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Evaluating in the public realm can often turn into a big-game hunting event, with a prominent portion of the coverage directed towards the eventual major-league talent. This happens because the big names draw the largest crowd, so it's not an uncommon strategy to target those players that will garner the most buzz. Player evaluation is not so cut-and-dry, however. Over the course of the season, scouts and evaluators watch hundreds of players and are grading more than just the next mid-rotation starter or potential first-division shortstop. Most of the players we lay eyes on are simply minor league filler. This article is meant to highlight some of the talent in the extreme lower levels, while also providing brief notes on players of all stripes.

RHP Miguel Hernandez- Signed for $65,000 as part of the 2014 IFA class, Hernandez is an intriguing player down here. He's got a young, wiry frame, with plenty of remaining projection. Featuring a drop and drive delivery, Hernandez tends to flies open and lacks balance in his delivery, which can lower his slot. He will need to add strength to his frame to help prevent this down the road. With a quick arm swing and above-average arm speed, his heater was between 92-94 and touched 95 with some life in the lower half. Given the inconsistencies with his arm slot, it is tough for him to spot the pitch, but he was able to locate in general regions if not precise ones. His slider came at two different speeds, one with more depth and tilt at 84-87, and an almost cutter-like pitch at 88-90 that lacked depth. The pitch is effective now and with some further refinement could get to be an average or better pitch. He has a changeup, but it was firm at 85-86 and he did not feel comfortable with the arm speed. An extremely projectable young arm, Hernandez has a long road ahead of him, but he already has a lot of building blocks in place. I see a potential reliever here with potential to pitch high-leverage innings.

RHP Juan Escorcia- A 2014 IFA sign out of Colombia, Escorcia certainly has some warts but there is potential if you look past them. With a wiry body, especially in the lower half, Escorcia can still fill into his frame and add more velocity and durability down the road. Pitching from a full windup, he has a slight crossfire, as he has trouble clearing his front side which can hinder his ability to consistently throw strikes. He has a compact arm action with plus arm speed, and delivers pitches from a standard ¾ slot. When he is able to clear it, his fastball is 92-93, T94 with mild sinking action. His go to off-speed is a 79-81 curveball which features 11/5 shape with vertical action and bite. When located it is a highly effective pitch, but too often it would start too low and bounce to the plate. His changeup is way behind right now as he lacks arm speed on the 81-82 offering and it lacked movement. There is a lot of physical projection left with Escorcia, but it is all a matter of strike-throwing from here on out. If it all comes together he has the chance to be an effective reliever.

RHP Wladimir Pinto– A 2014 IFA sign out of Venezuela, Pinto has certainly impressed thus far and has been one of the more impressive arms so far for me. He still has some projection remaining, especially in his upper half where he is quite lean. Pitching from the stretch with a simple pump-and-go delivery, Pinto has a quick arm and a compact arm action with a standard three-quarters slot. His heater comes in 95-97 and touches 98, although according to sources he has touched 100 at times. The pitch has impressive life with tough tailing action, and while he has occasional trouble controlling the movement he's been able to get away with it so far. His curveball comes in from 78-80, and while not a sharp offering, it does have some depth with its 11/5 shape and is a good change of pace pitch. Pinto is definitely a reliever all the way, but he has potential as a late-inning reliever with the ability to pitch high-leverage innings down the road.

[ed. note: the table below is sortable, so if you're looking for a specific team grouped together, click on the "Team" tab and scroll down]

Team Name Position B/T Height Weight Age How Acquired Signing Bonus Notes
PHI Caleb Eldridge 1B L/L 6'3" 235 21 Draft (20th, 2016) $90,000 Strong, muscular frame and body, lacks remaining physical projection. Fair raw power, can take it out from RF-CF, more strength than bat speed. Below-average bat speed, lacks feel for the zone, fair amount of present swing-and-miss, lacks pitch recognition. Fair athlete, works fair around the bag. Did not see arm tested in looks. Lower level 1B depth.
