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July 28, 2014

Monday Morning Ten Pack

July 28, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


The Monday Morning Ten Pack is brought to you by Sidsgraphs.com. SidsGraphs specializes in memorabilia and game-used items from baseball's top prospects! Visit Sidsgraphs.com today or visit their retail store in the south suburbs of Chicago.

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Michael Conforto, OF, Mets (Short-season A Brooklyn)
Conforto is a man among boys in the New York-Penn League, as his polished game and field utility make him look like a major leaguer playing a pickup game in the park against weekend softball warriors. The fact that he stands out is both good and bad; the former is great for the Mets, as they clearly drafted a player of merit, but the latter is bad for scouting, as it's hard to get an accurate picture of the player when he is facing highly erratic talent that doesn’t offer much of a challenge. I like the swing, as it's fluid and easy, and the ball jumps off the bat with some volume. I like the raw, although I’d peg the power in the solid-average range rather than a middle-of-the-lineup masher with a plus or better distinction. The defense in left field has been fine, as he shows off athleticism and an accurate arm. He isn’t a burner but he runs well enough for the position and while on base, and he carries himself like a player who not only knows the game of baseball from a fundamental level but brings those skills to the field on all fronts. But it's difficult in this particular context to see how bright his star will really shine, and based on a limited three game sample, I’d say the profile will be more solid-average than star. —Jason Parks

Aristides Aquino, OF, Reds (Rookie Billings)
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in early 2011, Aquino has been a slow comer, spending the better part of three seasons at the complex level, with only a 15-game taste of the Pioneer League coming into the season. The 20-year-old is a scouting dream, with a body borrowed from Vlad Guerrero and the raw tools that make the hand shake when documenting the potential. This is a prototypical corner profile, complete with big arm and big raw power, and so far in his return trip to Billings, the young outfielder is bringing the tools to the field, with 24 extra-base hits (including 10 bombs) in only 36 games. The developmental process has been—and will likely continue to be—slow and steady, but the ceiling is of the first-division variety even though the risk is clearly substantial. I love the long and strong types like Aquino, the types with the potential to impact the game at the plate and in the field. While that outcome is a long way off and anything but a certainty, the raw potential makes Aquino one of the more intriguing sleepers in the low minors. —Jason Parks

Blake Swihart, C, Red Sox (Double-A Portland)
Player development comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes. There's no blueprint, no magic formula. But some prospects immediately show themselves to be ahead of the curve. Swihart’s talent was apparent in his early days as a professional, but there was a ton of projection and assumed growth when looking at his ceiling. The catcher had a substantial gap to close, but he has taken a strong step forward developmentally this season, rising in prospect status as a result. The breakout has been years in the making, however: The 22-year-old switch-hitter has moved ahead steadily after experiencing early difficulties. Some of the steps have been subtle, and are a good example of the challenges of projection. It requires multiple looks, forward thinking, and patience. Swihart exemplifies the importance of that last trait, showing how a player might need to marinate before all of the tools click in unison. There’s still more work in front of him, but a role as a major-league regular isn’t far off. —Chris Mellen

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Premium Article The HOF Rule Change (07/28)
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Daily League Strategy:... (07/29)

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