Notes on Dodgers, Mariners, Padres, and Pirates prospects
Wilson Karaman Reggie McClain, RHP, Seattle Mariners (High-A Modesto)
Mature frame, limited projection remaining; slow, full wind, stays tall through high leg kick, rapid acceleration through drop-and-drive; deep arm swing, loose, average arm speed to high-three-quarters slot; lands closed, mild inversion, cross-fire delivery, struggles to get over front side and finish glove-side, timing to slot got increasingly inconsistent with fatigue; heavy FB 89-92, sink with arm-side run, generates some plane down low, below-average command, ball wanders into hitting zone too frequently; low-80s CH with good tumble and late action, quality pitch with feel, tunnels well; slurvy breaker 76-82, inconsistent shape and bite, struggled to snap it consistently, flashes occasional average utility, projects to play fringy; controls the ball well despite fine command deficit, stays around the zone, likely upper-minors org depth, could see some big-league innings if the SL tightens up more than projected
JH Schroeder Drew Jackson, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
R/R SS, premium athlete. 4.1 to 1B. Very aware guy, made a couple very heads up decisions in the field. Big for SS w/plus speed. Plus-plus arm, quick release and carry from deep in hole w/ limited tail. Plus instincts and hands. Made pre-pitch positional adjustments. Don't love defensive starting position, seems a little high. Very fast transfer turning DP. High, loose hands at the plate, slightly open stance. Uses whole field, lets FB get deep. Very good eye on inner-half. Stayed on BBs well. Doesn't drive ball the other way, probably only a pull power type guy.
J.H. Schroeder Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Lean, but strong frame. Listed at 6-foot-2, looks shorter. Good athleticism and body control. Three-quarters to high-three-quarters arm slot. Explosive arm action, with good deception, smooth arm circle, particularly out back. Can work too fast at times, get out of sync. 1.65 to plate w/speed. FB 96-100, worked mostly 97-98. 4S & 2S. Late run away to LHBs. CB 79-84, 11-6, preferred secondary. Backdoored to LHB. SL 87-89, 11-5, could get cutterish. Command was spotty, especially in leverage situations. Seemed to set up middle/middle. More comfortable commanding away to LHBs, had hard time getting FB glove-side. FB heavy repertoire. Attacks hitters, trusts stuff.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Athletic but only moderate body control. Still very skinny, narrow hips, showed bad body language at times, didn't look competitive. Three-quarters release. Maybe best arm action in minors, really easy, loose arm. Ball pops, but hitters see it pretty well. Delivery: Loads with hands fairly high, has tendency to get wrapped in back, falls off 1b-side. Slight wrist-wrap on breaking ball. 1.6 to plate. Struggled a bit to get glove-side. FB, 93-99, lost velocity through start, good ride. Began cutting FB (accidentally) in second inning. CB 84-87, kept down, when thrown well closer to 12-6, rolled. SL 86-88, sharper than CB, more commitment, 11-4. CH, 90, little movement. Spotty command at this point, sprays around zone.
Notes on Yusniel Diaz, Jose Trevino, Keibert Ruiz, and more.
Wilson Karaman Yusniel Diaz, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Diaz's hitting mechanics are out of whack right now, team's tried to quiet down previous noise and aggressiveness in his pre-swing and launch, might've gone too far, swing lacks early rhythm at present, he's lost a leg kick he'd utilized at beginning of season, timing launching the barrel is off, struggling to get to high pitches like he used to; greatest strength as a hitter is his hands, they currently lack same explosiveness and whip off the barrel launch that he's shown in the past, not driving anything with any authority; signs of life in last couple looks, too good a hitter to not find it eventually.
Eli White, SS, Oakland Athletics (High-A Stockton)
Lean and athletic frame, room to grow into some additional strength; quick stroke, on plane and into zone quickly, flat path, will leverage it to pull side in hitting counts, covers inner-third well for longer-armed frame, cleaned out up-and-in velo with carry to pull side; runs deep counts, passive early, leaves drivable pitches on the table, shows fairly advanced command of the zone, below-average hit profile can play towards fringe-average utility with on-base skill, empty average hitter with very occasional pop; 70 runner, 4.11 with second gear, 3.9 on a reach/jailbreak, weak crossover, raw technique on leads and releases, speed plays down on bases at present; solid fielding actions, strong arm from short, should have athleticism to develop utility infield defensive profile.
