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August 14, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

August 14, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Danry Vasquez

Born: 01/08/1994 (Age: 20)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 177
Primary Position: LF
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Long and lanky; listed height and weight is accurate; some lean muscle; looks fit; would benefit from gaining some more weight.
Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 07/24/2014
Dates Seen 4/10, 4/12, 4/17, 4/18, 4/24, 5/12, 7/7, 7/10
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 High 40 30; Org. player No
Makeup

Reports on bad makeup in the past; argued with an umpire after a strike three call, manager had to come get him.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 45 Simple stance; hands are in good position with minimal movement; good bat speed; solid bat-to-ball ability; slap and line drive approach; swing doesn't have much loft; lots of 4-3 groundouts; minimal speed doesn't allow for that type of ability to flourish; rarely drove the ball with authority in my looks; approach is hit or miss; can look good on one day and dreadful the next.
Power 30 Minimal power potential; has some pull-side raw in BP; rarely shows up in game action; little leverage in his swing; whips the bat through the zone well but doesn't have much over-the-fence potential.
Baserunning/Speed 30 4.40 to first; not much effort down the line most of the time; not a basestealer; will only slow down with age/weight gain.
Glove 40 Plays RF but not a RF at the highest level; minimal speed makes him a liability in RF (as well as a below-average arm); bad reads off the bat; struggled coming in on balls.
Arm 40 Below-average arm; loopy throws in to the cutoff man; made the proper decisions; not a weapon; limits him to LF.
Overall

Vasquez has age on his side (he turns 21 in January) but not much else. His calling card was his reported plus hit tool, which I didn't see materializing at the highest level. Everything else Vasquez has in his tool shed is below average or worse. The skill set to me is just not major-league quality. If he can make more consistent hard contact, then he has a small shot at becoming an up-and-down fifth outfielder, but I just don't see it due to his below-avg. peripheral tools.


Aaron Judge

Born: 04/26/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 7" Weight: 230
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Ridiculously large human being, extremely tall (listed at 6'7") but lean, well built; should age well for a bigger player; athletic, moves well for his size, doesn't look awkward.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 07/31/2014
Dates Seen 7/16-7/19/14
Affiliate Tampa Yankees (High A, Yankees)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
Late 2015 Moderate 60 50, first-division regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Starts with hands high, but lowers them as pitch is being delivered; above-average bat speed but not elite; keeps bat in the strike zone for a long time; size and arm length makes his swing long, but he does a good job of staying as short as possible, would be a bigger problem for most hitters his size; two-handed finish helps him stay short; has a short weight transfer and the up-the-middle approach of a much smaller player; good recognition of off-speed and breaking pitches.
Power 60 Power is result of size and strength rather than elite bat speed; does not sell out for power or look to drive the ball; will run into home runs because of natural strength; ball jumps off his bat, especially when he gets his arms extended.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Moves well for his size, not a base clogger; speed plays better in the outfield than it does on the bases; slow to get to top speed because of long strides; average runner underway.
Glove 55 Gets good reads off the bat; will have above-average range early in career; good athleticism; not afraid of wall, shows good field awareness; no problem going to the ground for a ball, a problem with many large players; will be an above-average right fielder for a few years until he slows down.
Arm 60 Plus arm, above-average arm strength, enough for RF; arm strength plays up because of plus arm accuracy; gets rid of ball quickly and knows where to go with the ball; arm can be an asset in the field.
Overall

Judge features a strong all-around package that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a player with his size and strength. He has tremendous raw power, but he doesn't approach his at-bats that way. Instead, he features an up-the-middle approach and a patient eye at the plate. Because of this, he doesn't have the typical issues that tend to plague bigger hitters - holes in the swing, trouble with premium velocity, etc. This should benefit him in the long run, as he doesn't need to sell out and should still hit for plus power, but will do so without the extreme swing-and-miss.

For now, Judge is an above-average fielder in right field, though that should diminish as he ages. He runs well for his size, but will never be an asset on the bases. Will eventually be a well below-average runner.

