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May 9, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

May 9, 2014

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


Alex Gonzalez

Born: 01/15/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 195
Mechanics
Physical frame; thick lower half; innings-eating horse; long stride to the plate; keeps good momentum and balance throughout; short arm action to 3/4 slot; stays closed a long time then explodes to plate; hips and shoulders rotate on time and arm comes through clean and fast; gets extended very well on FB; repeated mechanics much better than last year; not much physical projection left or needed; very good athlete.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/05/2014
Affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A, Rangers)
Dates Seen 4/27/14
OFP/Risk 65/low
Realistic 60; no. 3 starter
MLB ETA Late 2014
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 65 90-94 95 Three-way life; creates plane from tall frame; can cut it, sink it; throws FB with arm-side run at lower velo band; can improve with better command and consistency.
SL 60 60 84-87 88 Tight spin; sharp bite with tilt; shows good shape and has hard bite; can throw for strike and chase pitch; comes from same arm motion as FB, plays well off of it; uses outside corner and inside corner effectively.
CH 50 60 80-84 85 Arm-side sink with vertical action; can cut it at higher velo band; best when in lower velo band; needs to throw more in zone to become effective swing-and-miss pitch out of the zone; presently working on throwing CH away to RHH coming back to the plate.
CB 40 45 75-77 78 Showed shape and some depth; more of a change-of-pace pitch than weapon; presently below average but work in progress; plays well off FB because of arm action and loose wrist; presently working on pounding bottom of the zone to LHH.
Overall

Chi Chi Gonzalez is an advanced college arm ready to move up through the system. The mechanics are much cleaner and the stuff is advanced. He is presently working on pitches but still has the swing-and-miss stuff to strikeout hitters in High-A. He holds velocity throughout his outing and can reach back for more when needed. He flashes two plus secondaries with a plus current FB that can be used as a weapon based on how he can manipulate it. The overall command profile needs refinement but the cleaner mechanics give me reason to believe it will play solid average to plus and as well as improving the CH.


Marco Gonzales

Born: 02/16/1992 (Age: 22)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 195
Mechanics
Clean arm action, above-average arm speed. Thick lower half helps keep him steady and repeat his mechanics well. Not overly athletic but enough to repeat his delivery and get off the mound to field his position.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 05/07/2014
Affiliate Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A, Cardinals)
Dates Seen 4/28/14
OFP/Risk 60/Low
Realistic 55, No. 3/4 starter
MLB ETA Early 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 50 55 88-90 91 Works down in the zone; command was better to arm-side of plate; missed frequently on inner half but made a concerted effort to work inside on right-handed hitters to keep them from diving out onto outer half. Does not have velocity or movement to miss bats with FB in FB counts. Must command pitch to be effective.
Curveball 50 55 75-77 Not a power curve; big sweeping pitch with downward bite; plus command of pitch; will throw it to both sides of the plate against hitters of either handedness. Will definitely keep left-handed hitters off balance at the major-league level. Major-league righties might square it up if he leaves it in the zone. Better to righties when he buries it at their feet with two strikes.
Change-up 65 70 78-81 Definitely plus pitch with even more potential as fastball command improves. Will throw it to any batter at any time. Has plus arm-side fade and some had diving action. Will be a 70 pitch as soon as he can consistently make it dive as well as fade.
Overall

Gonzales will go as far as his changeup will take him, which should be pretty far. His fastball isn't overpowering, but it also might be his third-best pitch. He's not going to overpower hitters, but being a lefty with a great changeup should be enough to make him a mid-rotation starter. Now that he's in full-season ball, he should move quickly and is clearly too advanced for the Florida State League.


