Scottsdale Scorpions – Reds, Angels, Mets, Yankees, Giants

The Guys You Know
Justus Sheffield, LHP, New York Yankees (#47 Midseason Top 50)

The Guys You Don’t
Andrew Schwaab, RHP, New York Yankees
Uses a side-arm slot and interesting release point to deceive RHH, but lacks the consistent command of his average FB/SL combo to be a sure-fire middle-relief option. —Greg Goldstein

David Thompson, 3B, New York Mets
Below-average third baseman with above-average raw power, lacks bat to ball skills to project as a regular. —GG

Kevin Kaczmarski, OF, New York Mets
Likely to settle in as a Triple-A outfielder due to a lack of strength and physicality with the stick. —GG

Adam Hofacket, RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
A repeat Scorpion after earning his way to Triple A this season, Hofacket’s a right-handed reliever who works from a high arm slot with solid control of a low-90s heater. Both a slider and a change can flash average to slightly better utility behind it, and he should compete for a middle-relief role in Anaheim next year. —Wilson Karaman

Mickey Jannis, RHP, New York Mets
The easiest way to tell that the Mets don’t really care about the Fall League is that they sent a 29-year-old knuckleballer out of the Indy leagues who has been kicking around their system since 2015. —Jarrett Seidler

Chris Gittens, 1B, New York Yankees
In High-A, the 23-year-old struck out a ton (27.2 percebt strikeout rate), walked a ton (12.8 percent walk rate) and crushed a ton (an ISO of .206 with a .340 BABIP and rumored to have one of the highest exit velocities in all of baseball). Since he plays an average defense at first base, in a league of TTO, Gittens could carve out a second-division role in the future. —Javier Barragan

Tim Peterson, RHP, New York Mets
His splitter will keep him employed for a while longer, but the fastball only brushes 90 and he’ll be 27 in February. On the other hand, Chase Bradford and Kevin McGowan both pitched for the Mets this year. —Jeffrey Paternostro

Matt Pobereyko, RHP, New York Mets
Another of the many Indy ball reclamations the Mets have peppered their full-season bullpens with over the last few years. He's a 95 and a slider guy —JP

Kyle Regnault, LHP, New York Mets
Like Jarrett, I get the sense the Mets view the AFL like something of a minor inconvenience. Regnault is another Indy ball find. He will show four pitches but is best cast as an org LOOGy —JP

Kyle Holder, SS, New York Yankees (Eyewitness)
Shake a tree and ten gloves will fall out and only one bat. Holder is one of the better defensive infield prospects in the minors, but he can’t hit a lick. The Yankees have already been introducing him to other infield spots for his likely future utility infielder future. —JS

Nathan Bates, RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Wendolyn Bautista, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Joel Bender, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Brennan Bernardino, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Tyler Cyr, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Samil De Los Santos, RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Jake Ehret, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Blake Trahan, SS, Cincinnati Reds
Conor Lillis-White, LHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Andrew Schwaab, RHP, New York Yankees
D.J. Snelten, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Chadwick Tromp, C, Cincinnati Reds
Brantley Bell, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
Taylor Sparks, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Troy Montgomery, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Guys You Will
Estevan Florial, OF, New York Yankees (Eyewitness)
Florial fits in much more with the Guys You Know for this series, but I guess he’s heretofore evaded ranking on one of our national lists. That will change very soon. A freakish athlete, Florial actualized a lot of potential in 2017, going from an interesting tools project with an interesting backstory to one of the minors’ top potential five-tool outfield prospects. He ended the season playing in the Double-A Eastern League playoffs and hardly looked out of place. If he isn’t exhausted from the length of the season, he could eat the generally questionable quality of AFL pitching alive. —Jarrett Seidler

Thairo Estrada, SS, New York Yankees
Estrada stands out because of his positional versatility and ability to get the barrel to the ball. He stays fundamental in the field, playing an above-average shortstop. His feel and glove skills stand above his athleticism, so he’s a bit capped in terms of potential at the position. His stance is a tad unusual as well, with the bat head starting facing ground, but the 21-year-old still has loose hands that can cover the plate and spray with above-average barrel control. He’s somewhat in the weeds because of the other talented middle infielders in the Yanks system, but he’s got a chance to be a solid regular with a not so risky floor as an above-average utility player. —Greg Goldstein

Cody Carroll, RHP, New York Yankees
Carroll is a part of a stable of hard-throwing hurlers in the Yankees farm system. At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, Carroll approaches triple digits with life, which helps him to rack up a ton of strikeouts (89 K in 67 2/3 innings). The slider shows swing-and-miss late break, but like most high-velo relief pitchers, he struggles commanding it glove-side to fully utilize the above-average action. In the end, a double-plus fastball along with an average slider should be enough to overcome the control/command issues to find a role as a middle reliever, with the stuff giving him a ceiling of a potential set-up man. —GG

