 86 Changeup is out pitch at current. Can generate some swings and misses, and has shown he can throw the pitch in fastball counts. Generates some arm-side fade and vertical dropping action, with good arm speed and deception. Command of the pitch isn't quite there yet, but the movement and arm speed give the CH the possibility of playing close to plus. Needs to throw pitch more frequently, and it will be more effective when he has an older catcher guiding.
Curveball 35 45 77 79 Has issues inducing spin. Tries to generate torque, but ball comes out flat, and floats. Occasionally flashes a solid average breaker at 11-5, but mostly has trouble throwing it with any conviction. Struggles to throw it for a strike at current, needs a lot of refinement.
Overall

Briceno is an extremely intriguing arm, one who has taken strides forward in the last 18 months. He's not adding velocity as once hoped, but his fastball has even more life, and the command is starting to come around. At the highest level, he's going to have to refine the changeup and use it as an out pitch, while spinning some strikes with the CB. I've wondered out loud if Briceno should think about developing a splitter, as he possesses massive hands; it may work as an out pitch down the line.


Keone Kela

Born: 04/16/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 190
Mechanics
Medium build, good lower half; front side stays closed then explodes to plate; stays tall through delivery and can land on stiff front leg; deep arm action but super fast arm; repeats delivery; comes from high ¾ slot creating extreme plane; hides ball a long time, tough to pick up.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/04/2014
Affiliate Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A, Rangers)
Dates Seen 4/8/14; 4/27/14
OFP/Risk 55/moderate
Realistic 50; late innings reliever
MLB ETA Late 2014
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 70 80 96-99 100 Premium velocity with extreme plane; had a few with natural minimal cut; can use all four quadrants.

Currently plays down a grade due to lack of command. Has control but doesn't pinpoint spots. With reps could improve command and play to highest grade.
CB 60 60 80-82 83 True 12-to-6 shape; plus-plus spin; showed depth with good bite; loves to bury pitch; can throw for strike; command average.
Overall

Very intriguing arm who can hit triple digits. Started in High-A and already called up to Double-A. Heard the issue is throwing back-to-back days but this year he has been good. He has a top of the scale FB that will improve as he learns to spot it both arm side and glove side. His CB is plus pitch and plays well off of his FB. His FB/CB works very well out of the back end of the bullpen.


Jose Berrios

Born: 05/27/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 187
Mechanics
Extremely quick arm; Long arm action, drops down immediately out of glove. Gets out over front side well. Delivery not completely smooth, but not max effort; best described as controlled violence.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 05/11/2014
Affiliate Fort Myers Miracle (High-A, Petroleros)
Dates Seen 5/7/14
OFP/Risk 65/Moderate
Realistic 55, No. 3 Starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 55 65 93-94 95 Electric fastball, below-average present command.Touched 95 with four-seam fastball, which had some cutting action. Threw two-seam fastball at 91-92 with arm-side run. Command better to arm side. Had a tendency to overthrow and pull fastball to glove side. Was much more willing to go inside on left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters. Struggles to create downward plane. Held velocity deep into start.
Curveball 50 60 79-80 82 Hard curveball with big break; could be classified as a slurve. Big sweeping break, more side to side than downward, but it's a hard break; not loopy at all. Above-avearge command of the pitch. Throws it for strikes early in count, sweeps it out of the zone with two strikes.
Change-up 60 65 83-86 Best current pitch. Plus downward action. Great deception due to plus arm speed. Created swings and misses and bad contact with the pitch. Commanded it well and was consistently down in the zone or below it.
Overall

Berrios is the full—albeit small—package. He has the electric arm and natural velocity that can't be taught and two potential plus off-speed pitches (the changeup is already plus). He's not the biggest player, but his frame will be able to hold up to the rigors of starting pitching. His fastball command needs to improve but it's not too far off, and when it does, the changeup will play up even further. Despite his stature, he held his velocity well into his start. If the fastball command doesn't improve, he'll make for a strong high-leverage reliever, but the body and the arsenal are capable of being a starter.


Michael Taylor

Born: 03/26/1991 (Age: 23)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 210
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Tall and lean frame; room for growth; could fill out bottom half marginally without losing speed; major-league body.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 04/07/2014
Dates Seen 4/3/2014 - 4/6/2014
Affiliate Harrisburg Senators (MLB, Nationals)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 Medium 50 45; second-division player No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 40 Bat path through zone is inconsistent; solid extension; swing can become elongated; hands with some noise; hips sway and are noisy; pulls off on a CH with good fade from RHP; fringe ability at picking up spin off hand; Some compaction of swing could go a long way; plenty of swing-and-miss at this stage.
Power 55 Plus raw power; plays down due to contact concerns; mild lift in swing; great sound off the bat; plus bat speed allows for quick impact.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Plus speed; shows pure athleticism and good burst in the field and on the basepaths; violent runner; ability and instincts to swipe a base; could be a 25-plus SB player at MLB level with playing time.
Glove 50 Inconsistent; plus agility; plus speed; reads are adventurous; gets a poor first step at times; pure athleticism makes up for some ground lost; Needs to control athleticism better; overruns some balls in the gaps; shows plus ability at times. Fence awareness is not quite there.
Arm 55 Solid-average arm; plenty for CF; extreme arm-side run if overthrown; accuracy is merely average; needs to work on setting feet before throws; crow hop can become stuttered and double-clutched.
Overall

Taylor has loud tools, but the inconsistencies in his game will likely hinder the overall ceiling. The power and defense will play, but the hit tool needs some work and I do wonder whether he has enough to make any impact at the major-league level. At the very least, Taylor shows enough to provide an asset for any club, but some inability to consistently string together AB against RHP could keep him out of a starting role.


