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Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome)

There’s a lot to process when watching Riley, and that causes differing opinions on his future. A couple scouts I spoke to said they were intrigued by the raw power, but they couldn’t pull the trigger and go all in on the player, either. I feel the same after a recent look. The raw power is real and obvious. It’s at least plus and one scout said plus-plus. There’s 30-homer potential in his barrel. The issue is how often he finds the barrel. There will always be quite a bit of miss in Riley’s game. His bat speed is average at best and is muscled with stiff hands. He was constantly beat by average velocity in a recent look. Riley does show an approach at the plate and should draw some walks. The other issue is where he ultimately plays. He has the hands and plus arm for third, but his range is currently fringy and he’ll only get bigger. The book is out on his future defensive home, but first base may be it. The intrigue of a potential 30-homer third baseman will keep Riley near the top of prospect lists, but there are some major questions that will need answering over the course of the next few years, namely whether he hits enough. –David Lee

Edmundo Sosa, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (Low-A Peoria)

Sosa is a medium-framed Panamanian shortstop with a little more room for added strength. At the plate, he swings a big bat, starting his hands deep into his shoulder and utilizing a slight shift in weight backwards to get the swing going. He features a solid approach with bat speed and barrel awareness. The power will begin to manifest itself as the approach continues to improve. In the field, he combines field awareness with solid footwork and at least an average arm to put together a solid, if unspectacular, package. In the end, the Cardinals have a quality bat first player that will do enough with the glove to stay at SS long term. –James Fisher

Travis Demeritte, 3B, Texas Rangers (High-A High Desert)

Demeritte starts from a wide open stance with a crouch and aggressive bat waggle, before flattening his stick at first move and following with a drifting, high hand load and inconsistent trigger. It's a max-effort swing with considerable length into zone. He'll drop his back shoulder and frequently loses hip-shoulder alignment in the pursuit of maximizing barrel speed. He does have strong arms and wrists, and there's plus bat speed with moderate leverage into the zone. He can muscle balls he doesn't catch flush, and there's all-fields power built on hard line-drive contact an ample carry. I caught him in the middle of an impressive hot streak, though the poor barrel control and frequent over-swings were still quite apparent. It's very much a boom-or-bust offensive approach at present, and it's not hard to envision periodic mechanical collapses driving prolonged slumps. –Wilson Karaman

Mac Marshall, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Low-A Augusta)

Marshall’s stuff won’t raise many eyebrows, but there’s an average three-pitch mix to be had here. Perhaps the most impressive part of the lefty right now is the understanding of what he needs to do to be a better pitcher. He needs to improve his fastball command, because the pitch’s ceiling is no greater than average. It flashes some life at 88-91, but it’s too often straight, hittable on the plate, and requires location. He said after his first home start this season that it all goes back to command. He’s working on that and improving the rhythm in his delivery to repeat his mechanics better. Marshall’s meal ticket is a plus-potential changeup that flashes plus tumble and depth. His breaking ball can get loose and slurvy but flashes two-plane ability and could reach average. If Marshall shores up the timing in his delivery, it could improve his command and help him take off. The ceiling isn’t huge, but there’s enough here to be a back-end starter. –David Lee

Daz Cameron, CF, Houston Astros (Low-A Quad Cities)

Daz is the son of Mike Cameron and while the similarities are there, Daz is a different player than his father. While Mike was an excellent defender in center, Daz is more of an average defender with solid routes and reactions. The speed is easy with long strides that help cover plenty of ground in the field and play on the base paths. The bat is the question mark with Cameron and although he has embraced the Astros approach at the plate there is still plenty of swing and miss. Without improvements in the bat, Cameron’s ceiling is more of a fourth outfield type. –James Fisher

Patrick Weigel, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Low-A Rome)

As if the Braves didn’t have enough pitching in the system, there’s another arm flying under the radar, surrounded by big-name prospects in Rome’s rotation. Weigel isn’t getting the same attention as his rotation mates, but that will change if he keeps throwing like he is right now. He showed an above-average three-pitch mix from a lively arm. His fastball was 92-96 early, touching 97 with effective sink from a low three-quarters slot. It backed up to 88-92 late with the same sink. He commanded to the knees throughout and located to the arm side well, while his rotational delivery made it difficult to find the glove side. When Weigel’s curveball was tight at 81-83 it flashed plus with hard, late bite from a three-quarters break. It would sometimes back up to upper-70s with loose spin. He shows a surprising amount of feel for a changeup at 81-85 that flashed above-average. He replicates his arm speed and shows above-average fade and depth. The downside is Weigel’s delivery. The upper half has heavy rotation that causes him to spin out and drag his arm behind at times. When his front side opens early, his arm is left to do the work, and that creates stress. Despite some present inconsistencies, there’s a lot to like with Weigel, starting with a feel for three pitches that pop. –David Lee

