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July 29, 2013

Monday Morning Ten Pack

July 29, 2013

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox (High-A Salem)
A fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Betts was a multi-sport athlete with good feel for baseball, an ideal talent to bring into the professional fold. In a limited look, his plus athleticism was obvious, as he showed easy plus speed on times to first and when on base. His swing had bat speed and was short to the ball, and rarely did it fail to find some contact, showing off his natural bat-to-ball ability. The pop isn’t empty but more line-drive than over-the-fence, and with his wheels, could produce solid extra-base hit numbers. In the field, the glove wasn’t flashy but the range was above average, and the overall defensive profile could give him some left-side versatility if he’s eventually pushed into a utility role. While Betts doesn’t look to be a top prospect with a first-division ceiling, he does have the type of feel for the game and athletic talent to develop into an interesting player, one with bat-to-ball skills at the plate and some leather in the field. He’s fun to watch. Big motor in a little frame. –Jason Parks

Garin Cecchini, 3B, Red Sox (Double-A Portland)
After taking the Carolina League by storm, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter has continued his hot hitting in the Eastern League, posting a .331/.424/.468 line in 33 games at the level. Cecchini’s grinding, patient approach at the plate has served him well during his transition to facing higher quality arms. A typical plate appearance by the third base prospect sees him methodically work the count for an offering he can attack. Cecchini’s secondary skills have certainly shown to be up to the initial task, and early signs point toward these traits continuing to have the necessary impact within his game to carry the player to the big leagues.

The big question for Cecchini is how the power is going to further develop and translate at the major-league level. As he possesses both the size and strength to drive the ball with lift, it comes down to how well the young hitter can adapt his smooth lefty stroke to tap into the natural power. Cecchini may ultimately end up with average home run totals at the highest level, but the hitting and on-base ability lend clues that a projection of a big-league regular is within reach. –Chris Mellen

Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians (Low-A Lake County)
Paulino was challenged with a full-season assignment with Low-A Lake County to start the year, and will complete the 2013 season in the Midwest League at the ripe old age of 18. He has largely kept his head above water, though the rigors of the long year may be beginning to take a toll, as Paulino has recently begun pressing more at the plate and expanding his zone--leading to more swing-and-miss than he has generally shown in the past. Paulino is capable of creating leverage without sacrificing contact ability, due to quick hands and compact stroke (when on), but profiles more as a gap-to-gap line drive producer than an over-the-fence threat.

Defensively, the young middle infielder continues to play a passive shortstop, too often creating difficult hops and lines for himself. He lacks the fluidity in action to project as a future six-spotter, but he has the arm for third and could profile well at the keystone, where there would be less pressure on the power tool. While 2013 has not been a breakout year for Paulino, the fact that he has held his own as an 18-year-old in full-season ball speaks highly of both his current talent level and potential future profile. –Nick J. Faleris

Trevor Cahill, RHP, Diamondbacks (Rookie AZL Rehab)
The 25-year-old Cahill tore through the teenagers of the rookie Arizona League in Thursday’s rehab start, tossing five innings of one-hit ball while walking two and striking out nine. It was a strong performance in which Cahill flashed his usual stuff––an 87-93 mph sinking fastball, upper-80s cut-slider, mid-80s changeup, and low-80s curveball. By most measures, Cahill isn’t a ‘sexy’ arm; he doesn’t wield mid-90s velocity or a plus-plus breaking ball. But his ability to manipulate a baseball––the force behind his consistently absurd groundball rates––is a joy to watch in an intimate back-field setting. For example, check out this 91 mph fastball that he threw to AZL Angels shortstop Erick Salcedo. Cahill’s fastball moved so much that, despite ending up mid-plate, the 20-year-old Salcedo completely bailed out. The rest of Cahill’s outing was fun to watch, as well, with the whiffle-ball like movement on his fastball and changeup. You can see the full video here. Jason Cole

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (07/29)
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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (07/22)
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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (08/05)
Next Article >>
Pebble Hunting: The BP... (07/29)

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