Griffin Conine, RF, Duke University (Cotuit Kettleers)
Following a strong sophomore season at Duke, Griffin Conine, the son of 17-year major league veteran Jeff Conine, entered the summer with high expectations on the Cape. On the back of a league-leading 11 home runs, Conine outperformed even the wildest of expectations and fully established himself as one of the top college prospects in the 2018 draft. Equipped with plus-plus raw power, he has incredibly quick wrists and the most impressive bat speed on the entire Cape. Despite a rather violent swing, Conine showcases remarkable balance and plus barrel control to go along with a smooth and natural hand path. The swing allows him to successfully access his power in-game and consistently produce exceptionally hard contact off the bat despite an unimposing 6-foot-1 frame. Conine has shown a propensity to work the count and a willingness to draw walks and wait for his pitch. While his strikeout rate is a bit higher than you’d expect at this level, the strikeouts are a byproduct of a hitter with plus game power that tends to work deep counts. Otherwise, Conine is a fringy runner with solid reads and an average arm in right field. While he won’t cost you games defensively in left or right field, the bat is the what you’re buying. And as a polished college bat with a future above-average hit tool, plus-plus bat speed, and plus game power, there is more than enough bat to buy to make him a legitimate top half of the first-round talent in 2018.
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Notes on Yankees, Cubs, Blue Jays, Tigers, Rays, Mariners and Dodgers prospects.
Greg Goldstein Donny Sands, C, New York Yankees (Low-A Charleston)
Rounder build, below-average athlete, lacks projection; fringe-average bat speed, off balance during swing, long swing path, flashed some looseness vs. lesser stuff, pull-side hitter, lunged at better offspeed, lacks projection to change profile much; projects fringe-average hit utility; above-average raw, showed some pull-side power on pitch in the middle of the zone, swings with mild leverage, high leg kick for power, needs effort to produce pop, limits ability to square with consistency; projects to below-average game; timed 4.47, 4.50; average arm strength, stiff in the upper body, sails ball on throws to 2B, lack of accuracy limits natural arm ability; 2.05 pop up, fringe mover behind the plate, failed to keep balls in front, blocking doesn’t look easy for him, has enough size to make up some for lack of side-to-side skills, still projects below-average behind the plate right now, projected improvement to fringe with maturity; potential backup catcher, likely up and down Triple-A backstop.
Zack Short, SS, Chicago Cubs (High-A Myrtle Beach)
Small build, solid athlete; mild load, little noise; below-average bat speed, contact ability negatively affected by high effort, lots of grounders, lunged at offspeed, below-average bat control; below-average raw, struggles getting loft, doesn’t lift balls in the middle of the zone, flashed leverage and power on pull-side HR, not confident that he does much vs. higher-level stuff; 30 game power; timed 4.18; average arm strength, loose arm, normal mechanics, quick release, plays at SS; smooth fielder, makes plays to both sides and on the move, quick transfer, clean defensive actions, flashed glove skills on short hops, controls the infield; potential reserve SS; likely org infielder.
A look at ten players who stood out from the East Coast Pro showcase.
Javier Barragan Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS, Cumming, GA Arguably the best arm at East Coast Pro, Hankins had a performance that you simply do not forget. The kind of performance that is seared into memory for life, or as one scout put, the kind of a performance of a “Top-10 pick shit.” He was so overpowering, his three innings were quick, striking out his first six batters with a mix of a 70 fastball (97-94), a breaking ball with above-average movement at 78-79, and a promising changeup at 86-88, all from a three-quarters slot. Hankins showed command, a feel for pitching and athleticism in a six-foot-six, 210 frame.
In his first batch of notes from the Cape Cod League, Skyler Kanfer discusses two future relievers and a potential top option for the 2019 draft. -Craig Goldstein
Michael Toglia, RF, UCLA (Cotuit Kettleers) Toglia, a 6-foot-5 switch-hitter from UCLA, has dealt with a left foot injury for nearly the entirety of his summer on the Cape, but that didn’t stop him from showing why he has the makings of an elite-level talent for the 2019 draft. With a still developing body, the 18-year-old Toglia already boasts above-average to plus raw and game power from both sides of the plate to go along with a plus eye, plus bat speed, and an advanced approach at the plate. From the left side, Toglia uses his lower body to generate significant power and bat control despite a minor hitch in his swing. From his natural right-handed side, the incorporation of his lower body is presently a work in progress but the issues he has in that regard should be more than correctable over the next two years. He has the potential to grow into another grade of raw power from both sides in the coming years, given that he can make the necessary mechanical and physical improvements.
The Eastern League East All-Stars defeated the Eastern League West All-Stars 7-1 on Wednesday night in Manchester, New Hampshire. The West was up 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth before pitchers Jairo Labourt and Lucas Long combined to give up 7 runs. Here is a rundown of the game’s notable performers:
Notes on Blake Perkins, Isaac Paredes, Malquin Canelo and more.
JH Schroeder Eli White, SS, Oakland Athletics (High-A Stockton)
R/R SS. Skinny build with narrow hips. Slight crouch, high hands, slight drop during load, flat bat. Small leg kick. Got wrapped a bit, looks really slow to ball, late on a 3-1 FB, and late on a couple low FBs. Low finish. Decent spin recognition. Pretty good zone feel, rarely expanded. Surprisingly amount of hard contact. Defensively, pretty quick transfer, but looked a little unsure. Played on ball back into a hit, and threw one away. Showed some really nice hands on a bad hop where the ball stayed down. Run times, 3.96 (jailbreak), 4.1, and 4.3 (pulling up).
Boomer Biegalski, RHP, Oakland Athletics (High-A Stockton)
RHP. FB 87-91, limited arm-side tail, looked all 4S. Command was not precise, generally down, but not in/out. Generated good tilt down in zone. CH. 77-79. More fade than FB, good arm-action, flashed plus drop. Trusted R v. R, locked up several hitters. Left up on occasion. CT/SL, 80-83. Short-sharp, showed late, commanded glove-side, hung only a couple. CB, 77. Rolls, useful to steal strike. Delivery, 1B-side, over-the-top release. Lanky guy, all knees and elbows, quick delivery, short arm action, doesn't get extended out back, action looks tough on elbow/shoulder. Seemed to get more over top on CH, really trying to turn it over. FB probably would play a lot better up in the zone, but doesn't have repertoire of secondary pitches to go with it (good CH, bad CB).
Notes on standouts from the Carolina League All-Star Game
Minor league all-star games are a great way to get quick looks at lots of dudes (and even a few Dudes), albeit those looks are quite limited. I enjoy all-star games as a way to get an initial look at someone I’ve been dreaming to see or to round out/update reports that are already in progress. No pitcher threw more than one inning in the game, and offense was in scant supply, the lone scoring coming in the first on a two-run double by MVP Michael Chavis.