Rafael Devers put an assault on Dunkin Donuts Park last week.
Jeffrey Paternostro P.J. Conlon, LHP, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets)
Small lefty, leans back, stab down, uphill delivery with deception, H3/4 slot. Effort with head whack, but doesn’t impact command. 1.2 out of stretch. Fastball 85-88, s85-86, higher reports last year, and the weather was New England brisk, above-average command, spots to both sides, some run 4/4. CH 76-78 present plus, will throw to either side in any count, good sink, bat misser. 6/6. Showed two different breaking balls, a slider/cutter thing, which is a short breaker, but he can spot it and keeps it down in the zone. 3/4 Lollipop curve around 70. Showed one tighter one with 12-6 action, but doesn’t project much past show me. Any velo bump might make him a middle reliever with enough change to cross over, but tough to see getting much more out of these mechanics. Likely role 3, emergency starter/swing.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox)
Open stance, high hands, some noise, premium bat speed, can cover plus velo easily. Gets pull-happy, but will hit the ball where it’s pitched, doesn’t get cheated at all, hard contact to all fields. Can get in on him left-on-left, but didn’t try to do too much against southpaws. Approach is a work-in-progress generally. Thick lower half, but I think he can stick at third if the body cooperates, good instincts on the dirt, arm is strong and accurate, can make plays on the run. Only hiccups came with extra time to make transfer/throw, more reps should smooth that out. 4.2 to first when he sniffed an infield hit, bit of a jailbreak, but might be a legit 5 runner underway. Potential 6/7 offensive tools at third base. Monster prospect, OFP 7/Likely 6. Oh yeah, also put baseballs here:
Tanner Houck leads the latest batch of draft notes.
Tanner Houck, RHP, University of Missouri
Seen in a 8 IP start on 4/6. Large frame; lean, proportioned body; athletic; could add weight to frame and maintain flexibility and overall athleticism. Pitches from a full wind-up; long arm action; plus arm speed; low-three-quarters slot; has crossfire in delivery with some effort, but repeats delivery well. Fastball 91-93 (t94); plus run/sink; very heavy pitch; had a lot of GBs this outing; liked going under hands of RHH; future average command and control. Slider 78-82; early break with quality depth and action; shape could get slurvy at times; located well to RHH; struggled to backdoor to LHH but had right idea; future plus offering. CH 84-86; can show arm speed on it with late fade/sink; needs to pick better counts to throw it; threw 3-1 to LHH who crushed over scoreboard; future average offering. Threw a couple CT at 88; not sure if intended; not enough to get a grade on. 1.20-1.33. Efficient outing; 78 pitches through 6; finished with 100 through 8. Pitched at higher velocity spring and summer 2016; still working well with diminished velocity though. See as a middle of the rotation starter.
Notes on Cole Tucker, Roman Quinn, and a couple interesting Dodgers arms.
Josh Turner Cole Tucker, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton)
Relaxed, squared stance; quiet pre-pitch motions from both sides of the plate; appropriate angle for explosion to zone; does a great job of getting his work done early to be on time; quick and short into zone; high contact rate as a RHH; aggressive approach as a LHH with some holes in the swing; looks middle-in regularly; gap to gap approach; weak contact on the outside half because his hips fly out; smart hitter with a plan of attack each time; shows above-average plate discipline; capable of making adjustments on the fly. On the base paths, he is a quick-twitch baserunner with big, aggressive leads, reads pitchers well; has the ability to steal bags at an above-average rate for years to come. Defensively, his glove is his best tool with the most upside; advanced ability to read hops early; matured ability to create a hop for himself; above average first step quickness with a quick release as well; gets around the ball well and creates great angles for himself; makes the routine play; above-average arm strength from all spots (deep, glove side, on the run). Future MLB regular with potential for more.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates (High-A Bradenton)
The upside of Hayes is his athleticism and versatility; toned frame that will fill out and add 7-10 pounds in 3-4 years. Projects to be a versatile utility infielder; extremely quiet approach and presence; load causes a slight delay in his timing; hands cast out on swing; high contact rate as a RHH; power will develop; overly aggressive approach at times; has the ability to use all fields; oppo power will be a question mark in his game. Defensively, average range at 3B; below-average understanding of ground ball angles; moves well to his left, struggles on backhands; arm strength is average with some carry. Second-division regular/utility profile.