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Ariel Jurado

Born: 01/30/1996 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 180
Mechanics
Maxed frame with little projection despite modest RHP size; balanced takeaway, quick through leg kick with moderate momentum; closed front side, clean arm action, consistent timing, average arm speed to a true three-quarter slot with moderate plane; drive has mild drift, above-average stride, clean strike with mild effort; repeatable, low-maintenance delivery
Evaluator Wilson Karaman
Report Date 04/17/2016
Affiliate High Desert Mavericks (High A, Rangers)
Dates Seen 4/14/16
OFP/Risk 55/Moderate
Realistic 45/Back-End Starter/Swingman
MLB ETA 2017
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
4-seam FB 45 55 90-92 93 Some deception from closed delivery, fairly straight but with late life, will attack hands and inner-third with command, can generate in-zone whiffs, strong tandem with two-seam
2-seam FB 50 55 88-89 90 Heavy pitch with boring action and mild run; plus command, drives the pitch down to lower quadrants, very difficult to square, tunnels off four-seam plane with plus late movement, real worm-burner
CH 50 55 83-86 Strong complement, tunnels with consistent arm speed, fade, and tumble; feel to turn it over, pitch finishes down in and below zone with command; moderate swing-and-miss, another ground ball pitch
SL 40 40 80-82 Limited usage, but some sweep, lacks late bite, command kept it off barrels, will front door to steal strikes
CB 30 40 72-75 Developmental pitch, leaned on it heavily in this outing; soft pitch with rolling shape, lacks bite, average depth; hides it well, later pickup, potential utility as a strike-stealer
Overall

Jurado took the ball on a miserable evening with 30-40 mph sustained winds blowing out in Lancaster and survived five innings to tell the tale. The two variants of his fastball have a fine rapport with his changeup; he commands all three pitches, tunneling them effectively and creating a difficult pick-up for hitters that results much more often than not in ground ball contact. The delivery is clean and repeatable, and outside of a couple hangers with his under-construction curveball he commanded down in the zone all night. He didn't show a ton of feel for spinning the ball in this look, though the elements may have played a role.

The raw stuff does not overwhelm, but the movement, command, and pitchability are all assets. A step forward with either of his breakers could take him to the middle of a rotation, but short of that he projects to add value as a versatile 11th man with runs at the back of big league rotations.


Mike Soroka

Born: 08/04/1997 (Age: 18)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 195
Mechanics
Three-quarters arm slot; above-average arm speed; repeats slot; smooth tempo; occasionally falls out of sync between upper and lower half; some drop and drive; improving drive to plate but can open early; workhorse frame; closer to 225 pounds than listed 195; durable head to toe; thick, strong lower half.
Evaluator David Lee
Report Date 04/22/2016
Affiliate Rome Braves (Low A, Braves)
Dates Seen 4/18/2016
OFP/Risk 60/High
Realistic 55; Mid-rotation starter
MLB ETA 2019
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 60 90-93 94 Average command could bump higher with repetition; plus downward plane; late arm-side run; flashes slight cut-like action to glove side at times; lively down in zone; velo comes easy; works both sides with confidence; commands arm side with ease; glove-side command will grow; holds velo throughout start; hittable/flat up and on plate
CB 45 60 79-82 82 Average command; flashes true wipeout ability at 81-82; extremely late break with solid tilt; two-plane ability when spun well; shows feel to find zone or break out of zone with two strikes; repeats arm slot; occasionally spins loose and early
CH 40 50 82 82 Only flashed CH; never showed feel for pitch; choked in dirt; projection pitch with good arm speed; average sink; developing feel for both secondaries at same time could boost CH immensely
Overall

Soroka's biggest strength right now is the proven aptitude to make adjustments quickly. He's a very smart kid with a strong feel for what he's doing on the mound. That has helped him grow as a pitcher in a short amount of time. The delivery is less violent than a year ago, and the velocity comes easier now. His command grades should increase as he gains more feel for his new body and delivery tweaks that have him on line to the plate and repeating his arm slot better. It's a matter of when he gains feel for both secondaries on the same day, not if. When that happens, a mid-rotation role will appear as a lock.


