keyboard_arrow_uptop

Rio Ruiz, 3B, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett)


It may seem like a minor change, but Ruiz’s slight hand tweak is doing wonders for him. The left-handed hitter has always gotten by as a pro in the lower levels because of a solid feel for the bat. That helped overcome a deep hand load and lengthy swing. The true test came in 2015 with his first Double-A assignment, and the more advanced level ate up the length in his swing with velocity and sequencing, combined with an out-of-sync motion that resulted in a lot of swings and misses and balls rolled over to second base. Enter 2016, Ruiz has cut down on the length his hands travel during the load and fire motion of his swing. He still has the same high back elbow, but his hands no longer gravitate toward the catcher in line with his elbow. They stay closer to the point they need to be to fire, and they’re slightly closer to his body to stay inside the ball. Ruiz is able to more often utilize his feel for the barrel. He still lets his approach beat him at times by chasing high or away, but he’s able to compensate better and is barreling pitches more often. His in-game power still needs to develop further, but this is a positive step. Now, he needs to prove he can maintain it over a full season at an advanced level. —David Lee

Jaime Barria, RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Low-A Burlington)

Coming from a high-three-quarters arm slot and a full wind up, Barria gets the fastball down in the zone at 88-91, with slight arm-side run at times. He gets far-side down with the pitch and isn't afraid to pitch inside. His slot limits movement but downhill plane helps it play up. His curve had shorter 12/6 shape tonight, and he snapped off a few average breakers in warmups. He spun off the mound at times trying to impart more spin on the baseball. It is at its best when he stayed online and through the baseball. The change was his best pitch tonight (April 15), flashing above-average at times with fade and sink. Barria boasts quality arm-speed and isn't afraid to double or even triple up on the pitch; it's a future 6 offering. His command came and went tonight but when he stayed online and kept the front shoulder closed he showed the ability to pound the zone with three pitches. —James Fisher

Sam Moll, LHP, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A El Paso)
Moll is a three-pitch reliever, and as a guy capable of getting lefties and righties out, he's almost big-league ready. Moll works with a high-three-quarters arm slot. He has some spinal tilt and a bit of a headsnap, but he's a fluid thrower and he located effectively in my viewing. He's small (just 5-foot-10, 180 pounds) but he has a quick arm and he ran his fastball up to 94 mph in my viewing. He complemented the pitch with a change up that flashed plus: He replicates his arm speed well and the pitch featured plus tailing action. He left a change or two up in the zone, but when he executed properly, it was a bat-misser. He also throws a mid-80s slider with moderate movement. —Brendan Gawlowski

Bobby Boyd, OF, Houston Astros (High-A Lancaster)
Boyd's profile is a tough one, as a below-average hitter with an arm best-suited for left field. He's posted 65 run times in my looks so far, and that's off a decent sample because he's a ground ball machine at the plate. His quiet setup at the plate bleeds into a drifting load with a long hitch of his hands moving up and in, creating steepness into the zone to where he's regularly hitting down on the ball. The bat's just not in the zone for very long, and a lack of strength and bat speed in tandem with unremarkable hand-eye causes more swing-and-miss than the profile can afford. He's shown decent instincts and route-running in his chances, both in left and center, and the explosive speed affords him serious close. His reads and breaks on stolen bases are advanced, with a fast start-up and easy steal on a 1.95 pop and a 1.25-1.35 pitcher. There's enough speed and glove here to keep tabs on him as a potential fifth outfielder with pinch-running utility down the line, but unless the bat takes a couple steps forward that ceiling is unlikely. —Wilson Karaman

Carlos Belonis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin)


Belonis has a wiry frame with broad shoulders and long limbs. He has lots of moving pieces at the plate with bat speed, but more of a 'see ball, hit ball' approach at present. He swings hard every time and doesn't get cheated, resulting in plenty of swings and misses. He has seen some time in center this year but belongs in a corner, and does have enough arm for right. His routes are a bit suspect right now, and he gets a little aggressive with some of his throws. Belonis is a little old for the level, so time is running out but if he can make some adjustments at the plate he does have some raw tools to work with. —James Fisher

Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Gwinnett)
Jenkins has made small changes since even last year. The tempo in his delivery has improved. He no longer drives to the plate in a violent burst from an ultra-high leg kick. It’s closer to one smooth motion down the hill that he repeats well. He still occasionally spins out of his delivery and leaves his pitches arm-side and high, but it’s a more controlled motion. Jenkins also showed more of a power slurve at 81-84 with three-quarters shape than the typical downward-breaking, deep curveball. It’s a tighter pitch but didn’t show more effectiveness than the potential above-average curve has in the past. Otherwise, Jenkins remains the same as a pitcher. His fastball was 91-96 in a recent look, hitting 96 twice and coming easy with above-average sink and plane when kept down. His changeup was firm but flashed average with moderate fade at 83-85. Jenkins struggles to consistently command his stuff, which has followed him since the draft. His fastball is a plus-potential pitch when kept down with sink, but it’s flat and lacks life up and on the plate. He struggles to locate his secondaries enough to keep good hitters off the fastball. His arsenal plays down as a result. You dream on the athletic body, which is one of the best in pro baseball for a pitcher, but whether the stuff can match the athleticism remains the question. If so, he’s a potential no. 4 starter. If his stuff continues to play down, relief is the safe bet. —David Lee

Rogelio Armenteros, RHP, Houston Astros (High-A Lancaster)
Houston signed Armenteros shortly after his 19th birthday in September of 2014 after he defected from Cuba. He's a big-bodied right-hander with an aggressive rock to generate early momentum into his turn. His arm action is reasonably fluid to a high-three-quarters slot that runs up on a straight over-the-top release. His hips rotate early, opening him up to get downhill with a powerful drive that ends in some violence at foot strike. There's effort and movement, and the command wandered in this start. But he showed some pitchability with a solid arsenal, including two- and four-seam fastball variants in the low 90s, a low-80s change that Bugs Bunnied a few times amid inconsistent arm speed, and a mid-70s curve with 12-5 movement and excellent depth when he got on top of it. He showed as rough and inconsistent from pitch to pitch, and the effort in his delivery suggests a tougher road to developing his command, but there's some raw material here worth tracking. —Wilson Karaman

Shane Carle, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Triple-A El Paso)
Carle is tall, and while he's not especially physical, he has a strong arm. He gets good plane on his fastball, a 92-94 mph two-seamer with average tail. It's an average fastball, but his offspeed wasn't effective enough to keep Tacoma's lineup from sitting on and hitting the pitch effectively. Carle has three off-speed pitches: a changeup, a curve, and a slider. The change was probably his best off-speed offering on the day, a low-to-mid-80s pitch with good arm speed replication limited movement. His curvy was slurvy and soft and didn't entice any swings on pitches in the dirt. His slider was another below-average offering, a primarily horizontal breaker in the mid-80s. I caught him lowering his arm slot a couple of times when he threw it, and it was neither sharp enough nor thrown with enough depth to miss bats. Ultimately Carle has a strong arm and the right kind of body to start, but he may be more effective in relief, where he'll throw harder and may be able to coax something extra out of one of his off speed pitches. —Brendan Gawlowski

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
rrvwmr
5/10
Who is the RHP that struck Ruiz out twice. Good body, nice run on a few of his fastballs and a slider flashing plus.
cdgarosi
5/10
If it's the May 7th game it's Chris Beck, but I can't quite make out the name.
TheArtfulDodger
5/10
It was indeed May 7th
bravey13
5/11
Yes, it's Chris Beck. He had a very good night against Gwinnett. Stuff looked pretty sharp.