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May 21, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

May 21, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Miguel Almonte

Born: 04/04/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 180
Mechanics
Listed height is accurate; filled out lower half a bit; easy, fast arm from ¾ arm slot; hides the ball a long time and has excellent deception; long stride to home and hips rotate in coordination with shoulders and arm comes through fast; can open up a bit early at times but mechanics are repeatable for most part; front side shows effort when rotating, really throws front side through; arm can lag behind at times; ball comes out his hand fluently; creates good plane; complete command profile is presently below average.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/20/2014
Affiliate Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A, Royals)
Dates Seen 5/12/14
OFP/Risk 60/high
Realistic 50; strong no. 4 starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 65 93-95 96 Sat 94-95 mostly; held velocity all start; arm-side life with downhill plane; bores in on RHH; presently working on spotting glove-side down; arm-side command well above rest of profile.
CH 60 70 84-86 87 Arm-side sink with vertical action; great arm action; plays well off of FB; commands better to arm side and fills bottom of zone; overall command of pitch is average; needs more consistency throwing in zone to become more effective chase pitch.
CB 45 55 76-79 79 Big 11-to-5 shape; tight spin and shows good depth; two-plane break; shows ability to throw for strike and as chase pitch; can get soft and lose effectiveness while becoming slurvy; still generates swings and misses when throwing in FB counts; will become more effective with more reps and command within the zone in early counts; could play to solid-avg; developed well since last season, has even improved since early this season.
Overall

Almonte is an intriguing prospect who has a lot of upside. His FB/CH combo is very effective now and will continue to develop as he progresses. The development of his CB has been great and at full maturity it could play to solid average. It shows much better shape and bite from last season and as the command profile improves, all of Almonte's pitches could play to their potential. His development over the past year has been noticeable and I trust his developmental path to keep improving.


Casey Sadler

Born: 07/13/1990 (Age: 23)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 215
Mechanics
Sloped shoulders with a tall, lanky frame; athletic base with good lower-body development; compact tall-and-fall delivery; 3/4 release point; short arm action with a pronounced wrist curl at the top; lands on a stiff front leg and does not get great extension out front; firms up glove in front of letters, cutting off the path for his arm to decelerate; displays some recoil as a result; will occasionally lapse into short-arming the ball.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 05/20/2014
Affiliate Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A, Pirates)
Dates Seen 5/19/2014
OFP/Risk 50/Low
Realistic 45; swingman/middle reliever
MLB ETA 2014
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Sinker 50 50 87-91 92 Above-average command; hits spots and can locate in all quadrants; will elevate with efficacy to induce whiffs; plenty of arm-side sink and run; barrel-missing pitch; will induce plenty of grounders at the highest level.
Slider 55 55 81-83 84 Above-average command; short 1-to-7 break with lateral tilt; can drop it in for strikes early in counts and can garner swings and misses in/out of the zone vs. both righties and lefties; impressive pitch with the ability to miss enough bats to keep hitters honest at the highest level; above-average offering at the major-league level.
Changeup 40 45 83-85 86 Displays some arm-side sink and run, but can be straight/flat on occasion; elicited a handful of swings and misses from lefties; did not display huge velocity differential, but the potential is there to miss barrels at the highest level; still developing feel and command of the pitch, but could play as fringe-average to slightly above at the end of the day.
Overall

Sadler is what he is, a probable sinker-slider reliever who can miss barrels, get grounders, and keep lefties honest with his changeup. He is major-league ready, having already appeared in a couple of games for Pittsburgh in May, and should contribute down the stretch in some capacity. The ceiling is a no. 5 starter, but Sadler will likely settle in as a groundball-heavy reliever who can pitch multiple innings if needed.


Nick Williams

Born: 09/08/1993 (Age: 20)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 195
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Wiry frame; could still grow; has a little build but a lot of room for growth; looks presently immature; would feel comfortable if he put on 15 lbs; plus-plus athlete.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/04/2014
Dates Seen 4/8-10/14; 4/26-28/14
Affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A, Rangers)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 high 65 50; major-league regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 70 Unmatched bat-to-ball skills; plus-plus bat speed and has perfect slight lift coming through the hitting zone; has a true feel for the strike zone and recognizes spin early; tracks the ball extremely deep and uses the whole field well; comfort zone in game is left-center; can hit premium velocity; features loose hands in pre-swing but gets the bat in a slight angled position toward backstop making path to the ball short and quick; gets hips involved and has very good barrel control; showed great ability to adjust; needs some refinement in approach; free swinger but can barrel anything.
Power 55 Plus raw power; present gap-to-gap pop; has more present pull-side power; think it will end up more doubles pop with over-the-fence ability with added strength; power will come from plus-plus bat speed and lift in swing.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Very good athlete; stays low and has quick strides; 4.19 to first on groundball, 7.75 on double; aggressive but not a good baserunner presently; needs refinement in reading pickoff moves and reading balls in play.
Glove 50 Athleticism saves him often; presently extremely raw and reads/routes are very questionable; will make the routine play; don’t think he sees the ball well off the bat but has the speed to make up for some mistakes; with work it could play average eventually but presently well below; LF profile.
Arm 45 Little longer release; got behind ball well to throw; lost steam and arched a bit coming in; possible could get stronger with added strength.
Overall

