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July 23, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

July 23, 2014

by Chris Mellen


Tyler Duffey

Born: 12/27/1990 (Age: 23)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 230
Mechanics
3/4 arm slot; a bit of crossfire to the delivery; strong body; uses size to stay on top of ball; some funk in the back-end of arm action; longer with his release; leads to some overthrow; not overly loose, but makes it work; varies pace of delivery out of the stretch; 1.31-1.52
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/02/2014
Affiliate New Britain Rock Cats (AA, Twins)
Dates Seen 6/27
OFP/Risk 45/Low
Realistic 40; up-and-down arm
MLB ETA 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 60 90-92 93 Displays average arm-side run, with downward movement; sinking action--offering on the heavy side; bears in on right-hand hitters' hands; type of fastball that is more effective in the lower tier of strike zone, but the pitcher can reach in the right situation to elevate; best served up and away from righties when doing so; solid-average command--shows ability to spot in all four quadrants of zone consistently; will get lifted from thighs and up; shows understanding of what he is doing with the pitch and how to set batters up.
Curveball 50 55 75-77 78 Tends to drop arm slot a bit when throwing; generates average snap with wrist; rolls out of hand at times due to way body opens; has trouble throwing glove side consistently; one shape to pitch; can throw for a strike with frequency; flashes solid-average look; lack of deep break limits bat missing ability; can induce weak contact and pick up strikes against good hitters.
Changeup 40 40 80-82 83 Lacked finish and quality action; floated within the strike zone; tipped pitch with slower arm speed and some telegraphing; displays drop as opposed to fade; show-me pitch.
Overall

Two pitch pitcher who I see better suited for the bullpen where stuff has a chance to play up; tick up in fastball velocity while maintaining movement can make pitch effective in short bursts in the majors; curveball has enough to keep hitters at bay in a one inning role; the mentality and knowledge of craft leads me to believe the arm can pitch in some early leverage situations; see a middle reliever--first arm out of chute when starter leaves game earlier in a jam or bridge some outs until turning over to the late inning guys.


Daniel Norris

Born: 04/25/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 180
Mechanics
3/4 arm slot; easy, loose delivery; not much restriction--repeatable; balanced; a bit short with arm action; fast arm; uses body to stay on top of ball; steps toward first base prior to landing; inconsistent with front foot at times; 1.39-1.52 out of stretch.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/20/2014
Affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA, Blue Jays)
Dates Seen 7/19
OFP/Risk 65/Moderate
Realistic 55; no.4 starter
MLB ETA 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 60 92-93 95 Displays arm-side run, with late finish; ability to throw to both sides of the plate; solid-average present command; potential to induce a lot of weak contact; excellent life in the lower tier of strike zone; capable of beating both right-handed and left-handed batters inside; can be thrown past hitters elevated selectively.
Slider 55 60 83-85 87 Short, tight break; guise between fastball as thrown from the same arm slot; loose with wrist when delivering pitch; can get around offering and spin to plate; throws for strikes; will change shape to create chase pitch or back-door to right-handed batters; bat-missing potential; displays confidence to use pitch at any point in the count; out pitch.
Curevball 45 50 72-74 75 Flashes deep, two-plane break; on the soft side--lacks power; hitters able to wait on offering to square up; inconsistent creating good snap; pitch rolls to plate more often due to wrist wrap; can drop in for a strike; don't see pitch getting many chases without increased power; presently a "show me" offering; potential to tighten up further, but don't believe pitch will be more than 3rd/4th option in arsenal.
Chanegup 45 55 83-85 86 On the firm side; looks more like a fastball pitcher is taking something off of; tends to float in middle of strike zone and lack finish; flashes feel for offering; smooth with arm-speed when delivering; needs more trust in grip to create better action; ability to turnover and bottom out; feel there is potential for pitch to take a step forward as shows characteristics to do so with more repetition and pitcher displays commitment to working on it.
Overall

Good looking stuff--feel for all four pitches; potential to be very nasty on opposing hitters; level of polish needs to take a step forward to reach potential; see some bumps in the road during next season or so while pitcher finds the identity of third offering to complement fastball and slider; competitor on mound--wants the ball; future long-term big-leaguer; high potential to stick as starter for me; believe arm can round into solid mid-rotational starter, with potential to have a season or two above that.


