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July 17, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

July 17, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Dylan Bundy

Born: 11/15/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 195
Mechanics
Extremely built frame; one of the most athletic pitchers I remember seeing; maxed frame; fluid mechanics; clean delivery with plenty to like; mild stab but not enough to warrant significant concern; excellent drive; arm stays high in three-quarters slot and body is able to stay low and drive toward home; excellent vertical axis with arm relative to the ground; creates a tremendous plane; drops and drives; excellent arm speed; hips stay proportionate throughout delivery; consistent delivery times in 1.38-1.41 range; the overall mechanics are impressive; body is in unison and he keeps balance throughout the entire start.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 07/02/2014
Affiliate Aberdeen IronBirds (Short Season, Orioles)
Dates Seen 6/27/2014
OFP/Risk 70/Medium
Realistic 65; No. 2 Starter
MLB ETA Already Reached
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 60 91-93 94 Excellent command; able to spot the FB in all quadrants at any time; mild armside run from an excellent plane; velocity is fine at this level; pitch is still above-average offering even without the velocity he possessed in the past; explosive offering with life; ball gets on hitters quicker than anticipated.
CT 60 70 87-89 89 Not the true weapon it was in the past; still a great pitch; acts as a FB and then has late, hard cut; nearly a foot on the cut; excellent pitch and able to throw to both sides of the plate; throws at the hands of both LHH and RHH; has multiple versions of horizontal movement from arm-side run and cut; vertical movement from plane; pitch is hard to track and hitters will generally struggle with this offering at any level; velocity and crispness of pitch have not returned quite yet; was an elite offering before; doubt it returns to full form, but slight tick in velocity and some general tightening of command will get this pitch back to plus-plus.
CB 60 65 73-75 75 12-to-6 offering; great depth; tight spin; will miss bats at any level; able to drop pitch into lower part of strike zone; pitch looks even deeper in its rotation because of excellent plane and high arm slot with low drive; will cast it occasionally; will release too late with arm out in front and ball will drift up in zone; not a large concern and can be tightened up; command of offering is plus and could improve more once he improves the occasional release point malfunction.
CH 50 60 86-88 88 Only threw a few of them; slight parachute action; fade toward arm side; the velocity difference from the FB is not great; largely from the velocity a tick down since the surgery; able to replicate same arm speed and arm action; release points were fine; threw one that was firm at 88; good pitch if his FB velocity ticks up again; pitch does not have enough differential without the velocity gain; still shows enough movement and fade to provide usefulness regardless.
Overall

Dylan Bundy has made the trek back from Tommy John surgery. It has been a long journey for the RHP, but he looks to be mostly back in form. The velocity might never return to 94-98, but I do expect another slight tick in velocity from 91-94. It likely does not happen this season. Regardless, he still has a terrific arsenal.

Bundy is one of the most polished pitchers in the minors, displaying an extraordinary amount of pitchability, confidence and cognizance on the mound. While many will look at the arsenal and say this is not the same pitcher, I still believe the intense makeup and pitchability boost Bundy up the charts. This is one of the most competitive players I have seen, even against competition like the NYPL. Bundy did not care where he was, he wanted to annihilate every hitter with his arsenal.

Bundy is still an extremely talented arm regardless of whether the velocity returns, the CT returns to its old form, and the CH gains its full effectiveness. With his pitches still grading out as plus or potentially plus, Bundy has a deep arsenal that will help him work through a mjor-legue lineup when one of his pitches is off for the night. The CB is currently the best secondary offering, but the CT has potential to be that pitch down the road if the velocity and crispness return. Bundy is going to pitch and pitch well in the majors. However, there is some mild risk here simply because he has Tommy John on the record and the arsenal has not quite reached its past potential.

On the CT: Bundy definitely threw it multiple times. Multiple eyes confirmed the same and the movement was nothing similar to the CH.







