Friday, December 18th
I remember sitting on Smith for several weekend series during his amateur career Clemson and thinking he had a long professional career ahead of him. I actually believed Smith might have a limited big-league future in front of him, and while that never developed, Smith’s career has still been a valuable one for several organizations. On top of that, I have learned a ton looking back on my notes from Smith’s college career and furthering my understanding of what it takes for a quality college player to transition to the major leagues.
Justin Williams, OF, Rays (ABL, Brisbane Bandits): 2-5, R, HR, K
Several of my BP team members have discussed Williams this offseason, so I won’t belabor the points already made. Williams remains toolsy and has put together a strong showing in Australia this winter, giving the Rays and their fans hope that he might be putting the entire package together and helping a system that needs support from additional position players.
Saturday, December 19th
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins (DWL, Gigantes del Cibao): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR
Amidst what seem to be persistent rumors of his trade out of Miami this offseason, Ozuna continues to show tantalizing potential as an impact player on both sides of the ball. Though far from a prospect, Ozuna has considerable developmental hurdles ahead of him and his remaining path is not unlike some of the upper level prospects mentioned in this space. A team willing to pony up for Ozuna, if the Marlins are in fact interested in dealing him, might just be getting a player capable of becoming an All-Star for years to come.
Sunday, December 20th
At this point it is simply fun to make sure there are dueling views of Moya in the MLU. I understand and have witnessed firsthand Moya’s warts, and I have for a very, very long time; to a painful extent at times. I also understand the developmental progress he has made over the last several seasons; something nobody could have seen when he first arrived in the States. Moya isn’t going to be the star his power suggests he could become, but I still firmly believe he will be an MLB contributor on a day-to-day basis. Oh, and he didn’t strike out in this game.
Once traded straight up for a big-league shortstop (Jhonny Peralta), Soto tasted the big leagues in 2015 and he should get back there in 2016 and for several years to come. A funky lefty with fringe velocity from a low slot and three secondary pitches to back it up, Soto can chew innings in the middle of the game and may even be able to survive high leverage spots for some stretches if he command develops.
Rangel Ravelo, 1B, Athletics (VWL, Cardenales de Lara): 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, HR
Ravelo has garnered some interest as a prospect among fans thanks to a career .302/.369/.426 minor league line, but his tools don’t match the results. Limited to first base defensively, Ravelo has to hit a ton to a have a legitimate chance at a big-league job, and his offensive profile is built more on approach than power. Ravelo fits the mold of a classic 4-A hitter that gets a cup of coffee on a big league bench.
Peter Tago, RHP, White Sox (VWL, Cardenales de Lara): 1 IP, 3 K
Tago continues his long and winding road from supplemental first round pick, to apparent failed prospect, to resurgent reliever with a chance to help the White Sox bullpen. With everything coming together for Tago over the last year, a trend which has continued this winter, the ship has been righted and there could be a MLB future for the still young right-hander. Tago’s control remains an issue and that will prevent him from owning a high-leverage profile, but he should still miss bats and help in the middle innings, or possibly even the seventh frame.
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