Notes on Franklin Barreto, Kyle Tucker, Dominic Smith, Dillon Tate, Monte Harrison, Sandy Baez, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Monte Harrison, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A, Wisconsin): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
If it wasn’t for injuries, Harrison would be in a much higher level. But now that he is healthy, Harrison is showing off what made him so special. Plus runner, plus (to better) raw power, an arguably 80 arm, and a plus defender. He just needs more time at the plate and to stay healthy for it all to come together.
Notes on Mickey Moniak, A.J. Puk, Zach Granite, Kyle Funkhouser, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Grayson Greiner, C, Detroit Tigers (Double-A, Erie): 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Drafted in the 3rd round in 2014 from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. Grayson is a unicorn as he is a 6’6” catcher who can stick behind the plate. A broken hamate bone in 2015 set his development back as he is still looking to regain some power that he has in his body.
Notes on Zack Collins, Luis Castillo, Jahmai Jones, Jose Miguel Fernandez, Jorge Alfaro, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Zack Collins, C, Chicago White Sox (High-A, Winston-Salem): 2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K
Drafted in the first round in 2016 from the University of Miami (FL). Collins has hit a roadblock in High-A, working deep counts, but striking out a lot, making a detriment of his patience at times. He still has an OBP of over .380, and is slugging over .440. Reports on his catching seem mixed as he can struggle with receiving and lacks overall athleticism behind the plate.
As the draft rolls on, more and more of the selections will be someone that scouts just had a gut feeling on.
While scouts can’t always explain the reasoning behind their “gut-feel” guys, something stood out about them. Athleticism, size, power, makeup, rawness. Some will admit that they don’t even get long looks at some of these players. The signing scout behindTrevor Rosenthal only saw him throw one inning.
“The Cardinals gave each scout three “gut feel” stickers to use, and those would help guide late-round decisions. Aaron Looper pressed one of his onto Rosenthal’s magnet and spoke passionately about what he saw in that one inning. Rosenthal featured a fastball that sizzled in the 90s, and he also displayed indicators the Cardinals valued: athletic ability, agility from his past as a shortstop, obvious arm strength and a low-mileage arm.”
With that said, here are my gut-feel guys for the 2017 draft.
Evan Marquardt, RHP, R-So., Ball State University (Muncie, IN)
Marquardt, who I profiled here in March, has a lot going for him, but he has a lot going against him as well. Let’s start with the positives. His fastball could be a plus offering, he shows quality feel for a breaking ball with hard action and depth, and he has good size (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) with good athleticism for his size. There are a fair amount of negatives though. He doesn’t have a collegiate track record (threw 59 IP this year, 13 IP the year prior), doesn’t throw a lot of strikes, and, while he started strong in my viewing, he wore down as the season progressed and finished with 40 walks. But hitters didn’t hit him that hard, allowing only 11 XBH in an offensive league (and home park). There are warts, but there are good building blocks to work with.
Trent Autry, RHP, R-Fr. Florence-Darlington Tech (Florence, SC) (JUCO)
I first saw Autry, not surprisingly, while going to see someone else. I drove to Palatka, FL to see Pearson McMahan (profiled here) and noticed they were playing Florence-Darlington Tech. I knew one of their coaches from a prior event and called him, as well as their head coach to discuss their squad. The first player he mentioned to me was Autry, a player who transferred over from another JUCO, who would take the bump in their first game. Suffice to say, Autry has been put on notice. He finished the year with 115 strikeouts in 75 innings (10th in the nation) and led Florence to the JUCO World Series. While not an ideal size (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) his fastball could be an above-average offering which features cut life, and a hard SL in the 84-85 range. It was a trip well worth taking, and while he could go back for another season at JUCO, he could be a flier on Day 3.
Raudy Martinez, OF, So., Polk State College (Lakeland, FL) (JUCO)
While somewhat of a reach, the main thing I am banking on is size, athleticism, and raw power. The concern with Martinez is that there is a lot of swing and miss, in what is a poor pitching league. But I am reminded of a player the Reds have in their organization, Narciso Crook. A 21st rounder in 2013 out of JUCO, he had the tools, but lacked feel for the game and had a lot of swing and miss. While it hasn’t panned out for Crook yet (he is still only 21, and shows all those tools), Raudy is a similar play. He has plus raw power, athleticism, size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), and is an above-average runner. While he might not be able to play CF on a daily basis in pro ball, he can handle either OF corner. I have him as a pure lottery ticket, one that, if he hits, he looks like an everyday regular.
Notes on Michael Chavis, Corbin Burnes, Colton Welker, Hudson Potts, Cal Quantrill, and more.
Hitter of the Day:
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 3-3, 3 R, 3 H, HR, RBI
Drafted in the 1st round, in the 2014 MLB Draft from Sprayberry HS in Marietta GA, Chavis big raw power has showcased itself into more game power than ever before. He has already surpassed his prior career high (16) and while the K’s are high, if he is slugging .694, I think we can overlook it.
Some potential senior signs that could go on Day 2 of the draft.
Every draft is full of them, last year, the significance of quality seniors was higher than ever as draft bonuses soared, giving teams more money to work with for higher upside players. While this left the seniors with little leverage, their importance has dominated the later stages of Day 2 in the draft.
“(They) said they’d be able to give me a $100,000 bonus,” Ratledge said, “but I’d have to tell teams not to draft me the rest of the day.” So Ratledge called to ask the club offering $20,000—let’s call it Team B—not to select him.
Team B wasn’t happy; it had to find a new senior to save money, but the area scout had a plan in place and found one. Ratledge, though, had to wait a nervous night until the next day. The 11th round came and went, and the third team didn’t draft him. The same thing happened in the 12th; still no pick, and no $100,000 bonus. Ratledge says his nerves were shot. He was ready to just get it over with.
“I 100 percent believed they were going to take me, but they kept passing and passing,” he said. “I was expecting it wouldn’t be easy, and I know it’s a business, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so cutthroat.”
Frankie Mejia, Brent Honeywell, Dakota Hudson and more on today's MLU.
Hitter of the Day:
Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians (Double-A, Akron): 4-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB (DH)
As we have talked about many, many times here, it is hard evaluating catchers. Success can exist in two spectrums. You could be the all-star caliber defender and just hope to hit enough (ex. Reese McGuire), or you could be the all-star caliber hitter and just hope to be a capable enough defender (ex. Jorge Alfaro). Mejia has a chance to be both, which is frightening.