A Baseball Scout's BLOG & Tribute to the Grass Roots Scouts!
Me and my younger children at a game at 5 County Stadium, Zebulon NC. It was their first game ever, Sept 1, 2016. Wilmington BlueRocks @ Carolina Mudcats, last season the Atlanta Braves affiliate was in Zebulon, Carolina League.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Happy Birthday to my son, Anthony James Yates, in Bellevue, Nebraska, 21 years old today. Quite a young, intelligent, man and sports lover!
Still in the running for a few open Area Scout jobs and have backed off on player reports for now, however.
Friday, Sept 8 '17
Found a couple archived reports from 2005 and 2010.
April 14, 2005, Clayton HS vs South Johnston HS, a skinny right handed pitcher takes the ball for Clayton HS named Chris Archer. I'm leaning along the first base foul line watching this kid in the bullpen throw and the catcher's mitt just is as loud as can be. I'm there and turn around and a couple of college coaches I could tell at the time were there as well and one area scout for the Major League Scouting Bureau, Gary Randall were all staring at each other for a second. The kid in the bullpen was RHP Chris Archer for Clayton HS. He was 6'2 about a buck 65 at the time and threw from H 3/4 arm slot, he was loose and wiry and had a very qk arm. I was guessing his FB was touching 92 but 90 easy. So after the game gets started I just stay my ground, not saying a word to anyone because I didn't know anyone at the game. I had just got off from work at a manager's meeting for Papa John's and decided to catch a game since I just left Garner, North Carolina and I saw this kid was pitching according to the local News & Observer. After 4 K's out of the first 5 hitters, I knew this kid was something special. So I headed behind the plate to see how close my guess of his 90-92 FB was and I glimpsed at the radar gun (STALKER) for the MLSB Scout, Gary Randall and it had Chris at 90 MPH. While his fb was pretty straight, he liked getting the ball back quickly from the catcher and he had a hard teasing slurve that he got hitters to chase and look silly at the plate. When the game was said and done with, Chris had struck out 16 batters in 7 innings with only 2 walks and 2 hits given up. Both hits were infield hits the second baseman could not handle to his left and the first base man came off the bag incorrectly a couple of times. I graded out Chris at 40/50 fb, 40/50 SL, 40/50 control/command and he didn't really pitch a change up at all in the game and but showed one or two in the bullpen. So a 50 based on 3 grades I could give him. My only negative about this young slender whippet of an arm was, his fb was pin straight and hitters at the advanced level would nail it if he threw like this in a minor league park, rather than in a high school game in Clayton, North Carolina.
Sept 24, 2010, I went over to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Boshamer Stadium to check out the Impact World Series, between the 2011 seniors and 2012 seniors. I got to see infield and outfield and this game preceded by a younger IMPACT World Series game between the 2013's. There was a SS from Northwest Cabarrus High School named Corey Seager, he was about 6'3 185 hitting lefthanded with a smooth easy swing and throwing motion from SS. He ran 4.3 on an infield chopper and 4.5 on the turn on a double hit the opp field in the second at bat. There were several scouts in attendance as well as local college coaches including UNC Head Baseball Coach, Mike Fox. Corey had 4 hits in 5 at bats and looked like the only player out of 40 or so that played in this game with any type of intestinal fortitude and he looked like a ball player. Last time I saw a player at SS that good was Derek Jeter albeit, Derek hit righthanded and Cal Ripken JR who I played against in 1978 and Cal hit righthanded as well. I saw the name Seager and had already liked his brother, Kyle, a former 3B for UNC a couple of years prior. I was impressed with the Impact baseball staff and how they put on events for the Dirtbags and such and was very happy to have spent my Saturday, Summer day watching Corey Seager play, I had graded him out as a 30/60 hit, 40/50 power, 40/40 runner, 50/50 arm and 40/50 field which came out to a solid 50 grade as a follow, yet he had 2 years to finish high school baseball. I happened to catch him in March of 2012 and ran into a few scouting directors and cross checkers and knew this kid must be going in the early couple rounds otherwise they would not be there and Corey grew since I last saw him almost a year and a half earlier. He was about 6'4 200 pounds this time.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Took in 6 games at 5 County Stadium as the Carolina League wound down for the Mudcats who just missed the 2nd half playoffs. Winston-Salem looked like a depleted club of prospects, did feature LF Jameson Fisher, 6'2 195 L/R, 23 y/o, who I saw in college in Louisiana, his best tool is his bat and he plays 100% all the time, he'll need to play LF or 1B at the ML level, however, his bat is going to have to play up large in the farm to get a call to the bigs. Decent size, he has a short direct swing path w/alley power to pull side and opp field foul line, runs 4.35 full out from LH side, throws below ave and has a step below ave range as a fielder in LF, fringe guy at 41 OFP.
Myrtle Beach (Chicago Cubs) feature RHP Alec Mills on Saturday, he's 6'5 or so, lean tall build, broad shoulders w/arm speed with some sling from 3/4 slot, fb runs down with sink velo ranges 88-93 most are 88-90, also shows sweeping type slider w/slurve break at 79-83, throws strikes and challenges hitters, he keeps his pitches down in the zone to get outs, may end up a back of the end rotation emergency guy or long man in the BP, he's 25, acquired from KC in 2017 in a trade, had missed most of '17 with arm ailment, seems to be recovering just fine, 44 OFP.
RHP Oscar De La Cruz, 6'4 200, Myrtle Beach (Cubs) electric arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb touches 96 most are 92-93 but pin straight, some arm side run in vs RHH, hard sloppy breaking pitch needs refinement, only threw 1 inning today but the arm strength and presence on the hill looks appealing, he's listed as the #1 prospect on the Cubs 30 Top Prospect list, he's got some time to develop so there is no rush on him, the slider has proper bite and feel for it, definitely keep an eye on him, may end up a closer in the ML, 55 OFP.
The Border Battle of the South Atlantic goes this weekend in Holly Springs, NC and I should be able to see most of the action on Saturday, September 9. Lots of 2019's to see and a few 2018's from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Should be a productive weekend.
Monday, August 28, 2017
It seems a lot of my saved files, reports on players as well as pictures have disappeared. Another Angelfire snafu it seems. I will try and update my pictures and stories if time permits later this afternoon. 7 game home stand ends the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers) season starting tomorrow. Should have some reports from Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach on players I did not see the first 1/2 of the season.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Caught some action on Field #3 at USA NTC for the NTIS 17Us. Some solid college prospects who may end up developing further into ML prospects in time. Always good to see younger players and watch them progress.
My 2018 MLB Draft Follow List
TOP TIER (1-3 Rounds type)
RHP, Brady Singer, U of Florida
RHP, Jackson Kowar, U of Florida
RHP, Logan Gilbert, Stetson
OF/1B, Greyson Jenista, Wichita St
C/RHP, Mason Denaburg, Merritt Island HS, FL
LHP, Konnor Pilkington, Mississippi State
RHP, Ethan Hankins, Forsyth Central HS, Cumming GA
OF, Travis Swaggerty, U of South Alabama
IF, Nick Madrigal, Oregon State
C, Will Banfield IV, Brookwood HS, Lawrenceville GA
RHP, Kumar Rocker, North Oconee HS, Watkinsville GA
RHP,Cole Winn, Silver Creek HS, Longmont CO - Transfering to California HS
RHP, Lenny Torres, Beacon HS, NY
IF, Brice Turang, Santiago HS, Corono CA
OF, Steele Walker, U of Oklahoma
LHP, Adam Liberatore, Mountain Ridge HS, AZ
IF, Nolan Gorman, Sandra Day O'Connor HS, AZ
HIGH "A" Type (rounds 4-7)
OF, Tristan Pompey, U of Kentucky
RHP, Sean Hjelle, U of Kentucky
OF/1B, Griffin Conine, Duke
RHP, Casey Mize, Auburn
RHP, Michael Byrne, Florida
OF, Jared Kelenic, Waukesha West HS, WIS
3B/UT, Kyle Datres, U of North Carolina
RHP Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest
IF, Nico Hoerner, Stanford
RHP, Ryan Feltner, Ohio State
RHP, Jack DeGroat, Liberty
RHP, David Luethje, Vero Beach HS, FL
RHP, Braxton Ashcraft, Robinson HS, TX
RHP, Zach Hess, LSU
LHP, Ryan Weathers, Loretto HS, TN
OF, Joe Gray, Hattiesburg HS, MISS
C, Adrian Del Castillo, Gulliver Prep, Miami FL
RHP, Jack Perkins, Kokomo HS, IN
C, Austin Wells, Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas NV
RHP, Austin Becker, Big Walnut HS, Sunbury OH
RHP, Chandler Champlain, Santa Margarita HS, Coto De Caza CA
RHP, Simeon Richardson, H Kempner HS, Houston TX
RHP, Adam Kloffenstein, Magnolia HS, TX
OF, Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel HS, Chicago ILL
OF, Elijah Cabell, Winter Park HS, FL
RHP, John Ginn, Brandon HS, MISS
3B, Jordan Groshans, Magnolia HS, TX
OF, Michael Siani, Penn Charter HS, PA
RHP, Carter Stewart, Eau Gallie HS, Melbourne FL
RHP, Mike Vasil, Boston College HS, MASS
RHP, Cole Wilcox, Heritage HS, Chickamauga GA
RHP, Slade Cecconi, Trinity Prep, Oviedo FL
LHP, Joseph Menefee, George Ranch HS, Richmond TX
MIDDLE "A" type drafts (rounds 8-12)
LHP Jake Kelchner, John Carroll HS, PA
OF, Jimmy Herron, Duke
3B/1B, John Aiello, Wake Forest
RHP, Christian Tripp, U of New Mexico
3B/1B, Alec Bohn, Wichita State
RHP, Ryan Weiss, Wright State
RHP, Ryan Bradish, New Mexico State
LHP, Ryan Rolison, Mississippi
1B, Seth Beer, Clemson
IF, George Janca, Texas A&M
IF, Ethan Paul, Vanderbilt
C/UT, Willie MacIver, U of Washington
RHP, Jason Bilous, Coastal Carolina U
OF, Jake McCarthy, U of Virginia
OF, Cameron Simmons, U of Virginia
LHP, Jonathan Gates, Nature Coast Tech, Brooksville FL
LHP, Luke Little, E Mecklenburg HS, NC
Weak "A" Drafts and/or previously drafted in 2016 (rounds projected 13-40)
RHP Ryley Gilliam, Clemson
LHP, Mitchell Miller, Clemson
RHP, Patrick Raby, Vanderbilt
RHP, Riley McCauley, Michigan State
LHP, Dan Lynch, Virginia
RHP, Luis Alvarado, Nebraska
OF, Alex McKenna, Cal Poly SLO
1B/OF, Robert Neustrom, Iowa
RHP, Justin Jarvis, Lake Norman HS, NC
RHP, Owen White, Jesse Carson HS, Mt Ulla NC
IF, Brooks Baldwin, Whiteville HS, NC
OF, Dalton Williams, North Gaston HS, NC
OF, Jordyn Adams, Green Hope HS, Cary NC
IF, Nick Podkul, Notre Dame
OF, Parker Meadows, Grayson HS, GA
SS, Blaze Alexander, Bishop Verot HS, FL
IF, Raynel Delgado, Calgary Christian Academy, Ft Lauderdale FL
RHP, Alex Royalty, U of North Carolina-Wilmington
RHP, Clark Cota, U of North Carolina-Wilmington
C, Ryan Jeffers, U of North Carolina-Wilmington
IF, Jeremiah Jackson, St Luke's Episcopal, Mobile AL
C, Kameron Ojeda, St John Bosco HS, La Mirada CA
RHP, Landon Marceaux, Destrehan HS, LA
OF, Christian Jayne, Terry Sanford HS, Fayetteville NC
OF, Jaden Bobbitt, JA Holmes HS, Edenton NC
IF, Brandon Dieter, South Hills HS, Covina CA
C, Anthony Siegler, Cartersville HS, GA
RHP, Jake Lyons, Weatherford College, TX - previously drafted '17 by SD Padres
RHP, Jason Parker, Louisburg JC
RHP, Andrew Blake, Pitt CC
RHP, Tanner Myatt, Florence-Darlington Tech
C, Dallas Callahan, Byrnes HS, SC
RHP, Christian Sanchez, Centreville HS, VA
RHP, Daniel Lloyd, Summerville HS, SC
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Caught the Frederick Keys (Orioles) in town vs the Mudcats (Brewers) over the weekend. One interesting RHP for Frederick, Franderlin Romero, 6'1 190, 24 yrs old, 2 pitch guy at present, plus fb (touched 97) most fb 92-93 with sink on the knees, average control from H 3/4 arm slot, his arm works well, is qk and loose, also straight change from same slot with 83-84 velo arm side run, needs to spot both pitches well, breaking ball was hardly existant, threw a few in warmups and in the bullpen, however, just a 2 pitch guy right now who's probably destined to the bullpen for any shot at the ML.
Former 1st round, 2016, RHP Cody Sedlock, same guy I saw earlier this year, the hand hook/wrap in the back swing causing eratic release points and command, not deceptive with his stuff on the day. Games were Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 5 County Stadium.
OF Monte Harrison for Carolina (Brewers), continues to improve and shows strength and plus athletic ability on the diamond, probably too early to get him on an Arizona Fall League squad but he should make an impact at the next level next year, AA, ETA, 2019/2020. There should be no rushing this young man as he learns better plate discipline and attacks the fb early in counts.
RHP, Scott Brown, Carolina (Brewers) first start seen, called up from Midwest League/Wisconsin, has loose arm that is qk from H 3/4 slot with live arm side run sinks when down on the knees, throws strikes, fb velo ranges 88-93 most are 91 popping the catcher's mitt, deceptive straight change 83-84 and biting slider at 84-86 with near ave command, should advance to AA next season, has enough here to be mild middle of the rotation guy or short man in the bullpen, 6'1 190, R/R, 22 yrs old.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
So once again I'm close to landing a job with a Major League Club. If that happens I will not be able to provide scouting information on players as to not violate the MLB code of conduct for an employed baseball scout. It's a written rule and I will abide all rules!
Friday, August 18 the Carolina Mudcats (Brewers) of the Carolina League will have 3 home games this weekend and 10 total home games left. Should I land a job as a Scout by then, my last reports could be sooner than expected so stay tuned.
Today we lost another great baseball scout and person in Gene Bennett, former Cincinnati Reds scout who signed such players as Don Gullett, Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo. I met Gene in South Bend, Indiana at the Great Lakes All-Star game in 1988. He was such a kind and generous many then he was in his late 50's and I was just 28 years old as an area guy for the Texas Rangers. One player that made it to the Major Leagues out of that game was OF Matt Mieske. I also met Tony Lucadello, former Phillies scout who signed a number of Hall of Famers including Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt. Dick Groch I met as well at this game. I'll always remember these great gentlemen and am thankful Dick Groch is still with us. I saw him in early June covering the Mudcats. He's still got his skill set and great mannerisms.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Will be working the double dipper between Lynchburg (Cleveland Indians) & Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers) later this evening and seeing #1 Carolina League Prospect for me, RHP Tristan McKenzie for the second time this season.
Next 2 weeks will be seeing 15-17 year olds in Cary working out and playing live game action for the NTIS and age group tournaments from each region of the United States. Last year I was able to bear down on RHP Lineras Torres for the Northeast Region, he was 6'1 165 and touched 91 a couple times, this year he's a bit stronger and quicker with his arm and his fb has touched 95 working mostly in the 92-93 range with a tight breaking ball that is still in the development stage as is his change up and his command/control is steadily improving as well. He'll be one to watch early next spring for the 2018 MLB Draft.