PHI Kyle Young LHP L/L 6'10" 205 18 Draft (22nd, 2016) $225,000 Extra-large frame and body, listed at 6'10" 205. Extremely long levers, pitches from a ½ windup, soft stab arm action, ¾ slot, good extension on pitches. Fastball 89-90, looks to be getting on side of ball and would lose the ball arm-side. Curveball 75, soft break, lacks sharpness, more of a show-me offering. Intriguing projectable arm, name to keep an eye on down the road.
PHI Nick Fanti LHP L/L 6'2" 185 19 Draft (31st, 2015) $100,000 Lean, slender body, has some physical projection remaining. Pitches from a ½ windup, easy delivery, has some deception because of ease in delivery, twisting stab arm action, 3/4 slot. Fastball 87-89 T90, lacks life, lowered to 86-87 as game progressed. Curveball 78-79, not a sharp pitch, 2/8 shape, rolls into zone, fine for this level but needs better action. Changeup 83-84, deceptive arm speed, lacks life. Lower round sign, needs to add weight to overall frame, lower level SP depth.
NYY Brian Keller RHP R/R 6'3" 170 22 Draft (39th, 2016) Wiry frame, some physical projection remaining, drop and drive delivery, ¾ slot. Fastball 89-92 T93, natural cut action, throws strikes. Changeup 85-87, firm but has arm speed, lacks movement. Slider 80-85, some darting action, inconsistent. Interesting lower-round find, potential upper-level relief arm.
NYY Kelvin Magallanes RHP R/R 6'1" 201 22 International Free Agent Lacks remaining physical projection. Quick arm with a compact arm action, H 3/4 slot. Fastball 93-94 T97, natural cut, lacked control, looked to have trouble controlling natural movement of pitch. Slider 89-90, short action, hard spin, some with more depth and bite. Changeup 87-89, firm offering, struggled with feel. Good arm strength but lack of strike-throwing ability is a concern, better fit for the bullpen. Interesting relief arm.
NYY Jordan Ovalles RHP R/R 6'1" 193 22 International Free Agent Lacks remaining physical projection. Long arm action, ¾ slot, slight crossfire. Fastball 91-93 T94, lacks life. Curveball 80-81, 11/5 shape with some downer action. Changeup 83, late tumble. Interesting lower level depth.
DET Wladimir Pinto RHP R/R 5'11" 170 18 International Free Agent Some physical projection remaining. Pitches from the stretch-only, easy pump and go delivery, quick arm with a compact arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 95-97 T98, has touched 100 in other games, impressive life, good tailing action. Curveball 78-80, not a sharp offering but has some depth, 11/5 shape, good change of pace offering. Definitely a bullpen arm given size and arsenal, intriguing arm with late-inning potential.
NYY Kyle Halbohn RHP R/R 6'8" 230 23 Undrafted Free Agent Lacks remaining projection. Pitches from a full windup, hand pump, drop and drive delivery with a yank towards 3B, deep stabbing arm action, ¾ slot, high-effort delivery. Fastball 91-92 T93, lacks movement, ok control. Slider 81-82, ok action with some depth, lacked tilt. Threw one Changeup at 81, slowed down body, and doesn't seem comfortable with offering. Lower-level relief depth.
PHI Josh Stephen OF L/L 6'0" 185 18 Draft (11th, 2016) $600,000 Some physical projection remaining. Hits from an even stance, above-average bat speed, short swing to the ball, line-drive stroke, lacks loft, lacks strength right now but should improve. 55 runner. Below-average arm, might have to move to LF but should stay in CF for time being. Intriguing player, really like the swing and has a good idea of hitting, long-term outlook is a potential 4th OF.
DET Daniel Woodrow OF L/R 5'10" 155 21 Draft (12th, 2016) $150,000 Narrow frame, little physical projection remaining. 80 runner, 3.93 H-1B, covers the OF well with his speed. Contact hitting approach, makes contact at the plate, lacks strength to drive balls in the gap consistently. 20 over-the-fence power, will get fair share of XBH based on speed.
NYY Jordan Scott OF S/R 6'0" 210 19 Draft (14th, 2016) $100,000 Athletic frame, long levers, muscular, good overall strength. Doesn't seem to recognize pitches well. Struggles with reads off the bat, good runner that can make up for mistakes.
