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June 13, 2014

What Scouts Are Saying

June 13, 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

Mets OF Bobby Abreu: “It’s amazing how he still puts together quality at-bats on a regular basis. He’s old, slow, and his bat speed has obviously declined, but he won’t get cheated very often. He can be a headache for pitchers and make them pay for mistakes.”

Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen: “He continues to develop as a premier hitter and adjust his hands as well as or better than any major leaguer in the game today. For someone who starts with his arms as low as he does, he cocks, loads, and gets the bat through the zone as well as anyone I’ve seen. But he’s not afraid to use all parts of the field either, which makes him a very difficult out.”

Astros OF George Springer: "I know a few colleagues that barely wrote him in as an average everyday player. Don't ask me why. It's still early, but he's an electric player that I'm not worried about sustaining this level of play. People get too caught up in his strikeouts. There are a bunch of guys in the major leagues that get it done without a two-strike approach—more now than ever before—and Springer is one of them. But he's more than just a power hitter, which is why it will work for him."

Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira: "He seems to be feeling some lingering effects of his injured wrist lately, but before that, he was looking more and more comfortable at the plate. His power has come back, at least as a left-handed hitter, and that obviously suits him well at Yankee Stadium. Can he avoid the nagging injuries he always seems to have? Not likely, but give him even 425 ABs at his age, and he’s still a valuable player."

Minor Leagues

Marlins High-A 3B Colin Moran: "Colin Moran plays like a big leaguer down on a rehab assignment. He has no range at 3B and will have to move to first. I could see him becoming Garrett Jones."

Reds Double-A RHP Robert Stephenson: "He didn't dominate for me, but I'm not sure there is another arm in the minors I'd like to hitch my future to more than Robert Stephenson. He has big-boy stuff from a highly athletic delivery. Needs to work on his command and overall execution, but he can work in the mid-upper-90s like he's playing catch, and his hammer is a true knee-buckler that could be double-plus at the end of the day. Best arm I've seen so far this season, and it’s not even close."

Rangers High-A OF Nick Williams: "Nick Williams has never met a ball he didn't want to swing at, and this is going to limit what he can do at the plate, but I love this kid's swing, and I think he is one of the most under-appreciated bats in the minors. He's going to be scary when he actually learns how to bring skills onto the field. Not sold on him up-the-middle on defense and he never runs well for me, but as long as he swings it to his potential, he should become a mid-lineup force someday with both hit and power."

2014 Draftees

RHP Dylan Cease (Cubs 6th-Round Pick—Milton HS, Georgia)
"I’m aware of the elbow injury Cease sustained and his commitment to Vanderbilt, but he’s still a high school kid with loads of talent and an arm that generated velocities in the mid-90s. Sure he’ll have to rehabilitate himself, but he has plenty of time to do that. If the Cubs can get him signed, he can be a steal in the fifth round."

RHP Pat Connaughton (Orioles 4th-Round Pick—Notre Dame)
"I like the athleticism. He was a two-sport player, and I am curious to see how playing baseball full time will impact his development. He's a project, sure, but he has feel for three pitches and I saw him top 95 this year."

OF Derek Hill (Tigers 1st-Round Pick—Elk Grove HS, California)
"There's a very good possibility that Hill is the no. 1 Tigers prospect by season’s end. He's going to turn some heads in the GCL." (By one NL scout.)

Related Content:  Quotes,  Scouting,  Scouts

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Working the Count: The... (06/13)
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Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (05/30)
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Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying... (06/26)
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Overthinking It: The S... (06/13)

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