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Throughout March, the BP Prospect Team is invading both Arizona and Florida to get some fresh looks at players as they prepare for their 2015 assignments. Between now and the start of the minor league season, they’ll be providing updates (and videos) on the prospects you know and love—and quite a few that you may not.

Notes From the Field:

Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies

Eddie Butler showed no ill-effects of last season's shoulder soreness from a pure stuff standpoint. As usual though, the arsenal was not the issue for the former first-rounder on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2 inch right-hander has a very live arm, and worked his two- and four-seam fastballs anywhere from 91-96 mph. He threw a slider in the 83-86 mph range, which he liked to start at right-handed batters’ front hip for a called strike. The pitch has two-plane movement and flashed plus—showing the ability to put away hitters. In this outing, Butler threw more sliders than changeups, which is relatively uncommon. The cambio tumbles down and away from left-handed hitters in the mid-80s, and he displays an innate feel for the pitch. His velocity and movement were impressive, especially on the two-seamer down in the zone. Yet, he left the fastball up around the thighs far too often, allowing inferior competition to square him up

Butler throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, using tilt to generate plane. When located down in the zone, his offerings are crisp and have superb life. All three flash plus, and while their current utility is not up to that level, it’s something that will come with improved purpose and sequencing. For instance, Butler worked himself into a two-strike count on Daniel Palka by getting the youngster to swing through two high fastballs. Palka, a low-minors slugger, drops his hands and cannot hit anything above the belt buckle—a good matchup for Butler as he was elevating. Instead of going back to the well for strike three, he got cute and threw a changeup, which is the only pitch Palka could handle, leading to hard contact. It's not a question about his stuff at this point—there's no doubt the right-hander is major-league quality in that regard. Refinement will come with repetition, some failure, and the ability to keep the ball down. Butler still has a middle of the rotation ceiling, although it may take a bit longer than originally expected for him to get there. –Jordan Gorosh

Nick Tropeano, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

The skinny and athletic Tropeano has a chance to start at some point for the Angels—whether that is out of spring training or later in the year is yet to be determined. The righty has a clean arm action from a three-quarters arm slot that should provide stability as a potential backend option in a rotation. He displayed a mild drive and was stiff at times on his follow-through, but the slight lag in his delivery keeps hitters honest on an average fastball which was sitting 89-93 mph while topping out at 94. Tropeano only has a mild plane, with average arm speed and will occasionally show a mild arm drag. While the fastball alone is not enough to work multiple times through a lineup, he flashed an 80-84 mph changeup that tumbled away from left-handed hitters. Tropeano doubled up on the above-average offering multiple times, and even tripled up on it to strike out Kendrys Morales. While the fastball and change both have present average command, the slider was 80-82 and lacked a consistent spin or release point. The slider floated too often and Tropeano noticeably slowed down his arm and telegraphed the pitch.

The interesting aspect of his start was the mechanics and mentality with Jarrod Dyson on first base. Tropeano was 1.45-1.47 on delivery times with others on base, but quickened his delivery to 1.39-1.40 with Dyson attempting to steal. As a result, Tropeano’s mechanics were inconsistent and he was falling off to the side as he rushed his delivery. The changes were noticeable and resulted in lost command of his fastball and slider. –Tucker Blair

Yeyson Yrizarri, SS, Texas Rangers

To say the Rangers might have uncovered another gem in Yrizarri would be hyperbolic, as they likely had a good idea of his talent when they handed him $1.3 million as part of their 2013 J2 draft class. The nephew of Deivi Cruz, Yeyson stands six feet flat and checks in at 175 pounds. At the plate, he is consistently short to the ball, making hard contact despite a small bat wrap. He doesn’t let his hands get too deep in his load, limiting the negative effects of the bat wrap. He maintains balance throughout the point of contact, and generates decent power from his compact frame. While he could ultimately end up with a 50 hit tool and 40 power, it’s extremely early in the developmental process. He wasn’t tested in the field, making the standard plays with ease while showing off easy carry on all his throws. There wasn’t enough action in the field to give me confidence in grading his tools there, but he should be able to stick at shortstop or second base. Either way, Texas adds another intriguing prospect to their cadre of young middle infielders. –Craig Goldstein

Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Hunter Renfroe looks like he just got finished playing “why are you hitting yourself” with two grizzly bears. In other words: he’s strong. The former first-round draft pick is the prototypical right-field prospect, offering a combination of bat-to-ball ability, plus game-power potential, and a strong throwing arm. If a pitcher makes a mistake, the odds are good that it’ll be time to find a new baseball. With a swing built for hard contact and backspin, Renfroe offers promise of a 25-plus home-run hitter in his prime. He may be exploited with hard fastballs in off the plate, in addition to sharp breaking balls away at the highest level, but has shown the ability to adjust in short order, already achieving the Double-A level after one full season. Although he’ll play half of his contests in PETCO Park, honestly, it doesn’t really matter. The Padres may not offer the quickest path to playing time via a crowded outfield for years to come, but Renfroe is talented enough for the organization to make room for a potential ‘plus’ OFP corner outfielder. –Jordan Gorosh

Carlos Rodon, LHP, Chicago White Sox

The first-round draft pick struggled early with command, but showcased the talent that makes him a highly regarded prospect with the potential to make an impact in 2015. He has a thick body with a strong lower half and uses a three-quarters delivery with a quick arm whip. On Monday, Rodon’s fastball worked in the 94-95 mph range and featured good, late arm-side run that he used effectively against both right- and left-handed batters. The pitch started to lose bite by the third inning, but the command had improved by then. The slider was also loose command-wise early on, but the snap and shape of the pitch were still impressive. He showed an ability to bury the slider on the back foot against righties to get swings and misses. Rodon also flashed a change—which he was working on in the bullpen before the game—that has potential to develop into a solid offering, which would ease concerns about his lack of a third pitch. The delivery remains high effort and there are those who still worry about the southpaw’s command, but Rodon showed enough positives in this look to made a strong case for starting. –Mauricio Rubio

Yairo Munoz, SS, Oakland Athletics

The Dominican shortstop began to flash his raw tools in the NYPL last season, stirring up some buzz within the industry. In my first viewing of Munoz since mid-summer, I saw a few signs of progression at the plate. Munoz has a good extension and is able to keep his hands and shoulders balanced throughout the swing, which was displayed during an at-bat against Anthony Ranaudo. Munoz was able to keep his hands back and adjust on an off-speed pitch for a single to center field. He has also lessened some of the noise in his lower half by widening out his stance, relying more on his hands and above-average bat speed while still keeping torque in his hips and an applicable stride. This transition does not seem to have affected his plus raw power, as he drove a loud triple opposite field in his final at-bat of the day. While he is still far from the majors—and just entering his first year in full-season ball—the development is taking a step forward and the Athletics have a player with potential to provide a solid bat at the shortstop position. The defense and future growth into his frame are more of the question than the bat at this point. –Tucker Blair

Quick Hits:

Terrance Gore displayed his elite speed and athleticism once again, with a 3.46 home to first time on a jailbreak bunt and a diving play in left field. He’ll spend his time in the minors this season until the Royals can recall him for their September run. –Tucker Blair

Ryan Cordell has average bat speed and the swing can become elongated, but there is raw power and a smooth swing through the zone. He was susceptible to spin today, reaching out of the zone and dipping his entire backside. –Tucker Blair

• Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Saladino went 1-for-2 with a homer off Randall Delgado, showcasing the sneaky pop that makes him interesting. He’s returning from an elbow injury and is a versatile player who could eventually make the transition into a useful piece in 2015. –Mauricio Rubio

Roman Mendez flashed a dynamic fastball/slider combination at times, regularly hitting 96 with the former. He showed the ability to throw the slider (85 mph) for strikes and drop it out of the zone, but was inconsistent with it on the whole. His changeup came in firm at 88 without much fade or tumble. –Craig Goldstein

• The trials and tribulations of Franchy Cordero in the Midwest League last year were well publicized, but the bat speed that sparked the excitement was still very much on display, as he made hard contact twice in an inter-squad game on Saturday. –Bret Sayre

Thank you for reading

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Muboshgu
3/18
"Yeyson Yrizarri".... another entry for best baseball name.
LynchMob
3/18
What is "OFP"?
Chipshot212
3/18
overall future potential
chiefs1
3/18
I saw Yairo Munoz at NYPL All Star game last summer and made note of his smooth defense. Are the concerns with sticking at SS solely based on getting too big for the position?
TuckerBlair
3/18
I would say that is accurate. The range is average right now, and the frame has some room for growth. I like the smooth hands at SS, but he's likely to lose some athleticism and speed once he grows into that frame.
GrinnellSteve
3/19
I love these reports. Thanks for assembling them.
Oleoay
3/19
I was at that Butler B game :)