Thomas Eshelman

Born: 06/20/1994 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 210
Arm Action: Short, abbreviated arm action, above-average arm speed, extended at release

Delivery: Moderate body tilt, average leg kick, slight coil, high three-quarter release, low effort

Body: Lean, lanky build; long, broad torso, sloped shoulders, long levers, sturdy lower half

Evaluator Adam Hayes
Report Date 08/21/2016
Affiliate Reading Fightin Phils (AA, Phillies)
Dates Seen 7/26/16
OFP/Risk 45/Low
Realistic 40: Long Reliever
MLB ETA 2017
Video Yes

Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 50 90-91 92 Will show cut and run, though manipulations are slight, mild downhill plane; control over command, uses to all parts of zone, misses are usually to arm-ide; maintains velocity from stretch, tendency to flatten out in stretch
CH 45 50 82 83 Maintains arm speed, quality velocity separation, slight fade with drop; tendency to throw to glove-side
CB 40 45 76 77 12-6 shape; short vertical break, keeps it low in the zone

SL 40 40 84 Slight tilt, mild sweeping action; tendency to work out of zone glove-side and low
CONTROL 70 70 Walk avoidance is exceptional, can struggle with tighter horizontal zones

COMMAND: 45/50
Deploys fastball to all parts of zone, tendency to work glove-side with off-speed offerings, displays feel for offerings, limited by raw stuff


Drafted in the second round in 2015 and acquired from Houston in the Ken Giles trade, Eshelman is an advanced control right-hander with four fringe-to-average pitches. The fastball sits average, lacking plane but staying off barrels with subtle cut and run. The change is his best secondary offering, flashing average with slight fade and drop, while the benders both project as below-average offerings. He has feel for both pitches, though neither displays a ton of sharpness or ceiling. The standout tool is control, which borders on elite; he shows a preternatural ability to throw strikes, and his short arm action and high release point add deception. He may surface as a fifth-starter option, though he's likely best suited in a long-relief role.

Albert Abreu

Born: 09/26/1995 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 175
Broad shoulders, tapered waist, plenty of room for projection, looks taller than listed height; true-three-quarters arm slot, plus arm speed, short arm circle in the back, hides the ball well; drop and drive delivery, drives hard with the lower half; athletic player, mechanics can get unbalanced and stiff at times to hurt command
Evaluator Mauricio Rubio Jr.
Report Date 08/27/2016
Affiliate Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A, Astros)
Dates Seen 7/3/16
OFP/Risk 60/High
Realistic 60: No. 3 Starter
MLB ETA 2018
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 70 90-95 96 Plus arm strength; plane with hard run, generates ground balls with offering; held velocity deep into game, projects to add some velo as he builds strength
CB 60 60 76-79 11-5 shape, sharp bite and depth; has natural feel for spin, stays on top of the offering and uses it effectively against lefties and righties alike; present average command, will miss bats at the highest level with consistency
CH 50 60 82-84 Plus fade and tumble; plus deception, potential to miss bats against both left- and right-handed hitters; command is inconsistent, still developing feel for the offering
SL 50 50 85-86 11-4 shape with short movement; only threw three in game, flashed average potential major-league utility

FB Command: 40/50
Secondaries Command: 50/50

Abreu has a big arsenal with a wipeout curve and a change that also projects to plus. His inconsistent mechanics will keep him from becoming a true front-line starter, and the deficiency introduces a fair amount of risk to the profile. But it's a relatively straight path to his projection as a mid-rotation anchor who can pitch above that on days he reigns in his fastball command.

