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June 26, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

June 26, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Aaron Sanchez

Born: 07/01/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 200
Mechanics
Big, tall, and athletic; long arms and relatively short torso; sloped shoulders; won't add much mass to frame; delivery remains inconsistent; exceptionally fast arm; arm action is fairly short; gets from the glove to the start of the arm motion in a hurry; frequently starts fall toward plate too early; needs to stay at balance point longer to establish base and drive from there; arm slot moves from pitch to pitch; will fly open and even his quick arm can drag as a result; athleticism is evident but doesn't translate to consistency in mechanics; doesn't demonstrate feel for making corrections on the fly; likely to always have difficulty repeating delivery for long stretches; consistent 1.31-1.35 to the plate.
Evaluator Mark Anderson
Report Date 06/18/2014
Affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA, Blue Jays)
Dates Seen 4/13/2014 and 6/8/2014
OFP/Risk 65/Moderate
Realistic Role 60; #3 Starter
MLB ETA Late-2014
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 65 70 93-95 97 Fastball works 94-95 in windup; velo dips to 91-93 in stretch; becomes more deliberate with pitch in stretch; with experience and comfort, stretch velo should approach windup velo; pitch features plus-plus run; tons of movement; difficult for batter to square; at its best, pitch explodes at hitters; can be dominating offering when on; at its worst, consistently lost up and arm side; doesn't work up in the zone with conviction, rather as a mistake; unhittable when working the lower quarter of the zone; devastating pitch.
Curveball 65 70 81-82 Shows two variations of pitch; harder in 81-82 mph range with tight rotation and sharp snap at the plate; harder variety offers 11-5 shape with biting action; slower pitch in 78-79 range; slower variety offers more 12-6 shape; both pitches are easy plus and more consistent feel with both will allow the combination to play to plus-plus level; harder breaking ball has plus-plus potential on its own merit; took a while to gain feel for harder breaking ball in both outings; once feel was gained, he moved it in and out of zone when he wanted; slower pitch typically only thrown in the zone and almost seemed to take the place of changeup at times; second high-end offering.
Changeup 35 45 86-89 Poor pitch in both outings; lacks feel for offering; consistently misses up with CH; lacked consistent movement but showed occasional dive that didn't seem repeatable; almost always overthrown and way too firm; needs to let the grip do the work; question whether feel will ever develop enough for average third pitch; stayed away from it in tight spots; seemed to use slower curveball as change-of-pace offering instead of changeup.
Overall

Lots to like with fastball, curveball and body; looks the part on the mound; very confident; shows emotion on the bump but doesn't get overly dramatic; both fastball and curveball can be dominating and frequently showed plus-plus potential; feel for changeup is limited and holds him back from really keeping hitters off balance; limited command profile keeps fastball and curveball from dominating they way their raw grades suggest; easy to see very high ceiling given tools but difficult to see the package coming together; reminds me a lot of A.J. Burnett in many ways; will look brilliant at times and lost at others; mid-rotation starter who will have streaks where he can shows more than that.



