- Zac Curtis (Diamondbacks) is small, undersized, and left-handed which is a tough profile for a reliever. He manages to make it work with pitchability, advanced feel for a changeup, and a ton of courage on the mound. Curtis works with a low three-quarters slot and average arm speed. There's moderate effort in the delivery. Curtis works in the low 90s, he's frequently around 89-91 and maintained a tight velocity band throughout my viewings. He's not afraid to work backwards even as a reliever and his 83-85 MPH change shows plus fade and moderate drop. Curtis' slider is underdeveloped and doesn't show much promise, making him effectively a fastball-change reliever. Curtis has a lot to overcome in his profile but he's not someone you should write off by any means, there's potential for a solid reliever here. – Mauricio Rubio
- On the mound Nicholas Frey (Cardinals) has average arm speed and pitches out of a traditional three-quarters arm slot. His mechanics were ugly when I saw him, he has a deep stab, there is effort to the delivery, and he fights moderate spine tilt which can cause him to fall off hard to the first base side. Frey has a fastball that comes in at 93-94 and shows moderate run but it's a surprisingly hittable offering as batters get a long look at it all the way through the zone. Frey flashes an 11-5 curve but it lacks consistency and deception; he does a poor job of replicating the fastball arm speed. Frey's stuff should produce better results but his fringy command profile and the ease with which batters pick up his stuff have hindered him severely. – Mauricio Rubio
- The Cardinals' fourth-round pick out of Illinois State, Paul DeJong has handled himself well during his pro debut. He showed average arm strength, coordinated actions, and average hands in my viewing. At the plate DeJong keeps his hands low and in towards the body, and has a moderate load pre-pitch. I saw his swing get long some on hard stuff in but DeJong shows some feel for the barrel and he has above-average bat speed. – Mauricio Rubio
- He struggled at High-A Dunedin but Dawel Lugo (Blue Jays) has acquitted himself well in Low-A. The potential is still present in the bat; Lugo showed above-average bat speed, some feel for the barrel, and moderate leverage, which bodes well for future production. Lugo has a wide frame and a soft body which makes projecting him out as a shortstop long term difficult. He has stiff actions at short and his physique just looks like the type that will get shifted to third base. – Mauricio Rubio
- He's a big dude with a broad frame which makes Cody Regis’ (Diamondbacks) 4.25 speeds down the line somewhat impressive. Regis has natural strength, a leveraged swing, and above-average bat speed, but his mild feel for the barrel has hindered his power production greatly. He can play an outfield position thanks to his surprising fringy athleticism but there's not much potential here. – Mauricio Rubio
- Anderson Espinoza (Red Sox) made his Class A debut Saturday for Greenville and didn't disappoint. Despite three runs in 3 1/3 innings, the 17-year-old showed impressive arm strength and maturity on the mound.
Espinoza sat 95-99, hitting 99 twice and as late as the third inning. The velocity comes easy from a quick, loose arm, and there's little effort in the delivery. His fastball has heavy life down in the zone with sink and some arm-side movement from a three-quarters release. It's a true weapon to the glove side. He froze one right-handed batter at 98 on the outside corner for strike three, and he shattered a bat on an inside fastball to a left-hander. His command wavered to the arm side and he occasionally left it flat and up, but his overall command of the pitch is beyond his years. Espinoza's fastball is a potentially elite weapon.
His curveball flashes plus potential with downward movement and depth at 74-78. It flashed its ceiling when he was able to command it as a bat-missing pitch breaking out of the zone. He also showed some feel for dropping it into the zone when he needed a strike. Espinoza's feel for the pitch needs further development, as he left several spinning high and arm-side. His changeup flashed above average at 84-86. He only threw a couple, but the last one showed its potential by turning over and getting above-average fade with optimal arm speed. The first one was firm, and he slowed his actions.
His age and inconsistency in his secondaries are reminders to pump the brakes a little on Espinoza right now. The framework is there for an immense talent, but he's still just 17, and he's like other teenagers in that he needs further refinement. You're going to be hearing this kid's name a lot. –David Lee
- Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox) has a small frame and is likely maxed physically, but that doesn't stop the Arkansas product from being a potential impact player. Benintendi flashes all five tools, including a hit tool that could play as high as plus in his prime based on plus bat speed and strong hands. The swing has limited lift from hands that drop some before firing to the zone, but it shouldn't prevent him from translating plus raw power to above-average in-game power in the future. He has a strong feel for the strike zone and will walk at a solid rate despite being aggressive in the box.
