September 12, 2013
What Scouts Are Saying
September 12, 2013
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.
Phillies LHP Cole Hamels: "He has been much better because he has started using his curveball again. He still has a fastball with late life and one of the best changeups in baseball. Maybe they overpaid him a little bit, but if he were a free agent he would be the top arm on the market."
Yankees LHP CC Sabathia: "More than anything, he just looks dead tired to me and, when you consider his workload since he left Cleveland and how little recovery time he has, I think that makes sense. His arm slot is lower than it has been in the past and he doesn't keep his delivery together as well when he gets deep into the game, which are indicators that he is wearing down. There's no denying that his fastball has lost some juice, and I think that has actually hurt his changeup more than anything else, as hitters don't have to be so concerned with gearing up for the plus fastball. When he had a bigger fastball, hitters had to honor it, but there is less fear there now. However, he still gives it everything he's got in every start and goes deep into ball games, he's just not the front-line ace."
Mets RHP Zack Wheeler: "[He] is developing into the top-of-the-rotation pitcher everyone expected. You can see him mature before your eyes, and his confidence has been key. He's starting to trust his breaking stuff, and he's relying more on his slider to help get guys out. I'd expect him to take another step forward in 2014."
Royals Low-A RHP Miguel Almonte: “The scouting backs up the stats. This is a kid that has command much better than you'd expect from a guy a year removed from the DSL. He also went from being a two-pitch guy to a three-pitch guy, and that has made a big difference.”
Athletics Low-A 3B Renato Nunez: “His arrow is down for me. I didn't see the same strength as last year, and the body/athleticism raise concern. He has fringy bat speed and an undisciplined approach, and I think it's unlikely he sticks at third base. The raw power projects as a plus, but it's really going to have to show up in the game for him to be anything more than a power bench bat.”
Blue Jays Rookie-League SS Richard Urena: "Has all the raw tools to be an everyday shortstop at the major-league level. Live-wire body; everything he does is quick and athletic and he has lots of room to grow without losing any of his mobility. He slows the game down defensively extremely well for someone his age. His range is solidly above average and his arm strength is at least plus. His swing has some holes but he has quality bat speed and he can really run. He's barely played any ball on US soil but I think he could be a special one."
Dodgers Low-A LHP Julio Urias: "It's not simply that he has three pitches that project to be plus—it's that he has a superior understanding of how to use them that separates him from all other pitchers in the low levels of the minor leagues. Tack on to that the fact that it will be four years before he's able to legally drink and you have the makings of a potential superstar. He's not perfect, though. His body is thick already, especially his lower half, so I would think you'd have to be concerned about how much good weight he can add to his body, and he puts stress on his shoulder in his delivery, but these relatively small nits to pick. He looks every bit the real deal."