Grant Holmes

Born: 03/22/1996 (Age: 20)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 215
Mechanics
Thick frame, will wear weight in the middle; durable, some elasticity to the frame; moderate rock, bobs hands at takeaway, fluid through leg kick; hands and leg go at two different speeds on hand break, poor timing; premium arm speed, long arm action to a three-quarters slot; quick hips, struggles to contain them, deceleration into drive; moderate stride, firm foot strike, catapults back leg low across front side, stiff, violent finish; 1.28-1.38 average, holds velo from stretch
Evaluator Wilson Karaman
Report Date 04/25/2016
Affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A, Dodgers)
Dates Seen 4/9 & 4/24
OFP/Risk 55/High
Realistic 45
MLB ETA 2018
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
4-seam FB 50 55 90-94 95 90-92 bumped to 92-94 (t95) in first start, 90-92 in limited use second start; some life and deception, slingshot effect; poor command, inconsistent to release point, pulls it down to glove side, better command to arm side; extra half-grade of projection if it holds at upper velo band
2-seam FB 45 50 87-90 91 Has some run and weight, effective against left-handers to the arm side; pitch lacks consistent action, below-average command, moderate projection, worked on development in second start, used the pitch heavily
CB 55 60 79-82 85 Tight 11-5, yakker with late two-plane action; steals strikes, effective through the front door, can take it out of the zone; arm speed makes for difficult pickup, strong snap, swing-and-miss pitch; below-average command profile limits projection
CH 40 45 84-86 86 Limited use, flashes average, good ones show moderate fade, could be an effective barrel-misser, can play right-on-right; inconsistent feel, will slow down, struggles to repeat release point and get on top, not a swing-and-miss pitch
Overall

Holmes has a delivery that relies on timing and strong body control, and there isn't a ton of feel for tempo. He hesitates as he gathers into his drive, and he doesn't show enough rhythm or consistency with the ensuing weight transfer to repeat that stage of the delivery. The landing and finish vary significantly pitch to pitch as a result of the poor drive balance and the result is a present 40 command profile with a hill to climb to average.

Holmes shows the raw stuff to be an effective mid-rotation starter, though the lower velocity of the second start hurts his profile more than most. He can really spin the curve, and the pitch will generate whiffs along with inducing weak contact. The changeup has a long road ahead.

This is a high-volatility prospect at present, with a path to the middle of a big-league rotation that will require some time to hone his command if he's going to travel it.


Clint Frazier

Born: 09/06/1994 (Age: )
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 190
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position: CF
Physical/Health
Explosive, football-like muscularity; stocky, compact frame w/ plus strength; massive forearms and built lower-half; thicker body type doesn't cost him athleticism/acceleration.
Evaluator Adam McInturff
Report Date 04/21/2016
Dates Seen April 7-April 10, 2016
Affiliate Akron RubberDucks (Double-A, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Moderate 55 Above-average regular Yes
Makeup

Aggressive and intense on both sides of the ball. Football mentality.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 45 Plus-plus bat-speed through an explosive stroke; takes a huge cut at the occasional expense of barrel control; aggressive approach that's still being toned down; will come with some strikeouts even at full maturity. Power-oriented swing, but hits the ball so hard hit tool *might* get to full 50-grade even without truly hitterish tendencies. Over-swings with two strikes; can lose backside balance and get on the front foot. Patience/approach making improvements; still showed some difficulty IDing breaking balls.
Power 60 Natural strength, compact build, and huge bat speed combine for big raw power that he can get to in games. Extra-loud contact; serious exit velo off the barrel; ripped hard-hit line drives all over the field when he made contact. Advanced ability for age to clear hips on inside pitches and drive balls loft to pull side. Hits the ball as hard as anyone in the minors. 20+ home runs to come.
Baserunning/Speed 55 Plus runner presently who likely loses a half-step over time. Big swing prevents speed from playing plus going home-to-first. Better runner underway; powerful running stride that's more strong than fluid. Aggressive baserunner who was consistently looking to take an extra base.
Glove 55 Might lack the first step and/or gliding stride-length to truly profile in center. High-energy defender who still covers good ground; solid-average type of glove for a corner. Capable of sliding over to center field in a pinch during younger years.
Arm 55 Limited challenge plays this series; one game throw showed solid-avg arm-strength and carry. Enough arm for right field.
Overall