Francisco Lindor

Born: 11/14/1993 (Age: 20)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 5' 11" Weight: 175
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Short, stocky frame; noticeable added weight since last season; nice lower half and filled out upper body; durability issues no longer a concern; could be heavier than listed weight; plus-plus look in his RubberDucks uniform.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/01/2014
Dates Seen 4/18/14; 4/21-22/14
Affiliate Akron RubberDucks (Double-A, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2014 Moderate; 70 All-star-caliber SS Yes
Makeup

70 grade; always in involved and interacting with teammates; shows willingness to work at craft; raved about work ethic.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 65 Wide stance with loose hands; sweet, short path to the ball; plus-plus bat speed with slight lift in swing; barrel comes through hitting zone at slight angle; excellent balance; innate bat-to-ball skills; recognizes spin early; tracks ball deep into hitting zone; can barrel velocity and quality spin; gets great post contact extension; swing is mirrored from both sides of the plate; small wrist lock before starting swing creates torque as hips get involved; excellent strength in wrists and hands giving him very good barrel control; makes consistent hard contact; shows advanced feel for strike zone; comes up with approach and will adjust to the situation; has a knack for hitting.
Power 50 Power will come from plus-plus bat speed and lift; natural bat-to-ball skills allow him to barrel everything; showed ability to backspin ball in BP; sneaky raw power; in game, hit two to the wall to right-center from the right side; also launched one foul deep pull-side; added weight and strength has helped; will be plenty of 2B power with HR potential as he matures; gets very good extension with pitches out over the plate; presently below average.
Baserunning/Speed 55 Instinctive on the basepaths; reads pitchers and balls in play well; 4.1-4.17 range to first from left side; swing allows him to get out of the box quickly and accelerate; second gear is average; not a burner.
Glove 80 Unbelievable; silky, smooth actions; unmatched instincts and reactions on the field; despite solid-avg. runner, quick first step and reactions allows range to play plus-plus; makes backhand pick look easy; extremely soft hands and smooth transfers to throw; stays low and has quick turn on DP; excellent footwork around 2B bag when turning DP; shows all traits of elite shortstop.
Arm 60 Strong, accurate throws from all places; made throw from deep SS hole on a line as well as spinning throw up the middle.
Overall

Francisco Lindor can do it all. Not only is he an elite defender at shortstop but the bat will have impact too. Noticeable added weight and strength along with his natural ability will allow his power to play a little higher than most expect. I was mostly impressed with Lindor’s advanced approach and ability to adjust to the situation. He is so advanced for his age and it shows. He’s a special player.


Victor Reyes

Born: 10/05/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 170
Primary Position: LF
Secondary Position: RF
Physical/Health
Lean, lithe frame; body is underdeveloped; room for plenty of additional physical maturation; legs are twigs; could hold another 30 pounds with ease.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 05/12/2014
Dates Seen Spring Training 2014, 3/29, 4/10-11, 4/14-15, 4/24
Affiliate Rome Braves (Low-A, Braves)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 High 55 High 4; bench bat No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 65 Preternatural bat-to-ball ability from both sides of the plate; bat stays in the zone for an extended period; aesthetically pleasing stroke; slightly above-average bat speed from the left side; fringe-average bat speed from the right side; displays some bat wrap but keeps hands in a good position close to his body throughout; wrap may need to be tamed as he climbs the ladder in order to handle velocity on the inner half; moderate leg lift, consistent execution; shows developing lower-half actions with some coil; swing and approach are currently geared toward line drives to the opposite field; ability to yank balls to the pull side will come with additional strength; good idea of the strike zone for a 19-year-old.
Power 45 Fringe-average power projection; currently not part of his game; swing is very linear and lacks any loft at present; shows natural feel for the barrel and for the gaps, and given impending body maturation, player should develop some over-the-fence pop with age once he inevitably adds mass and learns to backspin balls; will never be a big HR threat, but player will find his power production in the gaps with lots of doubles.
Baserunning/Speed 45 Currently a slightly above-average runner but will slow down as the body matures; 3.8 on a jailbreak from the left side; consistently in the 4.15-4.25 range from the left side; long strider with heavy feet; takes a few steps to hit his top speed; best times are to second base (~8 seconds); needs work reading pitchers and shows some hesitancy on the basepaths; needs repetitions.
Glove 50 Covers plenty of ground in a corner via long strides; reads and routes are still developing; routes are currently circuitous; presently a drifter rather than a tracker; should smooth out rough edges with more seasoning.
Arm 45 Left-field arm strength; not a weapon; throws have a visible hump and seem to die as they reach their destination; arm plunge is fairly deep; release isn't terribly quick; currently in right field but will be moved to left down the line due to the arm.
Overall

Despite lacking immense tools across the board, Victor Reyes can hit and will continue to hit as he climbs the ladder. It's a left-field profile as he lacks the necessary arm strength to profile in right field, and the realization that he's a corner outfielder at the end of the developmental day may scare some away when taking into account the lack of over-the-fence pop he projects to produce. We're looking at a player who can put the barrel on the baseball and live from gap-to-gap, however, and that in and of itself could carry him despite the square-peg-in-a-round-hole profile.


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