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June 19, 2017

Monday Morning Ten Pack

June 19, 2017

by BP Prospect Staff


Joey Wentz, LHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome)
Velocity concerns have followed Wentz since his pre-draft days that included a dead arm, but if his fastball continues to pop like it did during a recent outing for Rome, sitting low-90s instead of mid-90s won’t be an issue. He was 88-93, touched 94, and consistently sat 90-92. There was the occasional dip to 88-89 as he labored but, again, the liveliness is the thing to pay attention to here.

Wentz’s fastball only features slight arm-side run and the overall movement is minimal, but it’s effective based on extreme plane from a high slot and 6-foot-5 frame. It jumps from the hand and rides hard to both sides of the plate. He can also work up effectively with the pitch, although his command wavered at times and he left it up and arm-side too often. Wentz’s curveball was 77-81 with tight, two-plane break when he spun it well. The break came late and featured above-average depth. It typically came in at 1/5 and was consistently hard and downward with above-average feel. His changeup didn’t match the first two pitches by lacking feel. It was constantly firm out of the hand. He threw one usable, average change with some fade.

Wentz is the model left-handed pitcher with size, length and strength. His frame and delivery mimic Cole Hamels’ in a clear-cut way. There’s the occasional flying open and arm drag that cause him to miss fastballs up and away to right-handed batters, but the delivery is repeatable and it’s a matter of getting his long limbs in sync. The potential outcome is a no. 2 starter with an above-average to plus fastball, plus breaking ball and enough of a changeup to keep batters honest. Scouts have seen a better version of Wentz’s changeup than I did, so it appears to be the usual growing pains and working to gain a more consistent feel for his stuff. He could realistically slide into a mid-rotation role. —David Lee

Zach Granite, OF, Minnesota Twins, (Triple-A Rochester)
Granite is a 2013, 14th-round gem out of Seton Hall that probably doesn't get enough recognition. The 24-year-old, left-handed center fielder displayed a bevy of tools & appeared as your prototypical leadoff type. The best of these tools was Granite's 70 grade speed with 4.1-4.15 home-to-1B times and he's a stolen base threat every time he get's on. At the plate, Granite showed advanced pitch recognition and bat-to-ball ability. He was aggressive in hitters counts when he got a pitch he knew he could handle. Granite stands with his feet close together and is quiet in the box with his hands in a position away from his body. His hand positioning seemingly creates a hole up and in where he was beat on fastballs for his two strikeouts this series. Granite has a smooth, line-drive oriented swing and all-fields approach, and he’s going to continue to hit. The question is will he hit for enough power to profile as an everyday type. It's well-below-average power with minimal projection. However, he has enough strength to drive the ball gap-to-gap and forces outfielders to rush due to his speed. Defensively, Granite covers plenty of ground and looks to be an above-average defender in center with average arm strength. You'd be hard pressed to find many faults with Granite outside of the well-below-average raw power which some evaluators will jump to label him as a 4th outfielder type. Granite has the floor of a fourth outfielder that can give you above-average defense at all three outfielder positions and a ceiling of an everyday center fielder providing a spark hitting at the top of a lineup. —Chaz Fiorino

Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading)
The former second-round pick has used a great start to his second full season to put his name on the map as a possible contributor for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. As of now, Kingery is making a strong case to be the Eastern League MVP, batting .308 with an impressive 18 home runs through 62 games. While the increase in power is good to see, after watching him for a series last week, it seems that this recent surge might be more lightning in a bottle than anything substantial. There is no doubt that Kingery can hit. The second baseman utilizes a quick stroke and plus bat control in order to make frequent hard contact. Kingery is near picture perfect in his fundamentals at the plate and he is a smart hitter that will be a tough strikeout even at the highest level. He brings these fundamentals to the field as well, with enough athleticism to make the flashy plays when he needs to. He’s also a plus runner who hustles whenever he is on the diamond. With that being said, his smaller frame coupled with a lack of leverage makes me think that he won’t hit for even close to this type of power moving forward. He’s probably more along the lines of a 12-15 homer guy over the course of a full MLB season, on the back of his average pull-side power. Kingery plays as more of a contact guy who can hit any pitch anywhere on the plate. He’s easy to root for and brings a profile that projects him to be a first-division regular. The power he’s hitting for right now will probably just not translate when he does make the jump to the big leagues. —Greg Goldstein

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What You Need to Know:... (06/19)
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Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/19)

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