June 10, 2013
Monday Morning Ten Pack
June 10, 2013
Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins (Double-A New Britain)
Sano has been getting column inches since his amateur days, and thanks to a breakout spring, the press love shall continue. We all know that Sano has some of the best raw power in the minors, with plenty of strength built into a leveraged swing with loft. He was born to hit the ball a long way, and so far in 2013 he’s put 16 balls into Florida State League seats. The 20-year-old takes the headlining spot in this week’s Ten Pack because of his upcoming promotion to the Double-A level, where the precocious talent will face his biggest professional challenge. The swing has some length, and his willingness to expand his zone makes him vulnerable to quality secondary offerings and pitchers with a plan. Double-A arms are better equipped to exploit such weaknesses, and if Sano is slow to make the adjustment (shortening up, looking to go the other way, not selling out for power), his on-the-field production could take a step back before it inevitably takes another step forward. —Jason Parks
Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (High A Salem)
The 20-year-old left-handed starter has made a smooth transition in taking the next step up the ranks, racking up 68 strikeouts in 56 innings while only allowing 38 hits thus far into the season. The big thing that has jumped out when scouting Owens is the development of his changeup. Showing as a below average offering last season, with varying arm speed and lacking finish, the pitch flashed much improved consistency and fading action in his last outing. Owens also created better deception via arm speed in sync to that of his fastball. While the 6-foot-6 lefty’s change is pushing toward becoming an above average weapon at his disposal, there is still work to do in enhancing the command of the 89-93 mph heater. Owens is inconsistent utilizing his large frame to stay on top of his offerings, and he is often unable to find the balance between over-throwing and releasing early. The young arm has ample development in front of him in reaching a ceiling of a mid-rotational starter, but the progress with his overall game is a good sign things are moving forward. —Chris Mellen
Bryce Bandilla, LHP, Giants (High-A San Jose)
A fourth-round pick of the Giants in 2011, Bandilla is seeing his prospect status rise after moving to the bullpen this season. The southpaw is an imposing presence on the mound at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, and he attacks hitters with plus-plus velocity. According to a Cal League scout, Bandilla has flashed a 94-98 mph fastball and an easy plus changeup that flashes better. While his fringy slider and suspect-at-times control will relegate him to the bullpen long term, he has improved of late. Over his last 12 appearances, Bandilla has tossed scoreless ball 11 times, walking two and fanning 20 over 12 innings. —Jason Cole
Michael Ynoa, RHP, Athletics (Low-A Beloit)
Ynoa has seen his share of ups and downs since receiving a signing bonus north of $4 million as a promising 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic. He has since had difficulty staying on the field and, now with a Tommy John surgery successfully behind him, he is tackling full-season ball in the Midwest League as a 21-year-old. Ynoa was added to the 40-man roster to avoid Rule 5 Draft eligibility, so the clock is now running faster on his developmental timeline—the focus in 2013 being above all else getting him significant innings. The Athletics have eased him into the rotation with limited innings per start, with the big righty throwing five innings in his last start on Friday.
An imposing presence on the mound, Ynoa is still hanging weight on his projectable frame and will get even stronger as he continues to mature. He utilizes his size, and high waist, to produce solid extension to the plate, though he loses some of the benefits due to a slight fall off to the first-base side (which can also negatively impact his command). His motion can get deliberate and stiff at times, though he has been making improvements in smoothing the rough edges throughout the spring. For a big body, he has been impressive with runners on base, routinely clocking 1.22 to 1.30 times to the plate.
The stuff continues to show potential, headlined by a four-seamer that sits 91 to 94 mph and can reach 96 with arm-side run, and a two-seamer that clocks in three to four miles per hour slower with more sink. His breaking ball tends to come in with slow 12-to-6 action, but will flash good shape and depth when he snaps it off. There is potential for the offering to grow into an above average pitch, and it shows flashes right now. His changeup is in the early stages, showing some late tumble but below-average command. Ynoa has swing-and-miss stuff that could blossom in time, but for now the focus will remain on slowly building up reps through longer starts. His upside is that of a mid-rotation or late-inning arm. —Nick Faleris