Robert Stephenson

Born: 02/24/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 195
Mechanics
Tall, lanky frame with some upper-body development throughout torso; legs up to his neck; frame built to withstand 200-plus innings of work; arm action is compact after an initial deep plunge on the back side; hides the ball well; high three-quarters arm slot; drop-and-drive delivery with good momentum throughout; great separation between his two halves achieved by a slight upper-body dip over the rubber after reaching his balance point; lands square on a bent front leg and achieves some extension out front; can be a little upright at times; head displays some violence in follow through. Pitcher generates good momentum throughout delivery and possesses an incredibly quick arm.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 07/04/2014
Affiliate Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA, Reds)
Dates Seen 6/27/2014
OFP/Risk 60/Moderate
Realistic 55; no. 3/4 starter
MLB ETA Late 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 55 65 92-94 96 Velocity: plus; sat comfortably in the plus range throughout the outing, touching higher. Command: below average; struggled to find the zone early in counts and throw quality strikes; worked from behind in the count a majority of the evening. Movement: plus arm-side bore, specifically in the low 90s; pitch can flatten out a bit due to delivery but pitcher creates good angle with higher slot; difficult to square when located in the lower quadrants; becomes hittable up in the zone. Comments: Stephenson relied on the fastball heavily in this outing and hitters jumped on it early in counts, forcing him to make a secondary adjustment with his sequencing. The offering was very hittable up in the zone, and Stephenson seemed to focus more on blowing pitches by hitters rather than locating effectively within the zone. With that being said, Stephenson's frame and the potential for added mass, in combination with his mechanics and lightning-quick arm, lead me to believe there could be a little more velocity in the tank.
Curveball 55 65 78-82 83 Command: fringe-average; flashed ability to bury the pitch for whiffs and drop it in the zone for weak contact/whiffs; struggled to consistently get over the curveball, leaving it hanging up in the zone; feel for pitch comes and goes. Movement: flashes plus or better 11/5 break late in pitch's trajectory with sharp two-plane slice; bat-missing break when snapped off effectively; pitch displays great shape; break can be elongated/not as sharp when pitcher gets around offering. Comments: Stephenson's curveball is legit and flashes plus-plus potential, but command concerns with the offering and with the entire arsenal downplay the pitch's overall future utility.
Changeup 40 45 85-88 89 Command: below average; left pitch up and to the arm side frequently; lacked feel for pitch; struggled to harness it; pitcher was very deliberate with the offering. Movement: straight; flashed the slightest bit of run but was mostly flat up and out of the zone; elicited a whiff from a right-handed hitter under his hands, flashing some sink. Comments: It was obvious that Stephenson was working on this pitch throughout the outing, but it was too firm and he showed little ability to spot it in this look. I do not envision this pitch becoming a weapon at the highest level.
Overall

Stephenson is a special arm, one with the potential to have two high-end pitches with the fastball and curveball. Along with the below-average changeup, the command profile is the bugaboo currently and will very likely be an issue going forward. It's easy to see the enormous potential in the arsenal, but in this outing, Stephenson looked the part of a mid-rotation starter who flashes front-of-the-rotation stuff but lacks the command profile to anchor a rotation. Though he's currently in Double-A, Stephenson needs a good bit of time to develop and refine his arsenal. An appearance at the highest level in the latter part of 2015 would not be a surprise, with a shot at a rotation spot the following season fully in his sights.


Vincent Velasquez

Born: 06/07/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 203
Mechanics
Big, broad shoulders; very good size and strength; prototype; body could get a little thick going forward but he looks like a good athlete; heavier than listed weight; 3/4 slot; clean arm action; looks easy coming out of his hand; gets downhill well; uses length; quick from the stretch; showed a slide-step; frustrated on the mound at times; sidelined since May 9th with a groin injury.
Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 07/06/2014
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
Dates Seen 4/24
OFP/Risk 55/High; hasn
Realistic 50; No. 4 starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 65 93-96 97 Plus pitch; flashed plus-plus; easy velocity; mostly 94s; pumped it up to 96 whenever he needed; features some arm-side life; control was solid but command needs work; plays down; misses arm side; pitches leaked over the heart of the plate while trying to go inside to LHH; led to hard hit balls (two home runs); plus-plus with better command and comfort.
CB 40 50 78-80 81 Curve is below-avg. at the moment; can get loopy; command was suspect; slowed arm a little; has some bite at higher velocities; 11/5 break; isn't a plus pitch going forward, but has some projection; future league-avg; definitely working on the pitch; thrown twice as much than the changeup.
CH 65 65 80-82 83 Present plus pitch; arm speed gives pitch very good deception; velo difference is 10+ mph; kept the pitch down for the most part; two-seam sink; plus feel for the pitch; kept it in his back pocket.
Overall

Velazquez has been sidelined for a while now, but the pitcher I saw in this game had some promise. The fastball-changeup combination is major-league quality and has the chance to become plus-plus with more reps and command. The curve needs to take a step forward, which is why the injury comes at a bad time in this part of his development. If it does step up to major-league average, then I believe he has the chance to become a work-horse, no. 3 starter. Realistically, he might fall just below that, still becoming a nice back-end starter with value.