Realistic ceiling of athletic, above-average right fielder regular with explosive, power-based tool set. Higher-risk ceiling of role 60 all-star contributor if pure hitting ability comes on and strikeouts decrease. Really fun player to watch; high-energy gamer with extremely loud raw tools.


Jorge Mateo

Born: 06/23/1995 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 190
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Medium frame with a lean body; can't add much muscle to body at risk of losing speed down the road. Lacks remaining projection.
Evaluator Steve Givarz
Report Date 04/25/2016
Dates Seen 4/7/16-4/10/16
Affiliate Tampa Yankees (High A, Yankees)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Medium 60 Quality Regular at SS No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Hits from an even stance; quick, strong wrists; flat swing plane but balls have some loft; exceptional bat control; plus bat speed; has trouble with pitches on the outer half; will chase pitches and has trouble with recognizing CH.
Power 30 30-grade home-run power (5-8 home runs) but speed will turn singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. Strong wrists allow for some over-the-fence power but won't be part of his game.
Baserunning/Speed 80 True 80 runner, 3.90 to first, 3.68 on a jailbreak bunt, 3.16 on a stolen base. Game-changing speed, makes pitchers and fielders uncomfortable as he speeds up internal clocks. Needs to improve overall base running, could take bigger leads and does not take good jumps off pitchers.
Glove 50 Fair hands, tends to be too quick and not play balls on best hops, plus side-to-side range helps to make up for hands, should iron out over time and get to average.
Arm 60 Plus throwing arm; makes throws with ease; throws have good carry and accuracy.
Overall

Mateo will be a plus hitter, which paired with his 80 speed will make him an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers and defenders. Has the potential to be an everyday player at SS because of his plus arm and outstanding range, which helps makes up for some negatives. All of this heightens his value and makes Mateo a truly special player.


Christian Arroyo

Born: 05/30/1995 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 180
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position: 2B
Physical/Health
sturdy, compact build; strong, filled out lower half; still maturing, but not much physical projection left
Evaluator Adam Hayes
Report Date 04/17/2016
Dates Seen 04/12, 04/13
Affiliate Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A, Giants)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 Medium 50 Starting infielder carried by bat Yes
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 hard contact, line-drive stroke; will use the whole field, but mostly up the middle approach; hands stay back with slight bat wrap, throws weight forward a hair early putting him out in front of pitches at times; strength in forearms/wrists generate plus bat speed
Power 45 some pull power to the gap; swing doesn't sell out for power; line drives over fly balls approach; gap-to-gap focus will lead to lots of doubles
Baserunning/Speed 35 not quick; solid baserunner but not a burner
Glove 45 build and org depth make him not likely to last at SS; ranges better to his left than his right; glove is capable but avg
Arm 50 makes all the necessary throws with good carry; arm would play at 3rd
Overall

21-year-old, former first-round infielder with plus future hit tool. Quick, quiet bat the generates loud contact. Line-drive, up-the-middle approach. Doubles over home runs power. Glove is a tick below average; combined with build, likely to move off SS before long. Has the arm to handle 3B; glove and range would play at 2B. Profiles better at 2B given compactness of body. Hit tool will carry and play.


Andrew Benintendi

Born: 07/06/1994 (Age: )
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 170
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
Physical/Health
Average build with medium physical features. Chiseled, muscular forearms. Doesn't stand out physically on ML field; tools play above size.