Henry Owens

Born: 07/21/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 205
Mechanics
3/4 arm slot; loose, low energy expending delivery; lot of body to control; frame to create a lot of leverage and downward plane; soft, consistent front foot landing; body to handle the rigors of the game; works from the first base side of the rubber - creates angle on hitters; 1.39-1.52 out of stretch
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/20/2014
Affiliate Portland Sea Dogs (AA, Red Sox)
Dates Seen 7/19
OFP/Risk 60/Low
Realistic 55; no.4 starter
MLB ETA 2014
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 50 55 89-91 92 Displays some downward movement, with occasional arm-side tail; lacks explosiveness, but jumps on hitters because of deception created with angle and pitch sequencing; throws for strikes; needs some improvement keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate and elevated--presently gets away with mistakes; average command; don't see high quality hitters missing as frequently; weak-contact-inducing offering; will reach for peak velocity when in a jam.
Changeup 65 70 78-79 80 Generates excellent arm-speed when delivering; seamless look to that of the fastball; big separation; will turn-over to glove side; ability to miss bats; quality, deep action; will throw at any point in the count; high confidence in pitch; plays his fastball off of pitch; does get away with mistakes up in zone at level; solid-average command; needs some cleanup to tighten spotting to corners and lower in the zone at next level and beyond; should continue to be go-to out-pitch.
Curveball 45 50 71-73 74 Deep shape when pitcher stays on top; slow break; allows hitters to wait back; likes to drop pitch in for a strike; don't see chase potential unless power improves; uses as a change of pace; reluctant to use when in trouble; can be more effective if worked into sequences more frequently.
Overall

Heavily leans on fastball and changeup; presently more of a two-pitch pitcher; flashes pitchability, with understanding of how to execute plan; highly deceptive due to long arms and angle; will often pitch backwards in sequences; fastball jumps due to changeup; do have concerns about future command profile--presently mistakes up in zone get masked; feel emergence of consistent third option would help mitigate pressure on fastball/changeup and lead to reaching full potential; see no.3/4 starter peak.


Michael Papi

Born: 09/19/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 190
Primary Position: LF
Secondary Position: 1B
Physical/Health
Moderate frame; lean, wiry muscle; proportionately filled out; room to put on a little more weight; average athlete--not going to wow in this department; body to handle the grind.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/16/2014
Dates Seen 7/12-7/14
Affiliate Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Short Season, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Moderate 55 45; bench bat/part-time player No
Makeup

Plays with some intensity; carries himself like a seasoned professional; focused during practice sessions--looking to work; engaged in game when not actively involved.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Shows a feel for hitting; loose hands, with a quick trigger; shorter, compact stroke that covers both sides of the plate; plus bat speed; controls the head of the bat; long in zone; barrels the ball up; relaxed in box; brings a plan to the plate; grinds through plate appearances looking for something to drive; not afraid to let one pass; can be high contact, line-to-line hitter.
Power 55 Presently not a large amount of lift and leverage in swing, but feel player can learn to muscle up due to hitting ability; shows occasional drives with arc in batting practice; project as pull-side power, with ability to plug opposite field gap; see hot zone as middle-in from top of thighs and down; 15 home run potential.
Baserunning/Speed 45 Timed 4.25-4.33 down the line digging; doesn't really have an extra gear, but accelerates reasonably well; enough speed to stretch a hit or score from second with less than two outs; not going to impact the game in this department.
Glove 50 Fringy foot speed in the field; took a couple of flat routes in right field before realizing it was too late to correct; slower with reads off the bat; drifts at times; fringe-average range; see better suited for left field; defense can reach projection with dedication--not a slam dunk to get to average; not the draw of player's game.
Arm 50 Arm came up a bit short throwing from right field; throws had accuracy, but died toward the end; arm won't be taken advantage of; likely to play up better in left field and show more effect.
Overall

Intriguing hitter--flashed natural hitting ability; bat-first player; pressure on offense to produce at high levels year in and year out to maintain status as regular; liked what I saw with the swing and ability to barrel consistently; believe bat translates against good velocity due to hands and efficiency of swing; feel some home run power will show in mid-to-late 20s; can end up as high as 2-hole hitter or hit 6th/7th in a deep lineup; .290s with 15 home run peak season potential.