Nick Williams is going to hit. This was easily the best natural hitter I’ve seen live. He made a few terrible reads and even started the wrong way when tracking a ball in CF. He’ll never be an asset on defense but he’s athletic. He can run but needs work on the bases. Williams hit tool is well above the rest of his game and if he’s going to hit that well at the highest level, I’m not really sure how much the Rangers will care about the defense.


Victor Caratini

Born: 08/17/1993 (Age: 20)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 195
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position: 3B
Physical/Health
Strong, filled frame; no room for additional mass or physical projection; sloped shoulders; barrel chest; mass in midsection; thick lower half; any additional weight will be of the bad variety.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 05/14/2014
Dates Seen Spring Training 2014, 3/29, 4/10-11, 4/14, 4/24-26
Affiliate Rome Braves (Low-A, Braves)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 High 50 45; utility profile (3B/C/1B) No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Left side: short, compact stroke; simple feet from a slightly open stance; keeps hands connected to his back shoulder during load; quick hips; simple barrel delivery; plus bat speed with loose hands; barrels balls up with ease in all quadrants; hits line drives to all fields and is not afraid to go with pitches the other way; great extension; has shown a propensity to struggle with vertically oriented off-speed pitches and has failed to adjust in several viewings.

Right side: stroke is longer with a tick slower bat speed; load is deeper from the right side; shows more loft through the zone, which causes the bat to be in and out of the zone quickly; will swing and miss more from the right side due to the swing length and a barrel that comes off plane quickly.
Power 40 Power will come to the gaps in the form of doubles; has plenty of strength, but his swing produces abundant topspin, which is conducive for hard line drives from gap to gap but limits over-the-fence pop; more loft and ability to generate backspin from the right side in BP; further projection is limited due to square block body type.
Baserunning/Speed 35 Speed is not part of his game currently and he does not project to add any due to his maxed frame; 4.33 on a dig from the left side; multiple 4.5s to first base; 8.45 to second base; will continue to slow down with age.
Glove 45 Behind the plate, Caratini has relatively soft hands a developing feel for receiving the ball; raw in the finer points of framing; occasionally goes elbow up on balls to his glove side rather than manipulating hand/wrist position to receive, dragging glove hand out of the zone; decent side-to-side agility and good blocking fundamentals; possesses the raw tools (non-arm) for continued development behind the plate.



At third, Caratini's feet are clunky and his hands are hard; backhand pickup is poor; side-to-side agility is below average; looks robotic charging balls down the line; underwhelming athleticism will put a natural limit on his impact at the hot corner; below-average third baseman at the major-league level.


Arm 45 Slow release; gets arm up quick but has a slight hitch at the top; throws have a visible hump and die before reaching the second base bag, displaying arm-side tail; pop times range from 2.05-2.20 in games, 2.20-2.35 between innings; while not a weapon, his arm plays better at 3B and would not be exposed in the manner in which it would behind the plate.
Overall

Caratini is an enigma. He would profile well behind the plate and has the defensive chops to stick, but his arm is weak and would be exploited behind the plate at the highest level due to a long release and poor pop times. At third base, his arm could play at the fringe-average level, but his defensive chops at third are unrefined and don't project to get better due to a body that's maxed out physically, hands that are underwhelming, and poor lateral agility.





All in all, Caratini projects to be a utility player who can play some third, some catcher, and possibly even some first base. His bat will be his carrying tool through the minors, but his lack of a true defensive home will limit his impact. If a team is willing to punt defense behind the plate (i.e. the running game), he has the ceiling of a second-division regular as his bat would profile well at the position. Things become more complicated if he's developed as a third baseman solely, however, as his bat won't be a profile fit at the hot corner. His ability to smash line drives all over the field, limit a pitcher's platoon advantage, and show a decent approach at the plate will make him valuable in a bench/utility role.