J.P. Crawford

Born: 01/11/1995 (Age: 19)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 180
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Very lean build; athletic and lanky; room to add strength; projection left, but could be tricky; long legs; lower-half is ahead of the upper body when it comes to maturity; no major injury history.
Evaluator Chris King
Report Date 07/06/2014
Dates Seen 6/23/14, 7/1-7/2/2014
Affiliate Clearwater Threshers (High A, Phillies)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 High 60 High 5; major-league regular No
Makeup

Plus makeup; good work ethic on and off the field; able to put bad plays/ABs behind him; can make adjustments on the fly; shows leadership skills at every level he's been.


Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Slightly open stance; high hands; fairly quiet pre-swing; bat-to-ball swing; advanced approach; two-strike approach is very mature; pitch recognition skills are evident; willing and able to use the entire field; shifts weight early at times and rolls over on front foot; bat speed is there; nice hands allows for sound bat control; contact getting louder.
Power 40 Current gap to gap pop; flashed in-game power to pull side only; swing is built for contact and line drives; not a lot of lift and lacks backspin to help the ball carry; don't see a future average grade in this department.
Baserunning/Speed 60 First step out of the box can be slow; once he gets going he's a plus runner; long and effortless strides; home-to-first times in the 4.1-4.2 range; not a blazer, but effective speed with solid instincts on the bases and in the field.
Glove 65 Silky smooth hands and actions; very polished glove for his age; ranges well to both sides; very comfortable with the backhand; transfers are quick on either end of a double play; quick, soft hands; overall actions are crisp and fluid; easy plus glove that will stick at current position.
Arm 60 Currently above average, but fringe-plus; can make any throw with accuracy; has a pretty quick release and gets nice carry on throws; release gets sloppy when rushed; maintains accuracy when moving in or on the run to either side.
Overall

Crawford is one of the most defensively polished players I've seen come through the GCL and FSL. He's a no doubt future big-league shortstop with an offensive game that won't produce eye-popping numbers but will be playable at the top of a lineup. With positive makeup and a strong work ethic, Crawford should steadily show improvement in all phases of his game. There are legitimate questions about his bat in the future, so risks remain high as he's yet to be tested by the polished pitching that players don't encounter until the Double-A level. Even with those concerns not yet being answered, Crawford shows a high baseball IQ with instincts that will help his tools play up as he advances. Defense will always be his calling card, but with his contact-based approach, he should be able to hit for good average. Couple that with his glove and you have yourself a nice big-league player who plays a premium position at a high level. That's a combination that can make you live with the lack of power.




Francisco Mejia

Born: 10/27/1995 (Age: 18)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 175
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Small frame; not overly filled out in lower half, especially legs; lean muscle type; will need to add strength and weight to withstand rigors of position/avoid nagging injuries; athletic; agile; potential for moderate physical gains; likely to lose a bit of athleticism as he physically matures and because of the demands of the position.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/15/2014
Dates Seen 7/12-7/14
Affiliate Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Short Season, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2018 Very High 70 50; major-league regular No
Makeup

