keyboard_arrow_uptop
BP360 is Back! One low price for a: BP subscription, 2022 Annual, 2022 Futures Guide, choice of shirt

Mauricio Rubio has just returned from the backfields of Arizona. Here's what he saw:

Trevor Story
He has the ideal baseball body; high-waisted player with an athletic torso. The bat speed and lift are there for plus raw power. The limiting factor on him actualizing his potential remains his swing. Story has coverage issues and the swing can get long at times due to a hitch in his mechanics, creating a ton of swing-and-miss. The glove is below average but I think it’s playable at short and he has the arm to make all of the shortstop throws. Story did a good job rebounding from a horrific 2013 season but there are still questions he has to answer in 2015. The hit tool looks to max out at below average, which will limit the power utility. I still think there’s a player here because the power is tantalizing enough to keep dreaming on and he does show an aptitude for the strike zone. At maturity we could be looking at a 40 hit/55 power shortstop with a 60 arm. Those guys play in the majors.

The Guys Who Throw Real Hard
I did a full notes piece on Jandel Gustave and a brief writeup on Peter Tago but I wanted to expand on both players and their fastballs here. There’s a raw scouting grade scale on the fastball that goes off velocity and velocity alone, casting aside things like deception, movement and command.

Grade

Velo

80

98+

70

95-97

60

93-94

50

89-92

40

85-88

30

82-84

20

81

It’s a good raw reference but guys like Gustave and Tago are great reminders that radar gun readings are only the first part of evaluating the fastball. Gustave has been passed around three teams now, from the Astros to the Royals to the Padres. Teams will still take a flier on him because he throws 97+, but at present his command, movement and deception on the pitch create a flat fastball that creates way too many comfortable at-bats. Add in a flat slider and you have a pitcher who teams will, and should, always take a chance on, hoping they're the team that figures it out for him.

Rangers Camp Is A Lot Of Fun
The first thing that strikes you about Rangers camp is the athletes. The Rangers like to go get tall, broad-shouldered and long-legged players. Nomar Mazara is the darling of spring as he showcased the potential that lies in his bat, but the Rangers also come at you in waves. Lewis Brinson teases high upside with his bat speed and athleticism in the Rangers backfields. Chi-Chi Gonzalez provided us with an excellent lesson on tunneling and is a strong candidate to be a major contributor in the Rangers rotation in 2015. Keone Kela throws 100 and has a hammer of a breaking ball. Jose Leclerc throws a pitch that had people wondering, “what the hell is that?” The Rangers have a stocked system full of intrigue and it was by far the most fun backfield experience of the trip.

Jeimer Candelario
Candelario has had quite the journey these past three years. He entered the 2013 season as a soft-bodied third base prospect with limited power upside, a great eye and enough line drive power to make him interesting. Candelario shed weight ahead of the 2014 season and came into camp with a lean, athletic look. He struggled in Daytona as he started dropping the shoulder and in essence sacrificed his approach for over-the-fence power, a trait that he took back with him to Kane County once he was demoted. This spring Candelario still has the sleek look, but the line drive inside-out swing is back. Ultimately Candelario is a player with a limited profile. He doesn’t have ideal motions for third and his role figures to be that of a fringe-average player if things work out.

Tyler Danish took a comebacker off his right forearm last I saw him. The injury wasn’t serious so he’ll start the season in Birmingham where he can refine his heavy sinker and develop his slider. The ingredients, including a mean competitive streak, are there. Terrance Gore was the absolute fastest player I saw and he might be the fastest player in professional baseball. The '70s A’s would have loved him. Keon Barnum is tall and physically blessed with a power hitter’s profile. The hit tool holds the power back but the power sure is fun. Yasmany Tomas looked lost at the plate and the body doesn’t look like it’ll play at third. Bubba Starling does have a tremendous body and has some impressive athleticism but he looked tentative at the plate and didn’t have good at-bats in my limited look. Even with the hit tool issues it’s a profile teams still dream on, so he’ll get his chances.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Silverback38
4/02
You should include a little audio button after certain players names, like Jeimer Candelario so we can hear the smoothness that my inner Ricardo Montalban can't seem to get right.
MRubio52
4/02
This might be a future feature
bhalpern
4/02
http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/candelario
Silverback38
4/02
That doesn't have the same Mauricio vibe to it.
MikeGianella
4/05
Yeah, nobody can quite rock a pronunciation like Mao can
PastorStephen
4/02
alskor
4/02
Funny, on a bunt last week Gore replaced Hamilton for my fastest ever time to 1B. I don't know which is faster, man! Both move so fast your eyes don't want to believe it. 90 runners.
MRubio52
4/02
As Al mentioned both players are at the upper threshold of the grading scale when it comes to speed. I've seen some unreal numbers on Gore ranging from first to third times, jail breaks and standard digs. He and Billy are the first two names that do and should come to mind when it comes to speed. Ultimately we'd have to see them both run a 60 yard dash to get a real gauge on who is faster. I'd pay money for that.
therealn0d
4/02
How'd you enjoy Arizona, Mauricio?
MRubio52
4/02
It was a great, great time. I saw a lot of players I don't normally get to lay eyes on. My trip was too short, 5 days. I left with a larger knowledge base than the one I came in with and a desire to stay longer.
the4seamer
4/02
Great updates on Story and Candelario. I traded them both in the offseason from my Dynasty league squad as I had too many prospects. Still holding onto my man Franklin Barreto. Any notes on him recently with the A's?
MRubio52
4/02
I didn't get a chance to see Barreto, you should ask Tucker Blair about him.