Tomas Nido, C, New York Mets (Eyewitness)
Nido got a taste of the big leagues this past September, but spent most of his 2017 campaign in Double-A Binghamton. Coming off a breakout season in High-A, Nido came back to earth in a big way facing Eastern League pitching this year (.232/.287/.371). Nevertheless, Nido still has the tools of a potential starting catcher. The former 8th round pick has plus raw power, doing well to turn on pitches that are in the middle of the plate. However, the hit tool suffers from this as Nido frequently becomes too unhinged to consistently square pitches in the hittable zone. The saving grace of the catching position is that if you can stick there and hit for power, you don’t need an average hit tool to survive. Nido shows above-average athleticism behind the plate, making it look easy moving side-to-side. The arm is above-average too, producing pop ups below 2.00 seconds at times. The power-field combo will make him a capable reserve at the least, and if he can settle down the approach and swing mechanics, Nido definitely has the potential to earn everyday playing time as a backstop. —GG

Luis Guillorme, SS, New York Mets (Eyewitness)
This glove is legit…I mean he’s just really fun to watch at either second or short. Guillorme’s glove skills are elite, showing eye opening ability to go behind the back on the move or just picking short hops with ease. Even with average range, Guillorme’s feel for the dirt and comfort with the mit make him an easy bet to become a plus fielder at SS and even better as a second baseman. The glove drastically overshadows the bat as Guillorme is a true slap hitter who’ll spray singles all over the field. The power is pretty much non-existent, but that’s just not his game. I like that Guillorme doesn’t try too hard to be something he’s not, instead relying on a smooth swing and loose hands to make it tough on pitchers to put him away. With major league baseball becoming a glut of guys who put the ball in the seats, Guillorme’s game refreshing. He probably doesn’t hit the ball hard enough to be a major league regular, but I’m expecting that big league fans will appreciate his endangered style of play in the early summer of next regular season. —GG

Tyler Beede, RHP, San Francisco Giants

It’s easy to lose sight of Beede because, well, he’s boring. He’s pretty much been the picture of getting what you see since his Vanderbilt days, plugging along with a polished, good-not-great arsenal that’s hit its share of speedbumps and adjustment periods, but has always managed to stabilize into reasonable consistency after a spell. He’ll be due for that kind of adjustment to kick in next year, after an inconsistent season in the high-octane PCL last year, but boasting as he does four average-or-slightly-better pitches and the pitchability to work through a lineup multiple times, it’s a solid bet he’ll make it. He’s not likely to anchor anybody’s rotation, but he’ll probably pitch in one for a good while. – WK

Dillon Tate, RHP, New York Yankees

Sources within baseball have assured me that on the right day, you can see a version of Dillon Tate that still has the number two starter potential he was advertised for as the fourth pick in the 2015 Draft. The Tate I’ve seen since he turned pro—as recently as this year’s Double-A playoffs—can’t hold his velocity for very long, can’t spot his pitches where he needs to, and doesn’t have a functional swing-and-miss out pitch despite a fastball and a slider that really should be that pitch. The Yankees have toyed with converting him to relief since acquiring him last year, and that certainly seems like the long-term profile fit. —JS

Taylor Ward, C, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The former first-rounder struggled mightily in a return trip to the Cal League through the season’s first few months before the bat plugged in over the summer and carried him through a solid Double-A debut down the stretch. He manages the strike zone well and gets on base at an okay clip in spite of well below-average game power. The defense is solid if unspectacular, with a big arm his best raw tool, though it can play down with inconsistent pops and accuracy. —WK

Aramis Garcia, C, San Francisco Giants
Another return invite, Garcia rebounded after an injury-deleted 2016 to post solid number back at High-A San Jose. There’s a lot of work still to be done to help his skills coalesce, but the raw material of a big-league backup catcher is here. He’s got some pop and okay bat-to-ball skills, though the approach leads to more whiffs than it probably should. And while the defensive tools will flash, he can be inconsistent in his effort and execution behind the dish. —WK

Matt Thaiss, 1B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
With dreams of a return to behind-the-dish duties now no more than whispers on the wind, there is real pressure on Thaiss to develop significantly more game power than he currently projects to develop. The approach and hit tool are the calling cards, and he got on base at a .400 clip over a half-season of Double-A at-bats this year. But while he’s a relatively strong kid, the swing plane is exceedingly flat, and the power looks awfully light for a corner bat. —WK

Chris Shaw, 1B, San Francisco Giants: Shaw’s got some serious thunder in his bat, though he can stifle its translation with bouts of over-aggressiveness at the dish. After strictly playing first base for the first couple years of his professional career he added a significant number of left-field reps to his resume this year, in hopes of expanding his versatility and hastening competition for a big-league job next spring. He’ll be stretch on the grass, but if he’s able to get to enough of his massive raw power it won’t matter too much. —WK

Steven Duggar, OF, San Francisco Giants
Duggar missed a ton of time this season, losing the season’s first half to a bum hip before serving an additional DL stint with an arm injury suffered just days after his late-June activation. When healthy he showed the same promising, well-rounded skill set that could have him competing for a ticket to the Bay Area as soon as next season. Most notably, he made strides improving his base-stealing technique this year, which is a big deal for a player capable of posting plus-plus run times. An excellent approach, sneaky pop, and solid tracking skill with potential utility at all three outfield spots round out the profile. He’ll head to the desert looking to make up for lost reps. —WK

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