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September 24, 2012

Monday Morning Ten Pack

September 24

by BP Prospect Staff

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Luiz Gohara, LHP, Mariners (2012 Contract)
An international prize, Brazilian Luiz Gohara signed with the Mariners this summer for $800,000, already armed with a promising arsenal; his fastball can hit 94 with plus life, his slider is average to plus, and his delivery and arm action are very clean and easy. Oh, and he does all that from the left side. The body is already physically mature (listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds), but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gohara tap into more velocity as he ages and receives professional instruction. International scouts worried about him not being challenged as an amateur, and pitchability could take some time to develop, but the tools are outstanding. Instructs will offer many scouts their first look at him, and his stuff could allow him to explode onto the prospect scene.Hudson Belinsky

C.J. Edwards (RHP) Rangers
Most 48th round draft picks don’t develop into players, much less prospects, but C.J. Edwards has a chance to change that tradition. I first stumbled upon the long and limby Edwards during the Fall Instructional League in 2011. I was charting pitches behind the pitchers tasked with charting pitches, and I thought the South Carolina native was one of the many talented Dominican pitchers in the Rangers system. My cultural and linguistic ignorance aside, I didn’t get a chance to see Edwards on the mound until the spring of 2012, where I once again assumed he was Dominican. The 6-foot-2 155 pound righty was easily one of the more interesting arms in camp, with a whippy low-90s fastball that could touch higher and a charming curve that could miss more advanced bats. Edwards carried over his exhibition success to the short-season circuit, where in two stops the 20-year-old arm (now 21) allowed only 32 hits in 67 innings of work, sending an impressive 85 down on strikes. Now in his second instructional league camp, Edwards is already flashing a high quality changeup, a fading low-80s pitch with a little sink that plays very well off his fastball. One would think that escaping the complex league level would represent the height of a 48th round pick’s professional reach, but apparently C.J. Edwards isn’t aware of such limitations, and looks to take another step forward in 2013.​Jason Parks

Adrian Marin, SS, Orioles (Low-A Delmarva)
The third-round pick in this year’s draft has a package of tools that show a combination of projection and polish. Marin’s quick hands accentuate his swing, and he's able to pull them inside the ball fluidly to barrel offerings up on a line.  Despite a lean build, there’s some strength behind his swing to produce solid backspin and drive balls into both gaps.  He’s an excellent fastball hitter but, as expected at this stage of his career, is below-average when it comes to handling secondary offerings.  Marin needs to incorporate his lower half into his swing mechanics better; he presently relies on his upper body too much, causing some trouble adjusting to the path of breaking balls.  Although scouting opinions are mixed, the Orioles feel Marin profiles as a shortstop defensively and are going to give him every chance to stick.  He’s athletic with quick twitch reactions, average-to-solid-average present arm strength, and doesn’t look likely to outgrow the position. Given the speed and overall defensive ability, he could slide over to second base or out to center field if necessary.Chris Mellen

Jamie Callahan (RHP, Boston Red Sox)
A second round selection for the Red Sox this June, Callahan projects as a potential mid-rotation arm, capable of attacking with an average or better fastball, curve, slider and changeup, with his fastball/curve combo showing the most promise right now. At its best, his fastball is a solid average offering, and he uses it well in setting up his two breaking balls. His curve is deep and shifts between 11-to-5 and true 12-to-6 break, with plus potential in the future (though currently he earns too many of his swings and misses by burying it against overmatched hitters).  There is some sweep at times in his backside arm action, which leads to inconsistency in arm path and release. Throughout the spring, Callahan had difficulty maintaining his stuff from start to start, including his fastball velocity, which could be mid- to upper-80s one day and up to 93 mph on others. His mechanics are fairly free and easy, so command is likely to come if he can find a cleaner path to release. Since turning pro, Callahan has already taken away some of the backside flash that can tip his pitches, and moved to more of a straight ball drop to start his arm circle. Callahan will continue to clean up his arm and his timing this fall; with some more consistency he could see a big jump in stuff across the board and, more importantly, a more surgical utilization of that stuff in the zone.—Nick Faleris

Clayton Henning, OF, Rays (Short-season GCL Rays)
Henning’s an intriguing talent with impressive athletic ability and pure speed. His baseball skills are still underdeveloped at the present, but the former star high school football wide receiver hopes to transition those raw tools into on-the-field utility, and a focused attention on baseball will give him every opportunity. At the plate, the projectable 6-foot-3 180 pound outfielder creates easy bat speed, with the potential to grow into average power as his game begins to come together.  He needs a lot of work building an approach and learning how to pick up offerings out of pitcher’s hand, and it remains to be seen if those abilities will exist in the skill set. The label “project” can certainly be applied to Henning, but this explosive athlete has the raw ability for a development staff to mold and he already has scouts talking about what he can become with experience.Chris Mellen