STANCE: Relaxed, simple overall swing with confident, calm demeanor in box. Slight knee-bend in a medium-width, straight-on hitting base. Modest leg-lift trigger gets him to fairly wide launch position. Limited hand/head movement before the pitch; overall quiet load into swing.

Evaluator Adam McInturff
Report Date 04/21/2016
Dates Seen April 11-13, 2016
Affiliate Salem Red Sox (High A, Red Sox)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Low 55 Above-average center fielder Yes
Makeup

Tremendous instincts allow him to get the most out of bevy of average-to-solid tools. Excels at the little things and does something subtly heady nearly every game.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Impressive shortness to swing and ability to alter approach based on count and situation; took outside pitches the other way; also able to turn on hittable pitches to pull-side and clear hips for power. Quick bat; inside-out path to ball; mostly level swing-plane. Overall very advanced hit tool with look of .270+ averages.
Power 50 At least average raw power, if not a bit more to pull-side; likely plays a hair under raw power grade as level swing plane and modest physicality play game power more regularly to the gaps. Above-average producer of doubles and triples.
Baserunning/Speed 55 More a solid-average runner than burner; plus baserunning instincts and ability to read pitchers/game situations still allow ceiling of double-digit stolen bases; showed consistent good reads off the bat on balls to outfield; went first-to-third efficiently.
Glove 55 Direct routes to the ball with good reads allow him to get the most out of solid-avg speed in the field; longer strides with gliding range tracking fly balls; average-to-solid defense in center with instincts to handle either corner spot.
Arm 50 Limited looks at throwing arm, though had more of an average look to carry. Physical size, offensive profile, and arm-strength profile best in left if he does move from center.
Overall

Impressive position prospect; rare blend of a high ceiling paired with high-floor of everyday contributor. Best case is a quality regular in center, with plus hitting ability and a bevy of average other tools, with excellent instincts to boot. Advanced tool set; highly skilled player; could be a quick mover to big-league level.


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batts40
5/05
Love this series, great work as usual.
TheArtfulDodger
5/05
Thanks very much.
oldbopper
5/05
At this stage of development, when they were both in High-A, is Benintendi seen as a better prospect than Conforto was?
aMcInturff
5/05
I saw another publication (don't remember which) saying that Benintendi could get the Conforto treatment RE: debuting his first full pro season. That's interesting--and they're similar in that they both wore the crown of 'most advanced college hitter' in their respective drafts. Let's put the timetable aside and just compare the two players for now, though. I see the commonality being the advanced nature of their contact and patience offensively. Conforto was the more traditional corner profile; Benintendi is better-rounded in terms of defense, base-running, and overall speed. Conforto's best case ceiling might involve higher offensive outputs than Benintendi, but Benintendi has a lot more to offer from a holistic WARP or bWAR standpoint at the same point in his development.
oldbopper
5/05
Thank you for your response. I keep hoping to see this scenario, which you mentioned, in which the Red Sox have the guts to bring him up during his first full season. This move worked incredibly well for both the Mets with Conforto, and the Cubs with Schwarber, in 2015. The profiles are extremely similar for all three. Great college hitters, with short quick swings, who raked from the moment they entered organized ball. If anything Benintendi, as you said, has a better overall game than either of the other two and fills a hole in the Red Sox lineup. Holt, while an invaluable player, is not a corner bat and is much better suited to his high quality utility role. In a comparable situation, I am fascinated by the performance of Nomar Mazara who is a year younger than Benintendi but with 3 years in pro ball and who climbed the traditional ladder. Does this experience with professional coaching make him more ready to contribute than an older college player also with great talent? What happens when Choo is ready to return? I remember when Dusty Baker started Solomon Torres in game 162 of the 1993 season, he was asked why he didn't use one of the veteran pitchers. Dusty's response was "When given the choice between talent and experience, I will take talent every time". Will the Rangers bench a veteran? Will the Red Sox make a bold move? Only time will tell.
mhmosher
5/06
Too notch stuff. Grades as true 80 baseball journalism.