Julio Urias

Born: 08/12/1996 (Age: 17)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 5' 11" Weight: 160
Mechanics
Closer to 6'1 and definitely not 160; closer to 180; medium-sized frame; solid lower half and midsection; don't see it being a problem until he reaches his 30s; 3/4 slot; plus arm speed; looks easy; very repeatable; extends stride leg and lands soft; turns away from the batter like Felix Hernandez at times; can land stiff; struggles with release point from the stretch on occasion; pitches have good shape due to arm slot; solid move to first; picked a guy in the first game.
Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 06/19/2014
Affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High-A, Dodgers)
Dates Seen 4/6, 5/10
OFP/Risk 70/Moderate
Realistic 60; #3 starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 70 91-95 96 Present plus pitch; features natural arm-side run; very tough to square down in the zone due to tough plane; can cut it as well; pumps up the velocity with runners on base; several 94s and 95s late in both games; mostly 92-93; loose command early in both games; some noticeable frustration on the mound; settled down and began hitting his spots; can move the pitch up and down, in and out; pitch can be plus-plus with better control and command.
CB 60 65 77-81 82 Advanced offering; thrown very easy/natural with the same arm speed which gives it extra deception; two-plane break; very good manipulation of the pitch; can lengthen the horizontal break to make it a slider; most pitches had more vertical drop; varies shapes often; can drop it for strikes and for chase; thrown to both LHH and RHH; command was solid; can throw it in any count; love the projection for this pitch.
CH 50 65 78-82 83 Flashes plus; already an average pitch due to good glove-side fade/sink and velocity difference; plays off his fastball very well; can slow delivery a little which can tip the pitch; bat-missing offering; often went to this pitch to get back into counts; wouldn't count this pitch out to become plus-plus due to feel for the craft.
Overall

Urias is the uber rare combination of raw stuff, extremely young age, and pitchability. It's a package that doesn't come around often and one that can be special with the right molding and coaching. Urias already has two plus pitches and one on the way, all with crispness and plus movement. The overall command is fringe at the moment, but the profile is there to at least be above average (repeatable delivery, ability to add/subtract, athleticism). Arguably the most impressive thing about Urias is his feel for the craft at such a young age. Normally with a young pitcher you have high or even extreme risk, but Urias is a different animal. I believe he can make a contribution by 2016, with the innings limit coming off next season in Double-A. If he finds success and improves on his command the rest of this season and next, then there's nothing else holding him back.


Mark Appel

Born: 07/15/1991 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 5" Weight: 225
Mechanics
High three-quarters arm slot; inconsistent downhill plane; struggles spotting pitches down; great size and body; average athlete; clean delivery that checks off all the boxes; powerful hip rotation; upper half can fly open at times; lacks deception; easy to pick up the ball out of his hand; tipped pitches in second look with hand placement in glove and straight to home plate; became more closed in third outing to correct issue.
Evaluator Ron Shah
Report Date 06/21/2014
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
Dates Seen 04/23/14; 05/31/14; 06/12/14
OFP/Risk 55/Moderate
Realistic No. 4 Starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 60 92-93 94 Four-seam fastball with solid movement at the lower velocity range; fastball command is present glove side; struggles to hit the lower quadrants and consistently keep the offering down; inconsistent downhill plane causes for flat fastballs over the heart of the plate; mostly just grooves the offering over the plate; creates for hard hits and drives to the warning track.
Changeup 50 60 82 83 Changeup flashes plus potential; late vertical action; fades; excellent deception; didn't have feel until the third inning; shows confidence in the offering; will throw it to same and opposite-sided batters; inconsistent command; leaves it up where it can get hit, but still shows tumble regardless of location;
Slider 45 50 84 86 Slider showed mostly below average; could get to solid-average; flat; left over the plate; running theme of tightening up command; at its best shows two-plane break with late break to glove side;
Overall

I have seen the player make three consecutive starts. In the first look, the fastball velocity was well down from his usual range. The velocity returned in the second outing, hitting 97, but he had a thumb injury. No injuries or other reasons for a poor third start, so the grades are from that look.

The player's struggled to make adjustments to professional baseball. I don't blame the tandem rotation, as he's been on extended rest in each of my looks, and he's started each of them rather than coming out of the bullpen. After each of the poor outings, the player never shows emotion when he's on the mound or when being pulled--just takes a seat in the dugout as if nothing happened. I don't mind players that don't wear their heart on their sleeve, but he pitches like it's a bullpen session where he just needs to get his work in, grooving in pitches with no purpose.

It is worth noting that only one secondary offering would show up in each of his starts. Also, hitters did not have trouble squaring up his fastball whatsoever. That might always be the case because he just doesn't have deception in his delivery. But he does tip his offerings with his wrist placement; recommend keeping an eye on his stretch vs. windup splits.

