J.H. Schroeder Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Lean, but strong frame. Listed at 6-foot-2, looks shorter. Good athleticism and body control. Three-quarters to high-three-quarters arm slot. Explosive arm action, with good deception, smooth arm circle, particularly out back. Can work too fast at times, get out of sync. 1.65 to plate w/speed. FB 96-100, worked mostly 97-98. 4S & 2S. Late run away to LHBs. CB 79-84, 11-6, preferred secondary. Backdoored to LHB. SL 87-89, 11-5, could get cutterish. Command was spotty, especially in leverage situations. Seemed to set up middle/middle. More comfortable commanding away to LHBs, had hard time getting FB glove-side. FB heavy repertoire. Attacks hitters, trusts stuff.
Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
Athletic but only moderate body control. Still very skinny, narrow hips, showed bad body language at times, didn't look competitive. Three-quarters release. Maybe best arm action in minors, really easy, loose arm. Ball pops, but hitters see it pretty well. Delivery: Loads with hands fairly high, has tendency to get wrapped in back, falls off 1b-side. Slight wrist-wrap on breaking ball. 1.6 to plate. Struggled a bit to get glove-side. FB, 93-99, lost velocity through start, good ride. Began cutting FB (accidentally) in second inning. CB 84-87, kept down, when thrown well closer to 12-6, rolled. SL 86-88, sharper than CB, more commitment, 11-4. CH, 90, little movement. Spotty command at this point, sprays around zone.
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Notes on Ryan McMahon, Franklyn Kilome, Eloy Jimenez, and more.
Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies (Low-A Lakewood)
In my first viewing of Kilome in April, he hit 94 early but tanked down into the 89-91 range in the fourth, where he was forced from the game before recording an out. The breaking ball and command weren’t there, but despite everything else he threw some decent changes. The Phillies wisely gave him a couple weeks off after that one, and in his next start, Kilome sat a consistent 91-94, topping out at 97, with much-improved command and a plus-potential curveball. Fast-forward another month to my third look this past Thursday, where Kilome was dominant for two innings, working mostly off a fastball sitting 92-97 that he was able to manipulate well—before the fastball command completely imploded in the fourth and on, just as I was noting how much he’d improved it.
Had I written Kilome—currently our 95th-ranked prospect overall—up in April, it wouldn’t have been pretty. Had he been on a low pitch or batter count in my third look—as many prized prospects now are—I’d probably be using this space to write him up as better than that 95th ranking. But only in looking at the whole picture do you get the full story on Kilome: A maddeningly inconsistent arm with command that comes and goes, flashing all of the individual pieces for number 2 upside, yet less impressive as an overall package than his opposing number on Thursday, Rangers sleeper Erik Swanson, who sat 93-96, touched 98, and showed some feel for a change and slider.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.
Hitters of the Night:
Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers (Myrtle Beach, A+): 3-5, 3 R, 3B, HR.
There aren’t too many catchers who possess an 80-grade arm and can hit triples, which gives you a good idea of Alfaro’s unique and impressive skill set.
Notes on prospects who stood out over the weekend, including third basemen Kris Bryant and Ryan McMahon.
Friday, April 25
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Indians (Columbus, 1B): 3-5, R, HR, 2 K. Aguilar’s power has come in streaks this season, as he followed his home run on Friday with another on Saturday, giving him seven on the young season. He’s still striking out in bunches, too, but he’s also walking at a higher rate, making it an acceptable tradeoff.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon.
Mac Williamson, OF, Giants (San Jose, A+): 2-4, 3 R, 2B, HR. We know Williamson has power. The question is whether he will hit. There’s some serious swing-and-miss to his game, but thus far in a repeat of the California League, he’s controlling the strike zone better than he did last year.
Zoilo Almonte, OF, Yankees (SWB, AAA): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, K. I’m almost afraid to mention Almonte because I talked about him a lot this winter, but a pair of home runs is a day worthy of any update. With the injuries the Yankees have already put up with, Almonte is just a pulled hamstring or tweaked quad away from being called on for big-league duty.
Scouts' takes on Bryce Harper, Justin Upton, Courtney Hawkins, and other interesting players.
Many of our authors make a habit of speaking to scouts and other talent evaluators in order to bring you the best baseball information available. Not all of the tidbits gleaned from those conversations make it into our articles, but we don't want them to go to waste. Instead, we'll be collecting them in a regular feature called "What Scouts Are Saying," which will be open to participation from the entire BP staff and include quotes about minor leaguers and major leaguers alike.