Teoscar Hernandez

Born: 10/15/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 180
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Athletic body; lean and strong; chest and legs are thick; 6-2/180 is close to accurate; maybe a little heavier; aggressive approach to the game; almost maxed out; body should maintain well.
Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 05/04/2014
Dates Seen 4/8, 4/10, 4/12, 4/17, 4/18, 4/22, 4/24
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High-A, Astros)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 High 55 50; Second-division starter No
Makeup

Good makeup; hustles out of the box and onto the field; always aware of the batter's tendencies in CF (shifted a certain way); can get frustrated during an at-bat and expand the zone; plenty of desire.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Wide stance; square to the pitcher; plus bat-speed; hands work well; very quick trigger; has a tendency for hard contact; crushes fastballs; can be fooled by off-speed; expands the zone; hands begin to drift forward early and can't stay back long enough and consistent enough to generate enough to bat speed/torque; a lot of check swings vs. off-speed; recognition is lacking at the moment; likes to attack pitchers early; swing has some loft and leverage; will always be some swing-and-miss in his game due to his aggressive approach.
Power 45 Raw power is above average; surprising strength; bat speed and leverage to create backspin; attacks first-pitch fastballs with the best of them; hitting a ton of doubles and triples at the present; will transition into over-the-fence power soon; hit tool will limit the power long term; easy double-digit power down the line.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Present above-average speed; 4.19-4.21 to first base consistently; 3.95 on a jailbreak bunt; more athletic than speed indicates; body is almost at maturity, leading me to believe he can maintain his speed long term; good basestealer; gets good jumps and reads the pitcher well; stole third base when the pitcher fell asleep.
Glove 60 Above-average center fielder; gets good jumps off the bat; routes are solid; speed allows him to cover a ton of ground; plus instincts; made a ton of highlight reel plays.
Arm 50 Solid-average arm; has good carry; hits the cutoff man with ease; enough arm to stick in center; aggressive in other aspects, but not careless with the arm.
Overall

I was very impressed with the overall skill set of Hernandez. He's a player who can display all five tools in the same game and have a huge impact. The hit tool is a work in progress due to his approach, which I'm not sure he can tone down due to his aggressive tendencies on a baseball field. But with plus bat-speed and good hands, I believe the hit tool can reach league average going forward. The risk is tied to the hit tool, but I believe he can hit enough to allow his other tools to shine. Second-division starter for me with a chance for more if it all clicks.


Joey Gallo

Born: 11/19/1993 (Age: 20)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 5" Weight: 205
Primary Position: 3B
Secondary Position: RF
Physical/Health
Massive, thick frame; all of listed 6-foot-5; thought he could add weight and he has; lower half is very sturdy and muscular; wide, broad shoulders with lean muscle upper half; very good athlete for how big he is; very good control of limbs and body.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/04/2014
Dates Seen 4/8-10/14; 4/26-28/14
Affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A, Rangers)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 High 70 50; Major-league regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 45 Wide-base stance, slightly open; slight front leg kick timing to come closed as pitch comes in; loose hands; has extreme strength and plus bat speed; swing has serious leverage; hips turn in then explode creating extreme torque when deciding to swing, but much improved from last season (calmer); he’ll have trouble controlling the barrel and adjusting to quality off-speed; swing is extremely long but makes loud contact often; loves to get hands extended; has made extremely noticeable improvements in pitch recognition and plate discipline; controlled the strike zone well all series and calmed approach in two-strike counts; recognized spin much better and tracked the ball deep into hitting zone; still will be a lot of swing-and-miss but hit tool could play to maximum potential after a lot of questions last year.
Power 80 Off the charts raw pop; creates extreme bat speed from body and has massive strength; has big lift in swing; has top-of-the-scale power to all fields; great post-contact extension; improvements in hit tool quality will allow raw power to play at the highest level.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Aggressive but smart baserunner; takes the extra base and makes good reads with balls in play; long strides; 4.3 range to 1B.
Glove 50 Robotic actions at third; has okay reactions off the bat; can make backhand play down the line; still improving footwork; could see a move to OF.
Arm 70 Elite arm strength; makes hard throws with ease and they stay on a line to 1B; accuracy is a problem at times; has tuned down arm to improve accuracy.
Overall

Gallo hit massive shots in BP that we all have seen before but that’s not what impressed me. He struggled against Manaea and arm-side stuff but made an adjustment each night. Gallo was sitting on breaking pitches and still driving fastballs. Against Almonte, he crushed a mistake to left-center for HR like he will usually do. His next at-bat, runners at first and second, he laid off a plus-plus CH (one of the best Almonte threw all night) just off the plate, fading away. I anticipated Gallo was going to swing out of his shoes but he took it. He then took a strike on the outer part of the plate, which was a pitch he could drive, but he chose to be patient. Almonte threw him a CH down and Gallo sat on it and drove it through the hole in between first and second, hitting behind the runners. His last at-bat against Almonte, the pitcher tried to come inside with 95. FB had heavy sink and started at Gallo’s hip and ended up on the inside corner. I saw Gallo shuffle out of the way of this pitch before. This time he opened the hips, kept hands inside the ball and got extreme extension post contact. The ball got lost in the night. The adjustments he’s made have impressed me. And even if the hit tool never reaches my projected assumption, I still think he’s Pedro Alvarez at the plate at least.