Right now, the player just doesn't look like the player he was drafted to be. I haven't seen anything to even consider he could be a no. 2 starter, or even more. I'm concerned more with how he pitches than what his fastball is registering on the radar gun. A back-end starter appears to be the realistic role based on my recent looks.








Braden Shipley

Born: 02/22/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 190
Mechanics
High three-quarters arm slot; lots of arm speed; free and easy delivery; fast, but controlled; rock-and-rolls; inconsistent fastball plane; consistent arm slot and stride; strong balance throughout delivery; needs to improve timing of trunk rotation; plus-plus athlete; doesn't look like a pitcher; plenty of room to fill out; plus makeup.
Evaluator Ron Shah
Report Date 06/23/2014
Affiliate Visalia Rawhide (High A, D-backs)
Dates Seen 06/13/14
OFP/Risk 65/Moderate
Realistic No. 3 Starter
MLB ETA 2017
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 70 70 94 98 Generates fastball velocity effortlessly; features strong arm side movement at 93-94 mph; still possesses life in the mid-90s; straightens out some at the upper 90s.; held velocity well; hitting 95 mph in sixth; more control than command; does keep it down; attacks hitters.
Changeup 60 70 84 86 Changeup is the out pitch; mid-80s offering; flashes plus-plus; fastball disguise; consistent arm speed and slot; possesses at least plus fade; just dies at the plate; misses barrels and bats; great confidence in it; will throw in any count or situation; will even triple down; commands it arm side.
Curveball 50 60 79 82 Presently fringe-average; flashed at least plus; plenty of projection, but lots of work to do; command needs to tighten up; starts out of the zone and very high; could become a true hammer once he fills out; freezes batters with huge break; some had loose two-plane break; some are hangers; some don't break until after they cross the plate.
Overall

Braden Shipley is the type of pitcher I would love to add to my organization. He's an excellent athlete--even beating a runner to first base on a grounder back to the mound--who generates fastball velocity effortlessly, whether it's registering a 93 or 98 on the radar gun. The makeup is plus; he's light and flowing with positive energy, but he's cold-blooded with a mean streak on the inside.

Realistically, he could be a no. 3 starter with more control than command and a solid-average curveball as his third offering. There's optimism for no. 2 starter potential, because he's shown tremendous feel for his arsenal with limited experience on the mound. To get there, he'll need to tighten up his command and continue making strides with the curveball.

There's moderate risk with Shipley, because of the projection in the curveball and command. He'll also take longer than some other college arms because of his limited mound experience. But I'm not going to bet against someone as athletic as Shipley. There's no reason he can't tighten up his command with more experience on the mound. The curveball is already flashing plus, if not more, too.







Carlos Penalver

Born: 05/17/1994 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 170
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position: SS
Physical/Health
Athletic middle infield build. Wiry, strong, with a bit of a high waist. Athletic. Should be able to add 10 pounds and stay quick.
Evaluator Jordan Gorosh
Report Date 06/11/2014
Dates Seen 4/22 4/23, 4/24, 5/3, 5/4 5/23... and more
Affiliate Kane County Cougars (Low A, Cubs)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 high 45 40; glove first utility player Yes
Makeup

