Ketel Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners – Marte had a solid if unspectacular showing during BP, spraying line drives and showing off the quick wrists that give him a chance for a plus hit tool when all is said and done. He picked up hits from both the left and right side of the plate, but unfortunately was thrown out twice; once on a caught stealing and once on a quality throw frome Michael Conforto. The upside doesn’t match some other names here, but he should be a starting middle-infielder someday, more than likely at second base.
Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers – It was a mixed bag for Arcia, but there were more positives than negatives. The right-hander showed a vastly improved swing during BP that gets through the zone quickly, though I do wonder if the early movement in his feet will lead to timing issues against better velocity. He looked overmatched in his two atbats, but he also made arguably the best defensive play of the game showing off his impressive arm strength and range. Arcia might be the best shortstop on the Brewers right now.
Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves – Albies continues to be one of the more “controversial” prospects because of his lack of power and diminutive size, but it was easy to see why so many love his skillset Sunday. He nailed a line-drive off hard-throwing Reds prospect Amir Garrett, and I saw plus-plus speed to go with above-average chops at shortstop. There’s just no chance for him to hit more than a small handful of homers every year.
Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals – The World roster was loaded with quality shortstop prospects, but Mondesi looked like the best. His bat-to-barrel skills are excellent, and while there are some serious patience issues here, his ability to track the ball will get better, which should lead to more walks. His 70-grade speed is his best tool, and he used it to beat a routine groundball to third baseman Richie Shaffer, posting a 4.01 time to first base in the process.
Yorman Rodriguez, OF, Cincinnati Reds – It was not a good night for Rodriguez, and if it wasn’t for the fact he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds organization he likely doesn’t make the roster. There’s some raw power in his bat, but there are a few moving parts in his swing, and he struggled to pick up anything that wasn’t straight over the course of his four at-bats. He’s a quality corner-outfield defender, but that won’t be enough to allow him to play every day.
Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Kansas City Royals – If forced to grade the tools I saw from Cuthbert tonight, I wouldn’t grade any of them average or better. The swing has added some length, and though there’s certainly some raw power in his bat, but the approach at the plate won’t allow the in-game power to match. He’s a solid defender at first, and there’s enough athleticism/arm strength to suggest he could handle third.
Balbino Fuenmayor, 1B, Kansas City Royals – The good news for Fuenmayor is that he’s a tremendous story, and as a right-handed hitter with double-plus raw power he has a chance to become a contributor at the big league level. The bad news is his swing mechanics call to mind Jesus Montero, and that is not a compliment. A quality bench bat perhaps, but expecting much more is a fool’s errand.
Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees – Sanchez has seen his stock slip as much as any backstop prospect in baseball, but I did see enough during BP to wonder if there is still something here. The power is still plus, he can drive the ball to every part of the field, and there’s enough bat speed for a solid-average hit tool with good plane. He also has an above-average arm, and didn’t make any receiving mistakes, though there’s still a strong chance he moves over to first base. Time is running out, but don’t give up on Sanchez just yet.
Elias Diaz, C, Pittsburgh Pirates – Diaz didn’t have much – or any – success in his two at-bats, but during BP I was surprised to see a swing that possessed above-average bat speed, which allowed hit a couple of tape measure shots out to left field. Where Diaz is going to make his money though is with his glove, as he’s a solid receiver with good footwork and an arm that is closer to 70 than 60.
Renato Nunez, 3B, Oakland Athletics – Nunez certainly has the bat speed and strength to hit for power, but like a good deal of hitters listed above (minus the shortstops), there are a lot of questions about whether or not that power will play at the big-league level. The swing is long and while he appears to have decent bat-to-ball skills, there’s reason to believe he’ll pile up strikeouts as he moves up. He did show soft hands at third, with an above-average throwing arm that gives him a shot to stick at the hot corner.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox – The only hitter who put on a better batting practice for the World was Mazara (more on him later), as the infielder showed impressive bat speed from the left-side, plus quick wrists and a plane that suggests two 60 tools at some point. He can “fake it” at third base, but at some point, it looks like he’ll have to move over to first. While the value at third would be nice, Devers looks like he’s going to be an offensive stalwart at whatever position he plays.
Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers – It was a rough night for most of the World roster offensively, but Mazara was able to pick up hits in two of his three at-bats and he also had one of the most impressive batting practices of any player– American or World. The ball jumps off his bat and you can see why so many believe the power will come. I still have some defensive questions, but there’s no doubt Mazara is an offensive force.
