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Aaron Northcraft

Born: 05/28/1990 (Age: 24)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 230
Mechanics: Big body; low three-quarters arm slot; leg wrap feeds into drop and drive; arm drag; controlled motion; maintains posture throughout smooth delivery; clean ending to delivery allows him to field position effectively; doesn’t hide the ball well; average arm speed; average momentum; limited room for projection.
Evaluator Brendan Gawlowski
Report Date 04/21/2015
Affiliate El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA, Padres)
Dates Seen 4/20/2015
OFP/Risk 40/Medium
Realistic 30; Organizational Arm
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 40 40 87-88 92 Touched 91 and 92, but mostly sat around 88; features arm-side tail; can sink it; limited plane from low arm slot; can spot on both corners; likes to run it in on the hands of righty bats; command of the fastball deteriorated over course of the outing, particularly in a long fifth inning; not a bat-misser; didn’t induce whiffs when elevated; pitches outside the zone stem from nibbling, not wildness.
Slider 30 40 80-81 82 Comes in flat; limited vertical movement; break is long rather than sharp; can throw as a strike to both sides of the plate; can get righties to chase out of the zone; prefers to attack corners; could see velocity boost in shorter outings.
Change 30 40 79-80 81 Third-favorite pitch to operate with; predominantly vertical movement; pitch tumbles; early movement; didn’t throw strikes with change; not an impact weapon against lefties.

Northcraft has a feel for pitching and demonstrated an ability to attack a hitter’s weaknesses. He also generally locates his fastball well, but with minimal velocity and limited plane, he must be precise with his command to have success. The slider is flat and while he can spot it to both sides of the plate, it isn’t a bat-misser. The change tumbles early and isn’t an out pitch.

The right-hander doesn’t have an impact offering, but a switch to relief could help the slider play up a grade. If short work also helps him live at the upper end of his velocity range more often, he could have some success as a middle reliever.

David Hess

Born: 07/10/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 180
Build: Athletic frame; chiseled body with strong core; maxed frame.

Mechanics: Three-quarters arm slot; plus arm speed; slight stab; stands on first-base side; hips and shoulders rotate in unison; solid drive; moderate effort; slightly inverted foot on landing; head whack; flies open when he overpowers fastball; quick to home; delivery times 1.35 – 1.45.

Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 04/27/2015
Affiliate Frederick Keys (High-A, Orioles)
Dates Seen 4/26/15
OFP/Risk 50/Moderate
Realistic 50; Set-up Arm
MLB ETA 2017
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 70 90-94 96 Average command; heavy offering; comfortable 93-94 in first two innings; settled at 90-93 in latter innings; works inside and low often; lacks horizontal movement and fastball was barreled when elevated in the 90-93 velo band; a move to the bullpen would allow for Hess to go max effort and pump the fastball 95-plus, which he was capable of doing early in the start with success.
SL 50 55 78-79 83 Fringe command; replicates arm speed; hard tilt with sweeping action; late movement; works as his out pitch; slight refinement in release points and command boosts offering to above average.
CB 40 40 72-74 75 Average command; replicates arm speed; mostly a get-me-over pitch; mild depth and spin; do not envision effectiveness on a routine basis, but is capable of working as a tertiary pitch.
CH 30 30 83-84 84 Average command; replicates arm speed; firm offering with very mild fade; lacks feel; lacks the movement to provide deception against stronger competition.

Hess is a college arm who has quickly risen through the Orioles' system since being drafted last season. While he has four pitches, I envision a long-term relief profile due to the lack of a secondary offering that can consistently cause deception or timing issues relative to the fastball/slider. The mechanics are relatively clean, but the head whack, inverted landing, and moderate exertion lead me to believe his best role is suited for the bullpen. In this role he can maximize his fastball. For the time being, I would continue to have Hess work as a starter to see if he can continue the progression of his secondary pitches.

Round Drafted: fifth round, 2014
Why: Advanced college arm with a four-pitch arsenal; potential to stick as a starter; potential plus fastball/slider work as a relief option.

Robert Gsellman

Born: 07/18/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 200
Loose arm action; long on back end, jabs straight down on first move after breaking hands; high three-quarters arm slot; above-average arm speed; repeats arm slot well; consistent arm action on all three pitches.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 04/28/2015
Affiliate St. Lucie Mets (High-A, Mets)
Dates Seen 04/27/2015
OFP/Risk 60/Low
Realistic 50, No. 4 Starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 45 55 89-91 92 Throws almost exclusively two-seam fastballs with good arm-side run; good downward plane; average present command with potential for above-average in-zone future command; generates velocity with minimal effort; potential to be a very strong pitch when down in the zone, will generate a lot of ground balls. Average velocity which won't miss bats but should generate weak contact.
Curveball 55 60 76-78 Strong 12-6 movement, hard, sharp downward break; commands it well, throws it to both sides of the plate and to hitters from both sides; will throw it in any count, willing to pitch backwards; froze right-handed hitters repeatedly, but was also a swing-and-miss pitch versus left-handed hitters, who repeatedly swung over top of the pitch; already an above-average major-league pitch, has the potential to be a legitimate plus offering.
Change-up 40 50 80-82 Did not throw often, though used it more frequently the second and third time through the lineup; used primarily against left-handed hitters; throws it for strikes, but didn't presently command it well in the strike zone; some arm-side fade but little vertical movement; pitch has a chance to be average if it can become more consistent.