Eric Lauer

Born: 06/03/1995 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Left
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 205
Athletic, effortless delivery, repeatable; high leg lift, clean arm action, three-quarter slot; follows through with ease, can get slow to the plate out of the stretch, runners got good jumps on him; positive reports on makeup, mature player
Evaluator Grant Jones
Report Date 09/02/2016
Affiliate Fort Wayne TinCaps (Low A, Padres)
Dates Seen 2x Spring, 9/1/16
OFP/Risk 55/Low
Realistic 55: No. 3/4
MLB ETA 2018
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 60 91-93 93 Easy out of the hand, arm-side run; hits his spots, worked the arm-side corner with frequency; solid mix of command, movement, and velocity generate plus projection
CH 40 50 83-84 Mild but inconsistent fade, some tumble, quality velocity separation; maintains arm speed, comfortable with the pitch; inconsistent action at present, feel to project average utility
SL 40 55 83-85 Pitch has tightened up since spring, 1-7 shape, shorter break with less sweep, above-average vertical action; inconsistent presently, gets into grooves and locates it well, flashes above-average, should get there

The Padres' first-rounder this summer, Lauer has the size and strength to be a big-league starter, and presents as a polished, low-risk left-hander. He lacks a true out pitch, but demonstrates feel and confidence with his pitches. The fastball has a nice combination of velocity, movement, and command, and it projects to a plus offering. The change shows average potential; he demonstrates feel for the it, and it plays with quality velocity separation. His slider showed improvement from my two looks at him with Kent State in the spring, and shows the makings of an above-average pitch. He did not utilize a curve in this look, though it had previously looked fringy but serviceable as a fourth pitch. He projects as a reliable starter who will slot comfortably into the middle of a rotation, and can he can do so relatively quickly. A late 2017 debut would not out of the question if he hits the ground running next spring.

Sean Newcomb

Born: 06/12/1993 (Age: 23)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 5" Weight: 255
Big, durable frame, body to eat 200 innings; easy, simple motion with good tempo, framework for repeatable delivery with adjustments; tends to alter three-quarters slot, upper and lower halves fall out of sync at times; stiff front side, firm strike; clean arm path, low-mileage arm
Evaluator David Lee
Report Date 09/02/2016
Affiliate Mississippi Braves (AA, Braves)
Dates Seen 8/28/2016
OFP/Risk 70/High
Realistic 55: No. 3/4 starter
MLB ETA 2017
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 65 90-95 96 Easy velocity, effective life down in zone, slight arm-side run, induces ground balls when kept down; shows confidence to work both sides, inconsistent life according to command, flattens and loses life up, catches too much plate at times, below-average command
CB 50 55 79-81 82 Enough bite and depth to project above-average, flashes plus; shape wanders between 1-7 and 2-8, flashes downward, two-plane break; above-average bite, depth when tight; inconsistent spin, can show early at times, fringe-average command
CH 40 50 85-87 88 Developing well; average sink when turned over, slightly firm from the hand, good arm action sells the pitch despite fringe movement; quickly developing feel for pitch, fringe-average command

Newcomb's strengths and weaknesses are obvious from the beginning of a look. He has the strength and body to log 200 innings, and he consistently sits 92-94, touching 97 from an easy motion. Add the fact he's a left-hander, and the ceiling is high. But Newcomb struggles with control and command, and it's enough to side-track entire outings. A stiff lead side and rotational delivery can cause his delivery to fall out of sync at times, leading to missed spots, especially within the zone. An advantage for Newcomb is his low-mileage arm and relative inexperience with pro instruction; he requires extra patience despite his age. The potential outcome is that of a front-line starter, but there is significant variance here, as command inconsistencies are just as likely to limit him to a mid-rotation starter or a little less.

