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.
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A look at the various September call ups not to receive an individual Call-Up.
Tom Murphy Scouting: Murphy has always shown impressive power from the right-side of the plate, as he has plenty of strength along with a swing path that is conducive to hitting the ball out to any part of the park. Despite the length to his swing, he makes lots of hard contact, and there's a chance for a 45-grade hit tool because of his ability to square up pitches to any part of the plate. He's going to have to show much more patience if he's going to reach that level, however, as he ends too many at-bats early due to his aggressiveness. It's not Yuniesky Betancourt-level hacking, but expecting more than 30-40 walks in a season is expecting too much.
The prospect staff goes through the players they want to get a look at this year.
Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox (High-A Winston-Salem)
My appreciation of Courtney Hawkins is similar to my appreciation of Shiner Bock: it’s from Texas, I’m supposed to love it unconditionally, others love it unconditionally, I recognize some of the qualities that encourage others to love it unconditionally, but it just doesn’t tickle my fancy and I don’t freak out when it’s available. In 2013, my goal is to sit on a Winston-Salem series until the Courtney Hawkins buzz intoxicates me. I enjoy his approach and sturdy physical characteristics, but I’ve yet to witness the major-league flash, the high-end tool utility that separates good amateur prospects from good professional players. I’ve also yet to meet an amateur scout who wouldn’t walk a mile for a cooler full of Courtney Hawkins, and that fact alone makes me feel like I’m the one who is missing out, not the other way around. In 2013, I’m going to find out for sure. –Jason Parks
Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie)
After I just missed Gausman at both Fall Instructs and spring training, catching the right-hander throw is a high point of interest. My appetite’s been whetted by reports from a couple of contacts: a 93-97 mph explosive fastball with late life, a hard, deep swing-and-miss slider, and a deceptive fading changeup that the 22-year-old shows excellent feel for. I love watching how pitchers with Gausman’s level of stuff go about executing it. Now that he’s in the upper minors, it comes down to pitchability. Does he know how to set a hitter up to utilize the secondary offerings? Can he pitch with his fastball? Or will Gausman just try to blow everyone away? These are aspects of his game that I’ll be looking over closely, while also zoning in deeply at his developmental progress over the course of the season. –Chris Mellen