Confident player; engaged in the game; carries himself with swagger, but not on the false, obnoxious side; competitor - out looking to impact the game with skill set; mature on the field; driven; loves playing the game.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Plus bat speed from both sides of the plate; whip-like swing with some leverage; produces plenty of backspin; life in hands—explosive and loose; relaxed stance from both sides; easy pre-pitch set-up; does rock a bit to time; ultra-aggressive hitter—not presently at the plate to wait around; attacks the ball; extremely wide strike zone; will need to develop a more patient mindset to keep pitchers from exploiting up the ranks; do not see hitter ever being the methodical type, but can improve enough to reach hitting potential; distinct sound off the bat; puts the ball into play hard.
Power 55 Thunder in the stick; 55 present raw power; believe more strength to come; knows how to extend and tap into lower half at a young age; pull-side power, but will not be surprised to see hitter be able to reach seats opposite field left-handed; high doubles potential; carry behind fly balls; will surprise with power given statue; potential to hit 15-20 home runs in peak.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Can presently run a bit; accelerates on turn at first and when scoring from second; will lose some speed as rigors of position take a hold; may swipe a base or two; should be able to help on the base paths—stretch a hit, score from second, take chances sending, etc.
Glove 55 Agile/athletic behind dish; quick feet; instinctive feel—reacts well to the ball and quick with reflexes; shows an understanding of the position; soft hands; at times lazy getting down on the ball; glove hand tends to drift and stab; ball control needs work—does not presently get big to smother or front offerings; raw overall receiver; demonstrates an enthusiasm for position; embraces involvement; believe defense will lose rough edges, but expect it to take time and there to be some growing pains.
Arm 70 Borderline elite arm strength; throws show power and force; ball comes out of hand on a line; timed multiple 1.87 pop times on stolen base attempts; release can at times be a tad slow, with long arm action; springs out of crouch; footwork needs a little work; can throw accurately with power; will need to get ball down a bit as competition improves; love to throw; wants to be challenged; type of arm that can grind a running game to a halt.
Overall

Displays a level of naturalness and looseness that I love; packs a punch at the plate for his size; ball comes off the player's bat with the look of major-league contact; development of secondary skills key to reaching hitting potential; hit tool will not play to potential without buy-in to more selective mentality; believe all of the ingredients are here for an All-Star caliber player; overall development is going to take time, with some growing pains both offensively and defensively; high flameout potential, but my gut feel says this is an impact big-leaguer with both bat and glove.


Bradley Zimmer

Born: 11/27/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 185
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position: CF
Physical/Health
Physically reminds me of a young David Murphy; big frame; lean body; plenty of room to pack on some more muscle and continue filling out into mid-20s; good present strength; solid athleticism; body to withstand the rigors of playing everyday.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/15/2014
Dates Seen 7/12-7/14
Affiliate Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Short Season, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Moderate 55 50; Second-division regular No
Makeup

Even-keeled demeanor; takes the highs with the lows; not going to wear his heart on his sleeve; interacts with teammates well; did not carry himself above others due to draft status; goes about his business in a professional manner; example setter over rah-rah type.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Line drive stroke—geared toward contact; hands work to stay inside of the baseball; will pull in for inside-out stroke and drop head to pull; little lift in swing path; presently not adept at creating post-contact extension; length in swing due to long arms; at times looks like fighting not to extend early, and explosiveness of swing suffers; patient in the box; knows his strike zone, but will chase spin down and away, and fastballs up; all-fields approach; swing looks easy going the other way; high contact potential; do have some questions about translation against good velocity, but feel hitter can clean up consistency of swing.
Power 50 Strong player; does not tap into strength even during batting practice; little lift and leverage in swing; ability to hit home runs is there, but don't believe output will match raw strength levels; see gap-to-gap doubles hitter with occasional over-the-fence power.
Baserunning/Speed 50 4.2-4.26 down the line consistently when digging; long strides; swing out of box takes player a bit offline; see losing a little speed as fills out more, especially if he puts on some more bulk; ability to swipe 10-15 bags, but needs work reading pitchers and improving decision making skills with lead sizes; slow to react at times on moves to first.
Glove 55 Long strides enable player to cover ground into gaps and close on ball; at times does look clunky and a bit awkward in center field; reads ball off the bat; takes good routes and does not drift; displays strong outfield fundamentals; believe right field is the best fit for player over the long-run; don't see enough mobility to play center consistently; can play center in a pinch and during stretches; all three outfield spot versatility.
Arm 60 Plenty of raw arm strength; sets feet and gets body in proper position to throw with momentum; enough arm for right field and to challenge runners at third; keeps ball on a line and at good height; will have to be respected.
Overall

Solid overall prospect; no one tool wows, but as a collection they compliment one another; third outfielder type for me; corner outfielder who can spell the center fielder when needed or in a short stretch if injury; see a .275 type with 12ish home runs, doubles, and some stolen bases; profile slides to a fourth outfielder without projected cleanup of swing consistency; should reach upper levels quickly; complimentary player on a contending team.










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