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.
Yankees RHP Ivan Nova: "I cannot figure this guy out. He looked every bit the part of a dominant pitcher this spring, pounding the zone with a live mid-90's fastball and bastard curveball, but he's just been a different animal since the season started. The command of the strike zone just is not there like it was even three weeks ago. He reminds me of A.J. Burnett with that fastball velocity and that quality curveball that just get whacked all around the yard."
Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka: "Without a doubt the splitter is a difference maker; it could very well be the best in the game. But I have concerns about the way he nibbles at the plate and drives up his pitch counts at times. He also gets a little too reliant on the fastball as well, using it instead of the splitter too often when he's ahead of the count. He does have velocity, but it's not nearly the same caliber of putaway pitch as the splitter. Why eat ground chuck when you've got filet in the fridge?"
University of Evansville LHP Kyle Freeland, Southern Illinois Carbondale RHP Sam Coonrodâ€‹, and Central Michigan University RHP Jordan Foley: "All three can reach 93-96 mph, have solid breaking stuff, and are hard nosed competitors. Freeland can flash a 70 SL when right, but concerns with his frame and arm action may raise questions if he can log 200+ innings as a starter. Coonrod has an electric arm and perhaps the best three-pitch mix of the group, but is inconsistent and lacks the stats needed in today's scouting world. Foley has a strong build, but he too could end up in a pen due to his lack of feel for a changeup and effort arm."
Bradley University OF Max Murphy: "Murphy will flash plus tools, but hasn't put the entire package together. Gifted with tremendous bat speed, he can put on a show in BP and the game. A strong frame with at least avg defensive skills, he maybe the best value player in the area."
Indiana University C Kyle Schwarber and Libertyville HS C Evan Skoug: "They are the same guy in essence, LH bats with power who likely end up in LF or 1B. Both look to be middle-of-the-order sticks, which are very difficult to come by."