Yaisel Sierra

Born: 06/05/1991 (Age: 24)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1" Weight: 170
Slender frame, wiry strength, athletic movements, minimal remaining projection; low-effort delivery, semi-wind, moderate leg kick; mild stab, clean to high-three-quarters; slows tempo, mild drop, stays uphill, stride drifts offline; hips over-rotate, drag to release, flies open, frequent arm-side misses, inconsistent finish; timing issues exacerbated in stretch, inconsistent takeaway; quick to the plate, 1.16-1.25; fought his catcher in first start, poor mound presence in multiple outings, struggles to respond to adversity
Evaluator Wilson Karaman
Report Date 05/22/2016
Affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A, Dodgers)
Dates Seen 4/30, 5/10, 5/20/16
OFP/Risk 45/High
Realistic 40/Middle Reliever
MLB ETA 2017
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 55 91-93 94 Mild sink, moderate run, some life and mild deception, can get under barrels, will elevate it to the hands; flashes true plus, generates in-zone whiffs; fringe-average control with below-average present command projection
SL 50 60 81-84 85 Softer and rounder in-zone, will steal early strikes with it, confidence to double- and triple-up; right-handers have shown propensity to pick it up better; late vertical action, sweeps it out of the zone ahead; above-average tilt, will flash plus projection with tight two-plane bite, can get there with greater consistency

Cuban IFA signed for six years and $30 million. Sierra's frame is on the small size for a right-hander and pretty well maxed out physically at 24. The arm action is loose and clean, though he shows poor synch between his upper and lower halves at present. His drive has an awful lot of drift, leading to inconsistencies in his timing and poor present command. The fastball-slider combination flashes above-average potential, with the slider showing elements of a plus pitch, and an additional tick of velocity could be possible in a short relief role. He lacks consistency over multiple innings in a starting role, and has struggled with poor mound presence and failure response in multiple outings. He's thrown a whopping two hard changeups with split-like action across the three starts I've seen, and the lack of that third pitch's game utility at present limits projection to that of a straight middle relief profile if the command sharpens into at least fringe-average range.

Reynaldo Lopez

Born: 01/04/1994 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 185
Body: Short, muscular, athletic frame. Well-built. Broad shoulders; strong lower half.

Delivery: Slow-paced semi wind-up; tall leg kick and long gather at top of delivery; effort in finish w/ consistent pull off-line after release; front side opens up early, gets away from arm at release. Reliever's mechanics.

Arm Action: Electric arm speed; plus-plus quickness and strength to arm-stroke through 3/4 slot. Injury/command concerns: arm does all the work; long in the back; effort and recoil after release.

Evaluator Adam McInturff
Report Date 05/22/2016
Affiliate Harrisburg Senators (AA, Nationals)
Dates Seen 2 (April, May 2016)
OFP/Risk 60/High
Realistic 50 — Late-Inning Relief
MLB ETA 2018
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 70 70 96 98 Special arm speed generates natural double-plus velocity. Sits 95-96 in starting role, even late into outings, scraping the upper 90s. Explosive bursting life to FB w/ hop and arm-side run when working at the top of the zone. "Thrower" w/ overwhelming velocity; lacking command within zone; likely will always need to overpower; tough to project on command w/ shorter frame and max-effort finish.
Curveball 45 50 79 82 Hard CB w/ flashes of tight spin and two-plane depth at best; likely finishes an average pitch; length to arm action and recoil can make it inconsistent on off nights. Seen it good once, bad another; on-and-off pitch at this point in his development.
Changeup 50 55 87 89 Hard, late-tumbling split-like action that dives down/away from LHB; good arm speed sell in front; best ones have swing-and-miss action playing off plus fastball. Lots of confidence in CH; good feel for third pitch for power arm; used to both RHB and LHB.
Control 40 45 Fails into sequences of poor command within the zone, falling behind hitters and into fastball counts. Room to still make some mechanical adjustments, but control/command still likely profiles best in a shorter-exposure role.

Short, big-velocity, explosive RHP; dominant fastball paired w/ two solid secondary pitches. Wouldn't write him off as starter quite yet, but see more likely big-league role as a high-leverage reliever, where velocity and three pitch mix could make him a valuable bullpen piece.

Max Fried

Born: 01/18/1994 (Age: 22)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 185
High three-quarters arm slot; above-average arm speed; repeats slot; smooth tempo; crossfire delivery but limits upper-body rotation; can cast pitches and lose extension; doesn't consistently take advantage of height/length; long levers; starting to fill out projectable frame; good starter's body.
Evaluator David Lee
Report Date 05/30/2016
Affiliate Rome Braves (Low A, Braves)
Dates Seen 4/20; 5/29/2016
OFP/Risk 60/Extreme
Realistic 50; Mid-rotation starter
MLB ETA 2018
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 60 88-94 95 Fringe-average command; slight arm-side run; flashes downhill plane with life; settles 88-92 after a couple innings but consistently reaches back for 94 deep into start; works both sides with confidence; consistently locates arm side; glove-side command a tick behind; differing effectiveness from fringy in-zone command; hittable up and on plate
CB 50 60 71-76 77 Average feel; plus depth; above-average bite; 1/7 downward action; out pitch with bite when spun tightly; change-of-pace with slow break when loose; needs to consistently tighten for true 60 effectiveness in upper levels
CH 45 55 78-80 81 Fringe-average feel; average fade flashes late; arm action produces deception; occasionally casts and floats into zone; projection pitch with framework to reach above-average

Fried's biggest concern right now is staying healthy and gaining feel for his stuff after Tommy John surgery. The stuff is still there. He has three pitches that all flash plus and two could reach that grade consistently with a third just behind. He has command struggles despite an easy delivery, and his feel for pitching comes and goes. The goal is to get used to a body that's filling out and gain feel for his release over time. Fried will require patience, but the end result could be special.