Benintendi has the speed for double-digit steals and above-average range in center field. His glove doesn't stand out in center but is enough to stick there long term, and the arm plays enough for the position. The first-rounder was a solid get for the Boston Red Sox as a potential everyday regular at an up-the-middle position, with a ceiling as high as a first-division player. –David Lee
- I talked about how Ronald Guzman (Rangers) had done a lot of tinkering with his swing this season in an earlier Eyewitness Report, and sure enough last weekend he showed the fourth different setup I’ve seen across four series. His hands are a lot looser now with better rhythm into his load, and he’s setting his front side earlier and clearing his hips in a way he wasn’t doing with much consistency earlier in the season. He rarely opened up and tried to pull the ball with authority before last weekend, but he easily matched the total in his first couple at-bats Friday night. Unfortunately the length and timing issues that plagued him earlier on still appear to be present. He still struggles to shut down his big body once he starts his swing, and there isn’t much in the way of quickness in his wrists and arms to help him adjust to get some wood on the ball when he’s beaten. He looked marginally better than he did earlier in the season, and any progress is always a good thing. But while he remains young enough to figure it out, I still have a hard time picturing more than a fringe second-division first baseman in a best-case scenario. – Wilson Karaman
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Rangers) has a quick, quiet stroke. It’s a linear bat path, but he controls the barrel consistently and shows above-average contact skills. There’s absolutely no power whatsoever though, and he’s aggressive early in counts to the point that more polished pitchers will be able to attack him at will. He's much better suited for the keystone than he is for shortstop. His fielding actions and transfer at short are solid, but he lacks the lateral quickness and first-step explosiveness to profile well at the position, and the arm strength is fringy for the left side. – Wilson Karaman
- Dioscar Romero (Red Sox) generates above-average velocity from a big, thick frame that is wide from bottom to top. He’s maxed out physically without much room to improve, and his body and modest athleticism limit his ability to repeat his delivery. In multiple viewings this summer, Romero showed consistent 91-93 mph velocity, with the ability to find another gear when things got tough, touching 95-96 mph throughout starts. His curveball and changeup need work with the changeup ahead of the breaking ball at present. When he gets aggressive with his fastball, amping up the velocity and attacking hitters, Romero has the look of a potential middle reliever or seventh inning arm. – Mark Anderson
- Dwight Smith, Jr. (Blue Jays) continues to show a fringe-MLB profile. He has a smaller, compact body with solid strength and average athleticism. Though he has stolen some bases and played center field in the past, Smith consistently shows below-average times down the line. Smith will be limited to left field as a result of his speed and below-average arm strength, but he does show quality instincts for the position; reading the ball well off the bat and taking direct routes. At the plate, Smith knows the strike zone well and demonstrates a willingness to work counts and find a pitch he can drive. He has a short, direct swing that sprays balls to all fields, though he struggles with the timing of his leg kick and gets out front too often. Smith doesn’t have the prototypical power of a left field, projecting for mostly gap pop down the line. All told, Smith looks more like a bench player with some second division potential. – Mark Anderson
- Confesor Lara (Tigers) is a potential seventh-inning arm that flashed 94-95 mph, touching 97 soon after his promotion to Double-A, but worked in the 91-93 mph range during a more recent game. Lara is a lean, quick-twitch athlete with explosiveness in his game and the potential to show more consistent premium velocity as he gains experience on the mound. A converted outfielder, Lara has a tendency to fall in love with one pitch during his outings, relying too heavily on either his fastball or his mid-80s slider. Both pitches have the potential to miss bats with improved consistency, and as he gains experience on the mound and mixes his two-pitch arsenal, Lara should get advanced hitters out more consistently. – Mark Anderson
A notable senior-sign in 2012, Royce Bollinger (Rangers) is a thick dude with a strong arm in right, but both his contact ability and his power get compromised by an over-aggressive approach and poor tracking. He stalled out in Double-A this spring and just turned 25, so it’s getting late early (WK)…Recently promoted to High-A, Edwin Medina (Astros) can absolutely fly. I clocked him at 3.84 from the right side on a drag bunt attempt with a one and a half step check-up after the ball rolled foul (WK)… Shortstop Jorge Flores (Blue Jays) still gives off a utility infielder vibe with a solid glove and strong arm that should play at other positions, good bat-to-ball ability, and above-average to plus speed (MA)…Montreal Robertson (Tigers) still has a lightning fast arm that generates easy mid-90s heat, a low-90s two-seamer with excellent life, and an inconsistent but potentially plus slider; allowing him to profile as a 7th inning arm (MA)…After ample time spent scouting Rhett Wiseman (Nationals) as an amateur, his first pro looks yielded similar impressions, including looking the part on the field, struggling mightily with spin and soft stuff, and generally showing a well below-average hit tool (MA).
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