Notes on Anderson Espinoza, Andrew Benintendi, Confesor Lara, and more.
On the mound Nicholas Frey (Cardinals) has average arm speed and pitches out of a traditional three-quarters arm slot. His mechanics were ugly when I saw him, he has a deep stab, there is effort to the delivery, and he fights moderate spine tilt which can cause him to fall off hard to the first base side. Frey has a fastball that comes in at 93-94 and shows moderate run but it's a surprisingly hittable offering as batters get a long look at it all the way through the zone. Frey flashes an 11-5 curve but it lacks consistency and deception; he does a poor job of replicating the fastball arm speed. Frey's stuff should produce better results but his fringy command profile and the ease with which batters pick up his stuff have hindered him severely. – Mauricio Rubio
The Cardinals' fourth-round pick out of Illinois State, Paul DeJong has handled himself well during his pro debut. He showed average arm strength, coordinated actions, and average hands in my viewing. At the plate DeJong keeps his hands low and in towards the body, and has a moderate load pre-pitch. I saw his swing get long some on hard stuff in but DeJong shows some feel for the barrel and he has above-average bat speed. – Mauricio Rubio
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Notes on Ketel Marte, Chris Shaw, an an under-the-radar guy you probably ha
Quick Hits:Miguel Andujar (Yankees) is a better athlete than you’d expect by just looking at the body type, busting a 4.17 time down the line despite being on the right side and having a long finish (JM)…Kyle Finnegan(Athletics) generates one of the longest strides you’ll see and gets excellent extension, but his sinker didn’t sink much on Sunday and he was up in the zone en route to getting whacked around by Lancaster (WK)...Carlos Belen (Padres) is one of the youngest players in the NWL and he has some thump in his bat but he swings at everything and his lower half is out of sync with his hands. He’ll be back in the league next year (BG)…Dante Bichette, Jr. has a lot of flaws and few tools, but he does have plus raw power, a swing that’s not afraid to unleash it, and the ability to hit lefties, meaning he’s going to keep getting chances (JM)… Jose Castillo (Padres) is a 19-year-old lefty having a lot of success, but he’s 86-89 with the fastball and surviving on guile (BG)… Melvin Mercedes(Athletics) showed above-average foot speed and a lightning quick transfer filling in for injured Stockton SS Franklin Barreto (WK)... I saw Tyler White (Astros) twice and he crushed everything on the inner half. He has good plate discipline, knows what he can drive, and has an intelligent plan at the plate. If he can cover the outer half of the plate, he’ll be a DH someday (BG).
Notes on Domonic Smith, Nick Williams, Cody Reed and more.
Nick Williams has progressed nicely with patience and discernment at the dish this season. He has gained the ability to be selective and not miss his pitch when he sees it. He looks steady and calm in the box, exuding a quiet confidence that wasn’t always observed early in the season. From his setup in the box to taking pitches, it is very noticeable that he’s comfortable and tracking pitches well. From his approach and selectiveness, to his quick hands, he looks unbeatable at the dish right now. -Colin Young
Cody Reed used a fastball heavy arsenal when I saw him earlier this month. There’s plenty to like with Reed: he throws strikes, has some feel for pitching, can spin a curve, and uses his change up to keep hitters off balance. Unfortunately, he isn’t throwing in the mid-90’s like he did in high school — he was 89-91 with the fastball in my viewing — and his command is well behind his control. There are also body concerns: he’s listed at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds and, well, he doesn’t look a pound shy of that. He could develop into a backend starter, but my bet is that he winds up in the bullpen at some point where he may be able to get some velocity back and where his funky arm action will play up. -Brendan Gawlowski
Notes on Raimel Tapia, Kevin Comer, Balbino Fuenmayor and more.
Raimel Tapia isn’t ever going to develop more than average game power. He has the bat speed to make up for his lack of strength, and he’ll grow into his frame more, but his swing mechanics create serious topspin on the ball, keeping it from carrying. Everything hit hard to the pull side has serious downward action. It is tough to clear the fence consistently that way. –Jeff Moore
The difference between Futures Game power and Major League power is jarring and important to remember.
Amid the ruckus of a bustling city, the biggest and brightest baseball stars, along with their minor league counterparts, gathered to show off their incredible skills. One flight, four hotel rooms, two states, and seven Ubers later, I made my way into a decked out Great American Ballpark for All-Star Workout Day. The extra flair in and around the stadium, along with the excitement of the crowd, made it easy to forget that a team 15 ½ games out of first place resides here.
Notes on every single player from the World roster
Ketel Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners – Marte had a solid if unspectacular showing during BP, spraying line drives and showing off the quick wrists that give him a chance for a plus hit tool when all is said and done. He picked up hits from both the left and right side of the plate, but unfortunately was thrown out twice; once on a caught stealing and once on a quality throw frome Michael Conforto. The upside doesn’t match some other names here, but he should be a starting middle-infielder someday, more than likely at second base.
Nick Williams, Kyle Schwarber, Lucas Giolito and others propelled Team USA to a loud victory.
A once minor event, the Futures Game has erupted into a festival of pomp and circumstance, unrivaled on the prospect landscape. Part Mardi Gras, part NFL Combine, its national exposure has grown correspondingly with the increased focus on the prospect scene.