The overall package is interesting. Judge doesn't profile as an impact, middle-of-the-order hitter, but he does enough things well that should be an everyday player. If he learns to use his size better and drive the ball with more consistency, however, he could hit for enough power to carry a lineup. More likely, however, is that he settles in as a solid regular who can do a lot of things well but does none of them spectacularly.







Billy McKinney

Born: 08/23/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 195
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: RF
Physical/Health
Ideal size and frame, great build, not overly strong but solid and still with room to grow.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 08/04/2014
Dates Seen 7/21-7/23
Affiliate Daytona Cubs (High A, Cubs)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 Moderate 60 50, major league regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 65 Traditional left-handed stance; pure, smooth left-handed swing; almost perfect swing path with just a slight, natural left-handed uppercut; plus bat speed and a great feel for the barrel; can hit .300 at the major-league level.
Power 50 Could have average to above-average power due to bat speed; ball carries well to CF and LCF; generates good backspin; could be a 20-25 homer guy in the big leagues.
Baserunning/Speed 50 Average speed, decent acceleration; 4.19 home to first base.
Glove 55 Good athlete with average speed, but gets good reads off the bat and tracks the baseball well; can handle center field for now but will need to move to a corner as he ages; presently has plus range for a right fielder.
Arm 45 Would be best suited for left field, but can handle center; would be slightly overmatched in RF but it wouldn't be a huge liability.
Overall

McKinney is going to hit no matter how the rest of his profile ends up, and his on-base skills are strong enough to make him a plus offensive player. Just how much better than league average will depend on his power. He continually puts himself in good hitting situations, which should allow his power to play up. He doesn't have huge raw power, but the ball carries off his bat and he should be a 20-homer hitter.

It's a tougher profile if he ends up in left field, but even there, hitting close to .300 with 20 home runs and strong on-base skills will work. If he can remain in center field for a few years, it will play even better and makes him a potential all-star.

There is some risk with McKinney because he's not yet 20 years old, but there is no doubting the hit tool, which has held up to an aggressive challenge in his first full professional season. The hit tool will carry him to the majors with the rest of the tools determining his success.







Austin Meadows

Born: 05/03/1995 (Age: )
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200
Primary Position: LF
Secondary Position: CF
Physical/Health
High waist; broad shoulders; continues to fill out; looks to have gained fairly significant muscle mass since high school; large backside with good strength in his lower half; could see him filling out more through the torso.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 00/00/0000
Dates Seen 7/27-7/29
Affiliate West Virginia Power (Low A, Pirates)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 High 50 45; 4th OF/bench bat No
Makeup

Quiet, calm demeanor; remains on an even keel regardless of the game situation.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Mechanics: Calm, balanced setup; hands begin just off of his ear; compact load with minimal hand movement; short path into the hitting zone; level swing with minimal loft; bat stays in the zone for a long period of time; swing can become upper-body dominant and slightly rigid; solid-average bat speed; simple lower half; gets foot down early; loads to toe and utilizes a heel-plant trigger. Despite a stroke that presents few glaring issues, Meadows struggles to consistently drive balls with authority. He has the type of swing to hit liners from gap to gap but struggled to find the barrel in game action against fringey stuff. At his best, he displays the potential to hit in the .270 range at the highest level.

Approach: patient approach; knows the zone well and lays off pitches at the fringes; has a plan at the plate and will wait on his pitch, often to his detriment; will often let hittable pitches go by in pursuit of his pitch; should post above-average walk numbers as he climbs the ladder; failed to adjust to umpire's strike zone in this look and was caught looking more than once.
Power 50 Fringe raw at present, projects to solid-average; flat swing plane with a slight bit of lift at the end; good strength in lower half bodes well for future power output if he can effectively utilize his legs in his swing; swing is built for the gaps and, in combination with his plus speed, player should turn in plenty of extra-base hits; over-the-fence output projects to average.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Plus runner once underway; 4.08 seconds to first base on a dig; good instincts and baserunning chops; speed could dip slightly into the solid-average range due to body maturation, but Meadows will be an asset on the bases regardless.
Glove 50 Routes are unimpressive and often inefficient in center field; drifts to fly balls; displays clumsy footwork when charging balls in front of him; range is at least solid-average but the instincts and first-step quickness are questionable; profiles as a left fielder who can play center on occasion.
Arm 40 Left field arm strength; lower release point leads to throws with arm-side tail; slow release; curls wrist; accuracy issues.
Overall

