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June 23, 2014

Monday Morning Ten Pack

June 23, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff

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Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles (SS-A Aberdeen)
Bundy is an interesting case, as he has already reached the majors. Very rarely do you see a player with the current floor and polish of Bundy in the NYPL. The Orioles are taking their time with Bundy's recovery from Tommy John. In his first two starts for Aberdeen, Bundy has gone five innings in each while striking out 15 batters total. The most important aspect of his rehab has been the return of his velocity. He is currently sitting 91-93 and touching 94 at times. Although he has not fully returned to his true peak in terms of velocity, Bundy is certainly on a faster track than the Orioles likely anticipated. The secondary arsenal is not quite there yet, and the command in general is still a work in progress. While we cannot look at the numbers as particularly relevant, given the level of opponent in short-season ball, we can at least take note that he is back and throwing well. The Orioles could certainly use a pitcher of his ability down the stretch. –Tucker Blair

Joe Gunkel, RHP, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
I caught Gunkel's start the other week when I visited Hagerstown to watch Lucas Giolito. The Nationals starter stole the show, but Gunkel walked away with the victory and the better stat line. While he does nothing great, Gunkel has solid command of his fastball. His arm slot is nearly sidearmed, which helps to play up the fringe-average 89-92 mph fastball. The Hagerstown lineup generally struggled to pick up the fastball out of his hand, and he was able to work his fringe changeup and slider when needed. He was quietly strong in this outing, and the Sox promoted him to Salem shortly after. There is not much growth left in terms of frame or overall skill set, and he won’t be making any prospect lists anytime soon, but he could be a role 4 middle reliever in the bigs at some point. –Tucker Blair

Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (Rookie Gulf Coast League)
I came away fairly intrigued with Devers after seeing him in spring training, as the raw power and early feel for hitting jumped out. The 17-year-old also showed a level of maturity as he was playing against players two or three years older than him during game action. It’s extremely early in this prospect’s development journey. There’s going to be peaks and valleys, along with challenges. We should expect there to be many adjustments. It’s inevitable. But I have a feeling here with Devers. My first glimpse at the third baseman left some clues that point toward advanced ability for the age. He shows an ease in going the other way with authority, and the early understanding of how to do so. The ball also pops off his bat. Devers didn’t look out of place against the older competition, controlling plate appearances and displaying comfort. A vision of the end product is very much something to dream on right now, but I look off into the distant horizon and see a power-hitting corner infield prospect emerging. –Chris Mellen

Francisco Mejia, C, Indians (Short-Season Mahoning Valley)
During the prospect team’s offseason construction of the Indians Top 10, our esteemed leader Jason Parks presented Mejia as a prospect to keep an eye on. The reports passed along really piqued my interest: plus bat speed; plus power potential; natural hitting ability; near-elite arm strength—to highlight a few. The 18-year-old is at the top of my list to get a long look at this summer in the New York-Penn League. This is a challenging assignment for Mejia. Teams typically sign a lot of their newly drafted college arms, and the catcher can expect to get a steady dose of opponents 3-4 years older than him, with a lot more experience. I don’t expect anything eye popping in terms of a stat line from Mejia. In fact, I bet he’s uneven when it comes to performance. That’s why it’ll be important to zone in on the scouting, and I’m looking forward to peeling back the layers on the player and diving into the clues. –Chris Mellen

Franklin Guzman, OF, Boston Red Sox (Short-Season Lowell)
In my first taste of short-season action this year, Guzman was arguably the player that stood out the most on the diamond; not necessarily because he’s a star-level prospect, but because he offered plenty of tools and a style of play that drew me to him. Guzman’s athleticism was blatantly evident the second he began moving on the field. He has a chiseled 6-foot, 185 pound frame that looks more halfback than outfielder. On top of his football-style physique, Guzman plays the game like a hard-hitting safety; playing with a reckless abandon that borders on endearing. At various points in my most recent viewing, he aggressively ran the bases and slid into home as if he was attacking the plate. He ran hard into the right field wall to make a catch, fell to the ground in pain, and bounced up to sprint to the dugout. Guzman is not without some baseball ability, including plus speed, solid instincts in the outfield, a quality arm, and at least above-average raw power. Much like the rest of his game, Guzman’s approach at the plate is ultra-aggressive and he lacks the feel for the barrel to make it work. The road through the minor leagues and even to real prospectdom will be a long and difficult path for Guzman, but in the interim, I enjoy watching him play and I stand in awe of his raw athleticism and physical gifts. –Mark Anderson

Tom Windle, SP, Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
A lefty starter with long levers that touches the mid-90s, you say? Sign me up. Windle’s physical description matched the eye test, with a high waist and good strength throughout his 6-foot-4 frame. While he looked strong and muscular, the first thing I noticed during his warm-up tosses was his overall stiffness during his delivery and arm action; even running on and off the field came with some rigidity in his legs and hips. While not a death sentence for a pitcher by any means, I’d rather see more flexibility and looseness to quell some future injury concerns (he had a shoulder injury as an amateur). Out of the gate, Windle showed off an above-average fastball sitting mostly 90-93 and touching 94 once. He was able to manipulate the pitch well, running and cutting the pitch whenever he felt necessary. The fastball command was fringy, often missing in the zone and up out of the zone. Regardless, it’s a plus offering with good plane, some deception, and bat-missing ability. The secondary offerings that Windle featured on this night just weren’t there for him. His slider was inconsistent, sometimes thrown with good tilt around 85-86 mph, and at other times was soft around 80-83 mph. Lefty hitters had a pretty easy time hanging in there vs. the slider because it kept crossing over the heart of the plate, which gave them an easy look. The change had some fade around 80-82 mph, but lacked any heavy sink or two-seam run. This wasn’t the best outing from Windle, but he owns a major-league-quality arm and I’m not ready to say he’s a reliever quite yet. The secondaries and overall command definitely need to take a step up for a starting rotation role to be considered. –Chris Rodriguez