Speaking of the Major League Draft for 2018, it will be held I've read on Monday, June 4, a bit earlier than this year of course. I will have my draft list up once the summer month's have dwindled down. I'm currently active contacting scouting directors to find a scouting position and I'm willing to relocate as well. I love the game and I know I have the talent to find future major leaguers to make an impact for the team which allows me the opportunity to work for them. Until then I'm recommending players for a friend of mine who was diagnosed with cancer, Tim Osborne, who I got a chance to rekindle our friendship at the Major League Scouting Bureau "Scout School" in 2015. Tim worked for the Bureau beginning as a film guy and progressing to being the area scout for mostly Georgia. Tim's late father, "BO" was a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers back in the day and he was a backup to Norm Cash who had a pretty good career with the Tigers. Bo was the National Crosschecker for the Bureau and had worked in several capacities as a scout besides working for the MLSB. Bo passed away a few years ago and he was instrumental in allowing me an opportunity to work in South Florida at one time.
I was able to watch the re-run of the Under Armour Classic and used the telecast to do some "TV" scouting having seen a majority of the players in the event once before and some it was my first glance at them.
Also a shoutout and best of luck to, Hudson Belinsky, former Draft writer/Talent Scout for Baseball America, I met in 2016 and have read his reports on players the past 2-3 years, Hudson took a scouting position with the Arizona Diamondbacks and leaves big shoes to fill for Baseball America. I hope to run into Hudson somewhere on the scouting path in days/years to come. Good luck Hudson!
Added scouting reports from Under Armour, Tournament of Stars and/or North Carolina State Games:
OF Jordyn Adams, L/L, Green Hope HS, Cary NC 6'2 180, I was able to see 2 years ago at the State Tournament at 5 County Stadium, he played RF, showed some arm strength and leg speed as well as bat speed although his fundamentals were a bit crude, he's a very good football player and has committed to playing both football and baseball at the U of North Carolina. I see some tools here but his game needs time to fine tune however the running speed and near average arm strength are two tools that will help carry him along with bat speed, he shows a flat bat with balance initially in his stance however, there is some pull off and taking good pitches which he should attack, so for now a pocket follow for 2018, who needs time.
3B/IF, Brooks Baldwin, Whiteville HS, Whiteville NC 6'1 165 S/R, I've seen this young man now for 3 years including the State Tournament in 2015 & 2016 at 5 County Stadium and this year at the North Carolina State Games. Brooks shows the skill package to keep developing and there is enough talent there in his bat to carry him in time to a ML career. His ability to play any of the IF positions along with his near average foot speed are areas that will improve with physical maturation, his strength is his bat w/balance and strength on the inner half of the strike zone, he has a good eye at the plate so plate discipline is there, he does have a college commitment however he put himself on the map to be seen next spring.
RHP Justin Jarvis, Lake Norman HS, Lake Norman NC, 6'2 165 R/R, Justin has ave arm speed and some strength with a wiry frame which should get bigger and stronger in time and add more velo, delivery from 3/4 slot fb has some arm side run touching 91 most fb are 88-89 and feel for breaking ball which is below average at present but projectible to get better as will his control/command, another early college commitment as well, he's worth a look in 2018.
2019 RHP Brennan Malone Porter Ridge HS, NC 6'4 205, Brennan is strong and has that type of frame to carry more weight and strength in time, he's just 16 and his fb touches low 90's early and sits at 89-90 for the most part, his fb will sink on occ and he has the feel for a breaking ball and pitches downhill for the most part from his H 3/4 slot, he's loose with slight wrap in the backswing and lands on a stiff front leg, delivery needs some tweaking but he's worth a good look next couple of years.
SS/IF Blaze Alexander Bishop Verot HS, FL, 6'1 165 R/R, one of the best arms in the country which I gave an 80, his hands are quick and smooth actions as a fielder with range either side, his foot speed is a step slow and his frame could benefit from added strength and development, running 4.5 home to 1st, at the plate he showed a quiet stance with qk hands and a level stroke w/ability to hit to all fields, power may improve in time with maturation, he'll mostly be a spray hitter and extra base type power, knows how on the base paths and is fun to watch, project to 4-7 round ability for 2018, has a college offer as well.
RHP Cole Winn Silver Creek HS, CO 6'2 180 R/R, Mississippi State commit, Cole has the body and delivery to improve up the ladder with a low 90's fb that should improve a tick more due to his repeating his delivery and how quick the ball comes out of his hand from H 3/4 slot he has natural sink and arm side run on his fb that will touch 93 and the proper bite and downward tilt on his cb to be a plus pitch in time, his control currently is a plus at this age and will only improve with exposure at the pro level, I'd put him in the 1-3 round talk for 2018.
RHP Braxton Ashcraft Robinson HS TX 6'5 195, R/R, loose arm with natural arm side run/sink down on the knees with his fb that is in the low 90's and has a chance to be mid 90's with added strength and development the next 3-4 years, can project his body to get bigger in time, also one of the top WR prospects in the country in football, Braxton has the loose projectible arm from 3/4 slot w/natural run and the proper bite and tilt on a low 80's slider that has cb action so it's a tweener pitch for now and a feel for the change up, definite follow could be 1-3 rounder but for now a 4-7 rounder on paper for 2018.
C/IF Noah Naylor St Joan of Arc, Canada, 5'11 200 L/R, scrappy player with tools, runs at least average and has a qk arm w/strength, I gave him a 50 arm but 70 release behind the plate, he's alert and seems to know what he's doing defensively and should improve a tad more w/ability to move to the corner and play that should a team want to utilize his speed for now because as he matures he'll lose a step or two running with the daily grind of being an everday ML catcher, his bat is still and qk with pull side power, more of a threat for extra bases that pure power, he's strong and could loft for power in time as he learns pitchers at the pro level and takes advantage of his eye & plate discipline with his qk level stroke at the plate, he ran 4.0 from the LH side on a grounder and appears quicker on the base paths, there is no fear in this young man, Texas A&M commit, he's got 1-3 round ability for 2018.
RHP Matt Rudis 6'3 195 R/R Madisonville HS TX, Matt showed arm side run from a low 90's fb although rushing his front side to home landing towards 1b side, hard bite and tilt downward on his sl/cb and feel for the change up, early commit to TCU, type of build to get bigger and stronger in time, worth a good look again in 2018.
RHP Chandler Champlain 6'5 215 R/R, South Margarita HS CA, tall, strong build, chance to get bigger, delivery is easy for a big young man from H 3/4 slot w/arm side run, fb touches low 90s and should improve in time, has proper spin on cb w/downward tilt, 4 seam fb has hop and not afraid to challenge with it, the easy semi windup will aid him in pro ball, has a college commit, would be a 4-7, 8-12 round type guy on paper now which hinges on how well the breaking ball and change develop next spring, 2018.
IF, Raynel Delgado, Calgary Christian Academy, Ft Lauderdale FL, 6'2 180 R/R, nice infield actions with solid arm strength, appears to run at least average, showed qk bat with opp field ability from slightly opened stance, bat is biggest question, there is bat speed there to work with, he's aggressive but doesn't take many pitches, worth good look in 2018.
RHP David Luethje Vero Beach HS FL, 6'5 185, R/R, loose and easy delivery, has yet to hit his physical maturity, the fb will touch 93 with some arm side sink, live arm from 3/4 slot and shows proper feel/bite on 12/6 cb, command/control has a chance to be at least average to plus in time as he repeats delivery and gains pro exposure/instruction.
LHP Matthew Liberatore, Mountain Ridge HS, AZ 6'5 195 L/L, loose easy arm from H 3/4 slot will qk pitch hitters, fb touches 94 most are 91 with slight arm side run, cb is his best pitch with hammer 1/7 action, he keeps his pitches in the zone and hits the corners vs hitters w/no fear, aggressive demeanor, has the frame and build to fill out into a ML starter in time can project to be 1-3 round type for 2018. First saw Matthew pitch in the TOS in June and his velo was not a high as it was during the tv replay of the Under Armour game and I'm sure the adrenaline was running a bit for the tv, he showed moxy out there on the groove tube.
Update: Sunday, July 30
Wilmington (KC Royals) in town vs Caroliina (Brewers) - plenty of scouts some of who are decision makers for their clubs in town.
Still like: CF/OF, Brandon Downes, 6'3 195, R/R, 09/29/92, saw him last yr off his injury, I believe he had problems with his wrist/hamate bone? and my report last year was: agg hitter, qk bat w/line drive stroke for alley power, pull side, range is plus in CF w/ave arm strength, runs well underway, coming off injury from last yr to hand, enuf strength and bat speed to develop more power and hit for average as well as play solid "D". 40/50 hit, 40/50 power, 60 run, 50 arm, 60 range, 52 OFP, still the same guy however my OFP has changed to make this guy a 4th OF or fill in type unless the bat makes strides moving up the ladder, has trouble adjusting to breaking stuff out of zone and takes some borderline pitches he should hit where it's pitched, not seeing those adjustments, however, the tools are there.
Will be at 5 County again today. Caught a little bit of the live stream from MLB Network for the Under Armour All-Star classic last night in Wrigleyville. It was good to see that the game was under the lights, which gives an edge to seeing how hitters adjust to the night time action and pick up the spin of the baseball and how their depth perception is during fielding and hitting and running the bases. Pitching seemed to dominate the game and there will be a replay August 6 on the MLB Network television, I sure hope it's better than the feed I was getting through my cable network. One interesting arm I haven't seen yet was RHP Jaden Hill from Ashdown Ark, live body with arm strength, feel for change up. I wasn't able to see some of the pitchers at TOS, Wilcox for one out of Georgia and Liberatore I've seen before, he's a lanky build guy with a decent delivery so he's worth watching again in 2018. Naylor as a catcher was quick behind the dish and seems to have some athletic ability to watch north of the border.
I will be catching some U17 and U16 action in Cary at the NTC the latter part of this month. Making connections with the goal of landing a SCOUT position with a Major League Club and if that happens my blog will cease on reports, but I'll keep it alive with features on Scout's who are still working and the Legends of the game who've passed on.
Learned over the week that a buddy of mine for a long time, Tim Osborne, son of former MLB player and great sccout, the late, Larry "BO" Osborne, is battling cancer and he'll be singing the National Anthem in Florida at the East Coast Pro workouts this coming week. God Bless and our prayers are with you and your family Tim as we pray for a recovery and healing quickly!!
Update: Sunday, July 23
Attended the Cape Cod All-Star game in Wareham on Saturday. The stadium isn't the most scout friendly meaning you have home plate access to use your radar gun, so the best seats in the house are just left and right of home plate in the bleachers or down the first or third base lines so you can see the hitters and position players. You can also get a glimpse at the bullpens. This year's All-Stars not as strong a crop as in years past however there are some kids who will be MLB Stars in the near future.
The player who stuck out the most to me was 1b/RF Griffin Conine of Cotuit/Duke 6'1 200 L/R shows a solid mature approach to hitting with mechanics to hit for average and power, he shows enough speed and throwing ability to be an average defender along with sure hands, of course he is the son of former ML player Jeff Conine, Griffin has a high bat stance slightly open at the plate his head is on the pitcher and he starts his launch when the balls out of the pitchers hand, he has enough strength to hit with power to the opposite field, grad yr is 2019, D/E '18 has a chance to go early in next years MLB Draft.
lB/DH/OF, Greyson Jenista, 6'4 220 L/R, Cotuit/Wichita St, late developer from the bleachers, tall athletically built hitter w/plus power during BP, showed ability to square up pitches middle of zone and away, shows solid running speed, 4.17 home to 1st from LH side, has at least ave arm strength that plays up at the corner OF positions, best shot to play 1b to take advantage of his quickness and size, chance to be a plus hitter with plus power, graded out as 30/50 hit, 40/60 power, 50 run, 50/50 arm, 40/50 field, OFP 52 chance to go early in draft based on analytical info, tools show he has some development to do.
C, Willie MacIver, Wareham/U of Washington, 6'2 205 R/R, solid ML arm strength and decent hands and receiving skills converting over from the infield/3B, has short qk stroke with slight open stance, has balance to hit off speed pitch middle to end of the order lineup hitter, showed 2.0 pop time on steal attempt nailing the runner in this contest, '18 grad yr, solid follow.
SS/3B George Janca Falmouth/Texas A&M 6'1 190 R/R, solid throwing arm and ability to play on the left side of the IF, has a qk bat with power to pull side has trouble with off-speed pitches and catching up to velo on the outer half of the plate, will need to improve hitting ability to get to the next level, D/E '18, 2019 grad, follow.
RHP Ryan Weiss Hyannis/Wright St, 6'4 210, D/E '18 2019 grad, has loose arm with sound mechanics from H 3/4 slot, fb is solid average with slight arm side run and hard break on slurvy cb/SL may be better to turn into a cb, command was near average, chance here to be solid middle man or back of the rotation ML starter in time, velo at least ave chance to show plus fb at times, strong follow for '18.
RHP, Kyle Bradish Falmouth/New Mexico State, 6'4 190 arches back a bit w/OH delivery with qk arm action loose out front showed flashes of plus velo on fb kept the pitches in vs RHH from semi-windup, bite on hard SL, enough here to follow again for '18, 2019 grad.
RHP Logan Gilbert Orleans/Stetson 6'6 210 live arm with arm speed and looseness, frame to get stronger in time, competes fb jumps out of his hand plus velo with fb solid arm side run w/sink and hard cb with bite, threw strikes for brief inning of work, delivery in synch here has a chance to be front end of rotation guy or closer, '18 strong follow early round potential 2019 grad.
RHP Griffin Roberts, Wareham/Wake Forest, 6'2 205 was drafted this year and chose not to sign as D/E soph, live arm with easy velo from H 3/4, closer makeup with hard biting slider, keeps pitches down to be effective, command could improve more to get to the ML level in time, solid follow again in '18 2019 grad year.
LHP Dan Lynch Orleans/Virginia 6'6 190, slight stiff front side, loose arm from 3/4 slot, fb has life middle out vs RHH near ave velo, biting cb and straight change, 2nd-dary pitches in development stage still will need to improve command to get to ML level, back of the rotation type of middle man in bullpen, '18 follow grad yr 2019.
RHP Jack DeGroat Chatham/Liberty U 6'2 195, bullpen type arm with solid ave to plus fb from H 3/4 slot, loose, some effort to delivery ball jumps out of his hand, will go as far as secondary pitches develop and his commands improves, aggressive demeanor to be closer in time, solid follow for '18, 2019 grad yr.
RHP, Ryan Feltner Bourne/Ohio State 6'2 195 loose qk arm from H 3/4 slot, showed flashes of plus velo and proper bite/spin on cb and kept pitches down for most part in his 1 inning of work, enough here to warrant strong follow for '18, 2019 grad.
RHP Christian Tripp Hyannis/New Mexico 6'7 220, loose arm with aggressive approach, H 3/4 slot fb showed life in bullpen and brief stint in relief, plus velo and showed shape/spin of hard sl, pitched downhill, type of arm to be early round type draft, strong follow for next year, 2019 grad yr.
RHP Ryan McCauley Y-D/Michigan St, 6'0 205 little righty with solid fb and threw strikes, hard biting sl with chance to be ave out pitch, mature body and frame, best shot in the bullpen to take advantage of qk arm and ability to throw strikes with deceptive life up in zone w/plus fb, 2018 grad year, mild follow for 2018.
IF, Nico Hoerner, Y-D/Stanford, 6'0 200, R/R, qk line drive stroke with ability to drive the ball to the alleys for extra bases, runs at least ave quicker on the bases, has ave arm strength best suited for 2B or possible move to OF in time, will go as far as bat develops, sound approach to hitting which will be his ticket to the ML, plays hard and worth strong follow for '18, 2019 grad yr, 5/13/97.
