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.
Cardinals 2B Matt Carpenter: “He conducts ABs at such a high level and looks to be in complete control of his offensive approach. He doesn't panic, knows the strike zone, and gets the barrel to the ball efficiently. He is developing into an offensive player who sets the tone to their lineup and helps them win.”
White Sox 1B/DH Paul Konerko: “[He’s] going to need to be closely monitored now that he is back off the DL. He wasn't showing the same bat speed earlier in the season but still showed the ability to barrel balls up. Back issues are always scary, but if his time on the DL has helped his feel better, he could be a difference maker in a division or Wild Card race.
Giants RHP Tim Lincecum: "[He] looks like a different guy this year, and not just because of the obvious (less FB) but in that he really struggled to control his delivery and keep everything on line. He was never one to be confused with Greg Maddux or Cliff Lee but he always found a way to keep the delivery together. But just when you get ready to write him off, he has a month like this one where he flat-out dominates (and he's been even better when you take out the post-no-hitter hangover game). I think his pitch repertoire is so diverse and his delivery so deceptive that even with reduced command he manages to make hitters look awkward."
Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez: "I’m not sure why people don’t talk about him more. It’s everything you want out of a top-line starter. He has a premium fastball with quality secondaries, gets ground balls, throws strikes and misses bats. The stature and finish to his delivery aren’t ideal, but he’s a great athlete, and his physical features (hands and back) are strong."
Twins 1B Justin Morneau: "The bat looks much slower than it has ever been and his mobility is way down. He hasn't been the same player since the concussions began, but the back injuries are beginning to take their toll as well. He just doesn't have close to the same explosion in his trigger that he used to."
White Sox RHP Jake Peavy: "Peavy was Peavy. He had good stuff with FB 91-93 touching 94 and the usual wipeout hard slider, but he also showed an above average change. The thing about him is the way he competes. He battles every batter, every pitch. He fights, and his teammates feed off of it. He's a winner. And he didn't have the stuff of the 2007 Peavy but it was good enough, and he won."
White Sox RF Alex Rios: "He shows you all five tools. The first night he gets pulled out of the game for not hustling on a double play ball, and the following day he gets three hits including a grand slam to win the game. In the middle he is a center fielder playing right field with a plus arm and good instincts. If you could ever get him to play the game the right way he could be special."
Pirates RHP Prospect Stolmy Pimentel (Triple-A Indianapolis): " [Pimentel] is very interesting. I saw him in the Carolina League. He's gotten better and still has some upside. He has a chance to be good. He showed a 65 fastball that is a power sinker and flashes a 65 slider. He's wild in the zone but hitters are never comfortable. He is only 23 and still learning, and he was electric at times. I think he can be a number four with the development of useable offspeed. He just doesn't need or use one right now. He has a huge body, is very athletic and has some swagger."
Cuban RHP prospect Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (from a National League scout): “Very athletic pitcher who possesses six pitches. Fastball can run up to 96-97 mph but sits mainly 94-95. Also has a good curve, real good cutter, slider, change, and forkball. Solid makeup, very good kid and comes from a great family. Has stamina for 50-60 pitches now, but could slot in as a no. 2-3 starter in the big leagues by late August with some seasoning.”
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So... hitting grand slams to make up for not hustling is the wrong way to play? I hate when scouts or broadcasters use this phrase.
Guys getting the minimum know they're getting the minimum and they have to hustle or they're gone. Give a guy "star money" and sometimes they think that means they don't have to try. Growing up, someone who's always been a star might never have had a coach bench them for dogging it, so they get used to a different set of rules for them. What's honestly more amazing is the guys who get paid the big bucks who actually hustle and work hard every day.