Manuel Margot, OF, Boston Red Sox – Margot would have had a 1-for-2 game on most nights, but he was the victim of a tremendous play by Phillies wunderkind J.P. Crawford. He also struck out, but I came away believing I had previous underrated Margot, as his bat speed and smooth swing suggest a plus hit tool, with fringe-average power not out of the question. He’s also a plus-plus runner, and he might have been the best defensive outfielder on the World roster.
Socrates Brito, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks – Brito doesn’t have a standout offensive tool, but during BP he flashed the skillset to suggest an average hit and power tool as he gets stronger and improves his patience. The outfield is where Brito will make his money though, as the 22 year old takes excellent routes with plus speed and an above-average arm.
Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies – It was yet another day where scouts came away more impressed with Tapia than I did, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he has a chance to be a quality big-leaguer. Tapia showed his impressive bat speed and smooth stroke, but the crouch when he falls behind in the count is both bizarre and counterproductive to hard contact. Still, the ball jumps off his bat when he’s in his normal stance, and there’s enough athleticism here to project at least an average defensive right fielder.
Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins – Was he as impressive as Lucas Giolito? No, but he was pretty darn close. Berrios was 92-95 mph in his inning of work with late run, and he flashed an above-average curve and change in the process. The command wasn’t as sharp, but we can chalk that up to being amped. This is a future top of the rotation starter as long as he can stay healthy.
Jarlin Garcia, LHP, Miami Marlins – Garcia threw all three of his pitches for strikes – though he did walk a batter – and he sat 93-95 mph with his fastball in his 1.2 innings. I was able to pick up his secondary offerings from over 200 feet away, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the American hitters were able to do the same, and hit the ball hard off the left-hander.
Edwin Diaz, RHP, Seattle Mariners – Diaz made just one bad pitch in his two thirds of an inning, and sat 93-95 while touching 98 mph on the gun in front of me. That one mistake was a big one though, as he left a 93-mph fastball up to Josh Bell, and he hit it into Madison. The frame is still my biggest concern – he’s listed at 165 but likely 10 to 15 pounds skinnier – but the stuff certainly showed flashes of brilliance.
Wei-Chieh Huang, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks – Huang didn’t get much of a chance to display his stuff as he quickly disposed of his two hitters. The fastball was 90-92 with some sink, and he did show off the change in warm ups that scouts raved about. I didn’t see a breaking-ball, but as long as it’s not worse than a 40 those two pitches give him a chance to start.
Jairo Labourt, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays – Labourt was by far the most pleasant surprise for the World team on the mound. The left-hander has always shown quality stuff, but his ability to command his 94-96 mph fastball and plus slider – even if only for an inning – was impressive. If he shows this same stuff in longer spurts, look out.
Keury Mella, RHP, San Francisco Giants – Like so many of the World pitchers, Mella showed impressive arm strength, sitting 92-94 and touching 95 with his fastball. Like so many of the World pitchers, Mella didn’t command anything, and was only able to record one out. He’s shown me two above-average pitches in his fastball and slider with the makings of a serviceable change in the past, but that was not the Mella we saw yesterday.
Frankie Montas, RHP, Chicago White Sox – I think it’s fair to say that Frankie Montas was excited about his trip to Cincinnati. Yes he struggled with command, but 102 mph is 102 mph. Montas hit that on more than one scouts gun, and pumped a few more triple digit fastballs past hitters. The stat line was undoubtedly terrible, but when you have this kind of fastball – and a 55 breaking ball – you have the right to get excited.
Joe Jimenez, RHP, Detroit Tigers – A pure reliever all the way with a high-effort delivery and no third pitch, but the stuff suggests Jimenez could be a high-leverage one. He touched 97 mph and sat 94-96 in his two-thirds of an inning, while showing a couple of quality sliders during his warm up.
Juan Gonzalez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers – I was critical of MLB’s decision to include Gonzalez on the Futures Game roster, but he was one of the most successful hurlers of the night, striking out the only two hitters he faced by pumping inn 93-95 mph fastballs with some late life.
Luis Perdomo, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals – Perdomo was a late replacement for the injured Alex Reyes, and the right-handed reliever likely made some new fans for scouts that were still paying attention (note: they were). Perdomo’s fastballs sat 95-97, and he struck out the final hitter on an above-average slider that showed some late bite at 88.