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.
Reds RHP Johnny Cueto: "He's thrown 26 innings in his last three starts and all of it has been quality. He will touch 96, but he mixes in a cutter, slider, and changeup, changing speeds and eye levels and locating with a Luis Tiant-type delivery. He's a no. 1 right now, and far and away the best pitcher on their staff. The only concerns, long-term, are whether his conditioning and the delivery will hold up."
Reds CF Billy Hamilton: "Yes, he's the fastest player in baseball, but if you throw him a good fastball on the inner half of the plate and jam him up inside, he is not strong enough to do anything but roll over to second base. He can almost out-run the ball in the outfield and his instincts are terrific given how little time he has spent there, but I just don't know that he will ever hit."
Rockies Double-A RHP Eddie Butler: "I like the way he goes about it and attacks hitters. His stuff is live and he doesn't back down. FB/SL combo is pretty rough on RHH and they don't look comfortable against his velocity or movement. He has some hurdles to clear vs. LHH lineups to be an elite SP, but the ingredients are there to stay in a rotation and be pretty good."
Rangers Double-A RHP Luke Jackson: "I saw a good power arm with arm action and delivery that make me think he will end up in the 'pen as a power power. There is no secret how this guy goes about it. He wants to throw hard and harder and sacrifices some control/command to do it. That being said, the fastball is a real weapon and he can spin it."
Padres Double-A RHP Matt Wisler: "This guy is starting to grow on me even though he hasn't been a huge prospect. He has four pitches and really knows how to use them. He misses just enough bats to be interesting and I'm stating to like the composure he shows. Hard guy to scout because he doesn't show you the wipeout anything, but there is something there to be a good major-league pitcher."
Cal State Fullerton RHP Phil Bickford (10th-overall pick by the Blue Jays in 2013)
"His fastball is more generic, working in the low 90s. Still working on sharpening secondary offerings. Command was good, but stuff not at the level that made him a top pick."
Southern California Scouts: "You guys are soft. It gets down to 60 degrees and you start shivering… and if there's a breeze to go with it you better call an ambulance." —Texas-based AL crosschecker