Approaches the game well. Locked in while in the batter's box. Runs out groundballs, focuses on his game in warmups.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 35 Starts at the back of the batter's box with his feet a tick more than shoulder-width apart; hands away from his body, bat pointed up in a 45 degree angle. He waggles the bat and has a small leg kick load mechanism. Likes the ball down in the zone, or middle in; has trouble with pitches away, and recognizing spin on the outer half of the plate. Propensity to cast hands and flail at pitches. Gets on front foot too often. Barrel control flashes, but often has trouble centering good pitching. At his best, swing is short and quick through the zone, keeping the barrel level. Most contact hard contact is of the line drive variety, and he produces top spin. Bat speed is average to a tick below.
Power 25 Doesn't generate back spin. Power isn't a part of his game. Must be a mistake pitch to hit it over 300 feet in the air. Doubles power could play, but doesn't drive ball with authority; 30 extra-base hits maximum at highest level.
Baserunning/Speed 55 Good, not great runner. Better in second gear. Times range from 4.25-4.35 from the right side. Fluid runner, average stride length.
Glove 55 Quicker than fast. Reacts very well on balls to both sides. Glides in the field. Covers ground. Positions himself well, and footwork is excellent around the bag. Make all of the plays, especially going to his left. Seems to get the good hops, and will have no trouble staying at SS. Can have trouble tracking pop ups.
Arm 60 Loves to show it off. Strong, accurate throws. Can make throw from edge of infield grass after catching the ball 5-8 steps to his left, planting, and firing. Double play throws coming across the bag are crisp.
Overall

Will have no problem sticking at SS. Defense is extremely good. Not game changing, but very solid, and therefore, the bat will need to play. Should be a .240-.250 hitter without much power. Likely not a second-division starter, but an up and down guy, or a good utility player. Has trouble with good pitching, especially spin. Good worker with room to improve. Nice player to have in the system.


Darrell Ceciliani

Born: 06/22/1990 (Age: 23)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 220
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Well built; strong; broad shoulders and hips; athletic look; carries strength well; not physically maxed out but minimal projection remaining; solid MLB body.
Evaluator Mark Anderson
Report Date 06/18/2014
Dates Seen 4/10/2014, 4/11/2014, 4/13/2014, 5/6/2014
Affiliate Binghamton Mets (AA, Mets)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 Moderate 50 Role 45; Below-Average Regular; 4th Outfielder No
Makeup

Confident player; carries himself like a big leaguer; assertive on the field.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Good bat speed; pre-pitch movement is consistent and predictable; not a lot of noise before he drives to the hitting zone; quick from the trigger to the contact point; has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball; sharp line drives to all fields; can work counts but prefers to be aggressive; gets caught between approaches at times; more successfully when he swings early and often; needs to take advantage of natural bat-to-ball ability; potential for .270-.280 average; may reach a tick higher if it all comes together.
Power 35 Line-drive oriented stroke; doesn’t lift the ball; line drives have lots of top spin and don’t carry; power can play from gap to gap as doubles; enough juice in the bat to keep pitchers and defenses honest; contact-first hitter with 7-10 home runs, 15-20 doubles with ample playing time.
Baserunning/Speed 55 H-1st ranged from 4.16-4.23 across multiple views; runs well; clearly putting in plenty of effort when he’s running but it doesn’t look difficult; has lost some speed since prior viewings; good enough athlete to maintain present speed; gets out of the box well and is consistently above-average down the line; speed plays a bit better on longer runs; plays well with instincts in OF; solid instincts on base paths; potential to steal 15-20 bases annually; above-average speed can be a factor.
Glove 55 Energetic defender; works hard in the outfield but does it with grace; natural defender; reads the ball well off the bat; jumps are very good in all directions; gets there quickly and settles under the ball; makes it look easy; will get aggressive and try to make difficult plays without care for his body; knows game situations and does all the little things as a defender; solid CF glove that could handle himself on the corners; like most players, could use a bit more polish as he moves up, but could defend at MLB level right now.
Arm 40 Arm doesn’t stand out; lots of effort when he’s trying to make a play with his arm; ball just doesn’t come out cleanly; accuracy is solid; raw arm strength is fringy; arm can work in LF or CF on consistent basis.
Overall

Lacks flash in the game; most tools are solid; can hit the ball and will hit some at the highest level; power isn’t a significant factor; speed can play toward the top of a lineup; glove will carry him to MLB and hit tool will give him a chance to stick; potential up-the-middle player with batting average driven offensive profile; won’t be a key cog on an MLB team but can be a quality role player.



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