keyboard_arrow_uptop
Baseball Prospectus is looking for a Public Data Services Director. Read the description here.

Last week the Eastern League held its all-star game, and Adam McInturff and Grant Jones were there to take in the festivities. Today we’ll examine the standouts from the league’s Western Division, with notes on the best of the East coming forth tomorrow.

Christian Arroyo, SS, San Francisco Giants (Richmond)

Arroyo has proven doubters wrong about his bat since signing, and the ceiling is a heady infielder in a “typical Giants” mold. He does a little bit of everything, making the routine plays at shortstop and showing the tools to hit for average with some occasional power sprinkled in. The raw power grades out above his demonstrated over-the-fence production thus far, and he doesn’t walk much, but he also makes plenty of contact to limit his strikeouts. There’s strength in his 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame, and getting the bat blown out of his hands won’t ever be his issue at the plate. Billed as a glove-first shortstop as an amateur, scouts are now split on whether Arroyo will remain at the position at the big-league level after he has bulked up some as a professional. He has sure hands and a solid arm, and continually positions himself well while showing an ability to make throws on the run. The main question is whether he moves laterally well enough to get to balls at game speed, though he ranged far to the glove-side hole to convert a tough play cleanly in Wednesday’s game. A fundamental and instinctual player, Arroyo’s well-rounded toolset gives him a high likelihood of contributing in some capacity as a big leaguer, though his offensive profile does look better as a long-term regular at shortstop rather than second or third. –Adam McInturff

Tyler Beede, RHP, San Francisco Giants (Richmond)

Beede’s delivery features an athletic leg lift and minimal effort to a three-quarter slot, and his arm is clean and quick. He showed his classic two-fastball mix in this outing, with both a two- and four-seam variant sitting in the same low-90’s band. He’ll also mix in a cutter, giving him true three-way action with his hard stuff. The changeup featured mild fade and showed nice shape to it, while his curveball flashed plus with quality 12-6 depth. Overall he profiles as a mid-rotation starter with multiple average-or-better pitches. –Grant Jones

Tyler Eppler, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (Altoona)

Eppler has a workhorse frame as a starter, with a big body and broad shoulders. The health of his pitching elbow has been an issue in the past, with a prior surgery to remove bone spurs on his record. He’s done a lot to reassure scouts concerned about durability issues this season, however. His delivery has some modest effort in it, and comes from a three-quarter slot. The fastball worked in the 92-94 range in his inning of work, showing run but missing up a few times along the way. His changeup impressed in the low-80’s, showing good separation and falling off the table late. His slider was tight and should be close to an average pitch eventually. If everything comes together for Eppler he has the stuff to remain a starter, with three average pitches and a frame to eat quality innings in the back of someone’s rotation. –GJ

J.P. Feyereisen, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Akron)

Feyereisen didn’t have the best night Wednesday, giving up two runs on five hits in his only inning of work. His fastball sat 91-94, topping out at 95, but he commanded it poorly, missing his spots to both sides of the plate. He went to a slider a few times to compliment it, and the pitch showed depth despite backing up on a couple occasions. The delivery has a bunch of effort, with a high leg kick and pronounced head whack at the end as he falls off to the first-base side. –GJ

Clint Frazier, OF, Cleveland Indians (Akron)

Frazier received the loudest cheers of the game by far from his hometown fans, and at the halfway point of the season the 21-year-old has certainly earned ‘em after hanging with the big boys in Double-A. His swing is geared towards power, but that doesn’t mean his hit tool is poor. It might never quite make it to average, but he shows plenty of secondary skills to overcome a fringe ceiling. His bat speed is elite, as has been mentioned since his draft year, and defensively he looks the part of a capable, average fielder in right. He remains a higher-risk player due to that hit tool uncertainty, and still leans on his raw toolset to carry him at times, but the upside is tremendous. –GJ

Louis Head, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Akron)

Head in the present isn’t much different than he’ll look at his ceiling, but the hard-throwing 26-year-old righty probably would be in Triple-A – and perhaps even have made a big league appearance or three – in a shallower system than Cleveland’s. He’s a muscular 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, with some ingredients of the power middle relievers we see in this era of velocity. He throws with plenty of effort, and it can impact the consistency of his slider and overall command. But he does generate velocity, sitting 93-96 in this outing and touching 97. His best sliders show power at 83-88, with occasional two-plane tilt when he’s able to execute the pitch. –AM

Grant Sides, RHP, Cleveland Indians (Akron)

Another older relief prospect in a deep Akron ‘pen, the 27-year-old Sides opened some eyes on Wednesday night pitching in front of his home fans. He threw with more juice than I’ve seen previously, sitting mid-90’s with his fastball and humping it up to 97 at one point. His is a prototypical right-handed starting frame at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, though Cleveland fans should get used to seeing him in short stints. He throws from the stretch exclusively with an arm slot that’s nearly over the top, meaning his breaking ball is a curveball, not a slider – unusual for a power right-handed arm. Older relievers like Sides, Louis Head, and Perci Garner (now in Triple-A) gave Akron’s ‘pen incredible depth for the Double-A level, especially when you consider J.P. Feyereisen (23 years old) is still in the ‘pen for the RubberDucks, and flamethrowing Ben Heller (24 years old) started there before making his way to Triple-A earlier in the season. –AM

Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles (Bowie)

Sisco is Baltimore’s top catching prospect, and his name has circulated more this year on the national prospect scene after the sweet-swinging backstop notched a batting average north of .300 in the Eastern League’s first half. His polished control of the zone teams with an advanced feel for the barrel to produce solid walk rates and limited strikeouts, and the result has been an on-base percentage north of .400 thus far. His left-handed swing is short to the ball with quick, fluid wrists, and his barrel stays in the hitting zone a long time. There’s a chance for an above-average hit tool with the ability to work counts and draw walks at the plate, though that’s the best-case for Sisco. Scouts are concerned that there’s virtually no over-fence power to fall back on, and the former shortstop is a work in progress both with his blocking and throwing. Especially because he’s a definite hit-over-power type, Sisco will get every chance to remain at catcher. He’ll likely require at least another full season to hone his craft defensively, regardless if the bat is ready. –AM

Bradley Zimmer, CF, Cleveland Indians (Akron)

Looking for the highest ceiling of any outfielder in this all-star game? Look no further than Zimmer. A 6-foot-4, left-handed-hitting centerfielder, he just makes the game look easy, contributing with both speed and power at a premium defensive position. Catch him squaring a couple pitches in a given day, and he’s easily one of the most impressive hitting prospects in the minor leagues. On the flipside, his long levers have been exposed with greater frequency at higher rungs of the minors, and he’s striking out more often this year while struggling against same-handed pitching. He has great balance and leverage in his stroke, and it gives him easy power. That pop comes at a cost, however, as he struggles to stay inside the baseball and shows vulnerability to velocity on the inner-third. Early in the season right-handers in particular were able to work Zimmer effectively changeups fading down and away, though he’s since shown the ability to make proper adjustments. He’s played alongside Clint Frazier all year in Akron, and the duo might one day suit up every night for the Tribe, too. Zimmer’s ceiling is a Shawn Green clone and perpetual 20/20 threat, though he has work remaining to do in shortening his swing and handling lefties. A 2017 debut is probably more likely at this point than the fast-track on which he was thought to be entering the year. –AM

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