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  • Raimel Tapia isn’t ever going to develop more than average game power. He has the bat speed to make up for his lack of strength, and he’ll grow into his frame more, but his swing mechanics create serious topspin on the ball, keeping it from carrying. Everything hit hard to the pull side has serious downward action. It is tough to clear the fence consistently that way. –Jeff Moore

  • A former 57th-overall pick, Houston acquired Kevin Comer in the J.A. Happ trade a couple years ago, and he shows a starter’s arsenal. He’s got a prototypical pitcher’s frame and gets good plane on a sinking 92-94 fastball from a high-three quarter slot. His command will wobble and the pitch flattens out significantly up in the zone. He mixed in a hard spike curve in the mid-80’s with some bite, along with a changeup at 80 that showed nice tumbling action but inconsistent arm speed and command. –Wilson Karaman

  • Ariel Hernandez washed out of San Francisco’s system after missing all of 2014 with an injury, but he’s back in organized ball and he has his old velocity back. He reaches 97 MPH with his fastball and flashes an above-average slider, but he’ll be a project for the Diamondbacks player development system. The Dominican uses a max-effort delivery with significant spine tilt, a big head snap, and an inconsistent motion. As you might expect, throwing strikes isn’t his forte. There’s a lot of work to do, but Hernandez is an exciting guy to take a flier on, and is just the latest in a long line of players the Diamondbacks have signed out of the independent leagues. –Brendan Gawlowski

  • One of the best batting practice shows of the Futures Game was put on by Balbino Fuenmayor, whose raw power is both easy and significant. I’m not sold on how well it’s going to translate in games at higher levels, though. He’s got a big hitch in his load that forces him to get things moving early, meaning premium velocity is going to eat him up and he won’t be able to lay off of better breaking balls. It’s a nice story, and he’s figured something out that was missing before, but I’m not buying into him having long-term success. –Jeff Moore

  • On defense, Sergio Alcantara looks like a no-doubt shortstop. He displays solid defensive fundamentals on the easy plays and above-average range to reach balls in the hole. He has plenty of arm and really quick hands, which he demonstrated by fielding a nasty in-between hop, pivoting and firing to first on a grounder up the middle in the game I saw on Monday night. Alcantara is much more impressive in the field than he is at the plate. He’s only 18 and should have plenty of physical development ahead of him, but he’s one of the slightest position players I’ve ever seen at this level, and he really needs to square up the ball to make solid contact. He has a solid foundation: he’s a switch-hitter, he knows the strike zone well, doesn’t chase pitches often, and uses a short, line-drive stroke. Unless he adds significant strength though, he’ll be a singles hitter and he’ll see too many strikes to walk much. Ultimately, he has the tools to be a good glove-first utility player at full maturity, and maybe a bit more if the bat takes an unexpected step forward somewhere along the way. –Brendan Gawlowski

  • David Perez generates some of the easiest velocity I’ve ever seen thanks to his lanky 6-foot-6, 200 pound frame. He barely uses his lower half, with a short stride and minimal push off the rubber, yet he sat comfortably 93-95 MPH (t96) from a high three-quarter slot. His length helps him create good plane, but it also severely limits his command. The Rangers prospect struggles mightily to keep everything in sync and on time, consistently missing all over the place. –Wilson Karaman

Quick Hits: Kyle Schwarber (Cubs) threw out a runner with a pop time between 1.94-1.97 on three different watches at the Futures Game; that’s a 55 arm if he can do it consistently (JM)…Josh Bell (Pirates) has been working at first base for almost a full year now and still looks uncomfortable receiving throws from infielders (JM)…Chase McDonald (Astros) ran the slowest full dig I’ve ever recorded, a 4.81 from the right side (WK)…Second baseman Seth Spivey (Rangers, no relation to Junior) showed surprising pop out of his 5-foot-11 frame, as the left-hander took a high fastball over the 410 sign (WK).

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jwbbslo
7/15
Jeff Moore is way off. Have seen Raimel Tapia in 400+ plate appearances & he rarely top spins a ball to the pull side. + bat lag & one of the better eye hand guys you'll see. Lacks mass but is really strong.
jkaflagg
7/15
Comer actually went from Toronto to Houston in the J Happ trade, along with another high pick that the Jays apparently soured on quickly, Joe Musgrove.....
BuckarooBanzai
7/15
Hmm, that must've been a transcription error, he's pitching at Lancaster currently. Will update. Musgrove looked very good at Lancaster earlier in the year as well, mid-90's with a hammer. I know he dealt with a shoulder injury, but it does seem something of a peculiar decision by the Blue Jays to bail on him so early. The Astros have proven very adept at snagging guys like him in deals over the past few seasons.