Hunter Renfroe

Born: 01/28/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 200
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Player possesses a physically mature 6-foot-1 frame with country strength. Appears heavier than listed weight of 200 pounds by about 8-12 pounds, but none of it is bad weight. Chiseled from shoulders to legs; strong core; great backside. More coordinated and looser than I expected.
Evaluator Ron Shah
Report Date 05/17/2014
Dates Seen 04/15/14; 04/16/14
Affiliate Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A, Padres)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 High 60 Above-average regular Yes
Makeup

Player keeps to himself with a calm focus. Doesn't show emotion after success or failure. Plays with a nonchalant attitude on defense, but that shouldn't be taken as a lack of effort.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Open stance; uses toe-tap for timing; fires early; keeps front shoulder closed. Swing is meant for power, and the approach reflects that. Transfers weight well; powerful finish. Short to the ball, but inconsistent bat path creates for swing-and-miss and poor hacks. Wants to make contact out in front; above-average bat speed; complicated approach: fastball seeker in any count; dangerous when ahead, but vulnerable to spin when behind; doesn't change his approach regardless of count or situation; struggled against spin.
Power 65 Raw power will be plus-plus with mechanical adjustments to improve bat path consistency; game power plays a tick lower than that due to approach and present inability to hit spin; power is effortless to all fields; doesn't need to pull it; center field is his strength; swing is geared for driving the ball out of the ballpark; features plenty of leverage, loft, and strength with a powerful finish; puts a charge into the ball with good balance; creates a ton of backspin.
Baserunning/Speed 45 Posted a below-average time on a dig, but is closer to an average runner when he gets going; finish in his swing deters his ability to get out of the box and down the line quickly; otherwise does display his speed in the outfield and on the bases; it isn't the most graceful of strides, however.
Glove 50 Solid-average defender; nonchalant attitude in the outfield; looks like he belongs; didn't stand out in a positive or negative way; made all the plays one would expect of an average big-league defender.
Arm 60 Arm is a weapon, but the player doesn't always show it; only displayed his arm strength once in this look, otherwise nonchalantly hitting the cutoff men time after time; that one throw featured plus carry and hit the second baseman on a line. He didn't get to set his feet for it, either, turning quickly from his positioning. Profiles in right field.
Overall

It isn't difficult to see what the Padres were thinking when they drafted Renfroe out of Mississippi State with the no. 13 overall selection in the 2013 amateur draft. He is easy to dream on due to his loud tools that allow for an easy fit into the mold of a classic right field profile. But there is plenty of work to be done with the swing and approach before he can reach his ceiling of a first-division player, making this college bat a riskier proposition than most.

At the plate, Renfroe is a player that likes to fire his mechanics early and wants to make contact out in front. That isn't an issue, but due to his pre-swing noise, the back elbow can be in the wrong spot when he launches his bat into the zone. If this can be cleaned up, the bat will stay longer in the zone and close up a hole in his swing.

Furthermore, the approach is unrefined. The player wants to swing immediately when stepping into the box, but if the ball isn't put into play, he is in trouble. This is because the player struggled against spin in this look, and now a heavier dose of those offerings are coming his way. The best way to avoid this is to not miss on those early count fastballs. But there is no two-strike approach or backup plan when that doesn't work.

I don't believe pitch identification is the issue as I saw him do a solid job tracking those offerings. But since he wants to make contact out in front, the hands need to do a better job of staying back. He can reach out and adjust to hit sliders with horizontal action, but it is offerings with vertical movement that gave him trouble.











Dalton Pompey

Born: 12/11/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 170
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Tall, thin frame that should be able to handle additional weight.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 05/19/2014
Dates Seen 5/12-5/14
Affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays (High-A, Blue Jays)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 High 60 50, major league regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Could be a 60 hitter from the left side, which is his stronger side. May struggle from right side, though he has plenty of bat speed from that side as well. Starts with bat angled down on shoulder from both sides; plus bat speed form both sides. Shorter swing from left side, wants to lift the ball. More pronounced uppercut from the right side. From the left side he can get stiff on his front side, cutting off his hip rotation. Will open up on an inside pitch in order to pull it, which could leave him susceptible to changeups. Showed a willingness to use entire field.
Power 50 Potential 20-homer power. Not the kind of power that he can hit any pitch out, but can do damage on balls up in the zone. Still learning how to drive the ball without cheating and trying to lift it. Power is primarily to pull side. Will have more natural power from left side, where he doesn't have to sell out for it.
Baserunning/Speed 65 Runs very well; long-strider. Glides around the bases.
Glove 60 Above-average current defender who will be a true asset once he refines the nuances of route running and footwork. Has natural ball-tracking ability and already has plus range.
Arm 60 Plus strength with good carry. Strong enough for right field if he ever had to shift over.
Overall

Pompey is a wildly fascinating prospect because of what he's come from and what he could still become. He's still incredibly raw and doesn't hit for much power right now, especially home run power, but it's in there. He has the bat speed to hit the ball over the fence, especially from the left side where the swing is already refined. Because of the speed, defense and arm, the bat doesn't have to make as much progress as it does with some prospects in order for him to earn major league playing time. The bat from the right side might make him susceptible to platoon splits, but the left side is good enough to carry him, and it's on the correct side of the platoon. If the power develops all the way, he could be a 20-homer player with plus defense in center field, but even if it doesn't quite get there, he should hit enough to justify regular playing time.














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