Meadows is certainly a player that every team would like to have. He has prototypical size with developing strength, displays some feel for the game at a young age, and will flash some tools at you. With that said, the overall profile is more role 5 than first division due to a lack of impact tools. He's a no-doubt plus runner, but everything else lingers around average with the exception of the arm, which is below average. The swing is balanced, under control, and checks plenty of good boxes, but his feel for the barrel is underwhelming at present. He has missed a majority of the season with a hamstring injury, so some rust is expected in his first pass through the Sally League.



The major concern is his projected inability to stick in center field, an issue that will be detrimental to his overall value. He should possess the athleticism to be able to handle the position on a part-time basis, but left field should be the full-time destination at the highest level.

Despite the concerns, I don't see the 19-year-old's overall profile being of the extreme boom-or-bust bust variety. As previously stated, he has some feel for the game and should be able to climb the ranks without any serious roadblocks, barring future injuries. I question the overall upside, however, and see more of an average regular if everything comes together.

















Kyle Schwarber

Born: 03/05/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 235
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Thick body, strong upper half; build not an issue now but should slow him down as he ages; broad shoulders.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 08/08/2014
Dates Seen 7/21-7/23
Affiliate Daytona Cubs (High A, Cubs)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 Low 60 50, first-division regular Yes
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Open stance, starts in slight squat; keeps hands low and away from his body; short swing path, slight uppercut; can get rotational and pull off of outer half; good, patient approach, good idea of the strike zone; wants the ball up, balls down will be routine ground balls.
Power 55 Plus bat speed, ball jumps on good contact; good combination of size, strength and bat speed/hitting ability will lead to above-average power; understands how to drive the ball; plus power to pull side.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Below-average runner, slow first step; not station-to-station yet but will eventually be a base-clogger.
Glove 40 Below-average defensive catcher; lateral movement on balls in the dirt is below average; stiff hips keep him from getting side to side; quiet hands receiving pitches; pitch framing isn't perfect but isn't terribly sloppy either - won't buy his pitchers a lot of extra pitches but won't cost them too many either; fundamentally sound enough to get the job done but not athletic enough to be an asset; effective enough to play position presently, especially in part-time role, but will eventually have to move off position.
Arm 50 Average arm strength, enough to make the throws behind the plate; arm is accurate to second base; fundamentally sound with throws; above-average accuracy helps throws play up; 2.00-2.10 to second base; won't throw out a ton of baserunners but shouldn't get taken advantage of either; arm is good enough to play behind the plate.
Overall

The Cubs drafted Schwarber for his bat, which doesn't have the high-ceiling talent of some of their current top prospects, but does profile to be that of a solid, major-league contributor. Schwarber's long-term home isn't behind the plate, but he can handle the responsibility for the time being, perhaps even catching everyday during the early part of his career. He'll always be below average behind the plate, but he's capable enough to remain back there for the time being given the asset that his offensive production would be from that position.

A realistic scenario could see the Cubs using him in the majors the same way they are using him in the minors, where he is catching a few days a week while splitting time in the outfield. That would allow his bat to continue to be an asset while keeping him from being over-exposed at the position.

Overall, the bat is going to have to carry Schwarber no matter where he ends up. The longer he can stay behind the plate, the more valuable his bat will be, but it will always be a stretch defensively. He'll end up in left field full time before he turns 30, but he has enough bat to be an everyday player out there as well.