Eddy Martinez

Born: 01/18/1995 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 195
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position: CF
Strong, compact, athletic body, projection remaining for additional strength
Evaluator Grant Jones
Report Date 08/24/2016
Dates Seen 9x April-June
Affiliate South Bend Cubs (Low A, Cubs)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2019 High 55 50: Average Regular Yes

Inconsistent approach, by multiple accounts a hard-worker; looked disinterested in the field at times earlier in the year, reinvigorated and engaged in most recent looks

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 50 Quick hands, premium bat speed; varies timing mechanism between toe tap and moderate leg lift, more fluid utilizing the leg lift; moderate leverage, plane to lift balls; inconsistent approach, swing gets long, struggles to hold the zone, expands low and away
Power 50 Plus raw, premium bat speed with moderate leverage; line-drive game approach, swing-and-miss, approach will limit utility to average
Baserunning/Speed 55 Plus present, likely to lose a step or two as he fills out; speed to play all outfield positions, will generate value on the base paths
Glove 50 Adequate in the field, tracks well, takes good routes, instincts improved throughout the year, speed to handle all positions in the outfield
Arm 60 Plus arm strength, accurate to third base, carries well into the bag, enough arm for right

Martinez struggled to settle in to his full-season assignment, but after a few rough viewings in April and May it became evident that he was beginning to make needed adjustments. He shows all five tools, with premium bat speed, plus raw power, present speed, and arm strength, and no below-average grades in the books. There's a natural feel for hitting, and he has demonstrated an ability to sit on pitches, though the approach is still exploitable at present. There is above-average regular potential on the strength of the natural talent, but there is a higher risk he doesn't continue to adapt and max out.

Will Smith

Born: 03/28/1995 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 192
Primary Position: C
Secondary Position: 3B
Athlete; solid frame, lean muscle at present, room to grow into his chest and shoulders; spring in lower half, quick feet, ingredients of a durable backstop, athletic enough to handle some positional versatility
Evaluator Wilson Karaman
Report Date 09/02/2016
Dates Seen 8/24-25, 8/31/16
Affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A, Dodgers)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2019 Moderate 55 50: Major League Regular Yes

Smart kid, can see the wheels turning at the plate, slow and steady in the field, controls tempo

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 45 Wide stance, tight hands, quiet, vertical bat; deep load, leg kick, aggressive stride; mild hand drift, back elbow gets high, some steepness into the zone; quick stroke, linear path, mild leverage when looking to pull; average bat speed, some vulnerability to velocity; very patient approach, thinks with pitchers, can jump sequencing, shows ability to track and stay back; stands close to the plate, hangs over some, will take regular hit-by-pitches; fringe-average hit tool will play up with on-base ability
Power 40 Average strength and bat speed, linear game swing limits utility, should have occasional over-the-fence pop to pull side, swing geared to shoot the gaps
Baserunning/Speed 50 Above-average present speed, surprising burst out of the box, efficient runner; will steal the occasional base, present over-aggressiveness in attempting to take extra bases; projection to settle into an average tool as he matures and handles rigors of everyday catching
Glove 55 Quick feet, top-shelf mobility and athleticism behind the plate; shows a strong glove hand, projection for quality framing; raw receiving low pitches, tendency to stab across and down with the backhand, doesn't get his body down on balls in the dirt, undeveloped blocking technique, physical tools to develop average or better blocking; catching fundamentals at third, gets wide and low, surrounds balls, stiff upper-half, showed decisiveness in reads, quick reactions
Arm 60 Lightning-fast transfer, fluid, balanced pops, max-effort between innings, 1.83 low, 1.92 in-game; repeats throwing mechanics, generates velocity with short arm path, accurate throws on the bag; above-average arm strength plays up as a plus tool with transfer & accuracy

Drafted in the first round (32nd overall) in 2016, Smith shows the ingredients of a solid big-league catcher. There are some raw elements to his receiving, but he possesses the physicality to develop into an above-average defender who controls the running game behind the plate. His athleticism is rare for a catcher, to where he boasts above-average present speed and offers the potential for some positional versatility that can lengthen a bench. He shows some aptitude for contact with a line drive-oriented stroke, and his advanced command of the zone, tracking ability, and willingness to work hit-by-pitches will drive an above-average on-base profile. If the bat maxes out he can develop into an above-average regular, with average regular a realistic outcome.

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