Scouts thoughts on Roman Quinn, Gilbert Lara, Jose Berrios, and more.
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.
There's no shortage of excitement about next Sunday's Futures Game in Cincinnati. In the meantime, here's a journey back to the game in 2009. See how many of these names you're very familiar with now. This article originally ran on July 12, 2009.
Having once been involved in the selection process for the Futures Game, I can tell you first-hand that it's not a simple process. Just like the All-Star Game, there are limitations imposed to ensure that each team is represented, and the US vs. World set-up creates additional challenges certain positions. Still, when the game kicks off (ESPN2 on Sunday at 2 pm ET), there will be plenty of top prospects in action, and for so many fans, it also represents the first time to get an actual look at players you've been reading about, at times for years, so here are some things to look out for.
Examining players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.
As a friendly reminder, the Free Agent Watch article, which appears every Friday, will cover any midweek transactions that might impact your interest in available players in -only leagues. For now, here’s what we have to pique our interest from a free agent perspective to this point in week 13.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including the Cardinals' Harrison Bader and Rob Kaminsky.
Hitter of the Day: Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals (State College, SS): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Bader’s swing when he was at the University of Florida, but there’s no doubting his production in college, and this is a heck of a professional debut. He shows good power and a good feel for the barrel, but there’s a prolonged weight transfer that concerns me. If he can control that against better offspeed stuff, however, the Cardinals could have a steal in the third round.
Notes on Raimel Tapia, Matt Purke, Duane Underwood, some new draftees, and more.
Raimel Tapia (Rockies) still shows raw center-field defense. He took an inefficient route on a high fly ball to the gap and came up two steps short, leading to a double. Two plays later he botched a routine groundball single and amplified the mistake with a sloppy, hurried recovery and wide throw to allow an extra base. These were the same kinds of issues he had in April (and May), and the lack of discernible defensive growth over the course of the season is concerning. —Wilson Karaman
Matt Purke (Nationals) displayed a three-quarters arm slot with average arm speed; delivery is much more rigid and stiff than I remembered from last season; still falling off the mound on delivery; FB sat 89-92 mph with mild arm-side run; pitch flattens out at the higher velocity band; SL hangs in the zone at 78-80 mph; well-below-average offering; 83-85 mph CH lacks any feel or fade and was telegraphed out of hand; I see an org arm at this point. —Tucker Blair
The Cubs are in the midst of a five-game losing streak that has exposed a weakness. Are there more pressing needs? They certainly have the right talent evaluators to make the decision.
The Cubs are entering a very crucial part of the season. They’ve wrapped up one of the tougher stretches of play that they’ll likely face all season, and despite entering Tuesday on a five-game losing skid, things aren’t as bad as they appear. Yes, the losing stretch exposed some of their holes, but that may turn out to be a good thing. If they can stay afloat through the All-Star break as the team gets healthy, these recent missteps could help guide the front office as they decide what weaknesses need to be addressed and in what way—via trade, just getting healthy, or by supplementing the roster through the minor leagues.
“Any time you can improve from within, that’s the best and most efficient way to get better,” Theo Epstein told reporters a few days before his team started its current losing stretch. “You can’t always count on that, but if you can improve from within—and we know we have a manager and coaching staff that help our players relax and play their best, so we can continue developing in the big leagues. That’s always beneficial to improve the organization from within. It doesn’t mean you stop considering what may help us improve from the outside.”