ATL Griffin Benson 1B S/R 6'5" 210 18 Draft (23rd, 2016) $100,000 Muscular body, not a lot of projection remaining. Saw swing from the left side, hits from an open stance with a leg lift to even, uphill stroke, not sure about bat speed, strong kid who can muscle some balls. Average arm, not a runner. 1B-only prospect, some strength, more likely an upper-level depth player.
DET Michael Vinson RHP R/R 6'4" 205 22 Draft (24th, 2015) Long side-to-side arm action with a hitch at elbow cock, 3/4 slot. Fastball 88-89 T90, some late two-seam action, zero control of the pitch. Slider 82-84, mostly spinners, some had a little tilt and depth but was wildly inconsistent. No changeup thrown. Frustrating year for pitcher, was released shortly after this viewing.
NYY Edel Luaces OF R/R 6'5" 205 22 Draft (25th, 2016) 25th-rounder in 2016. Athletic, tall frame and lean body; projectable. Long levers, with low hands, some bat speed but a long swing, wiry strength.
PHI Tyler Frohwirth RHP R/R 6'1" 165 22 Draft (31st, 2016) Pitches from the stretch only, slinger arm action, below-average arm speed, submarine slot. Fastball 75-76, some late tumble. Slider 67-70, not a sharp pitch, sweeper break, sweeps to the plate. No changeup thrown. Different look guy, lower-level relief depth.
NYY Brandon Wagner INF L/R 6'0" 210 20 Draft (6th, 2015) $256,000 Has played all around the field, 1B, 2B, OF, 3B. Muscular strong body, somewhat squat. Uphill stroke with some bat speed and raw. Lacks range for infield positions, not fleet of foot. Lower-level power bat.
NYY Algeni Mateo C R/R 5'9" 170 20 International Free Agent Smaller frame and body, needs to add physicality to frame, fairly young with some room for overall growth. 1.97-2.04 pop, needs to work on transfer; slow hands, more arm strength than technique at this point.
PIT Melvin Jimenez INF S/R 5'10" 170 19 International Free Agent Stocky build, looks larger than listed weight of 170. Below-average bat speed, lacks power, good initial burst but loses speed when underway, 4.41 from the right side. Lacks long-term position, fringy arm strength for 2B. Lower-level infield depth.
PIT Victor Ngoepe INF R/R 5'8" 150 18 International Free Agent Undersized frame with lean body, some physical projection remaining. Hits from a slightly open stance, handsy swing; 70 runner, 4.02 from the left side. Raw actions in the field, plays very quick and rushes throws, doesn't have natural instincts, might be more of a fit in the OF than INF long-term. Interesting player.
ATL Luis Barrios LHP L/L 6'4" 210 19 International Free Agent $600,000 Has some physical projection remaining given size and leanness. Slight crossfire, lacks balance in delivery, clean arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-92, tended to miss down with pitch. Changeup 81-83, some feel for offering with arm speed, lacked overall movement, in development. One curveball at 76. Still in appropriate league given age, might gain more velocity down the road. Intriguing arm to keep an eye on.
ATL Alberto Rodriguez LHP L/L 6'5" 205 20 International Free Agent Pitched from the stretch-only, slightly closed off, long side-to-side arm action, ¾ slot, some crossfire. Fastball 89-90, lacked control of pitch in outing, missed arm-side. Mixed in a couple curveball's at 74-75, lacked action or shape, more slurvy. Rough outing, didn't record an out and had no control. Obviously intriguing from a size and LHP standpoint, would like to see more.
NYY Havid Burgos LHP L/L 6'0" 186 21 International Free Agent Older for level, will be 22 soon. L ¾ slot, slinger arm action. Fastball 88-90, some run life. Slider 80-81, sweeper shape and action, not sharp, lower-level LH depth.
DET Felix Viloria LHP L/L 6'1 165 19 International Free Agent Lean frame, still young and has some physical projection remaining. Clean, smooth, whip-like arm action, L 3/4 slot, lacks extension on pitches, slings it. Fastball 88-90 T91, some 2S life, ok control. Changeup 85-86, firm, doesn't seem comfortable with offering right now. Slider 78, sweeper break, lacked bite. Interesting lefty relief depth player.