2B, Ethan Paul Orleans/Vandy, 5'10 175, L/R, sound hitting approach w/short qk LD stroke, runs on the way, showed near ave arm strength best suited for 2B, enough ability here to be middle to late round type follow for 2018, 2019 grad yr.
LHP Ryan Rolison Orleans/Mississippi 6'3 200, 3/4 slot loose arm with arm side run fb ave changes speeds with deceptive change and hard biting slider, keeps pitches down, will be D/E due to age for 2018, 2020 grad year, enough ability to follow for '18.
LHP Brendan Nall Y-D/W Carolina 6'0 190 reliever with solid fb and cb showed enough ability to throw strikes and keep hitters off balance to be bullpen guy at the next level, Free-Agent here with ability to grow in an organization, loose from 3/4 slot w/easy set delivery.
RHP Luis Alvarado, Bourne/Nebraska 6'3 195, reliever type demeanor with live arm fb has running action down in the zone, loose qk arm, fb up flattens out, has ave straight change and spins slider, both pitches need to improve location/command, was drafted 2017, will be 2018 grad so senior type draft for next season, chance to be a big league reliever.
Update: Friday, July 21, 2017
RHP Forrest Whitley, Buies Creek (Houston Astros) 6'7 240 listed, 19 yrs of age, turns 20 in late September, ez, set delivery from H 3/4 arm slot, qk loose arm, 2 seam fb 91-93 with arm side run and sink, heavy down in k-zone, 4 seamer has riding life and will touch 97-98 most are 95, straight change and hard slider/cb from same slot with fair command but has the idea and feel for both pitches which have the chance to be better than average with experience and more exposure, went 3 2/3 innings tonight, kept the ball down for the most part although he opened his front side early on occasion, this is the type of arm to be a front line starter in the ML, ETA 2019/2020, will go as far as command and secondary pitches take him.
LF/1B, Yordan Alvarez, 6'5 220 L/L, 20 yrs of age, signed out of Cuba by the Dodgers, traded in 2016 to Houston, Buies Creek, has quiet launch w/qk bat and strength to alleys for power, tends to chase out of the zone breaking pitches, needs better plate discipline and attack fb early in count to take advantage of his qk bat and strength, shows ave arm strength and know how in the OF and 1b, runs on the way, 4.4 from the box, knows how on the bases, not a real threat to steal many bases, may on occasion, 30/40 hitter 40/50 power 40 run 50 arm 50 fld, will be extra roster player and fight for backup playing time at the ML level as long as the bat keeps developing.
Update: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Caught Down East (Texas Rangers) @ Carolina (Brewers) homestand this week. Last night Down East featured RHP, Jonathan Hernandez, 6'2 175 listed, qk loose arm from 3/4 slot, tends to pitch uphill and rush delivery at times from modified semi-windup, fb touches 97 on occ most are 92-94 with little movement, also showed feel for slider and change, both still in developmental stage and all 3 pitches thrown from the 3/4 slot, a work in progress his body type is that of a young Marianno Rivera and he may end up a back of the rotation or bullpen guy in the long haul, there is some ceiling left, he throws strikes for the most part when he doesn't rush himself, 60 fb 40 SL 40 CH and 40 command at present so 45 OFP.
2B, Josh Morgan, 5'11 200, R/R, Down East (Texas) shows qk stroke with gap power and on the way runner, 4.4 straight away home to 1st, has ave arm strength and know how in the middle infield, range is a tad below average, he may have to move to LF, he's tried catching but needs more repetition to learn the position with glove to hand transfer with the ball to throw to bases as well as receiving and being alert, has a chance to hit for average, journeyman type emergency call up at best, AAA might be his ticket ultimately, 30/40 hit, 30/40 power, 40 run 50 arm 40 fld, 40 OFP.
LHP, Adam Choplick, Down East, 6'9 250, lefty with solid arm strength and arm speed from upper 3/4 slot, fb touches 96 most are 93-94 with some sink down on knees, easy motion to the plate from stretch position, will cut fb on occ and throws hard slider with slurve action and cb that rolls 1/6 type, both secondary pitches still developing, 24 yrs old now, will go as far as secondary pitches develop, AAA type with chance to get to ML when secondary pitches are there.
RHP, Steven Bruce for Down East, middle guy 6'0 190, R/R, 25 yrs old, has arm side run from set position, fb ranges 90-94 sinks when down, also short qk slider to keep hitters honest, feel for change, threw strikes and gets outs, situational type bullpen guy who has shot at ML bullpen or AAA at worse.
Update: Wednesday, July 12
OF, Monte Harrison, 6'3 235 R/R, former 2nd round pick by Milwaukee, playing with Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League Class A, Monte has gotten bigger and stronger since his HS days and has improved his ability to drive the ball and he still showcases plus running speed and solid arm strength for any OF position, he's played both corner OF positions as well as spelling CF Corey Ray on occasion in CF, Monte shows a direct level swing w/strength and pull side power and can turn on a fb middle of zone for HR power, running he glides and he can take the extra base with his speed, competent defender with average instincts and shows accuracy with his arm, graded him out as a 40/60 hitter 50/50 power 60 runner 50 arm 50 fld for a 54 OFP grade, has a chance to start in the ML in 2-3 years. Last saw him in 2013 at the Tournament of Stars, he was 6'2 200 then going into his senior year, 2014.
Update: Tuesday, July 11
Attended the annual Coastal Plain League All-Star game last night, Monday, July 10, 2017. The most scouts I've seen at this event in the many years I've attended. The talent level this year wasn't up to the par levels of years past however there were a few names to keep an eye for next year.
Most of the 15 pitchers that threw tonight were all in the 85-89 range with their fastballs, so that was disappointing, although some showed pure arm strength, their deliveries needed help.
First follow to keep an eye on for 2018 will be a senior this fall in 2B, Christian Hollie, Savannah Bananas (Texas-Arlington) 6'0 180, R/R, 9/20/1995, showed qk athletic actions in the field and at the plate, there is bat speed with raw strength, ran 4.25 on a ground out so he's at least an average runner, showed instincts and range in the field with the arm for 2B, bat stroke was level and to the ball, lean muscular build there is something to work with here.
2B, Nick Podkuhl, Morehead City (Notre Dame), 6'2 195 R/R, 4/11/1997, led the game off with a long HR to LCF showed qk slight upper cut swing with strength and showed pitch recognition yet took a breaking ball for strike 3 in his 2nd AB, showed enough arm for the position and steady hands, strength is his bat, did not get a running time, seemed to move around light on his feet however, will be a junior so 2019 grad year.
RHP, Jason Goe, HP-Thomasville (Morehead St), 6'5 230, R/R, tall athletic build, broad shoulders and long arms, prototype build for a righty, missed his spring season at Morehead State, showed set position windup with arm strength w/short arc in backswing and length and looseness out front from 3/4 slot, fb did touch 92 most were upper 80's all pure arm strength, lower half seemed inactive during delivery which could hamper his development, definitely would benefit from a pro instructor to take advantage of his raw tools, spun the cb with proper bite and rotation, was around the strike zone with his pitches, seemed to like to be out there will be D/E in 2018 he's a 2019 grad.
LHP Colton Harlow, Peninsula (James Madison), listed at 5'10 170, L/L, little lefty with easy delivery from upper 3/4 slot, loose with some arm strength, threw strikes, fb he would cut at times, velo was 86-88 mostly in his 2 inning stint, hard sl at 81-83 with bite in on RHH, feisty and competes, just a little short at present pro wise w/velocity, however, he's a name for 2018 as a Senior Draft eligible because he knows how to pitch.
RHP, Devin Sweet, Asheboro (North Carolina Central Univ), listed at 5'10 195, R/R, little righty with fade straight change which kept hitters off balance and showed qk loose arm w/strength w/fb velo 87-89 mostly with arm side run and sink down on knees, spun the SL a few times which proper rotation, threw strikes from 3/4 slot, has 2 years left in school, 2018 D/E, 2019 grad, a name to see again in fall and next spring if the velo comes up a tick or two.
Update: Thursday, June 29, 2017
Team USA collegiate team: saw on Tuesday night vs Chinese Taipei national team.
LHP Konnor Pilkington 6'3 225 L/L Mississippi State 2019, should be one of top pitchers to see in the SEC for '18, showed fb with late hop touching 93 on occ most fb at 90-91, spun the breaking ball with slurvy effect and occ straight change, kept pitches down and in for the most part, stamina for 4 innings, loose from 3/4 slot tended to rush at times, shows strong move to 1B, solid 2018 follow.
RHP, Ryley Gilliam, 5'10 175, Clemson, R/R, reliever had to come put out the fire in the 9th, showed plus cb with command and late break, fb touched low 90's peaked at 93 kept pitches down with arm side run and sink down in zone, 2019, will be decent follow for 2018, role most likely as relief type, feisty appearance, good face.
OF, Steele Walker, 5'11 190 L/L, Oklahoma, 2019, showed qk bat with level launch, pull side power can go the other way with the pitch, on the way runner with at least ave arm strength, solid corner OF type worth good look in 2018.
2B, Braden Shewmake, 6'4 180, L/R, Texas A&M, 2020, live body with qk bat, level stroke w/pop, runs on the way, ran 4.18 home to 1b, has range at 2B to stick there and solid arm strength, worth a look for next couple of years, gamer, good face.
3B, Johnny Aiello, 6'2 210, R/R, Wake Forest, 2019, have seen for 3 years now beginning at TOS then last year at Wake Forest as a 1st yr player, has solid arm strength and know how at 3B, tends to lift on ground huggers and eratic with range and hands, shows long level bat stroke can lift for power to alleys, on the way runner, worth good look again in 2018, mild follow, 4-7 rounder at best, room to improve here.
OF, Travis Swaggerty, 5'11 180, L/L, South Alabama, 2019, qk bat with level stroke goes to all fields, on the way runner, knows how, 4.35 on turn, has playable arm from LF, can play any OF positiion, worth good look again in 2018, gamer with good face, love his approach to the game.
OF, Jake McCarthy, 6'2 200, L/L, Virginia, 2019, Jake shows bat speed w/strength in his swing, a bit stiff in the back closes off swing at the plate going the other way with outer half pitches, on the way runner, shows enough arm strength to play corner OF at the next level, will go as far as bat takes him, room to get bigger and stronger, closed stance needs work to take advantage of strength and hands, 2018 follow.
Update: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Wrapped up 2 days of action at the Tournament of Stars in Cary, NC. This year featured just 4 teams and I will grade out the players I feel have a shot at playing at the pro level, these are just an opinion of a scout with 34 years experience and successful at finding players who made contributions at the Major League Level during those 34 years and going strong. Break downs by team scouted. Many thanks to the scouts in the field I met and old friends but special thanks to Matt Blood, USA director for giving information to help make the tournament one of the best there is in the business.
C, Will Banfield V, 6'1 198 listed, R/R, Brookwood HS, Lawrenceville GA, one of the better arms behind the dish in the event and on the season I've scouted, graded him out at 60 although you could give him a 70 if you really like him, but I'll stick with my grade, Will showed a qk bat from a quiet launch and good extension on his swings, all out runner ran 4.6 on a turn, fearless on the bases, he has a lot of similarities to a throwback here with the Pirates, Jason Kendall except Will has more power and probably a better arm, pop times to 2nd were 1.85 to 2.07 on steal attempts, he appeared very alert as a defensive catcher and made 2 good plays on major league pop ups in foul territory, seemed to lose his balance on both occasions but got it done, showed smooth receiving skills otherwise, graded him out as 30/50 hitter 40/50 power 40 runner 60 arm 50/50 power, OFP and added pts for premium position = 55, could be taken in the top 25 picks in 2018 MLB Draft, has college offer from Vanderbilt.
OF, Joseph Gray, 6'1 195, Hattiesburg HS, Miss, R/R, easy swing w/balance at the plate, shows straight away power to LF alley, a tad below average runner on the way, runs bases w/know how, defensively shows a plus arm from the OF and enough range to play either corner in the OF w/instincts, has college offer to Mississippi, graded out at 30/50 hit 40/50 pwr 40 run 60 arm 50 fld OFP at 50, chance to be top 3 rounder in 2018.
RHP, Ethan Hankins, 6'6 211, Forsyth Central HS, Cumming Ga, has college offer to Vanderbilt, tall drink of water here, lean build with projection to get strong and bigger, has very qk arm from 3/4 slot almost a low 3/4 slot from short semi-windup, almost a qk pitch delivery, fb gets up there quickly to the plate, velo range 90-96, most fb were 91-93 for the 3 innings, shape and feel of cb was slurvy at present chance to be better in time, showed arm side run on fb, threw strikes and kept most pitches down in the zone, will benefit from pro coaching, club would have to be patient and let him develop a few years at the A ball level, graded him out as 60 fb 40/50 cb 40/50 control did not see much change up action to warrant a 3rd pitch, will go as far as secondary pitch develops as well as his physical maturity, OFP would be 50, projection 1-3 to 4-7 round range for 2018 based on future OFP.
LHP, Ryan Weathers, 6'1 225, Loretto HS, Loretto TN, qk arm with strength from H 3/4 slot, semi-windup showed plus velo not much movement however on his fb, velo ranged 90-95 most fb were straight, has some roundness to his build, should get stronger, needs to work on holding runners, challenged hitters not overpowering, enough here to work with, shape of slider was flat w/proper spin, chopped off extension during delivery from stiff lower back type delivery has college offer from Vanderbilt, definite follow for 2018 will need time to develop, some comp to LHP John Lester of Cubs.
2B/SS, Brice Turang, 6' 160 L/R, 2nd year at event, Santiago HS, Corona CA, has offer from LSU, showed straight away speed and enough arm to play middle IF at the next level, made contact, bat was late, trigger appeared late, showed more bat speed last yr than at this event has handsy swing at present, mild follow, graded out as 20/40 hit, 30/30 power, 50 run, 40/50 arm, 40/50 fld, 44 OFP.
2B/SS, Bobby Witt Jr, 6'1 174, R/R, Colleyville Heritage HS, Colleyville TX, son of former Texas Ranger/Oklahoma pitcher, Bobby Witt, this young man is a plus plus runner straight away, ran 3.95 twice on infield grounders for hits, also struck out 3 times on day two vs better breaking stuff and velo, does show short qk swing w/balance as a hitter, there is some strength there to work with, gliding runner who will steal bases, shows solid arm strength and plus range in the field, only a 2019 grad to be, possible reclassify for 2018? Haven't heard definitive plans on that yet, so we'll wait for 2 years and the numbers don't lie, he's one to watch for 2019 right now, has offer from Oklahoma, graded out at 20/40 hit, 20/40 power, 70 run, 50/60 arm, 60 fld, OFP on paper, 56 OFP!
OF, Jared Kelenic, 6'1 190, L/L, Waukesha West HS, Waukesha WIS, showed better all around tools for me last year, still has plus arm strength and bat speed, running straight away was a step below ave out of the box, showed he can play CF and RF, has a 60 arm, may end up a very solid college player if the bat tool doesn't improve, definite worth a follow for next spring 2018, will go as far as the bat improves.
3B, Rece Hinds, 6'3 203, R/R, 2019 grad yr, R/R, Niceville HS, Niceville FL, shows some qk twitch, plus arm strength, smooth runner, type of frame to get bigger and stronger, actions for IF at adequate may end up moving to OF, bat has strength will need to work on balance on breaking pitches better, enough here to warrant follow for 2 more years, has verbal offer to LSU.
