P.J. Conlon, LHP, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets)
Small lefty, leans back, stab down, uphill delivery with deception, H3/4 slot. Effort with head whack, but doesn’t impact command. 1.2 out of stretch. Fastball 85-88, s85-86, higher reports last year, and the weather was New England brisk, above-average command, spots to both sides, some run 4/4. CH 76-78 present plus, will throw to either side in any count, good sink, bat misser. 6/6. Showed two different breaking balls, a slider/cutter thing, which is a short breaker, but he can spot it and keeps it down in the zone. 3/4 Lollipop curve around 70. Showed one tighter one with 12-6 action, but doesn’t project much past show me. Any velo bump might make him a middle reliever with enough change to cross over, but tough to see getting much more out of these mechanics. Likely role 3, emergency starter/swing.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox)
Open stance, high hands, some noise, premium bat speed, can cover plus velo easily. Gets pull-happy, but will hit the ball where it’s pitched, doesn’t get cheated at all, hard contact to all fields. Can get in on him left-on-left, but didn’t try to do too much against southpaws. Approach is a work-in-progress generally. Thick lower half, but I think he can stick at third if the body cooperates, good instincts on the dirt, arm is strong and accurate, can make plays on the run. Only hiccups came with extra time to make transfer/throw, more reps should smooth that out. 4.2 to first when he sniffed an infield hit, bit of a jailbreak, but might be a legit 5 runner underway. Potential 6/7 offensive tools at third base. Monster prospect, OFP 7/Likely 6. Oh yeah, also put baseballs here:
Nick Fanti, LHP, Lakewood Blue Claws (Philadelphia Phillies)
Lefty crossfire type, deceptive front side, grabs at the bottom sometimes, H3/4 slot. FB 86-89, touched 91 earlier in season, can manipulate the pitch, solid command. Will work it into righties with cut 4/4+, CT/SL 82-83, non-factor. CU 76-78, can get lazy, slurvy, but will show downer 1-7 against righties, 1-8 with a bit more glove-side run against lefties 4/5. Needs an arm-side offering, you’d think he’d be able to develop a change given his ability to manipulate what he has at present, but mechanics and repertoire suggest two-pitch matchup reliever is likely outcome. 3/LOOGy
Zech Lemond, RHP, San Diego Padres (High-A Lake Elsinore)
Big-bodied right-hander, converted to relief in third tour of High-A; full-windup, moving parts through hand break, firm and balanced on the back side, quality posture, high, tight leg kick, pacing issues coming out of it; deep, long arm action to over-the-top slot; leverages height effectively to generate plane; above-average arm speed, arm will drag to slot, misses high and arm-side, mild violence at strike and though deceleration; FB 92-94 (t95), straight, lacks horizontal movement, shows some effectiveness up in the zone from high slot, pitch will hold plane, moderate swing-and-miss; SL 85-87, hard and tight, vertical action, flashes some bite, inconsistent finish, inconsistent command, righties tracked it; CH 84-87, split-line downer action, runs into the SL, velo and one-plane get too cozy, decent arm speed, salesmanship, moderate LH swing-and-miss; Lemond's velocity and slot make his fastball tough to find when he gets on top of it, and the change flashes as an above-average compliment to keep left-handed hitters honest. He's all north-south, however, with little in the way of effective spin to lure guys out of the zone. 40/30 potential in relief, which is an improvement over where he was this time last year.
Jhoan Urena, 3B, New York Mets (High-A Port St. Lucie)
Decent frame filled with a flabby midsection, lacks muscle, baseball butt with length in legs, needs to improve body composition; switch-hitter with similar stance for each side; wide, straight up, hands high, timely load; average bat speed with a contact-first, linear swing, solid approach, occasionally hitting to the situation at hand and spraying ball, but doesn't impact ball, not in legs; below-average power, his bath path doesn't allow for much loft, contact approach portends to more weak contact than lift contact; long unathletic, unexplosive strides, well-below-average speed; makes the routine plays, but flip a coin for all others plays, laterally and vertically, clunky actions, rough around the edges with adequate instincts; enough arm for the position and is generally on the bag, clean arm action producing an online carry, good balance in throws; Emergency Help on a Major League Championship Team
Austin Smith, RHP, San Diego Padres (Low-A Ft. Wayne)
Athletic, physically mature frame; starts from semi-windup, balanced delivery with three-quarters arm slot, stays tall, can get inconsistent with delivery, average arm speed , mild effort in delivery; FB was straight and heavy, nothing squared up by opposing team, sat 90-92, touched 93, threw exclusively FB first inning; Curveball sat 79-81, 12-6 shape with bite, inconsistent arm speed replication. There is potential for the fastball to play up in velocity and improvement on his breaking pitch. However, without the third offering, Smith's future is most likely that of a bullpen arm.
Corbin Burnes, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (High-A Carolina)
Lanky frame, capable of adding good weight. Inconsistent mechanics, flew open frequently; FB sat 89-92 (t95); held top end velocity; located well when he wasn’t flying open; 80-83 mph SL flashed average; loose command to glove side; needs tightening; elevated cement mixers on multiple occasions; used it to get out of jams; showed ability to toggle between sweeping action and tighter spin; CB 74-75; tertiary offering; show-me pitch. Impressed with two potential average or better pitches; will need third offering to turn lineups over; could easily envision as a reliever with FB/SL repertoire.
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