DET Ignacio Valdez OF R/R 6'3" 195 21 International Free Agent $280,000 Looks much larger than listed height/weight, built like a linebacker. Hits from an even stance, longer swing with below-average bat speed, struggles identifying pitches and making contact. Potential plus raw power, has a lot of strength and can hit a ball hard when he connects. Below-average runner, lacks arm strength for CF/RF. Power and size are intriguing but needs to make some adjustments with swing to become more consistent at driving the ball.
PHI Jhailyn Ortiz OF R/R 6'3" 215 17 International Free Agent $4,000,000 Already large; strong muscular body, still young at 17 and has room for physical growth. Current plus-plus raw power, takes balls out from LF-RCF with considerable loft, could improve given age and future added strength. Long levers, slightly longer swing, hands not quick but is able to cover most areas of the plate, exposed on outer half and decent breaking balls, should improve with more repetitions and improved plate discipline. Defensively he doesn't take the best routes on hit balls but is a better runner than size would indicate and is able to close on balls. Moderate arm strength, 40 runner. Raw power is the calling card but has a good feel to hit, body needs to be monitored or otherwise a move to 1B is in the future.
ATL Cristian Pache OF R/R 6'2" 185 17 International Free Agent $1,400,000 Athletic body, fair projection remaining given age, physique, and experience. Good bat speed with some power, loads up early with a hitchy swing, makes it work and generates hard contact. Plus runner. Average arm strength, still learning routes and reads, speed helps to cover up mistakes. Intriguing prospect, potential 4th OF.
NYY Erick Mendez OF R/R 6'0" 185 20 International Free Agent $250,000 Looks much larger than listed height/weight. Longer swing with below average bat speed, some ability for contact, below average runner, 4.47 clock.
NYY Bringnel Mendez RHP R/R 6'0" 239 22 International Free Agent Bad body, needs to be monitored. Older for level, short, clean arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 88-89 T90. Slider 80-81, overhand shape but lacks action. Lower-level relief depth.
DET Yei Almonte RHP R/R 6'2" 210 20 International Free Agent Large body with a large frame, lacks remaining physical projection. Pitches from a Full windup, fair arm speed, compact arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 87-88, lacked movement. Curveball 68-70, loopy pitch, not effective. Lower level pitching depth.
NYY Moises Cedeno RHP R/R 6'0" 202 20 International Free Agent $354,000 Medium body with a large frame, lacks physical projection, old for level at 22. Pitches from the stretch only, slinger arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-91 T92, life up in zone. Slider 81-85, vertical action with some depth. Missed most of 2015 following positive test for banned substance. Lower level relief depth.
NYY Raynel Espinal RHP R/R 6'3" 199 22 International Free Agent High-waisted, has some physical projection remaining given age and body. Pitches from a full windup, long two-piece arm action with fair arm speed, L ¾ slot. Fastball 88-91 T92, mild run. Slider 82-84, lacks depth and action. Changeup 84-87, firm offering, mild run. Lower level SP depth.
NYY Gilmael Troya RHP R/R 6'0" 196 19 International Free Agent $10,000 Pitches from a ½ windup, tight, short arm action, H ¾ slot. Fastball 88-91 T92, lacks life, does a good job throwing strikes. Changeup 79-82, lacks action, tended to baby pitch. Curveball 73-75, soft pitch that lacks sharpness. Interesting SP depth.
ATL Luis Perez RHP R/R 6'1" 195 19 International Free Agent Small wrist wrap, slightly deep but compact arm action, fair arm speed, ¾ slot. Fastball 92-93, firm. Mostly fastballs in this outing, did throw one Changeup at 81, did not feel comfortable with pitch. Some arm strength, would like another look if possible.
DET Bairon De La Rosa RHP R/R 6'0" 195 20 International Free Agent Looks larger than 6'0, closer to 6'2, some physical projection remaining. Pitches from a full windup, more a thrower than pitcher, arm strength guy, slinger arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-93, some two-seam action but inconsistent. Changeup 83, lacked feel for offering.
NYY Allen Valerio RHP R/R 6'1" 193 22 International Free Agent Pitcher convert, first year pitching, lacks physical projection, could improve given rawness of arm, old for level. Pitches from the stretch only, compact arm action with some length, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-92. Changeup 81-82, moderate feel for offering, lacks arm speed, moderate fade. Curveball 77-78, inconsistent, some spinners.