C, Austin Wells, 6'3 191, L/R, 2018, verbal offer to ARIZONA, attends Bishop Gorman HS, Henderson NV, showed qk stroke with alley power, type of frame to fill out in future, showed plus arm strength with sound fundamental catching skills, alert, shows control of game, definitely worth strong follow for 2018, turns 18 on 7/12/99, graded out as 20/40 hit, 40/50 power 40 run 60 arm 50 fld, premium position, 48 OFP.
RHP, Owen White, 6'3 175, R/R, 2018, Jesse Carson HS, Mt Ulla NC, qk arm w/short arm arc from 3/4 slot loose out front, second year seeing saw workout at N C State games a couple weeks ago and same event in '16, has near ave velo, 88-92 range, most fb were 89-90, bite and proper spin on cb/sl , tends to cross body towards 3b side, feel for change, will be one to see in 2018, has college verbal to U of South Carolina, will need time in pro ball to develop, good face and want to.
RHP, Slade Cecconi, 6'4 195, R/R, Trinity Prep HS, Oviedo FL, has grown 3 inches in 3 years and added nearly 10 mph to his fb, touched 97, most fb today were 92-93 with occ arm side run occ w/2 seam, crosses body front leg lands towards 3b side restricting extension and life on fb, has some bite on cutter type breaking ball and feel for cb and change, secondary pitches are lacking at present but pure arm speed and velo at plus to work with, has verbal offer to Miami, pro instruction will help this young man climb, 2018 strong follow.
RHP, Lineras "Lenny" Torres, 6'2 186, R/R, Beacon HS, Beacon NY, verbal to St John's, saw Lenny first time last year at NTIS event, fb touched 91 last year, today he touched 95 a handful of times and sat 92-93 for 3 innings, has bite and feel for breaking ball SL type and fb on occ will have arm side run, will need to work on secondary stuff and command in order to get to the next level, worth strong look in 2018 for sure, lean build and big feet to get a bit bigger and stronger, 2018.
OF, Alek Thomas, 5'10 168 L/L, Chicago Mt Carmel HS, Chicago IL, saw last year as well, has some quick twitch and surprising strength, ave runner better on the way, shows below ave arm strength w/plus range in CF, qk bat hit most velo fbs the opp field, a bit rigid in upper body when swinging, worth mild look in 2018, has verbal to TCU.
RHP, Austin Becker, 6'4 175, R/R, Big Walnut HS, Sunbury OH, tall drink of water, has verbal to Vanderbilt, shows loose arm out from from Semi-windup, some hyperextension in arm action, 2 seam fb has sinking life away from LHH, fb touched 92 most were 88-89, raw strength, build to add more strength in time, has hard bite and 11/5 break action on cb and occ straight change with feel, below ave command/control at present, a work in progress, worth good look in 2018.
RHP, Adam Kloffenstein, 6'5 230, R/R, Magnolia HS, Magnolia TX, loose arm w/raw delivery from H 3/4 slot fb touched 95 most fb 91-93 arm side run on occ, spins on heel during follow thru landing, has bite and proper rotation on cb and fair command/control at present, strong frame to get bigger and will need to get everything together to progress in pro ball, worth strong look in 2018, has offer from TCU.
RHP/C, Mason Denanburg, 6'4 195 R/R, 8/8/99, Merritt Island HS, Merritt Island FL, strong build with frame to get bigger and stronger, arm is easy with looseness and strength, knows how defensively, pop times range 1.88 to 2.07, alert and takes charge of the game, bat has strength w/raw power, trigger a tad slow at the plate however on the bump this kid has a chance to be something special as a pitcher, fb tops 96 ave 92-93 with occ run, proper shape on cb with fair command, lots of upside here on the pitching side, has offer from Florida, will be strong follow for top 3 rounds in 2018.
3B/MIF, Nolan Gorman, 6'1 205 L/R, 5/10/18, Sandra Day O'Connor HS, Glendale AZ, strong arm and lateral range, may end up at 1b or LF, has short compact swing w/alley power and strength, shows balance at the plate and discipline will chase bad pitches being too aggressive, has commit to Arizona, has chance to hit at the ML level, runs near ave, 4.4 from LH side.
C, Anthony McNair-Sigler, 5'11 185 S/S, Cartersville HS, GA, a switcher on both sides hitting/throwing, shows some ability at the plate, qk bat and goes with the pitch, defensively has a shot as a catcher, showed pop times of 1.96 to 2.07 and kept pitches in the dirt mostly in front, alert, has want to attitude and upside to go further, raw strength, has college offer from Auburn, turned 18 already, 2018.
SS, Gage Workman, 6'4 176 S/R, Basha HS, Queen Creek AZ, showed qk bat w/pull side power, better hitter from LH side, a tad below ave runner out of the box, better on the way, showed ave arm w/carry from SS can project to 60 arm, range laterally works and has instincts for position, may end up moving off SS to Corner or 2B at ML Level in time, has type of frame to add strength/weight in future, has offer to Arizona State, graded out as 30/50 hit 30/50 pwr, 40 run, 60 arm 50 fld, solid OFP of 50, would project to 4-7 rounder type would not be surprised if he moves into group 1 category, good face, 2017 UNDER CONTROL.
OF, Elijah Cabell, 6'1 185, R/R, 18 yr old, Winter Park HS, Winter Park FL, has verbal to LSU, shows plus arm strength and qk bat w/strength and pwr to LF, runs fair, most run times were 4.5 to 4.6, appears quicker on the bases, mild follow for 2018, will go as far as bat takes him.
CF, Michael Siani, 6'0 188, L/L, turns 18 this summer, William Penn Charter HS, Glenside PA, qk twitch guy with plus arm strength from CF and shows the range and instincts to stick there, at the plate, bat was a bit slow w/trigger, appeared a bit bulked up from last seen last year in this event, there are tools here to work with and a verbal to Virginia to compete with, also pitches, did not see just yet on the hill, worth follow in 2018.
RHP, Kumar Rocker, North Ocnonee HS, Watkinsville GA, 6'5 259 turns 18 this winter, has verbal to Vanderbilt, there is major league arm strength here to work with, has slight hyperextension with lead elbow on 2 seam fb, a bit of a concern, loose out front, has touched 98 in the past, only saw him touch 95 on the day, most fb were 92-93 2 seamer was 88-89 with arm side run and sink, hard sloppy slider with occ bite at 83-85, showed hard change with some feel at 86-88, not much deception in it as it appear to be a BP fb, not deceptive at all, command is fair at present, a work in progress, lots of upside with work with pro instruction for 2018.
LHP, Joseph Menefee 6'1 217, L/L, George Ranch HS, Richmond TX, has verbal to Texas A&M, pitches better from set/stretch position than from semi-windup, started out 88-92 in 1st inning and warmed up to 90-93 in the 2nd inning, there is arm speed and looseness here with strength, showed proper bite on SL not much tilt at 77-80 and occ feel for change, another work in progress, must see in 2018.
3B, Jordan Groshans, 6'3 186,R/R turns 18 late this year, Magnolia HS, Magnolia TX, has Kansas U verbal, showed some bat speed w/strength, might have been best hitting prospect at the TOS in the 4 games I saw, shows solid arm strength, high hands at the plate with strength to all fields, ran 4.6 on Turn straight away lots of 4.5's and 4.6's, better on the way runner, has proper actions and range in field at the corner to stick there, definitely worth a follow next spring, 2018.
RHP, John Ginn, 6'1 210, R/R, Brandon HS, Brandon MS, loose qk arm with arm speed, fb touched 97, most were 93-95 with arm side run away from LHH, ez delivery from stretch, showed feel for hard slider/cb type at 83-86, threw strikes, command was a bit below ave but enough here to work with to improve, pro instruction will definitely benefit this one, has some similarities to RHP Craig Kimbrell, has verbal offer to Mississippi State. Noticed during the Under Armour game tv replay, John's fb delivery he tended to pitch to the middle of the plate rather than pitch to the corners and challenge hitters inside, it's not too concerning now however I'd like to see more aggressiveness from him in using his live arm as the middle of the plate pitches will get crushed in pro ball. He'll learn in time and he could be a 1-3 round type for 2018.
Updated: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Sorry, have been busy of late with my 9 to midnight job as a franchise owner/operator for Papa John's. Caught some action at 5 county stadium as well as the 2A and 3A North Carolina State tournament teams on June 2-3. And on Wednesday, June 14 caught the workouts for 5 teams at the North Carolina State Games @ Grimsley HS in Greensboro. The outfield running track for the 60's appeared a bit soft and wet, so a slower than normal track for running, however, speed does not lie.
C/UT, Trent Harris Heritage HS, Wake Forest, 6' 175 R/R, showed near ave arm strength and 1.9 pop times in workouts, ran ok and showcased qk aggressive bat w/LD ability during BP and want to attitude, 2018, keep an eye on this one for 2018, follow potential here for sure, colleges need to close the deal on this one.
C/UT, Gray Betts Cardinal Gibbons HS, 5'10 180 L/R, showed decent ability behind the dish though he worked out in the OF and IF as well, below ave speed, he showed qk lefty short stroke with ability to square up the ball, showed ave hands behind the dish with pop times around 2.0, a couple at 1.9, good chance to play at the collegiate level as a catcher, possible 3B or LF as well, 2018.
lB/LHP, Tyler Tuthill, Clayton HS, 6'3 195, L/L, solid college prospect with hit tool upper cut stroke and know how at 1B, some arm strength and looseness in his arm, room to get bigger and stronger in time, will need to follow in college for sure, 2018.
C/1B/3B, Seth Thorndyke, nice size and skill package at the collegiate level, 6'2 225 R/R w/arm strength and fundamental approach as fielder/receiver, pop times 2.0 to 2.1, showed power type qk bat w/some length and strength, below ave runner, definitely worth colleges developing this one to see down the road, he's at Fairmont HS and is a 2018 grad.
RHP/OF, Andrew Jayne, Terry Sanford HS, 6'4 190, R/R, twin brother on same club, ran 6.85, showed arm strength during workout w/some bat speed and length to swing, barreled up ok, frame to get stronger and add in time, arm action appears to be worthy look as a pitcher, did not see him pitch as of yet, 2018 grad.
OF/LHP, Christian Jayne, Terry Sanford HS, 6'4 190, L/L, showed the better bat of the twin brothers during workout, has solid arm strength with qk arm release w/carry from OF, also ran 6.85, showed qk level stroke as LHH with some pull side power, intriguing to follow, would like to see pitch with his arm strength and athletic ability, 2018. Verbal commitment to ECU.
MIF/SS, Jaylen Guy SE Guilford HS, second year seeing him, saw last year in Cary for State Game workouts and game action, appears slightly bigger and stronger this year, a 2018 grad, he's still just 16 currently, listed at 5'11 170, R/R, bat goes directly to ball, puts it in play, ran easy in 60 and showed near ave arm strength with soft hands in the field, definite 4 year guy who may come on with further growth and development.
1B/C/RHP, 2019 grad to be from Wesleyan Christian Academy, Caleb Cozart, a big'un, 6'4 240 still growing it appears, showed short power stroke with strength and barrel up ability during BP, at 1B showed at least ave ML arm strength and solid fielding skills, not qk afoot at all ran plus 8.0, 60, intriguing to watch next couple of years, arm works well and bat may play at next level.
RHP/IF, Owen White, saw him last year as well at N C State games in Cary, showed fluid arm speed and strength with know how has a fielder and on the bump last year, threw well at IF during workouts and runs ok, not a burner, he has athletic ability, showed qk bat w/strength, has yet to grow into his body, listed at 6'3 180, R/R, South Carolina early verbal, could change w/new coach not yet in fold at S Car yet, on the bump, from 3/4 slot semi windup touched 91 last year, said to have touched 92 during 6/16 action w/proper spin and bite on SL/CB, slurve at present and feel for change, still developing, definite one to follow for 2018 on the pro side.
OF/P, Dalton Williams, 2018 from North Gaston HS, listed at 6'1 195, he's put together well, lefty bat w/strength and pull side power, ran well in 60, 6.8 and showed ML arm strength, stronger muscular build w/lean mass, chance to get bigger and stronger and improve overall skill package, this kid has enough ability to follow as a prospect for 2018, no known college as of this evaluation.
OF, Cam Brantley, Ardrey Kell HS, 2018, L/L, 5'11 190, showed he can run, throw and has bat speed w/strength during workouts, ran 6.85 60, arm works well in OF w/accuracy to bases, showed qk direct bat w/strength, a bit on the raw side still but intriguing enough to see again on the pro side in 2018, college player for sure and will get offers if he hasn't had one yet for D1.
C, Jeremiah Boyd, Hickory Ridge HS, 2018, R/R, 5'10 200, solid hitting prospect w/pop and strength in his short swing, adequate defensive skills to be solid collegiate player at catcher, 2.0/2.1 pop times w/gear, ran fair in 60, not a base stealing threat, but skills to contribute at the next level.
2019, Carson Lowder, North Stanly HS, 6 180, R/R, actions and ability here to follow, definite D1 guy, ran near ave in 60, showed qk short swing w/strength, LD type alley power, arm strength at SS during workout, listed as SS, arm works well w/carry and qk smooth hands in the field.
RHP/OF, Trey Tujetsch, Ardrey Kell HS, 2019, 6' 165, arm works well during workouts, did not see pitch, showed decent actions and fair hitting skills for D1 interest, would like to see pitch the way his arm works and the arm strength he showed, interesting for next 2 years, may grow a bit more.
2018, 1B/LHP, Luke Little, E Mecklenberg HS, listed at 6'8 230, L/L, showed qk power stroke w/strength during BP, attacked the ball, runs fair for a big'un, showed arm strength in the field at 1B and know how, soft hands w/actions, intriguing to see, also listed as a pitcher, arm works well during workout to warrant follow for 2018.
SS/P, Zachary Hammer, 2018, Alexander Central HS, 6'2 165, R/R, frame to get bigger and stronger in time, arm works well, shows ave arm strength from IF and OF, ran ave in 60, at plate he needs work as a hitter, a bit hyper, instruction and work will improve hit tools he currently has, would like to see pitch, definite college prospect for next year.
OF/P, Sam Zayicek, Lake Norman HS, saw last year at N C State games in Cary as well, shows arm strength and ave running speed straight away in 60, definite college prospect, would like to see pitch as his arm strength is intriguing, listed at 6'1 170, L/R, bat is qk and direct to the ball, fair power, strength to develop further, should develop in college further, 2018.
C, Tristen Kenyon, 2018, Smoky Mountain HS, listed at 5'10 185, R/R, showed catch n throw skills and could be contributor at the collegiate level, pop times were 1.85-2.0, showed barrel up ability as a hitter w/compact stroke, should gather pro interest in 3-4 years, need to follow his progress.
OF/IF, Kyle Decker, 2018, North Henderson HS, 6' 170, R/R, ran ave 6.85, showed arm strength in IF/OF workout and has some bat speed w/fair strength, definite college prospect, will need to follow next few years, 2018 grad.
LHP/1B, Eric Wallington TC Roberson HS, 6'4 180, L/L, showed field and throw skills at 1B, did not see pitch, arm was loose and worked well during IF workout, showed solid hit approach w/fair strength, should get bigger and stronger in time, definite college prospect, will need to keep an eye on 2018.
C/1B, Aaron McKiethan, TC Roberson HS, 6'1 205, R/R, solid college prospect, 2.0 pop times, below ave arm strength accurate to bag, shows short stroke with linedrive ability, goes to all fields, solid skills to get to the next level and contribute, 2018.
June 2-3, 2017, First the 2A State Championship, State Champs for 2A = John A Holmes HS out of Edenton NC featured some nice college talent and fierce competitors. LHP Matt Benfield, 2017 grad, is a burly lefty with a sneaky qk fb down on the knees and from 3/4 slot featured a tight cb he got hitters to chase or take for backward K punchouts, he was in the low to mid 80's with his fastball and likely will be a nice college pitcher, he's 6'2 ish and around 250.