Josh Morgan, IF, Texas Rangers (High-A High Desert)

Morgan starts open, with a leg kick to square, and a quiet top-half load. The leg kick is aggressive, and he sets his front foot firmly and with some rigidity. The hips fire early off his strong plant, and he loses momentum through the zone, which robs him of the torque and plane to drive the ball with authority. He'll get out to that front side early, opening up some vulnerability to off-speed pitches, but he shows a strong bat-to-ball ability. He stays within his swing well and shows a solid approach relative to context, working balls to all fields. He works counts with an advanced approach, and he'll need the on-base skills to offset his lack of pop. After seeing him at short and third I'm not sure where he plays on the diamond. He doesn't have actions or physicality to be a regular shortstop, though he made plays and looked the part of someone who can cover it in a pinch. The reactions and arm both showed as plenty solid for third, though the in-game opportunities were scarce. –Wilson Karaman

Junior Fernandez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Low-A Peoria)

Junior is a medium-bodied right-hander with a filled out frame and little projection remaining. He starts his delivery from a semi-wind up and employs three-quarters arm angle. There is plenty of effort in the delivery and a slight head whack but he gets through it. The effort does produce good arm speed but limits his command profile in turn. The landing can also get a little stiff at times, further limiting the command profile. The fastball is the main attraction, topping out at 99 and sitting 94-97 mph. Fernandez holds the velocity well, sitting 94-96 in the sixth. It features minimal life in the zone but he compensates with a 2-seam at 90-92 with run that keeps hitters off the barrel. His curveball is inconsistent at present and he lacks confidence in the pitch. It has 10/4 shape that varies and sits 78-81 mph. It will flash average spin at times but needs plenty of work. The changeup has inconsistent fade and is the main secondary offering at present. It sits 79-81 and Fernandez likes to throw it. He tripled up on the pitch to several batters. –James Fisher

Kyle McGrath, LHP, San Diego Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore)

McGrath's a former 36th-rounder made good (so far) as a rare straight over-the-top lefthander. His fastball works 86-89 with cutting action, and he works it north-south. The pitch plays up in the zone, getting into right-handers' kitchens on the regular. He pairs it with an outstanding, tumbling changeup at 78-80. He can really pull the string with the pitch; it tunnels well off the fastball and shows true plus projection with additional command and consistency. –Wilson Karaman

Jose Pirela, 2B, San Diego Padres (Triple-A El Paso)

Pirela looked fooled with seemingly every pitch. His pitch identification was poor—he chased curves in the dirt and took the ones that started above the zone before dropping in for a strike—and he expanded the zone both north and south. He puts everything into his cuts, swinging hard with a stiff uppercut and an inefficient bat path that left him off-balance as he completed his swing. He’s a free-swinger who doesn’t work a lot of deep counts, but I came away surprised that his major league strikeout rate (20 percent in about 80 plate appearances last year) wasn’t higher. He’ll be organizational depth for the Padres. –Brendan Gawlowski

Dario Pizzano, LF, Seattle Mariners (Triple-A Tacoma)

Pizzano attended Columbia, walks more than he strikes out, and as an unheralded 15th-rounder, it's not surprise that he's ended up on quite a few fringe-prospect lists. Pizzano earns his walks: he has a discerning eye, he knows the strike zone, and in my viewings, he was able to identify spin out of the hand and avoid chasing breaking balls in the dirt. He has a slow bat though—he struggled to catch up to fastballs in the 90s and was jammed by an 89-mph fastball in one at-bat—and that's despite a relatively flat and compact swing that does little more than serve the ball into play when he makes contact. He's a below-average runner too, and while you never want to grade the hit tool too early, it's not clear that he has a single average tool. –Brendan Gawlowski

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lewist
4/26
These daily views are excellent. For example, the Junior Fernandez viewing is a useful foil to the recent stat-hype Junior has been receiving. Thank you all
TheArtfulDodger
4/26
Thank you!