PHI Geury Ortiz RHP R/R 6'2" 190 21 International Free Agent Pitches from a full windup, drop and drive delivery, compact arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 89-91, some late two-seam action but not a ton of movement. Curveball 74-77, 11/5, some downer action but inconsistent. Changeup 84-86, lacking feel for pitch. Lower-level relief depth.
PIT Julian Villamar RHP R/R 6'5" 190 22 International Free Agent Old for level, some physical projection remaining. Pitches from a full windup, slinger, ¾ slot. Fastball 88-90, mild running action, lacked control. Curveball 75-76, soft, lacked sharp action, needs better arm speed on pitch. Lower-level relief depth.
NYY Jairo Garcia RHP R/R 5'11" 182 21 International Free Agent Lean body, some room for projection, tight, messy arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 88-90 T92. Curveball 78-79, slurvy action with moderate depth, preferred out-pitch. Changeup 85-86, firm, lacked movement.
PIT Vince Deyzel RHP R/R 6'2" 180 18 International Free Agent Compact, stiff arm action with a high elbow, below-average arm speed, ¾ slot. Fastball 85-87 T88, lacked movement. Threw one slider at 82. Young kid, needs to add physicality to frame, lower-level relief depth.
ATL Odalvi Javier RHP R/R 6'0" 180 19 International Free Agent Some projection remaining given age and experience in the game. Pitches from a full windup, tight arm action with a full arm circle, average arm speed, H ¾ slot, release point near ear, adds to deception. Fastball 89-91 T92, some sinking action but inconsistent, lacked command with solid control. Curveball 75-76 T78, has depth but not sharp, lacks tight shape and action, effective at this level given slot and velo difference. No changeup thrown.
PHI Luis Gonzalez RHP R/R 6'3" 179 22 International Free Agent Physical projection remaining given body and relative lack of experience, older for level. Pitches from a full windup, soft arm stab, ¾ slot. Fastball 91-93, lacks movement. Slider 77-79, slurvy pitch, lacked consistent action. One changeup at 84. Good size and arm action, older to baseball, lower-level relief depth.
NYY Miguel Yajure RHP R/R 6'1" 175 18 International Free Agent Young kid, turned 18 in May, good, projectable body at 6'1", 177, some lean and wiriness, wrist hook, compact arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 89-91 T92, some run, projectable. Slurve 77-81 T82, early break out of hand but has some tightness, Changeup 86-87, firm pitch but has arm speed on it. Interesting SP project.
DET Jose Vasquez RHP R/R 6'0" 175 20 International Free Agent Some projection left given leanness of body. Longer, smooth arm action, lacks plane on pitches, needs better balance as he would routinely fall off the 1B side, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-91, lacks life. Changeup 82-84, preferred off-speed pitch, still lacking consistency as he would get on side of pitch and cut it, deceptive arm speed with moderatefading action, firmer pitch. Curveball 77-79, 11/5 shape, below-average control, wasn't near zone to entice hitters. Interesting SP depth.
ATL Jesus Heredia RHP R/R 6'2" 175 21 International Free Agent Lacks remaining projection. Pitches from a full windup with hands over head, long arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 90-92 T93, some cut action, lacked control. Changeup 79-81, preferred off-speed pitch, lacked arm speed, early action and fade. Slider 79-81, lacks bite, sweepy, lacked tilt. Some life to fastball and has a decent feel for the changeup, needs to do a better job of throwing strikes, lower-level relief depth.
PIT Francis Rodriguez RHP R/R 6'2" 172 23 International Free Agent Muscular frame, lacks remaining physical projection, old for level, compact, smooth arm action, ¾ slot. Fastball 86-88 T90, lacks life. Changeup 77-79, deceptive arm speed. Curveball 75-76, soft pitch, lacks depth. Lacks standout offering for this level, rookie level depth.
DET Jesus Rodriguez RHP R/R 6'3" 170 18 International Free Agent Lean, wiry frame, has above-average physical projection remaining. Pitches from a full windup, slinger arm action, ¾ slot, short-strider. Fastball 90-91 early, 87-89 later in outing, needs to add strength to frame, lacked movement. Fastball dominant outing, mixed in a 76-77 curveball, soft action with some bite, needs more repetitions. Very far away, good body and size, velo could improve down the road. Interesting arm to monitor down the road.
