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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.

* * *

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Schere

"Sometimes we need to overlook the tools...," who are you and what have you done with the BP prospect team?

Jul 28, 2014 05:55 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Tucker Blair
BP staff

I was legitimately scared to write that. I used up all of my courage in doing so!

Jul 28, 2014 06:49 AM
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

He gone

Jul 28, 2014 07:34 AM
 
jonjacoby

Tucker has plus-plus #rig to write "Sometimes we need to overlook the tools...,"

Jul 28, 2014 08:14 AM
rating: -2
 
tomshipley75

"though he does create an inverted W with his upper body"

I'm as amateur as they come in terms of scouting lingo, but couldn't you just say he creates an "M" with his upper body?

Jul 28, 2014 06:31 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

Yeah it's technically an M, but it's called the inverted W for reasons I don't fully know the story behind. So it's te nomenclature I use since people will know what I mean by it.

Jul 28, 2014 07:40 AM
 
edwinblume

I've struggled to understand it too but my best guess is that an 'M' has vertical sides (at least in most common fonts), and the pitcher's arms are not vertical. A 'W' has slanted sides and more closely represents the arm angles.

Jul 28, 2014 07:52 AM
rating: 6
 
jonjacoby

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/PitchingMechanics101/Essays/DeathToTheInvertedW_FAQ.html

Jul 28, 2014 08:12 AM
rating: 0
 
Cromulent

But there is a difference - the two outside lines of a W are at an angle, while the two outside lines of an M are perfectly upright.

Jul 30, 2014 14:26 PM
rating: 0
 
Peter7899

I gotta disagree on Hernandez. I've seen him, and have heard some awfully loud sounds come off his bat in games. I think there's more sock in that bat than what you saw.

Jul 28, 2014 10:51 AM
rating: 1
 
drmorris75

I love it when prospect-heads bicker over bat-crack volume. Why don't we measure the decibels of the bat crack? I'll wager $1,000 that "it just sounds different" is about as meaningless in prospect evaluation as "the good face."

Jul 28, 2014 11:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Identifying "loud contact" is part of evaluation. If you watch enough amateur/minor league/major league baseball, you can absolutely distinguish the quality of impact by the sound. I do think the phrase "the ball just makes a different sound off of his bat" is overused, but being able to discern "loud contact" is an actual thing, not a shallow scouting platitude.

Jul 28, 2014 12:28 PM
 
NYYanks826

Based on how close the OBP was to the AVG in July, is it safe to assume that Shawon Dunston's kid also has his dad's (lack of) plate discipline?

Jul 28, 2014 17:40 PM
rating: 0
 
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