CF, Jaden Bobbitt for JAH/Edenton showed plus speed and solid arm strength, he has a qk short swing and the type of frame to project to get stronger in time, he's listed at 6'1, he appears to be close to that and around 175 pounds, R/R, he ran 4.1 on a grounder and he barreled up for contact, he's a 2018 folks, worth a follow next spring on the pro side.
R-S Central HS out of Rutherfordton NC was a scrappy bunch in this tourney and features a solid college prospect in 1B/RHP, Jace Crowe, 2018, appears to be 5'11 175 R/R, showed arm strength during warmups at the 1st sack and showed a qk bat with slight upper cut swing, ran on the way fair and on the bump appeared to be in the low 80's w/his fb and spun the cb ok and some straight changes w/feel, all pitches for 3/4 slot, definitely worth colleges getting on this young man.
RS-Central featured twins, SS Keaton Snethen, a scrappy 5'6 140 R/R, qk twitch player with some arm strength and runs solid average 4.3 from RH side of the plate, made contact each ab and plays to win, can compete at the next level in college for sure, he's a 2018. He has a twin:
OF, Cam Snethen, played RF for RS-Central, 5'6 140 L/L, runs ave and shows some arm strength from RF, has enough speed to move to CF at college level, also pitches however did not see him in that role, puts the ball in play at the plate and can bunt as well, does things right in the field, 2018.
2B/OF, Joey Daigle RS-Central, showed arm strength from IF and OF, is another 2018, shows enough fundamental skills to get to college level to develop into solid player.
Northern Guilford HS won the 3A tourney and featured another solid bunch of young players, featured N C State committ, RHP, Cameron Cotter w/a funky delivery from 3/4 slot, very qk arm and showed a fb that touched 90 a few times, sat 87-88 with some arm side run and qk breaking slider, he kept pitches down and away from hitters bats, a competitor on the bump, he'll do well at the collegiate level and has more in the tank with velo once he matures, 2017 grad.
Of/RHP, John Clark Ouztz, a 5'10 175 lb plugger with arm strength from RF, showed competitive nature w/qk short swing at the plate and fb that touched 89 sat 86 with proper break on cb and feel for change, he'll be a solid contributor at the collegiate level, R/R, 2017.
Crest High School is a team that could compete for State again in 2018, a young club with some talent and never give up attitude.
CF/LHP, 2019 grad, CJ Mayhue showed arm strength and near ave running speed listed at 5'9 155, competed well, showed ability to play CF and had qk bat in the 8 hole, a bit funky on the hill with short arm arc 3/4 slot fb touching 85, most 81-82, proper bite/spin on cb and feel for change, has 2 more years to improve and should grow a bit more, colleges need to be making contact on this one, L/L.
OF, Lawson Harrill, R/R, 5'9 160, showed slightly BA arm strength w/carry from RF, and fundamental swing and approach as a hitter, type of arm motion that could project to become a pitcher in time, 2019, young man may grow a bit more and must watch to see if his arm keeps improving as it worked well in warmups from the OF and plays the game right.
SS, 2018, Nick Melton, 6 165, R/R probably the best player on the team shows arm strength from SS and qk first step to either side, also ran 4.38 from RH side and barreled up for contact each ab, actions to be solid college player.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Caught some action after going to Colorado for Operations Conference for Papa John's last week. I have my mock 1st Round 2017 MLB Draft up. These projections are based on teams' needs not so much on what I've heard whom I've spoken too, as that would all be "hearsay". My projections are based on needs and where prospects for the MLB Draft fit/profile.
1. Minnesota Twins-RHP, Hunter Greene Notre Dame HS CA not many with this arm come around
2. Cincinnati Reds - RHP, Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt, could move quickly in starting rotation
3. San Diego Padres - LHP, MacKenzie Gore, Whiteville HS NC, Padres don't have many lefties like this
4. Tampa Bay Rays - 1B/LHP, Brendan McKay, U of Louisville, 6'3 225, L/L, bat first, pitch 2nd
5. Atlanta Braves - RHP, JB Bukauskas, North Carolina, 6 200, qk mover w/plus slider and command
6. Oakland Athletics-OF, Royce Lewis, JSerra Cath HS CA, 6'1 185, R/R, all the tools, has time to develop
7. Arizona Diamondbacks-OF, Adam Haseley, Virginia, 6'0 190 L/L, hits to all fields, can play "D"
8. Philadelphia Phillies-OF, Jeran Kendall, Vanderbilt, 5'11 180 L/R, hitter w/speed, will move quick
9. Milwaukee Brewers-RHP, Shane Baz, Concordia Lutheran HS, Cypress TX, 6'2 185, live arm will move qk
10. Los Angeles Angels-LHP, David Peterson, Oregon, 6'6 225, Angels need arms and this kid can move qk
11. Chicago White Sox-1B, Pavin Smith, Virginia, type of bat to move in system qk
12. Pittsburgh Pirates-RHP, Tanner Houck, Missouri, Bucs need arms, this one is closest to big leagues
13. Miami Marlins-OF, Jordan Adell, Ballard HS KY, 6'2 195, R/R, two way player, Marlins try bat first
14. Kansas City Royals-RHP, Nate Pearson, U Central FL JC, 6'6 250, Royals need arms first.
15. Houston Astros-LHP, Trevor Rogers, Carlsbad HS NM, 6'6 195, Astros can be patient, qk riser here.
16. New York Yankees-OF, Quentin Holmes, McClancy HS NY, a flyer and Yankees need athletes w/bat skills
17. Seattle Mariners-1B, Evan White, Kentucky, hitter w/power, fits Mariners mold.
18 Detroit Tigers-LHP, DL Hall, Valdosta HS, Tigers need arms and lefties hard to find
19. San Francisco Giants-RHP, Hans Crouse, Dana Hills HS CA, 6'5 180, high energy guy, Giants need arms
20. New York Mets-OF, Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest, qk bat, 5 tools, could move qk in system.
21. Baltimore Orioles-LHP, Luke Heimlich, Oregon St, O's can use arms or a big bat, lefty with ceiling
22. Toronto Blue Jays-C, Riley Adams U of San Diego, defensive skilled receiver with enough bat, Jays need a C soon.
23. Los Angeles Dodgers-RHP, Alex Lange, LSU, competitive pitcher who will move qk in this system
24. Boston Red Sox-LHP, Brendon Little, State JC of FL, strong power lefty with hard breaking ball
25. Washington Nationals-SS, Logan Warmouth, North Carolina, field and hit guy who could get into lineup qk
26. Texas Rangers- RHP, Alex Faedo, Florida, 6'3 190, type of arm that fits Rangers mold, injuris a question.
27. Chicago Cubs-RHP, Sam Carlson, Burnsville HS MIN, Cubs have youth and can develop this arm.
28. Toronto Blue Jays-C, Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach HS, 2 way type, coming on as a catcher can pitch.
29. Texas Rangers- OF, Heliot Ramos, Leadership Academy Puerto Rico, 5 tool player, Rangers need depth
30. Chicago Cubs-OF Austin Beck, N Davidson HS NC, 6'1 200, R/R, bat w/power, Cubs can wait and develop
Competitive Balance Round A
31. Tampa Bay Rays-RHP, Blayne Enlow, St Amant HS LA, Rays need arms and like to develop them
32. Cincinnati Reds - 2B/OF, Keston Hiura, UC-Irvine, a bat first guy who could help Reds quickly
33. Oakland Athletics - RHP, Clarke Schmidt, U of South Carolina, college guy fits A's "M=OH"
34. Milwaukee Brewers -1B, Gavin Sheets, Wake Forest, Brewers want big bats, Sheets has power hit tool
35. Minnesota Twins - SS, Nick Allen, Parker School CA, Twins brass like this kids package skills
36. Miami Marlins - SS, Mark Vientos American Heritage HS, his bat and steady fielding project here.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Here's an early look at 2017's Top MLB Draft Prospects in my opinion and comments if I have seen them this year or not:
RHP, JB Bukauskas, UNC, 6' 200, R/R, live fb, plus stuff, closer mentality and aggressiveness - so far in 2017 he's established himself as one of the top RHP in this class and profiles as an end of the rotation guy or potential bullpen stopper.
RHP, Hunter Greene, 8/6/1999, 6'3 195, R/R, Notre Dame HS, CA (commit-UCLA), so far in 2017 he's started out of the gate rather strong and solidifies himself as the potential #1 pick overall. Have not seen this year and reports from various scouts and web based info sights say he's a legit 1st or 2nd pick in the draft and most clubs figure his best shot is as a ML Pitcher, I concur, he does have intriguing package as a hitter and defensive shortstop as well.
LHP, Zach Lowther, Xavier, 6'4 215, L/L, on paper, could be one of first 5 taken in 2017 - two mediocre early starts have pushed his stock down a few notches, fb barely touching 90 early in games and having command issues as well as getting his secondary pitches over the plate with any consistent effect. Saw him at the Irish Classic vs Penn St in Cary, he was 88-91, most fb had sink but pitched up in zone and got hit around after 3 innings, since then he's gone on a nice run, so maybe he's hit his groove. Last summer and the previous summer in 2015, he started out slow in the spring and had very good summers throwing harder and with better stuff. Who knows where he'll go or end up, he's a lefty and they are tough to figure out sometimes.
RHP, Andrew Wantz, UNC-Greensboro, 6'4 230, R/R (One of best Cape Cod pitchers this summer) - started out slow but still showing low's 90's stuff, needs to establish his breaking ball as a solid out pitch. Has not closed as much as last year, still showing plus velo but command has lacked, he'll benefit from pro instruction and he'll need to make some adjustments in pro ball, the key will be how he adapts to changing.
LHP, MacKenzie Gore, Whiteville HS, NC, 6'2 175, L/L (high exposure during summer '16, solid stuff) - has started out with slightly better velo than he showed early in 2016 and his breaking ball has been in the development stage still, tends to pitch uphill some w/his delivery, ECU commit, early talk is he is in the top 2 rounds potentially. Has added 3-4 mph on his FB since last spring/summer and since I first saw him in 2015 at the State Tourney @ 5 County Stadium he's gone from 85-89 with fb, to 87-92 with fb, to 89-96 w/fb last 3 years and his breaking ball and change up have improved a smidgen as well each year, so projection is left and his frame will fill out and add more strength, he's a good athlete and can run straight away well, my OFP # came out to a 55 on him.
IF/OF, Royce Lewis, JSerra Catholic HS, Aliso Viejo CA, 6' 185, R/R, lively bat, power, 5 tools. - starting out well with plus speed and plush offensive tools - I have not seen him this year, reports are mixed, but from what I saw last year, the tools are there and he's young and he'll figure it all out as he adjusts and matures in pro ball.
SS, Mark Vientos, Flanagan HS, Miami FL (Transfering to American Heritage HS for '17), 6'4 190 R/R - looked solid in the NHSI, displaying his + arm strength, ran 4.4 home to 1b, showed qk level bat stroke with alley power, when he fills out and matures naturally, added power will come, definite middle of the order guy and can play SS, compare him to Cal Ripken Jr in HS at the same age, this I know, because I played against Cal Jr in Summer ball, 1978. - My report on him from the NHSI this spring is below. He can play!
RHP, Blayne Enlow, St. Amant HS, Sorrento LA, 6'4 170, live arm with plus slider and command. - his stuff was very impressive to me last summer - I have not seen him this year and reports are that he's still got the stuff and clubs love his size and frame to get bigger and stronger in time.
RHP, Shane Baz, Concordia Lutheran HS, Cypress TX, 6'2 185, live arm, hard sl, control is there - has solidified himself in first round talk for 2017, 3 pitch arsenal and type of frame to get bigger and stronger with maturity fb has touched 95 early. - Have not seen him this year, reports on him are all positive and he's likely a mid first rounder.
OF, Garrett Mitchell, Orange Lutheran HS, Anaheim CA, 6'1 205, L/R, 5 tools folks. - showed different stance and tentative at the plate, taking lots of pitches, did not drive the ball with authority like he did last year during spring and summer, still runs well, throws well, played CF, displayed BP power and swing, that did not translate in game at bats however. UCLA commit. - Saw at the NHSI this spring, report is below.
RHP, Hans Crouse, Dana Hills HS, Dana Hills CA, 6'5 185, thin body, upside, fb up to 96, hard cb. Showed plus stuff in recent out at NHSI in Cary vs Cullman HS Alabama, showed 96-97 a couple pitches w/fb and hard slurve with tight spin, at times flashed a straight change, used it once in the game, fb not much movement, should develop and get strong physically as he matures. - Saw him on Day 1 at the NHSI this spring, report is below.
LHP, Jake Eder, Atlantic High School, Ocean Ridge FL, 6'4 210, loose, velo and sl, delivery needs work. - Have not seen him this year, reports are his velo is not much different than last summer, he pitched well in spurts.
RHP, Alex Scheff, Prestonwood Christian HS, Texas, 6'1 205, R/R (live arm, up to 96 mph FB) - have not seen him this year, reports are his fb is the same as last year, up to 98 on occ, control is spotty.
OF, Quentin Holmes, Monsignor McClancy High School, East Elmhurst NY 6' 170, R/R, can fly w/qk bat. - I have not seen him this year but this kid is a 70 runner and has plus bat speed and deceptive strength with his wiry strong frame, so whoever takes him this year will get the full package and upside is there to be an impact player if he works at it.
SS, Brady McConnell, Merritt island High School, FL, 6'2 170, R/R, 5 tools, good face. - Saw recently at the NHSI, shows plus speed and defensive skills, was tentative at the plate weak line drives but fundamentals are sound and bat speed is there, will need to make adjustments and get stronger in pro ball, has college offer, that may be his best shot for development over the next 3 years, 19 years old for the draft.
RHP, Garret Cave, Florida Int'l, 6'3 200, R/R, used primarily in relief, that's his ticket to ML. after solidifying himself in the Cape last summer with elite stuff in the All-Star game, Garrett has since transfered to DII program Tampa and is starting and showing low 90's fb and hard slider with bite. - transfered to the U of Tampa, is having a solid year statistically, scouts I've talked with said his velo is 90-95, mostly 91-92 with some arm side run and hard breaking ball, command is slowly improving, best shot for me was as a short man out of the pen, could be a day 1 selection in the MLB Draft 2017.
OF, Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest, 6'1 190, R/R, 5 tools, power is there. - hit a bomb his first time out and showing strong defensive tools in CF. - deceptively strong, runs well on the way, can throw and play "D" with the best of them, instinctive player with drive and desire, will only improve in pro ball. - One of my favorite players since seeing him vs Louisville last year then at the ACC tourney, this kid just works on his weak areas and wants it and gives 100% always, you have to like that, he's an OFP of 50 for me which would be an average ML player, I like him more than former first rounder Drew Stubbs out of Texas, who's played in the ML for a few years and never really has hit but can really run, Stuart can hit and he can run, not as well as Stubbs straight away, but he has a tick above average speed, Stubbs had 70 speed at one time. Stuart is talked about going in the top 35 picks, safe to say, 1st to 3rd round depending how clubs line up their prospect list.
OF, Austin Beck, North Davidson HS, Lexington NC, 6'1 190 R/R, sat out latter part of 2016 spring baseball season with a torn ACL. Seems 100% now. Long power stroke to all fields, handsy approach, stiff front side/lower back limits ability to turn on fb in vs pitching, has bat speed and raw strength, may get over matched at advanced levels, throws solid ave to plus with carry and adequate accuracy, runs ave out of the box 4.27 hm to 1st base, best suited for either corner OF spot, fair instincts for CF, will go as far as bat takes him, graded him out as 20/40 hit, 40/50 power, 50 runner, 50/60 arm, 40/50 fld, 60 range, OFP of 45, 4-7/8-12 round type for me, may go higher however.