Jacoby Jones

Born: 05/10/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200
Primary Position: UT
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Long, lean frame; stallion build with lean muscle development throughout; sloped, broad shoulders; looks like a D-I wide receiver; a "looks good in a uniform" kid.
Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 08/08/2014
Dates Seen 5/28; 7/26-7/29
Affiliate West Virginia Power (Low A, Pirates)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
Late 2016 High 45 40; utility role No
Makeup

Plays with confidence; calm, quiet demeanor on the field; whispers of off-the-field makeup issues but nothing noteworthy in this look.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 30 Mechanics: Tall, even stance; bat begins parallel to the ground with loose hands just off his ear; loads low with a hand hitch; long arms and aforementioned hitch lead to some swing length; good lift through the zone with a one-handed finish; bat speed is solid-average; powerful lower half; looks to lift and separate; big leg-lift trigger; displays good coil in his hips; lands open with his direction of energy to the pull side.

Approach: Pull-heavy approach opens up holes on the outer half; has obvious fastball holes in the zone and can be beaten with average breaking balls on the outer half; swing is geared for fastballs over the heart of the plate and on the inner half, though he can be beaten with velocity on the hands due to length in swing; aggressive approach; likes to swing early and often. Aforementioned weaknesses will be exploited as he climbs the ladder. Limited barrel control and pull-heavy approach will be exposed by upper-level pitching. Potential to be a .220-.240 hitter at the highest level with big swing-and-miss issues.
Power 50 Lower half actions are geared for pull-side power; big leg kick gathers his weight on the backside and gives his lower half a running start, creating torque via upper/lower half separation; gets the foot down in time to create leverage with his front side; solid-average bat speed and slight uphill plane, in combination with the powerful lower half, results in plus raw power; hit a pop-up that registered 6.64 seconds (65-grade); hit tool will limit the in-game pop to average; sells out for power, but player could pop 15 or so home runs at the highest level despite the projected low batting average.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Plus runner; 3.8 seconds on a jailbreak; regularly 4.2 seconds to first base; long, athletic strides; baserunning acumen needs improvement; can be too aggressive on stolen base attempts; has the potential to steal 15-20 bases a season.
Glove 45 Currently playing shortstop but does not project to play the position everyday at the major-league level; can get to balls on either side due to long strides but hands are slightly stiff and actions can be long/loud with clumsy footwork; plays a bit like a bull in a china shop at the position; grade reflects below-average defense at shortstop, but player could be an asset in an up-the-middle utility role where he plays second, shortstop, and center field; could be an average defender in center field due to his plus speed and long strides.
Arm 40 Weak arm; low slinger slot; throws die as they reach the first-base bag with a hump; arm strength is not suited for the left side of the infield; will not be a huge issue at second base or in center field; have seen the arm around average in the past, but it was decidedly below average in this look.
Overall

Jones is currently a shortstop who will likely be bumped into a utility role long-term with plus speed, athleticism, and raw power but an underwhelming feel for hitting. An athletic specimen, Jones boasts highly impressive physical tools but doesn't project to play shortstop on a regular basis due to a weak arm, stiff hands, and questionable footwork at the position. While he possesses plus raw power at the plate, Jones has discernible holes in his swing and a power-hungry approach that will be exploited as he reaches the upper levels of the minors, limiting his in-game power to around average. Due to the concerns that he can't stick at shortstop and the projected limited utility of the hit tool at the highest level, Jones fits a utility profile, one that can play up the middle and not be an absolute liability at shortstop or second base on a short-term basis. In addition, Jones possesses the physical profile to be at least average in center field, a position he has played in the past and will likely get another shot at in the near future.

The raw OFP averages to 45, which is a below-average regular. The projected role is a role-4 utility type who can play up the middle with plus speed and hit for some pop off the bench. The risk is high due to the swing-and-miss issues exhibited as a 22-year-old in Low-A. Though the hit tool has issues, he should be able to hit in the .220-.240 range. If the bat falls much lower than that, he becomes more of a AAAA player.






















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