Chance Sisco

Born: 02/24/1995 (Age: 19)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 193
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Lean frame, growth left in lower half; projects for more power; might be shorter than listed; good frame for athletic catcher.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 05/05/2014
Dates Seen 3/8/2014 - 3/11/14, 4/12/14 - 4/13/14
Affiliate Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A, Orioles)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2018 High 55 45; offense-oriented backup catcher No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Plus bat speed; swing short; compact; line-drive oriented; quick wrists; flicks them; sometimes overextends on outside pitches; slight lunge but still barrels the ball enough for sufficient contact; average load; hips and feet are quiet and efficient.
Power 50 Current 40 grade power; line-drive swing will likely keep from being true HR threat; gap power is present; plus bat speed and future growth could boost power to average.
Baserunning/Speed 50 Better speed than advertised; average speed; agile and athletic; good speed for a catcher.
Glove 50 Defense is currently fringe; improvements noted with footwork; feet can get tied up at times; trouble with blocking pitches in dirt at times due to footwork; getting better at game calling and pitch framing. Good chance to be an average fielder.
Arm 50 Registered pop times of 1.96, 2.03, 2.06. Average arm strength, accurate throws.
Overall

Chance Sisco is relatively new to catching, and the inexperience shows at times. The most important factor to me has been the noted improvements since I first saw him in 2013. The footwork behind the plate has vastly improved, and I had serious questions about his ability to catch last year. The arm is average, yet accurate. It's not a detriment in his game, considering he still has room to grow into his frame and tack on some extra muscle. The swing is good and I believe the power should come down the line, even if it is not here yet.


Colin Moran

Born: 10/01/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 215
Primary Position: 3B
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Solid, prototypical third base frame; tall with room to add weight and strength.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 05/08/2014
Dates Seen 4/28/14, 4/29/14, 5/7/14
Affiliate Jupiter Hammerheads (High A, Marlins)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
Late 2015 Moderate 55 45, second-division regular No
Makeup

Looks disinterested on the field. Terrible body language, especially after making an out. Moves with no urgency.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Good bat-to-ball skills and above-average bat speed give him a natural leg up on most players. Quiet, traditional left-handed stance. Hands have plus natural ability to put the barrel on the ball but disconnect from his body too much; swing is too much arms and wrists. Feels for ball instead of driving it, especially on outer half. Does not use lower half enough. Despite natural ability, can get beat inside. Gets jammed a lot. Looked very uncomfortable against same-side pitching. Player is much further from hit tool ceiling than I had expected given his background.
Power 45 Does not drive the ball well. Needs to add strength, but any additional power will come from change in approach. Currently has doubles power but ball does not carry. Has enough power to get into the gaps. Disconnect in weight transfer and swing limits power.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Below-average runner, speed not a factor.
Glove 50 Adequate defender; makes plays he can get to. Soft hands. Should be able to stick at third base but defense is not an asset there.
Arm 55 Arm is not a weapon, but he has enough to make all the throws from third base.
Overall

The one tool that is supposed to carry Moran—the hit tool—did not impress me over a three-game stretch. He failed to put together quality at-bats, often making weak contact and swinging at pitcher's pitches. His approach does not lend itself to much power, so unless he adds significant strength, I don't see him becoming a home run threat. While he has no glaring weaknesses, none of his tools stand out. Couple that with what appeared to be a general disinterest in the game taking place around him and I came away feeling very underwhelmed with the player.


Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Premium Article Painting the Black: Go... (05/09)
<< Previous Column
Eyewitness Accounts: E... (05/08)
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Eyewitness Accounts: M... (05/13)
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