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Here are the names I feel are Major League Prospects in time I've covered in the Carolina League season thus far through 16 dates as well as names you may see in the 2017 MLB Draft, some are listed in other baseball publications and web blogs, however, these names are from what I've seen in the past and present as well as names for 2018 and beyond.
First off we'll start with Carolina League Class A players to follow:
MYRTLE BEACH (CHICAGO CUBS)
OF/DH, Eloy Jiminez, 6'4 200, R/R, 11/27/96, still just 20 yrs old, has long power stroke w/strength and power, slight upper cut swing from deep launch, during pre-game showed easy motions in OF with plus arm strength w/carry and adequate accuracy, seemed to favor his legs when running on routine play, limited action during series vs Carolina Mudcats (BREWERS), has the intangibles to rise through the ranks, want to see more however. Right now seems to be an offensive type corner outfielder, projection date 2019 expectation to be in Chicago.
LHP, Justin Steele, 6'2 195, 07/11/95, will turn 22 soon, shows loose qk arm from H3/4 slot, SWU with arm side run and sinks when down on knees with 90-94 velo fb, sits 92-93 through 5 innings, showed hard 1/7 cb with depth and qk late break downward, showed occ straight CU at 78-80, needs to keep his pitches down w/fb and change and hit locations, fb up straightens out, enough here to be projected as a ML starter, showed adequate move to hold runners at bay, competes, will challenge hitters, similar comp to former ML Tom Glavine, ETA 2019.
RHP, Adbert Alzolay, 6'1 175, 03/01/95, qk loose arm from H3/4 slot w/SWU, fb touches 96, sits at 93, range 91-96, can reach back when he wants, fb fairly true on occ has arm side run arm way LHH, hard 12/6 cb with bite, not much deception on the pitch, tends to flatten out, straight change also in development stage, needs secondary stuff to develop better in order to get to ML Level, has enough to project as a ML Starter in time, eta, 2020, threw strikes, fb middle up straightens out, similar comp to ML pitcher Edison Volquez when he was younger.
RHP, Thomas Hatch, 6' 190, 09/29/94, qk loose arm from 3/4 slot and SWU, fb down has run and sink, velo ranges 90-97, most fb 92-93, must hit his spots and keep fb down, hard slurvy breaking ball effective, straight change also effective all pitches from the same 3/4 slot, challenges and throws strikes, not a nibbler, has enough here to project to be ML starter a back of the rotation type or solid middle man in the pen, some similar comp to current ML Francisco Berrios.
OF, Eddy Martinez, 6'1 195, R/R, 1/18/95, project to 215, type of build to handle added weight, swings a bit from heels, generates long power stroke from short launch, swings hard at all pitches, ball jumps off his bat for plus power potential, tends to swing at everything, shows plus arm strength with carry from RF, runs on the way 4.42, enuf defensive tools to be competent RF in ML in time, eta, 2020, needs to shorten stroke a bit and get hips more into his swing, shorten his stride.
2B, Andruw Monasterio, 6 175, R/R, 5/30/97, qk live body, has actions to be steady middle IF, runs solid ave to slightly better on the way, ave arm w/plus range to either side of the glove, showed short swing, tends to chase breaking ball, singles type hitter with enuf speed to leg out extra bases, young still and should get bigger and stronger with maturity, ETA 2020.
CAROLINA MUDCATS - MILWAUKEE BREWERS
RHP, Cody Ponce 6'6 260, R/R, 4/25/94, former D-II starter in college, Cody has a loose arm from H 3/4 slot, throws fb both 2 and 4 seamer range in velo 88-94, sits 91-92, cuts fb for short effect, also cb with some bite and slider with late bite on occ, also straight change, all secondary pitches are still developing and lack sharpness to get ML hitters out consistently however, the arm strength and delivery are there to work with and he's still only 23 but he needs improvement quickly, a chance prospect as a 45 OFP, may be a middle guy in the bullpen or emergency starter call up.
LHP, Kodi Medeiros, 6'1 200, slinger type arm action from 3/4 slot with qk arm, shows late middle out life on fb touches 96, sits 92-93 w/fb with 2 seam and 4 seam repetoire, also hard bite on slurvy breaking ball, wide break, change is still in development stage and he tips off his change, may end up a middle guy in the pen unless his stuff can get harnessed as he's all over the place with release points, yet he's 5/25/96, just going to be 21 years old, hard to deny the qk arm with abv ave velo however and if he can repeat his delivery effectively as he advances, he's got a shot, 47 OFP.
RHP, Freddy Peralta, 5'11 175, loose righty with long arm in back swing slight wrap from 3/4 slot, fb ranges in velo from 90-96, sits 91-92, keeps his pitches down and angles in the zone effectively to keep hitters at this level honest, has bite on slider and effect on straight change 87-90, key here is he throws strikes, he's 6/4/96, another young one who'll be 21 soon, shot at end of the rotation or bullpen guy, 47 OFP, based on control, repeats delivery and command.
2B, Isan Diaz, 5'10 200, L/R, 5/27/96, qk short stroke with foul line power from left side, runs a tad below average, can throw and turn DP, shows instincts at 2B, runs bases well enough w/occ steal threat, will be an emergency call up or ave 2B with some offensive punch in time, 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 fld 48 OFP, has a chance to get there and contribute because of offensive ability.
CF, Corey Ray, 5'11 195, L/L, 9/22/94, have seen since his soph year in HS at Simeon HS, Chicago IL and college playing days at U of Louisville, has made steady progress, lacks aggressiveness as a lead off hitter and still a tad late with trigger at the plate, has improved overall defensive tools has solid speed and average defensive arm and plus range to be given a shot down the line, his key to getting in the lineup is getting on base and using the bat with a shorter stroke and go with the pitch, 4.1 runner, graded him out as 30/30 hit, 40 power, 60 run 50 arm 50 fld, so 46 OFP, should open his stance to get better angle seeing pitches for plate coverage.
OF, Troy Stokes, 5'9 190, R/R, 2/2/96, short stroke w/balance and can drive the ball, keeps ball in play, has enough range and arm in LF to stick, lacks power to be a big time offensive contributor, has some resemblance of former OF, Billy Hatcher (Astros/Cubs), 4.3 runner chance to hit for average and hit 8-10 HRs, not a real threat as a base stealer but speed to take extra bases and knows how, 40/50 hit, 40/40 power, 50 run, 40 arm 50 fld, 44 OFP.
1B, Jacob Gatewood, 6'5 225, R/R, big kid with strength in his swing, level to slightly upper cut swing with dead pull power, runs well underway, throws well enough, learning to play 1B and is adequate there but in the long term not a prospect as a 1B has made week to week improvement however, may have to move to LF or RF, did play SS/3B in HS, not consistent fielding the ball, has some trouble transfering hand to glove to throw, graded him out 40/60 hit, 60 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40 fld, 50 OFP, 9/25/95, needs work defensively, hits the ball hard.
RHP, Corbin Burnes, 6'3 210, R/R, tall righty with strong build, strong legs, pitches from H 3/4 slot, fb with arm side run, sinks down in the zone, 4 seamer up has more velo, velo ranges 90-96 most are 92-93, keeps his pitches down in the k-zone, also spins the cb with hard bite action down 11/6 type and SL with hard break 83-86 with back door effect vs LHH, also shows straight change when deep in counts. Competitor with durable build, arm action is not real fluid but gets good leverage and uses legs to help with stamina. Has chance to be middle of the rotation guy or long man in the pen, with solid 3 pitches, he's a #2 or #3 starter for most clubs, OFP 55.
3B, Lucas Erceg, 6'2 200, L/R, steady fielder w/plus arm and soft hands, hitting tool and trigger have been a tick short in over 30 at bats seen, no real confidence, has bat speed, needs to work on balance and stepping up the trigger to get the bat started, seems tentative at the plate, strength is there, runs fair at best a 30 runner, 5/1/96, 21 yrs old, has some time, needs work on hit tool, 42 OFP.
LYNCHBURG - CLEVELAND INDIANS
RHP, Leandro Linares, 6'2 205, R/R, short man w/qk arm from H 3/4 w/fb touching 94 with some late tail in vs RHH, hard cb w/slurve action effective vs RHH or LHH, throws strikes, 1/27/94, has ability to be contributor out of pen to get to ML, 48 OFP.
RHP, Triston McKenzie, 6'5 165, R/R, 8/2/97, still 19 will turn 20 late in season, has qk loose arm from H 3/4 easy to home with 3 pitches from same slot, repeats delivery well and has the frame to add more weight and strength w/natural maturity, fb ranged 88-95, sat at 91-92 kept pitches down, hard cb and straight change all 3 pitches to be at minimum average, def ability to be starter at ML level, ETA 2019, 58 OFP.
BUIES CREEK - HOUSTON ASTROS
C, Eduardo de Oleo, 5'10 180, R/R, 1/25/93, older player at this level, has tools, qk bat with upper cut stroke for LF alley power, makes hard contact, shows ave arm with defensive skills 2.0 pop time on only attempt, showed pre-game skills, AAA at the least who could be a vet to be effect backup at ML level, will go as far as bat takes him, 42 OFP.
SS, Anibal Sierra, 6'1 190, R/R, qk bat with foul line power, runs better on the way, 4.3 from box, shows ave arm w/ave glove skills either side of the bag, 2/15/94, chance to be utility guy up the middle and play 3B on occasion, will go as far as bat takes him, not a power threat, not a base stealer but can take extra bases, 42 OFP.
CF, Kyle Tucker, 6'2 190, L/R, 1/17/97, young, has a live bat with power, ball jumps off the bat with unorthodox swing, doesn't show full extension on pitches away, pull happy type swing, can pull for deep HR power, throws well enough to play any OF position, on the way runner, 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 50 fld, solid 50 OFP, ETA 2020.
RHP, Franklin Perez, 6'3 220, R/R, 12/6/97, just 19, showed ML stuff, all pitches from same slot w/deception and can dial up 96 fb when he wants sits 92-92 with sink down on knees, hard cb and slider and straight change, graded him out as 60 fb, 60 cb, 60 SL, 60 control/command, 70 change, 63 OFP, chance to be better than Felix Hernandez. ETA 2019.
WINSTON-SALEM - CHICAGO WHITE SOX
C, Zach Collins, 6'3 225 L/R, solid bat tool w/plus power, 240/250 type ave hitter with 15+ type HR frequency power, has arm strength, hands are ok behind the plate, keeps pitches in the dirt in front of him defensively, transfers ball from glove to hand ok, 1.98 to 2.15 pop times to 2B, works at his weak areas, long range would be to move to 1B at ML level, runs fair, knows how, not a base running threat, 50 OFP.
RHP, Dane Dunning, 6'4 220, R/R, loose arm from 3/4 slot, short arc in back, semi-windup, fb has run and sink, velo ranges, threw harder in 1st inning than 2nd to 4th innings in this stint, velo was 90-96, sat at 91-92 mostly, slider at times sharp w/decent location, other times flat and hittable, straight change same, sometimes deceptive other times flat and easy to read when he rushed his front side in delivery or from stretch. Will benefit from full year at this level and work on stretch, stamina would be biggest area of concern here to be capable 3-4 man in ML rotation, otherwise, long term might be as a closer or set up man to get hitters one time thru the lineup, gave him a 50 OFP number.
CF, Luis Basabe, 6' 175, S/R, solid range and hands in CF, gets good breaks and jumps out there and shows solid arm with carry and accuracy, at the plate, stronger side is as a RHH, has pop from LHH side, short qk swing helps him, can tend to get long on slower stuff, should hit enough to be top of the lineup threat, is aggressive and has good plate discipline, only 20 years old, has frame to fill out for added strength, gave him a 50 OFP, should be solid ML contributor, ETA 2019/2020.
FREDERICK - BALTIMORE ORIOLES
RHP,Ofelky Peralta, 6'5 195, 4/20/97, just turned 20 this month, a bit of a slinger however, qk arm from same slot on all pitches, fb touches 95 with sink when down on knees range is 93-95, also straight change and hard slider w/wide sweep to get RHH hitters out, must keep pitches down, has a shot as a starter at ML Level, ETA 2020, should fill out some and improve repeating mechanics to add more deception, 50 OFP.
OF, Austin Hays, 6'1 190, R/R, short swing w/power to alleys for extra base type power, occ HR power to hit 10-15 in time, runs well underway, shows instincts and range in OF to play CF or any OF position, throws have accuracy and carry to all bases, will go as far as his bat takes him, 47 OFP, 7/5/95.
RHP, Cody Sedlock, 6'4 195, R/R, loose out front, hand hook/wrap in the back swing, rushes front side, causing eratic release points and command, shows ave ML fb with arm side run on occ velo ranges from 88-94 most are 90-91, best pitch is hard SL 84-87 with bite and feel for straight change, he needs to be spot on with his pitches, not much deception from 3/4 arm slot, fair command needs improvement to move up past AAA in the future, 22 years old and Orioles first round pick in '16, there is time to tweak his delivery flaws, but the hand wrap is not something that can be fixed, only the balance and timing during his delivery. He may benefit from a set position windup, right now just a strong AA guy for me, very fringe back of the rotation starter.
DOWN EAST - TEXAS RANGERS
C, Carlos Garay, 6'0 225, R/R, catch and throw guy w/sting in his swing, gets good plate coverage shows power to alleys to drive the ball on occ out of the park, 240 type hitter, enough ability here to be at least a backup at ML level, 10/5/94, pop time 2.0 on one attempt.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - NHSI
Caught the first round of the NHSI at USA Traning Complex, ran into old friends from the past, Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle of the KC Royals and Special Assignment Scout for the Rockies, Rick Mathews, both great gentelmen from the midwest, I've known since I was an amateur player in '78-82.
Prospects from the tourney:
3B, Cory Acton, American Heritage HS, 6'1 165 L/R, showed plus arm strength and qk feet and hands as a fielder, qk bat with some loop in his swing, runs underway well, follow for 2018, Florida early commit.
CF, Enrique Bradfield, L/L 5'11 140, American Heritage, can really run and covers ground in CF, showed short swing to the ball at the plate ran 4.0 from LH box, 2020 follow.
1B, Tristan Casas, L/R, 6'4 230, American Heritage, big swing w/arm strength and know how around the sack, can drive the ball to all fields, stiff front arm in swing, needs to get full extension to showcase his power, runs underway, 4.4 out of the box, ML arm strength, 2018, U of Miami commit.
SS, Mark Vientos, 6'4 200, R/R, American Heritage HS, one of best prospects in the nation, seen 2 straight years now, electric bat w/level swing, power is there and will add as he grows throws w/carry and plus arm strength, knows how to play the game, smooth in the field, could become a very good player in a short amount of time for the right ML Team, 55 OFP, capable to be 1st rounder in 2017.
RHP, Christian Santana, 6'1 200, R/R, American Heritage, H 3/4 to OH delivery qk arm, fb true, ranges 87-92 not much movement, sink on occ on knees, hard downer type cb 12/6 action and straight change with deception when he repeats his delivery, control type pitcher who needs to keep the ball down, has commit to Fla International, 2017.
RHP, Joe Perez, 6'2 200, R/R, 2017, Archbishop McCarthy HS, qk arm with slight slinger from 3/4 slot fb touches 95, most are 91-92, hard slurve and occ straight change, some effort in delivery not much deception, should improve with more exposure with pitching instruction, has commit to U of Miami, 45 OFP.