Luis Merejo, LHP, Atlanta Braves
The Braves big splash in the 2011 international market was the six-figure deal handed to right-handed pitcher Mauricio Cabrera but a lesser-known signing, Luis Merejo, is making just as much noise. After signing for a modest $65,000 last fall, Merejo debuted in the rookie level Gulf Coast League this summer, posting a 4.61 ERA in 41 innings before being shut down in early August to manage his workload. Before taking a break, scouts were reporting that Merejo’s fastball was consistently clocking in the 90-92 range and touching as high as 94 on the gun. Merejo has an excellent feel for his craft, particularly for a 17 year old in his first professional season, and he backs up his promising and projectable heater with a curveball and a changeup, both that show flashes of being solid pitches. That advanced feel for pitching and his already solid arsenal make Merejo a truly exciting prospect that should exit the instructional league as one of Atlanta’s up and coming young arms.Mark Anderson

Stryker Trahan (C, Arizona Diamondbacks)
Trahan looked like a potential top ten pick at this time last year after impressing on the summer circuit and with his travel team in the fall. The spring saw inconsistencies sprout up, however, and he dropped to Arizona, who held the 26th overall pick in the draft. When his game is clicking, Trahan has all the makings of an impact bat that can handle himself behind the plate. His sexiest tool is his left-handed pop, which comes with natural loft and a Barrett 50-cal acoustic accompaniment. He also shows potential average-or-better tools in the hit and run departments, the latter belied by his 6-foot-1, 215 pound build. Trahan has adjusted well to pro ball thus far, and looks to be much closer to the player we saw last summer and fall than in the spring. Fall instructs will likely be utilized to determine whether the former Ole Miss commit has a future as a backstop, or if the DBacks would be best served shifting him to an outfield corner to get the bat moving.  If he shows enough aptitude behind the dishincluding tightening up his footwork in his catch-and-throw gamehe could quickly establish himself as one of the better overall catching prospects in the game.Nick Faleris

Guillermo Pimentel (Mariners)
Middle of the order power potential makes me high, and that’s usually the case even when the word potential is far more relevant and realistic a choice than the word proven. The fact is, legit minor league power bats are rare, so when a teenager can boast raw power beyond the plus range, I tend to maintain the tether, even in the face of developmental disappointments. Guillermo Pimentel fits the mold of such a player, but after a promising 2011 campaign, his ascent to the full-season level wasn’t the stuff of fairytale; the contact was quiet and infrequent and the overall approach at the plate was unrefined. Precocious power and bonus baby bank accounts have a way of raising the professional bar, so the fact that Pimentel was only 19 years old is often missing from the narrative. With a swing that once prompted a scout to salivate the comp “Juan Gonzalez from the left side,” all hope is not lost after a season of setbacks. Pimentel might not have the positional value of an up-the-middle talent, or the contact hope and approach of a hitter with batting average potential, but he has the kind of raw thump in the bat that plays despite the suspect tool collection. Power is quite the potent product, so if Pimentel can take a step forward and find a way to make it play, his prospect status will once again stand at attention.Jason Parks

Andrew Pullin (OF, Philadelphia Phillies)
Pullin was classified by many as a “tweener” leading up to the 2012 draft, with a defensive profile best suited for an outfield corner and a bat best suited for an up-the-middle defender. His swing is geared to spray line drives off waist-and-down offerings, but he has enough bat speed and barrel control to square up the ball in all four quadrants. This summer the Phillies experimented some with Pullin at second base and could look to fall instructs to determine if this is an experiment worth pursuing more. A sturdy frame and solid athleticism could help him tackle a physical position like second base, where his gap-to-gap bat could eventually help him carve out a role as a 2-slot hitter.​Nick Faleris

Chris Bostick, 2B, A’s (Short-Season Vermont)
Coming out of Rochester, NY, Bostick was rarely scouted and slipped all the way to the 44th round, where the A’s may have found a big leaguer. Bostick’s tools aren’t outrageous, but he’s an advanced hitter with good bat speed and a short path to the ball. He has the ability to barrel the ball to any part of the field, and has the potential to hit 10-15 home runs per year. In 2012, Bostick slowed down significantly as the season wore on, and that might be a product of not being used to long seasons in upstate NY. Defensively, he made big strides this year, showing that he has what it takes to stick at 2B. The range and the arm are there, and his instincts were much better later in the year. Ultimately, Bostick’s upside rests on his hit tool, which I really believe in. A rested Bostick could tear up the instructional league, and find himself slated for plenty of scouts’ attention in full-season ball in 2013.​Hudson Belinsky

Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Minor League Baseball

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