Gsellman's profile is limited because he features only average velocity and won't miss a ton of bats with his fastball, but his curveball will make up for the lack of velocity. It's a legitimate plus big-league pitch that he is comfortable using against any hitter at any time.

His build is ideal for a starter, with a tall frame that generates a good downward plane with an easy delivery. He can stand to add a little weight in his lower half in order to handle the rigors of 200 innings a year, but is otherwise ideally built to be a starter.

Gsellman should fit nicely in the middle of a big-league rotation, and even if the changeup never reaches its average potential, the curveball gives him a weapon to combat left-handed hitters. If the changeup gives him a legitimate third offering for hitters to consider, he could develop into a number three starter. As primarily a two-pitch pitcher, he can still remain a starter if he develops plus fastball command because of the swing-and-miss potential of the curveball.

Spencer Kieboom

Born: 03/16/1991 (Age: 24)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 230
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position: 1B
Filled-out physically; sturdy base; thick lower half and full chest/arms; limited room for growth; body could become high maintenance moving forward.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 04/22/2015
Dates Seen 4/20-22/2015
Affiliate Potomac Nationals (High-A, Nationals)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Moderate 40 40; Backup Catcher/Up and Down guy No

rave reviews of makeup; works well with pitchers and coaches; works hard at craft; calls a smart game.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 30 Below-average bat speed; wrist lock in load; swing can get long; will get great extension post contact; showed feel for barrel and contact skills; shows ability to recognize secondary offerings but present inability to barrel quality spin; will swing and miss in zone; showed aggressive approach which leads to him expanding the zone.
Power 40 Plus raw; present strength and lift in swing; showed ability to backspin to all fields; will crush elevated fastballs; will hit mistakes; gets great post-contact extension; will play down due to lack of hit-tool utility.
Baserunning/Speed 30 Speed not a strength; stays low and is athletic when running; timed in 4.4-5 range from right side; heavy-footed runner.
Glove 50 Called great game; showed ability to move laterally; has present blocking skills; showed strong wrist and framing skills; soft hands when receiving.
Arm 55 Plus arm strength; pop times in 1.9-95 range; transfer to throwing hand are smooth; footwork is correct but can be slow; accuracy is average; will have two-seam tail on throws at times; will play down in game slightly.

Spencer Kieboom is a tad older for the league, but showed ability in all facets of the game. I really liked him behind the plate and he showed some ability at the plate. Due to his defensive ability, he shows the traits of a backup catcher with great makeup. A Caleb Joseph-type player.

Drafted: 2012 fifth round, 174th overall
Why: Defensive minded catcher; college bat; potential to be mid-round win by reaching MLB

Ceiling: Role 40; Backup Catcher.

Roman Quinn

Born: 05/14/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 170
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position:
Compact, athletic build. Short upper body. Strength concentrated in thighs and butt. Short arms.
Evaluator Al Skorupa
Report Date 04/27/2015
Dates Seen 4/14/15; 4/15/15
Affiliate Reading Fightin Phils (AA, Phillies)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
Mid 2016 High 55 55; Above-Average Everyday Player No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Quiet approach; short and simple gather, load and stride; line-drive swing plane with plus bat speed; plus plate discipline; uses whole field and hits balls where they're pitched; more power as left-handed hitter; better contact as right-handed hitter; gets out on front foot often; works counts; speed will translate to extra hits and extra bases.
Power 30 Drives gaps mostly; more left-handed power; contact-oriented swing, but bat speed and strength.
Baserunning/Speed 80 80 run plays in every part of his game; will steal 30-40 bases.
Glove 60 Quick first step; reads below average; can run down his mistakes.
Arm 60 Plus arm; clothesline carry; accurate; quick release.

Quinn is a switch hitting, spark-plug center fielder. Leadoff type. He has more bat than your typical 80 runner; not a slap hitter.

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Gsellman and Kieboom are 80-grade honkbal names.
I'm almost surprised at how well Quinn is doing after such a major injury and position change.

I'd be inclined to say he should have room to improve his defense, batting eye, and hitting as he gains more experience.

What player of this type would he compare to for his game with other 80-grade speed types?? (Past or present)