Fernando Tatis Jr, just promoted to Double-A, has generated significant – and deserved – attention for his record-setting season as an 18-year-old in Low-A. He paced Fort Wayne to the playoffs, and will now join a Double-A club that will also be in the playoffs. Tatis Jr. has great body language and always seems to be at the center of a conversation with teammates or coaches in the dugout. He stands out on the field for his long build and legs and has projection through the upper half and shoulders. He clocked in at 4.25 to first base, just at above average for a right-handed batter, which will tick down a bit as he fills out. What won’t tick down is his effort, as he runs hard with energy and perceptive baserunning instincts (e.g. anticipating passed-balls, taking an extra base).
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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.
A list of names you should be familiar with for your first-year dynasty drafts this winter.
As we peel out from the holiday season and into draft season, it’s a good time to reflect on what we got. Maybe you got that PS4 you really wanted. Maybe you got a really nice bottle of wine. Maybe you got clothes. There’s nothing inherently wrong with getting clothes as a present. You need clothes. They literally prevent you from being arrested when you leave your house. Yet they are also extremely fickle. Sure, that sweater is looks really nice but it gets a little bunchy in the shoulders and it just doesn’t look right. Or worse yet, it does look great but then it shrinks in the dryer after the second time you wear it. It could always be worse; you could have gotten socks. You know you’d never actually spend $15 on a pair of socks, but the level of comfort over the 5/$20 pairs you already own is still noticeable—even if you can’t really figure out what makes socks comfortable.
You've read the rankings and mocks. Now here's the list that matters most for dynasty leaguers.
When it’s stated over and over again that the strength of a draft class is its prep pitching, you know as a dynasty leaguer that spells trouble. And when another highly regarded aspect is its catching depth, well, you can see where we’re going with this. If last year was a good year to acquire draft picks, especially in the second-third round range, this year is a good time to find those owners who were frustrated they didn’t get enough talent last year and try to sell them your picks this year.
As Spring comes to a close and the 2016 draft looms larger than ever, scouts are finishing up evaluations on players and trying to get one last look. One of the most difficult things for them to do is line up their pref list. The pref list is where they rank each player in order of how they would select them in a vacuum. It mainly follows an OFP (Overall Future Potential) number but sometimes a player will be ranked higher on the list because of intangibles or an area scout’s feel on a player. Most clubs take it a step further at the cross-checker level and have them rank their players by position as well. When all's said and done, there will be a master pref list, or big board, and several smaller lists by position. The team will use this list as the draft unfolds and it allows them to keep track of priority guys and trends that are happening within the draft.
The debates between scouts on particular player positioning can be intense, especially when two area scouts or cross-checkers are pit against each other, but eventually the scouting director will make a decision based on his evaluations of the particular players. This time, we take a look at the two best collegiate bats in the class; Louisville’s Corey Ray, and Mercer’s Kyle Lewis.
Questions on Corey Ray, Edwin Diaz's big move, and a trio of struggling youngsters highlight this week's mailbag.
Q: When is the last time we have seen a college hitter like Corey Ray have over 30 SBs, flirt with a .300 ISO and K less than 12% of the time? That package might be unprecedented. Who’s the best MLB comp? Where is his most likely landing spot; still Braves? – Imari L.
Notes on a few SEC pitchers with a chance to go in the first round and more.
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Louisville
The overall line was ugly for Funkhouser at Ole Miss. Over 3 2/3 innings, Funkhouser walked seven batters, struck out six, and allowed six earned runs. Though he’ll almost certainly throw better than he has in his first two outings of the season, Funkhouser’s stuff stumbled into the draft last year, and his mix of pitches looks closer to what we saw towards the end of last season than the above-average fastball/slider mix that helped get him popped with the 35th-overall pick.
Inconsistency was Funkhouser’s ruin on Friday, and most of that was mechanical. His motion is largely unchanged from his junior season: He throws from a slow-paced semi-windup, takes a pause over the rubber with a tall leg kick, and lands slightly open. Funkhouser’s overall control and command were fine on Friday; he moved his fastball to both sides of the plate, and most misses were good misses. At other times, he lost command of his fastball, often missing up and to his armside, as hepulled off his pitches and noticeably fell to the first-base side of the mound.