1B, Alex Toral, 6'1 220, L/L, Archbishop McCarthy HS, qk bat w/compact swing with power to pull side, poor runner, has ave arm strength and knows how at first sack to be competent and contribute as 1B in pro ball, should hit enough to get into ML lineup in time, 2017 U of Miami commit, chance to be offensive player at ML Level, 50 OFP.
SS, Tate Kolwyck, Arlington HS TN, 6'1 190, R/R, steady fielder w/ave arm strength, qk level stroke at the plate w/balance and shows alley gap pop, early commit to Vandy, 2018 follow.
LHP, Jacob Heatherly, Cullman HS AL, 6'2 210, L/L, lefty w/arm speed and strength, fb ranges 88-93, most were 89-90 w/some arm side run, hard cb with bite on occ when mechanics were in synch, was all over the place with his release pts from 3/4 slot today, has commit to U of Alabama, graded him out 50 fb, 50 cb, 40 change, 40 command/control, 45 OFP, 2017.
RHP, Hans Crouse, 6'5 175, R/R, Dana Hills HS CA, loose qk arm with some effort and recoil in delivery, not afraid to compete, wants the ball, fb touches 97 most were 93 with some sink down on knees and had proper bite and spin on cb/sl and straight change has a feel for it, UCLA commit, graded him out at 50, could get there in time, high energy guy, should fill out his frame, reminds me some of Black Jack McDowell in his White Sox/Stanford Days, 2017.
OF Joe McLaughlin, Hamilton HS AZ, 6'3 200, R/R, 2019 follow, has pop in his swing, proper mechanics as a hitter, will get bigger and stronger in time, throws have carry and knows how. Early commit to Oregon State.
C/RHP, Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach HS CA, 6'1 205, R/R, a performer, steady player, has the tools and moxy to get to the Majors, a baseball rat, shows fb that touches 93, pitches corners and keeps ball in the strike zone and hard over top cb with command, knows how, also learning to catch, shifts and blocks, throws w/carry to 2B, release pt varies and pop times near 2.0 or less on occ, 2017 guy w/UCLA commit, graded him out as a 50 as a pitcher, 50 as an offensive player.
1B, Nick Pratto, Huntington Beach HS CA, 6'2 205, L/L, smooth qk stroke to all fields with power to RF alley, throws have carry, runs underway tad below ave, knows how as a LHP, has college commit, would take as a 1B until he proves he can't hit at the pro level, too good a hitter not to hit, he makes the adjustments and puts the bat to the ball, 2017, USC commit, 50 OFP.
SS, Brady McConnell, Merritt Island HS FL, 6'1 185, S/R, speed and defensive tools are his pluses, his bat has strength, tentative swing, needs to work on separation and trigger, has commit to Florida, 2017, graded him out, 30/30 hit, 30 power, 60 run, 60 arm, 60 glove, 46 OFP, 2017.
C/RHP, Mason Delanburg, 6'4 205, R/R, Merritt Island HS, arm strength and mechanically sound as a catcher, some bat pop, bat lags, on the hill has arm speed with velo touching 92, most fb are true w/occ sink, 2018 follow, has commit to Florida.
RHP, Christian Rodriguez, 6'5 190, R/R, 2020 follow, Orange Lutheran HS CA, loose qk arm from 3/4 slot pitches across his body, fb touches 86 w/sink down on knees most fb 83-84, cb has bite and proper spin/rotation to develop further, follow this one, he's gonna be good.
C, Caleb Ricketts, Orange Lutheran HS CA, 6'3 190, L/R, smooth receiver, knows how, throws qk to 2b w/carry, has some bat speed with opp field pop, mechanically and fundamentally sound player, 2018 follow, no commitment yet to 4 year.
CF, Garrett Mitchell, Orange Lutheran HS CA, 6'3 210, L/R, did not show same hitting ability or mechanics as last year, has plus arm strength and running speed, power is there during BP, has college commit to UCLA, diabetic as well, hitting mechanics need work, will go as far as bat takes him, high risk guy, 2017, graded out as 20/40 hit, 50/60 power, 60 run, 60 arm, 50 fld, 50 OFP, would need time in low A ball to improve hitting skills to get to next level.
LHP, Carlos Morales, South Hills HS CA, 6'3 190, loose lefty with arm strength, fb 88-90, touched 91, keeps pitches down, has proper bite and rotation on cb, appears mature, may fill out later, has college commit to Long Beach, 2017.
SS, Brandon Dieter, South Hills HS CA, 6'1 170, R/R, smooth fielder w/arm strength, ranges to left well, runs ave and has bat speed, needs work still all around, 2018 follow, has college commit to Stanford.
RHP, AJ Labas, Trinity Christian HS FL, 6'2 220, R/R, reclassified to be eligible this year, 2017, has sound pitching approach, deceptive change up, fb w/effort 88-92 range, pitches at 89-90 w/sink on occ, proper spin on slider, has commit to North Florida, probably will go in top 7 rounds, for me low round type 13-20, needs to locate all 3 pitches at ML level to get there, has a ways to go, mature body.
1B, Dylan Simmons, Trinity Christian HS FL, 6'3 210, R/R, arm strength and runs underway, 2019 follow, shows bat speed and know how, arm works well, did not see pitch but intriguing arm strength to see him again over next 2 years, early commit to Florida State.
Updated: Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Been active for the most part this season, 2017. Have been catching a lot of action in the Carolina League @ Carolina Mudcats-5 County Stadium. You can follow me at Twitter. I also have put my new service on hold as far as the Pre-Draft Showcases go for 2017 but I will compile lists of players as I've done the past few years in the blog here and go back after it for 2018 with the Major League Scouting Network unless I hook on with a Major League Club which is a strong possibility.
Sunday, September 25
After a tragic morning, learning about the untimely and sudden death of a superstar in the making in RHP, Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, who died in a boating accident, I attended the South Atlantic Boarder Battle in Holly Springs, NC. Very competitive, organized event by several of the area scouts and east coast scouting supervisors, teams representing the Braves, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Brewers and Mets, 2017 and 2018 grads.
Nice to see a few of the players I have on my spring list for 2017 along with getting another look at a bigger and stronger, Gavin Williams, Cape Fear HS, 6'5 200, RHP, 2017 grad, touched 91 most of his fb were 88-90, showed bite and proper spin on cb and a deceptive straight change with arm side fade, pitched downhill and threw strikes for the most part, once he physically strengthens and matures, he could be a special RHP, OFP in the upper 40's, has verbal to UNCW.
RHP, Chris McMahon from West Chester Rustin HS, Chester PA, 6'2 185, loose, qk arm from 3/4 slot, semi-windup, slight wrap in back in arm swing, arm w/good extension out front, finished pitches for the most part, showed the nice true bite on the cb and occ straight change still in development stage, fb touched 92 most were 90 with occ run, most were true, hides the ball well enough to overmatch hitters at this level, frame to get bigger and stronger in time, similar build to Jason Isringhausen in high school, would put an OFP in upper 40's on this one.
Tuesday, August 23
RHP, Trevor Clifton, Myrtle Beach (Cubs), 6'4 210, R/R, 3/4 slot loose qk arm w/cross body delivery semi-windup, throws both 2 seam and 4 seam, touches 96, most fb 91-93, also throws slurvy breaking ball with hard break away from RHH, 76-79, too big of a break to be a slider, not a lot of drop action, the breaking ball plays however, and he keeps fb for the most part down, will elevate to get hitters to chase or pop up out of zone, fringe ML starter, need to see that 3rd pitch more often, he flashed a few changes on occ, but not much deception on it, is only 21 years of age, lean build, comparable to Matt Garza, 50 fb, 50 cb, 50 command/control, 40 change, 48 OFP, chance to be ML 4 man in rotation or long man out of pen.
Sunday, August 21
Caught 4 games at the main stadium on Saturday, August 20, so finishing up some short reports on some young men I feel will be worth a follow for any ML Club.
First RHP, 2017, Bailey Dees, 6'6 210 listed, R/R, he had on a Hough HS T-shirt and listed in PG directory had him at Independence HS in Charlotte NC. Anyways, Bailey showed arm strength with a semi-windup with a H 3/4 arm slot, slight wrap/hook in the back swing which can cause for eratic release points or feel for the grip on the ball, his fb touched 89, most were 84-88 and he had a hard downer cb with some depth and also feel for straight change, he's definitely someone a pitching coach would love to work with, he pitched for Team Southeast 17U in the NTIS in Cary.
SS, Chris Locklear, St Pauls HS, played for Team Southeast 17U NTIS, he's close to 5'10 and 140 wound tight and strong for his size, he ran 4.0 on an IF hit and made contact each ab, he shows lateral range and a solid ML arm from SS, R/R, qk bat with foul line power, his speed is the factor that will help him down the road. Uncommitted as far as I know, he's a 2017 HS grad.
RHP, 2018, 5'11 150, R/R, Ethan Clough, Temecula Valley HS, Temecula CA, pitched for 16U Team SoCal, his delivery was rather easy and he utilized 3 pitches and his delivery was easy and loose arm from H 3/4 slot, threw also a cut fb, change and slider/cb, he kept his pitches down for the most part in the strike zone, there appears to be some growth potential still for this young man and definitely will increase some velo once he physically finishes growing. Project to 6'1 175, his fb was 84-88, most fb were 85 with occ middle in movement on a RHH.
2B, Daren Baker, 5'10 150, L/R, 2017, Jesuit HS, Granite Bay CA, smooth as silk with plus running speed, qk bat from left side and shows solid arm strength, room for more added strength and development here, definite D1 guy who I could see one day in ML lineup should he keep making adjustments to better pitching and gain added strength physically which should be no problem, he is 17 years old currently.
SS, Nick Gonzales, 5'10 170, R/R, 2017 grad, Cienga HS, Vail AZ, this young man showed qk twitch actions, the ball jumped off his bat and he ran solid 4.3 from RH side home to 1b and better quickness on the bases, at SS he came in later in the game and showed at least a near ave ML arm and sure handed at SS with lateral range, will probably end up at 2B or the OF, definite D1 guy with a fringe shot at ML ball.
CF, 2018 follow, Christian Franklin, played for 17 U Midwest team for NTIS, 5'11 165 R/R, runs at least ave, moved around in CF with ease and showed at least ave range in CF, qk bat with level stroke, some deceptive strength in his frame and he's just 16 so room for growth and improvement, he attends Rockhurst HS, Overland Park KS. 2 years to keep an eye on him.
Friday, August 19
Took in a game and a couple innings at the NTIS today in Cary, first seeing 16U matchup between New England and North Atlantic.
Interesting RHP, 2018 grad, Lineras Torres, Jr, of Beacon HS, Beacon NY, 6'1 165, loose, righty, w/qk arm from H 3/4 slot, set position in delivery, loose out front with extension, fb touches 90, most were 87-89, also proper bite on sweeping breaking ball and kept pitches down and in the zone for the most part of his 3 innings, he's projectible and needs to be followed for further development. St John's commit.
Next game saw a 17U matchup, New England vs Great Lakes, catching an intriguing LHP, Austin Mihlbauer, Mukwonago HS, WIS, 6'2 185, L/L with a quick loose arm and easy semi-windup from 3/4 slot, fb touches 88, most were 86-87, sweeping slider in on RHH, kept pitches down, body to fill out and get stronger and easy delivery to develop further.
Tuesday, August 16
So I was asked about Jon Lieber a while back, so here's a little story about Jon, he came to a Pre-Draft workout after I caught him for 5 pitches in a district game for Iowa Western Community College-Council Bluffs in early May and on May 20, 1990 at the PD workout, Jon threw 83-88 mph on the radar gun we used, 85 is ML ave back then on the slower "Ray Gun", 90 on the JUGS/JUGS SPEED Gun. I spoke with Jon a bit after the workout and asked where he was going to school since he finished up his 2nd season at IWCC-CB and he said he had a small offer from U of Nebraska-Lincoln and some bites from Olivet Nazarene and Lamar, but it was going to cost his family some money for him to go to school, so my goal was to get him drafted by my club at the time, the New York Mets, and I guess my report on Jon didn't sell him very well, so I called up Steve Kittrell, U of South Alabama head baseball coach on a whim as I had sent him player recommendations before on players who had no college program interest who I felt could play at the D1 level and had some tools worthy of development and Steve and his pitching coach, Ronnie Powell were pretty successful at producing players who were drafted by ML teams. So it was a no brainer. After a couple of minutes on the phone with Ronnie, he flew in to Omaha to see Jon pitch in the All-American League which was a semi-pro league, ages 18 and older, many of the players were former professional players. Jon threw well that night and Ronnie offered Jon basically close to a full scholly to attend USA in the fall of '90. In 1991 Jon was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 9th round but the scout who drafted him, didn't offer enough money so Jon continued to pitch that summer of '91 and went back for his senior year at USA. In 1992 Jon was a much higher drafted pitcher this time the Kansas City Royals drafted him in the 2nd round (Ken Gonzales signed him) and he signed for more money of course, not bad for a college senior pitcher however. After a couple seasons in the Royals organization, Jon was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates and was successful, winning more than he lost and won 20 games in one season in 2001 for the Chicago Cubs, who had originally drafted Jon in 1991 but failed to sign him.
In 1999, IWCC-CB had a fall alumni game and I got to see Jon and he walked up to me to thank me for passing on his name to Ronnie Powell and Steve Kittell at USA and he has always been one classy young man since his days at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Ken Gonzales, the scout who drafted and signed Jon in 1992, died in 1994. Ken worked for the Kansas City Royals and I had the pleasure and honor to meet him in Louisiana in 1988 scouting a RHP, named, Chad Ogea. Ken is best known for signing and drafting Bo Jackson, among many of the players who played in the ML for the KC Royals.
Sunday, August 14
Limited action last few days, caught 1 game in Shelby, 3 1/2 hour drive, and watched Kennewick WASH AL vs Omaha Post 1 (Creighton Prep HS, Omaha NE) play the middle afternoon game on Thursday. Former player of mine, Billy Vosik, who played a couple seasons in the Indians farm system in the early 90's, has a son, Brett, he will attend Kansas, he's played RF and 3B, he's got a legit ML arm, runs straight away near ave, reported 6.95, 60, and has some sock in his swing though the ball doesn't jump off the bat like many strong power hitters have, but he's 6'4 210 L/R and worthy of a follow since he's just 18 years old, he hits lefthanded, bottom hand needs added strength and dexterity.
RHP, Trent Sellers, Kennewick WA, 2018, 6'1 180, was in the low to mid 80's w/loose qk arm, he had good spin on the cb but had a hard time harnessing it for control, he's young and has some skills, so worthy of a follow as well.
Caught Myrtle Beach (CUBS) in town for a 3 game series @ Carolina (ATL), CF Donnie Dewees, 5'11 200, L/L, has a qk LD stroke with surprising sock for a little guy, he runs well underway, 4.2 from LH and 40 arm strength with accuracy from CF and at least ave range and field skills, can stick in CF, may end up a 4-5 OF'er for a ML team, he'll go as far as his bat takes him, he's got similarities to Jacoby Ellsbury except the speed category and may have more power than Jacoby had coming out of college, graded him out at 50/60 hit, 40/50 power, 50 runner, 30 arm w/50 release, 60 field, comes out to a 50 grade.
RHP, Wes Parsons, Carolina (ATL), 6'5 190, easy set delivery, live arm fb 89-95 from 3/4 slot, can sink the fb and hit his spots is key to development, slurvy slider and enough deception on straight change, he's going to be 23 so some experience added and more work w/breaking ball should allow him to become fringe ML prospect or AAA at worse, will need to be utilized in the relief role moving up the ladder.