Yeltsin Gudino, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (Rookie GCL)
Gudino is getting his first taste of professional baseball in America this summer with the GCL Blue Jays. He was a consensus top 10 international free agent during last year’s July 2nd signing period, and at only 17 years old his game is still very raw. After seeing him twice last week it's pretty clear why he was such a sought-after prospect. Gudino's 150 pound frame looks every bit that of a normal 17-year-old kid, but when you watch him in the field, the term normal no longer applies. His actions are very smooth and his ability to range to the right or left really stand out. He showed the ability to glide to the ball and get in front of it when off the bat it looked as if the ball was destined to be a base hit—or at the very least a tough backhanded play would be needed. To complement his excellent range, Gudino showed off a strong arm with a quick release that remained accurate while he was making throws on the run. His hands are as soft as they are sure and he looks silky smooth on transfers. The skills and future frame are there for him to remain at shortstop. At the plate, Gudino comes back to earth as normal 17-year-old kid. He showed good bat speed and bat control, but with the lack of strength, especially in his upper body, his bat was getting suffocated by average velocity. The swing itself is level and should produce a good amount of line drive contact, but until he bulks up and his hands and wrists get stronger, there won't be much power. With a ton of projection left and a good base of sound fundamentals and tools, Gudino will be another Blue Jays prospect who will join the conversations involving Barreto and Urena. –Chris King

Jairo Diaz, RHP, Angels (High-A Inland Empire)
The odds are you’ve never heard of Jairo Diaz, and for good reason. He’s never been mentioned on Baseball Prospectus, nor did he place on the Angels' preseason top 10. The right-handed reliever has been written off as just another 23-year-old reliever repeating the California League with an ERA north of 5. But given recent reports, including what I recently saw, Diaz is figuring things out in regards to his control. In my viewing, the lowest Diaz’s fastball registered was 97 mph and he is capable of hitting triple-digits. The slider was devastating, looking impossible to square up given its tight spin and hard, diving action. As a former starter, he’ll mix in a changeup, but there’s no need to get cute now. Diaz could be a weapon in the Angels’ bullpen by season’s end, and he should be in Triple-A right now facing better competition. – Ron Shah

Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks (High-A Visalia)
I saw Shipley in South Bend before he earned his quick promotion to Visalia. There was a lot to like about the 6-foot-3 righty even in the limited look I got on him. Shipley is a converted shortstop and the athleticism was present through his delivery. He uses a high three-quarters slot and is extremely coordinated between his upper and lower halves. It’s a clean delivery that’s pretty low effort. The stuff was very good when I saw him. The fastball worked in the 90-94 range, scraping 96 a few times. The fastball is straighter than you’d like and it got touched up more often than it should have up in the velocity band but when the command tightens up on it should be a plus offering. The change was his best pitch that day; it was working in the 83-86 range with some really nice fade. He utilized it well in counts and it was missing bats with consistency all game. Curveball looked like it needed some refinement; it’s an 11-to-5 breaker with decent hump but the command will have to tighten up for it to become a plus offering. Shipley is still a raw product; his edges need to get sharper, the command on his change and fastball needs to improve and I think he would benefit from someone teaching him how to cut the fastball a bit to show a few different fastballs out there, but the tools are definitely there for a solid mid-rotation guy. –Mauricio Rubio

Trey Martin, CF, Cubs (Low-A Kane County)
Aesthetics are a tricky thing. They’ve compelled me to appreciate and perhaps even love fringe-type prospects with long odds who can still do that special something out on the field that endears them to me. Trey Martin is a tall lanky center fielder with speed and quickness who is just not hitting well this year. Martin keeps his hands high and takes a weird path through the strike zone. The barrel does not stay in there very long. I question the hit tool quite a bit but the man can play a mean center field. He makes good reads and he covers a ton of ground. The arm is solid, as he’s shown good strength and accuracy from left and center. I don’t know if Martin ever makes it but I really enjoy watching him. –Mauricio Rubio

Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor Leaguers

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

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RotoAllah
(453)

In regards to Shipley, what happened to the guy that can stand in Archie Bradley's shadow without losing his light? Was this BBP hype or did something change?

Jun 23, 2014 08:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

We wouldn't hype a player without cause. Shipley is a high-end prospect and is firmly in the top 50 prospects in the game, and in the running for the top 25. That's high praise. He doesn't have Bradley's ceiling, but that was never suggested. He is--however--a very capable young arm that does offer both high projections and good now stuff.

Jun 23, 2014 09:51 AM
 
evo34

Is there an ETA for mid-season top prospect list?

Jun 23, 2014 15:34 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ron Shah
BP staff

End of the month. Debate series first: https://twitter.com/ProfessorParks/status/481148872275025920

Jun 23, 2014 17:20 PM
 
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