DET Rusbell Cabrera RHP R/R 6'3" 170 20 International Free Agent Slender frame with room to grow. Short outing, deep arm action with some jerkiness, 3/4 slot. Fastball 87-89. Slider 77-78, OH movement, lacked consistency. Not much of a strike thrower, lower-level relief depth.
PHI Luis Carrasco RHP R/R 6'3" 170 21 International Free Agent Lean, slender body, larger than 170, closer to 180-185, some physical projection remaining. Pitches from a full windup, stiff delivery, slightly closed off, needs to improve mobility and flexibility, compact arm action with quick arm, ¾ slot. Fastball 92-94 T96, mild movement, lacked control. Slider 80-81 T83, soft action with mild break, lacked tilt. No changeup seen in outing. Interesting arm, big arm strength guy, more likely a reliever down the road. Potential bullpen arm.
NYY Juan Escorcia RHP R/R 6'1" 161 20 International Free Agent Looks taller than listed height of 6'1, wiry body, skinny lower half. Pitches from a full windup with a slight crossfire, compact arm action with good arm speed, ¾ slot. Fastball 92-93 T94, sinking action, lacked control. Curveball 79-81 T82, 11/5 shape, downer action with bite, effective when located. Changeup 81-82, lacks arm speed, moderate feel, lacked movement, still in development. Intriguing kid with a lot of physical projection left, fastball velo and curveball are good starts. Intriguing potential relief arm.
PHI Sixto Sanchez RHP R/R 5'10" 160 17 International Free Agent Pitches from a full windup, clean, smooth arm action with above-average arm speed, ¾ slot. Fastball 93-97 T98, good arm strength, some mild run in the bottom of the zone. Curveball 81-84, lacks consistent action and shape, best ones had vertical action and bite. Intriguing pitcher, size will always be held against him and might be a better fit in the bullpen.
ATL Derian Cruz SS S/R 6'1" 180 17 International Free Agent $2,000,000 Has some projection remaining given age. Saw hit from the left side, loose swing, tends to drag the bat with him in the zone and make soft contact, swing can get long, LD stroke. Well below average raw power currently, has some natural strength and strong forearms but isn't an over the fence power hitter, more gap power where the speed will extend basehits. 80 runner, 3.96 H-1B from the left side, did not see steal a base. Athletic actions in the field, plus lateral range and quick first step allows him to get to most balls, ok footwork but can get too fast and overplay balls. 45 arm currently, not ideal for SS, could improve over time, might have to move to OF or 2B. Very intriguing player, athletic switch hitter with an elite run tool and some contact ability.
NYY Aaron Bossi C R/R 5'11" 205 22 Undrafted Free Agent Squat muscular build, hits from a slightly open stance, leg stride to even, below-average bat speed, flat swing plane, lacks raw. 4.32 clock. Lacks necessary footwork for 2B, has been playing C as well, decent actions, 2.04 to 2B. Lower-level catching depth.
NYY Deshorn Lake RHP R/R 6'1" 237 22 Undrafted Free Agent Large midsection. Stiff arm action, missed 2015 with knee surgery, old for level. Fastball 90-93, some running life up in zone. Curveball 76-77, loopy pitch with some depth, lacks consistent action. Firm changeup 86. Lower-level relief depth.
PHI Kale Fultz RHP R/R 6'5" 225 22 Undrafted Free Agent Workhorse build, lacks remaining projection. Pitches from a full windup, high arm action that is long in the back, below-average arm speed, ¾ slot. Fastball 85-87 T88, lacks movement. Curveball 70-73, soft pitch with early break, 11/5 shape. Slider 78-79, moderate tilt and action, not sharp. Lower-level relief depth.
NYY Chase Hodson RHP R/R 6'1" 205 24 Undrafted Free Agent Lacks remaining physical projection. Short look before rain storm. Deep arm action with moderate arm speed, high front shoulder, H ¾ slot. Fastball 88-90. Curveball 75-78, 12/6 shape, mild depth. Older arm for this level, needs to be challenged at higher levels.