We made you wait an extra day, so we put in an extra writeup.
Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State (2016 Draft Class) Lauer and the Kent State Flashes entered the MAC Tournament as the heavy favorites, however a loss to Western Michigan ended their run at post season play. Lauer started for the Flashes on Wednesday, going the distance with a complete-game shutout. He showed advanced pitchability throughout the game, and the stuff to match. While Lauer doesn’t currently have a pure out-pitch, his arsenal is still adequate. His fastball sat 93, hitting 94 a few times with a deceptive look from the left side, with some cutting action on it. His curveball will be an above-average pitch, showing 1-7 break across multiple planes at 76 mph. His slider is much improved since I last saw him in April; it usually sits 85-86 topping at 87 mph. His changeup also looked improved, and he threw it with much more confidence this game, featuring horizontal arm-side fade and a touch of tumble as it fell late at times.
Lauer won't be an ace, or even a number two in all likelihood, but what he is missing in ceiling he makes up for in floor. Even as someone who hates the term “high-floor player,” Lauer looks the part to be a fast-rising mid-to-back-end starter. He is as polished as anyone in the class currently, and if any of his off-speed pitches can improve into the plus range, his ceiling becomes even higher. His endurance has never been questioned, as his last two outings have been a no hitter at Bowling Green, and this shutout. His velocity held through all nine innings on Wednesday, and he maintained his delivery well. His delivery is extremely clean, but has a quirk with his left leg that needs to be timed correctly in order to hit his spots. But out of all of his outings that I have seen, he’s only lost his timing in a few. I would look for Lauer to go anywhere in the 25-40 range, but losing out on his ability to prove himself against post season competition is unfortunate. —Grant Jones
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Notes on Logan Allen, Albert Almora, Austin Allen and other people with A's in their names.
Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Double-A Hartford)
Senzatela was making his first start in five weeks after an outing in April where he had “trouble getting loose.” Rustiness could explain some of his struggles with fastball command early, but Senzatela has high-effort mechanics and doesn't get much out of his lower half, limiting the overall future command profile. The fastball does show some east-west life at times, and the deception in his delivery makes the 90-94 velocity appear “sneaky-fast,” but he struggled to get the pitch down in the zone and Bowie hitters seemed very comfortable taking cuts at his fastball. Even at his sharpest he will struggle to get plane on it out of his 6-foot-1 frame.
Senzatela featured a full four-pitch mix, but only his slider looked like it had a chance to get to average. The best ones sat in the low 80s, and had sharp, late tilt, but at the top end of his 79-85 velocity band the offering would flatten out. He still throws his slow curve on occasion to sneak a strike, but it is mostly a show-me or chase pitch. Senzatela started to work his changeup in more third time through the order, but the pitch is well-below-average at present. It's a major-league-quality arm, but while you can handwave some of Senzatela's struggles due to the long layoff, the mechanical quirks and lack of a clear third pitch likely point towards a future home in the bullpen. —Jeffrey Paternostro
Notes on Trent Clark, Harrison Bader, A.J. Puk, and more.
Trent Clark, CF, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin)
The Brewers first-round selection in the 2015 draft was recently promoted to Low-A Wisconsin and has already shown advanced hitting ability. Clark has a physical frame with plenty of strength through the chest and lower half. As he continues to fill out he will profile better in a corner with the bat to match.
Notes on Cody Reed (the other one), Jason Groome, Dominic Smith, and more.
Cody Reed, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Low-A Kane County)
Following his selection in the second round of the 2014 draft, Reed put together an impressive start to his professional career. The left-hander has a big, wide frame and attacks the strike zone from a low three-quarters slot. His delivery is unique and while it’s not how you would draw it up, he repeats it well and it works for him. Reed cranks down into his back leg with a slight twist before exploding into a flexed front leg with blocking of his front hip. The delivery also has deception which helps his fastball play up.
Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie) Sisco hits from a relaxed upright stance with a slightly-open base. There’s minimal movement in his hands and load before the swing, and his stroke has a “hitterish” appearance with fluid bat-speed and a compact, downward path with a two-handed finish. He’ll show close to average raw power on his best loft contact, though his overall hitting mechanics and swing path lend themselves better to a hit over power type of output; Sisco’s .325 and .109 career batting average and ISO would only further that assertion. I liked the maturity of his overall approach and demeanor in the batter’s box—he continually worked late into counts and carried a seasoned, big-league attitude with him at the plate, never getting too high or low.