Blake Swihart

Born: 04/03/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 175
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Medium frame, with a little bit more room to fill into; lean muscle; well-defined forearms; athletic; takes care of himself; a bit small in the legs for position; needs to continue to focus on training to limit nagging injuries; demands of position will take toll on body and athleticism.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/20/2014
Dates Seen 4/10, 5/8, 5/24, 5/26, 7/19
Affiliate Portland Sea Dogs (AA, Red Sox)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 Low 60 55; major-league regular No
Makeup

Elite; driven to succeed; constantly working when on the field; engages with teammates well; plays the game with passion; shows ability to adjust; takes the highs with the lows--has a good perspective on the game.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Smooth, fluid swing from both sides of the plate; loose hands, especially left-handed; shows ability to adjust hands to stay inside of the ball; goes up-the-middle and the other way with authority left-handed; needs some work improving fluidity when dropping head of the bat on the ball; can yank head of the bat and roll over; more of a pull hitter from the right-side; patient and methodical in the box; willing to work counts/take strikes; solid pitch recognition--does cave some against breaking stuff away left-handed; excellent bat control; high contact potential, with chance to hit .290s in peak.
Power 55 60 raw power--more power from right side than left side; leverage in swing right-handed; knows how to lift ball and create carry as a righty; bit more flat swing as a lefty, but showed ability to muscle up over the course of looks; bat control enables hitter to take some chances; mostly pull-side power from both sides of the plate; sweet spot for plugging opposite field gap as a lefty; 35-40 doubles potential; home park will have impact on home run totals; see 15 or so home runs annually during peak.
Baserunning/Speed 40 4.42-4.58 down the line left-handed; slower out of box, but presently accelerates well; makes the turn at first fluidly; capable of stretching a hit or taking an extra base; smart on the bases--always see being a heady runner; will lose some speed into late 20s; will be area of game with least impact.
Glove 55 Firm glove when receiving; quick feet; fires quickly; above-average range behind the dish; excellent reflexes - reacts well to changes in the ball; works to smother pitches in the dirt; inconsistent staying down at times however; will get big and front the ball; next step to reach defensive potential is to further polish ball control skills; leader out on the field; handles rhythm of the game well; learning the finer points of the position--so far has shown to be up to the transition.
Arm 65 Plus-to-better arm strength; 1.86-1.97 pop times to 2B on stolen base attempts; can be a little slow with release; pounces out of crouch with very quick feet; above-average accuracy; throws on a line and down into runner for the tag; with continued work smoothing out release has potential to highly impact an opponent's running game.
Overall

Definition of a baseball player; does a bit of everything well; high chance to maximize every ounce of talent due to makeup; see a first-division regular here; can hit as high as the two-hole in a deep lineup; type of bat control and contact ability to approach .300 in the majors; see .280-.295, with 35-40 doubles and 15-17 home runs as peak season potential; add in defense at a premium position, and this is a core contributor on a contender.


Dalton Pompey

Born: 12/11/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 170
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Athletic; proportionate frame; room to fill out more; wiry muscle; should grow into more strength; agile and smooth with actions; body to withstand rigors of the grind with continued physically maturity.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 07/20/2014
Dates Seen 6/27 (Doubleheader), 7/19
Affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA, Blue Jays)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 Moderate 55 45; fourth outfielder No
Makeup

Brings energy to the field; focused on the task at hand; needs to learn to manage the ups and downs--a bit overemotional when a call or play isn't to his liking; need a read on ability to adjust.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Solid-average bat speed right-handed; plus bat speed left-handed; quick hands; a bit of length to the swing due to early extension; inconsistent pulling hands inside of ball--swing can look stiff and choppy; more of a defensive hitter right-handed; tries to work count; presently on the indecisive side attacking the ball--looking to be too fine; see settling into an approach as experience in upper levels builds; line drive stroke; swing to use the whole field; questions on the consistency of hard contact produce against high quality arms over the long-term.
Power 45 Strength to tap into; leverage in stroke left-handed; can turn on the ball; pull-side power from both sides of the plate; gap hitter when going the other way; not a big lift guy; see power being more occasional over-the-fence pop--8-10 home runs; chance to hit for fair share of doubles and a handful of triples.
Baserunning/Speed 60 4.18-4.22 down line; shows extra gear on the bases and in the field; working to improve reading of pitchers--very engaged when reaching base; see 20 stolen base potential; wheels to stretch hits in front of outfielders and push extra bases in the gaps; asset on the bases.
Glove 60 Excellent closing speed; long strides; hunts down balls into the gaps; sees the ball of the bat well; good outfield fundamentals; limits drifting; gets body in position to throw; charges and cuts ball off well; chops to stick in center over the long-run; ability to play all three outfield positions; defense best present aspect of game in terms of polish.
Arm 50 Longer throwing motion; average accuracy; throws lose some steam at the tail end; not afraid to throw; can possibly squeeze out a little more strength.
Overall

Excellent athlete; overall game is still on the raw side; type of player who can take a big step forward as experience against quality competition builds; swing left me a little flat in this look; have some questions as to whether ability to adjust swing is there; strong defensive skills--can add value to roster if bat falls short; potential to hold down a regular job if everything comes together, but see this player as a fourth outfielder over the long run.


Chris Mellen is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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