Eric Stamets

Born: 09/25/1991 (Age: 24)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 190
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position:
Thin, bony, narrow frame; average build. Lacks physicality for extra-base power. Above-average athlete; light on feet; quick first step; accelerates quickly.
Evaluator Adam McInturff
Report Date 04/28/2016
Dates Seen April 7-April 10, 2016
Affiliate Akron RubberDucks (AA, Indians)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2018 Low 40 ML Bench/Defensive Specialist Yes

High-energy player; consistent hustle; high baseball IQ; good baserunner w/ knack for defensive positioning.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 35 Lacks the hit tool for regular big-league profile, even at glove-first position. Singles hitter with pull-oriented contact. Minimal bat-speed from frame that lacks strength; beaten by plus velocity; consistently struggled to cover outer-half; would be exposed offensively if given everyday at-bats.
Power 30 Well below-average power, not part of offensive game. Singles contact; lacks strength to even drive the gaps; slightly more authoritative drives to pull side.
Baserunning/Speed 60 above-average to plus runner, plays up to 60-grade from good base running instincts. Gets out of his swing and up the line well; fair stolen base capability; can score from second and/or go 1st to 3rd.
Glove 60 Plus glove at SS; impressive glovework; has natural defensive tools and polish to finish plays. Loose, fluid defensive actions; completed plays to both sides and on the run; agile and mobile w/ quick first step to both his left and right. Standout defender; looked at home defensively.
Arm 55 At least above-average arm-strength, chance tick more; consistent carry across the IF w/ reliable accuracy; showed he can finish arm-strength plays on challenge balls to the deep 5/6 hole.

Fairly safe low-ceiling prospect; big-league utility lies in defensive value at SS w/ ability to slot all around the IF. Lacks bat for everyday profile. Provides bench value w/ glove, arm, speed. Paul Janish type toolset. Moderate interest.

David Dahl

Born: 04/01/1994 (Age: 22)
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 195
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position: LF
narrow frame; lithe, athletic build; mature strength but not bulky; sturdy lower half; history of injuries
Evaluator Adam Hayes
Report Date 05/23/2016
Dates Seen 5/02, 5/03, 5/04, 5/05
Affiliate New Britain Rock Cats (AA, Rockies)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2017 Medium 60 Above-average regular OF Yes
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 elite, plus-plus bat speed; hands drift with slight wrap while leg lift and plant triggers swing; timing in lower half inconsistent–late on pitches despite bat speed ; aggressive early in counts, though capable of working counts for walks
Power 55 generates easy loud, hard contact; drives to the gaps, opposite field; level, line-drive stroke; will rack up doubles with ease; bat speed to generate more power—20 HR seasons not out of the question
Baserunning/Speed 50 4.27 home-first in look; confident, aggressive baserunner–track record of 20+ SB seasons
Glove 55 handles routine plays well, though glove will have occasional lapses; range and instincts to play CF, but corner spot seems likely
Arm 50 showed AVG carry with accuracy; would be more of a deterrent in LF than CF, but capable arm for CF

Athletic OF with elite bat speed and above-average hit tool. Former first-round pick with injury history. Bat speed is plus-plus and generates hard contact. Mechanics of swing have some issues with consistent timing, leading to late contact or frequent swing-misses. Swing-miss tendency and early count aggressiveness will be limiters of hit tool, but feel to hit is there to be above-average. Capable of loud, hard contact, though more of a line-drive stroke. Should be a doubles machine, though increased HR production, especially if Coors is his home field, is highly possible. Above-average defender with ability to handle CF. Like the profile better, given average arm and injury history, in a corner spot. average speed with good instincts. 20-20 seasons not out of the question. Above-average regular in the outfield when healthy.

Herschel Powell

Born: 01/14/1993 (Age: 22)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 185
Primary Position: CF
Secondary Position:
Trim, athletic frame, quick twitch athlete. Lacks physicality, below average build.
Evaluator Brendan Gawlowski
Report Date 05/30/2015
Dates Seen 4/23-4/26, 5/19-5/22
Affiliate Tacoma Rainiers (AAA, Mariners)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 Low 50 45, fourth outfielder No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 55 Quick hands; short stroke; linear swing path; wrists lack explosion; frequently makes contact, though contact is often soft; has a plan at the plate; works counts; recognizes offspeed out of the hand; ability to work a walk will translate to big leagues.
Power 30 Mild pull power; can drive mistakes out to right and into the right-center field gap; singles hitter to left and center.
Baserunning/Speed 60 Consistent times between 4.05 and 4.15 on a dig; gets out of box quickly, effective drag bunting helps speed play up on bunts; strong instincts on bases; good reads on balls in dirt and off bat.
Glove 60 Quick; reads ball off bat; efficient route runner; tracks flies; good footwork moving back on the ball.
Arm 50 Average arm strength; arm plays up slightly due to quick release and accuracy.

Powell puts the bat on the ball and can take a walk. His lack of power will limit his OBP at the highest level, however, as pitchers will not be afraid to challenge him. He can pull a ball hard on a mistake, but is otherwise at his best when shooting line drives over the field and hitting the ball where it's pitched. Defensively, he's a good center fielder who uses his plus speed effectively, taking crisp routes in the field and demonstrating an aptitude for going back on fly balls. Ultimately, his lack of hard contact suggests that he's a fourth outfielder. He'll be a good one though, and it wouldn't be shocking if a modest uptick in power allowed him to start in center for a few years.

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I wish David Dahl was playing for the dear departed New Britain Rock Cats. Unfortunately, he is playing for the team without a home, the yet to be really born Hartford Yard Goats. A team with an unfinished stadium that just fired the contractors and had construction stopped in a never ending fiasco.