Thursday, August 4
Left impressed with LHP, Tanner Banks of Winston-Salem (CWS), he's 6'1 195 listed, 24 yrs old, easy delivery from 3/4 slot, fb tails away vs RHH and has sink on the knees, fb velo range was 90-93, touched 94, pitched at 91 easy, got ahead in counts, slider from same slot was 84-87 with bite and late dive at times vs RHH, shows ability to keep pitches down consistently and elevated fb out of zone to get hitters to chase, has back of the rotation ability at the ML level or late innings eater out of the pen, third pitch is a straight change that has a chance to improve as he gets a better feel for it, graded out at 50 fb 50 sl 50 control 40 change, 48 OFP, mild ML guy.
As mentioned previously, Zach Collins has troubles with high velo and came back down to earth and had 3 hard hit balls on fbs that were 88-91, more in his hitting speed and trackability range on Wednesday, during a day game also to mention.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Last 2 nights caught Winston-Salem (White Sox) @ Carolina (Atlanta), saw RHP Jordan Stephens for 2nd time as the starter for W-S, he pretty much repeated what he showed me earlier in the year. Still feel his best shot at ML will be in middle relief or set up.
1st Rounder, C-DH, Zack Collins out of the U of Miami, had trouble connecting on fb's above 92 mph, he managed to line up a line shot back up the middle off RHP starter, Thurman's right hip, otherwise, he missed several belt high fastballs ranging from 90-95 the last 2 nights. As a catcher, he's below average, he catches the ball and that's about it, he's destined for 1st base eventually, his arm is short of average and his mobility is fair behind the plate. He grades out much the same as I reported during the ACC tourney, not much progression though he'll have winter time and instructional ball to figure out his opportunities and utilize his strengths.
RHP, Zach Thompson, 6'7 230, R/R, Winston-Salem (CWS), started vs CAR, showed loose arm, workout in BP he slowed his arm to just feel for the pitching down hill and in the strike zone, he throws easy for his size and from the 3/4 slot, his fb will touch 93 on occ, most are 90-91 and fairly true, he'll sink his 2 seamer down and away/in vs RHH, not overpowering, his cb had good spin and rotation but poor command, having trouble locating his breaking ball had him keeping his fb and change as his main repetoire, he grades out for me as 50 FB, 40 cb, 40 command, 40 change and 44 OFP, fringe ML starter, might be best destined as middle man in relief or emergency starter, he needs to be fine with his pitches and locate them down, when he elevates, he's very hittable, he's still young, will be 23 late this year.
OF, Travis Demmeritte, Carolina (ATL), 6'1 190, R/R, acquired in trade with Texas, he shows a long swing with his bat behind his head, level cut w/strength to drive the ball, he needs to shorten his swing or flatten the bat out to get to the ball quicker as a hitter. Runs well underway and has the arm to any IF position or move to the OF in time. Shows plus power during BP, he's not made much contact in 15 ab's I've seen with 10 K's. 30 hit, 50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 40/50 fld, 46 OFP.
Monday, July 25 - Not much going on today so a good day to update this blog along with my follow list for 2017 and 2018. I also DVR'd the Cape Cod All-Star game while I was in Massachusetts to see my grandmother and attended the game with my family, the kids got a kick out of it, had a couple hot dogs and the ice cream from Friendly's while we sat past the third base dug out with a clear view from just outside the bullpen, so I got to get some open angle views of right handed pitchers and left handed hitters and the back views of the left handed pitchers and right handed hitters stance and balance points as well as the catchers throws to 2nd base. Chatham is a great lil town and the people are so welcoming. Provinceton has changed so much in the 46 years since I last visited there and saw my grand mother Mary Jason.
So after watching the Cape ASG, I was able to get gun readings off the recording and I wasn't much off on how I viewed the velos of most of the pitchers. I was shocked at the improvement LHP, Hunter Williams for UNC-Chapel Hill had improved over the course of his 2 years, he was touching 95? Of course, the Stalker Pro, the newer of the radar guns can tend to record pitches a bit high but they are usually within 2 MPH, so even at 93 MPH with his fastball, Williams has more than enough velo out of the pen to be something, so long as he improves his command and breaking ball, his straight change he telegraphed and slowed his delivery down for. Deception is from throwing every pitch from the same slot while adjusting grips which help to change speeds, which is a key to pitching success.
So the Cape write ups I had, I added the velo's from the DVR recording next to the short reports.
Sunday, July 24
Hall of Fame Day, for Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr.
Found some old reports digging through my old boxes you all might get a kick out of. Derek Jeter, Joe Randa, Jim Thome and Jon Lieber. I'll have those posted below with the other reports
Saturday, July 23
Got to visit with my 95 year old grand mother, Mary Jason earlier today in Provinceton, Mass, and attended the Cape All-Star Game with my kids and wife, first time as a family. Great outing. Got to meet some very friendly folks down the left field line and enjoyed eating out last night.
The All-Star game featured some very good pitching, a bit better than in 2015 when I attended in Wareham, the field this year showed short fences and medium size power alleys, which led to 3 solo shots in the 3rd inning off a decent righty from Cal St Northridge, Joe Ryan, 2018 grad, 6'2 200, he showed a quick arm with a fairly true fb that stayed on the same plain as the hitters' bats, thus 3 shots off of hit, two were opp field shots. Joe showed the type of arm worthy of a follow in 2017 for sure, he needs to get better location and movement and work on the breaking ball some. FBs were up to 94 mph, mostly 92, very straight and he had proper bite and spin on the cb.
SS, Zach Rutherford, Old Dominion, 2018, 6' 180 R/R, showed the best qk bat for me personally, with line drive stroke and runs well underway, 4.5 on the turn, hit the ball hard each time up and showed a solid ML arm from SS and sure handed, has enough range and quickness to stick at SS, some comps to Hardy with the Orioles. Worthy follow for 2017, 2018 grad.
RHP, Brandon Bielak, Notre Dame, 2017 grad, shows qk arm from 3/4 slot, at least an ave to abv ave fb, rushed front side some, showed hard cb with bite, and for most part threw strikes in inning appearance, definite follow for 2017. FB up to 94, most were 92, hard cb at 83-84, a lil bit of a slinger.
LHP, Zach Lowther, Xavier, 6'4 215, L/L, big downhill pitcher with ML cb and ML stuff off a loose 3/4 arm slot, could be one of top 10 ML Draft picks in 2017, plus fb and plus command, gets hitters to chase and overpowers hitters, fb is lively with arm side run and sinks down in zone, gets ahead in counts quickly. Velo was up to 95, most fb with tail were 92-93, he's going to be a solid ML draft in 2017.
RHP, Peter Solomon, Notre Dame, 6'4 190, very qk arm, shows ML cb and throws strikes downhill from 3/4 slot, loose, fb tends to stay on same plain to hitters bats, cb has sharp downward plain action and has out pitch potential. Got ahead in counts, appeared to rush a bit. Solid follow for 2017, 2018 grad. Got to see a highlight from an earlier appearance of his during the DVR replay and noticed his arm was not as qk and his breaking ball didn't have the bite in the All-Star game as it had been in a previous outing vs Harwich. He's still got a good arm and his breaking ball is going to be plus.
RHP, Shane McCarthy, Seton Hall, 6'2 190, loose arm from H 3/4 slot, throws strikes and has proper bite and spin on cb, fb had movement on the knees, ez delivery, could be decent ML pick in 2017, 2018 grad. VELO of FB touched 93, most were 91-92, also slider/cutter at 87, straight change from same slot, High "A" type draft potential in 2017 (rounds 4-7 projected)
RHP, Zach Schellenger, Seton Hall, 6'5 210, wilder than a March Hare, showed plus velo but poor command, hard downer type breaking ball, got behind in counts and threw pitches all over the place, type of arm that needs time to develop, 2018 grad, 2017 draft eligible. Fringe interest. Yeah, his FBs in on RHH were out of control as he rushed his front shoulder badly, still a very good arm, velos up to 95 and hard cb at 84-85, sliders don't drop down as much as a cb does, so a hard cb.
LHP, Packy Naughton, Virginia Tech, 6'1 190, qk arm from 3/4 slot, slight cross body delivery with near ave velo and hard breaking ball that has a chance to be solid out pitch, need to see more of him, 2018 grad, 2017 follow. Velo was 90-92 on his fb, you could see the x-body delivery, but he's got a shot to be a decent "A" draft in 2017.
RHP, Brady Puckett, David Lipscomb, 6'8 220, live body, throws downhill from 3/4 slot, ez, loose arm action, fb appeared to be plus and had command down in the zone for the most part, repeated delivery well enough to have the type of stamina to be a starter or closer at the ML level, 2018 grad, 2017 strong follow, could be early round talk on him come 2017. FBs up to 96, most were 93, imposing size, needs to get more movement on his fb and keep pitches on the corners and up/in vs RHH, solid 4-7 round type projection for 2017.
RHP, Garret Cave, Florida Int'l, 6'3 200, set position on the hill (stretch) from upper 3/4 slot, very qk arm and hard downer cb, threw strikes, all business, had best velo of any pitcher on the night, could be very good draft come 2017, 2018 grad, 2017 eligible, upside is there to improve up the ladder. had the best velo in the event, up to 98 a few pitches, most were 95-96 with some life upstairs, hard cb, 83-85 and his command wasn't bad, he's got 1-3 round type stuff right now, we'll see as he's eligible for 2017 Draft.
RHP, Michael Dibrell, Kennesaw St, 6'3 200, listed taller than what he appeared, had hard downer cb with solid fb, kept pitches down and in the zone, worked easy with little effort, worth strong look in 2017, 2018 grad, would like to see more of him.Velo up to 93, most fbs 91, hard downer cb at 81-82 and change at 83, he's got some upside left and appears to want to be out there, mild follow for 2017, "A" draft type.
RHP, B.J. Myers, West Virginia, 6'1 215, started the game, had lively arm, fb had movement and was around the zone, showed 3 pitches, fb most effective, changed speeds, reminds me some of former relief ace, Rod Beck from his days with the SF Giants. Worth good look again in 2017, 2018 grad.Low 90's mostly with his fb, he changed arm slots a few times, battled and changed speeds, definitely worth a look again in 2017.
LHP, Brendon Little, North Carolina, 6'3 195, Live arm, loose, slight x-body, threw strikes, fb velo appeared to be slightly better than ave, not much movement, showed a few cb with bite, in on RHH, didn't pitch much for UNC in the spring, he's a 2019 grad and won't be eligible until 2018, so a good pocket follow for now with chance to be pretty good in 2018. Surprising velo, most fb were straight and slight tail away from RHH middle out, touching 96 a couple times, most fbs were 94-95 and hard cb down and in vs RHH at 82-85, only pitched 4 innings in 2016 for UNC!! 2018 strong follow.
Tuesday, July 19
Wrapped up another homestand in Zebulon, catching the Mudcats vs Lynchburg and Frederick.
Frederick (Orioles) with a couple interesting players with upside but projects still in 3B, Jomar Reyes, 6'3 220, R/R, he appears taller than listed height, he's got a plus arm but fair actions and reactions at 3B, qk bat with aggressive approach, his plate discipline needs work, but bat speed and strength there to develop further, runs well underway, ran 4.3 from RH side, may need to move from 3B to the OF, possibly RF and utilize his arm strength there. Just 19 years of age still, graded out as 30/40 hit, 40/50 power, 50 run, 60 arm, 40 fld, 48 OFP.
RHP, Austin Urban, 6'2 195, Frederick (Orioles), slender build, slinger delivery with some deception and live fb, bores in on RHH and hard slider with depth, command was fair, should improve as he gains confidence in his stuff, was 90-94 with fb, kept pitches down and 83-84 slider. Setup and middle innings eater potential, 24 years old currently, AAA to fringe ML reliever, could come on with added pitch or better command.
Wednesday July 13
Finally met two Cleveland Indian scouts this evening, Scott Meaney & John Mirabelli, John was the Scouting Director when I worked as a bird dog for Steve Abney from '99-01.
C, Francisco Mejia, Lynchburg (CLE), 5'10 175, S/R, 20 years old, generously listed @ 5'10, shows qk bat, pull happy, has power to RF alley and foul line from LH side of plate, assets are plus release and ave throwing arm graded out at 60, keeps poor pitches in the dirt in front, balance and range w/good hands, throws carry to 2B, has qk bat, runs ok for catcher and is young, no need to rush this one, he's got upside still, needs to go the other way more often and discipline himself to use all fields and not be pull happy as a hitter, definite ability to get to the next level no worse than a backup as long as the bat plays up, graded him out as 50 hit, 40 power, 40 run, 60 arm, 60 field, 55 OFP - raised 5 pts premium position.
LHP Justis Sheffield pitched once again, going first 2 innings, still straight fb 93-96 range, kept most pitches down and showed 81-85 hard cb with hard bite, not explosive or deceptive just yet, again no need to rush him.
Monday July 11
Dodged the rain in Fayetteville. Third CPL ASG I've attended, most scouts I've seen in attendance.
A few follows to see again and a non-drafted free-agent someone should take a chance on.
3B, Alec Bohn, Wilmington (Wichita St) 6'5 230, R/R, 8/3/96, long swing with bat speed and loft, runs easy, not a base stealing threat, 4.5 from home to 1B, throws ave from hot corner, decent actions, may end up moving to OF or 1B in time, bat is his ticket, 2 years left to follow, 2019 grad.
C, Franco Guardascione, Peninsula (Jacksonville), 6' 210, R/R, will be a senior next season, catch and throw guy, 1.94 pop on steal attempt, has level swing w/fair bat speed, interesting to see again, potential backup at ML level if he hits.
RHP, Ryan Kelly, Wilmington (St Joseph's PA), 6'5 210, R/R, downill 3/4 arm slot, loose, pitches from stretch, shows arm strength w/arm speed, fb touches 92 most are 89-90 with some sink, hard slider at 81-82, fair command, needs work with delivery and repeating arm slot, worth taking another look at in 2017, eligible now, 2017 grad, 9/21/95.
RHP, Connor Riley, Wilmington (USC-Aiken), 6'0 190, R/R, 3/4 arm slot, loose qk arm, repeats slot well, fb touches 92 most fb are 90-91 keeps fb down, will rush on occ, hard slurve 76-78 with decent command, enough here to work with, fringe guy who could come on with further instruction/development, 5/07/1995, 2017.
C, Zachary Almond, High Point-Thomasville (Catawba), 6'3 205, R/R, 4/12/96, 2018, strong durable body, long frame, throws with carry, know how behind the plate, 1.94-2.02 pop times on steal attempts, has bat speed with slight upper cut swing, enough here for follow in 2017, fringe prospect.
OF, Jameson Hannah, Savannah (Dallas Baptist), 5'10 185, L/L, young for league, 8/10/97, shows qk bat, hit ball where it was pitched, runs well underway, know how in LF, appears to be at least an average runner, enough here to keep watching for 2 more years, 2019 grad.
RHP, Taylor Sugg, High Point-Thomasville (UNC), 6'2 170, R/R, loose, easy delivery, qk arm, fb runs when down and in vs RHH, touches 89, most fb 87-88 with sink/run, qk breaking cb, interesting to see again, 7/31/97, still only 18 years old, 2019, will need to follow 2 more years.
RHP, Beau Sulser, Savannah (Dartmouth), 6'2 195, 5/5/94, 2017, non-drafted FA, fb touched 92, most were 90 with some arm side run down in zone, 81 straight change w/deception, did not see him spin any breaking ball in warmups, seen only 1 inning, threw strikes, competed.
RHP, Brady Feigl, Asheboro (Mississippi), 6'4 220, R/R, 11/27/95, arm strength and idea on the hill, 3/4 slot, semi-windup, touched 92, most fb 89-90 with sink when down, 83-84 slider with flat break, must see again, only saw one inning, threw strikes, 2019, draft eligible in 2017.
OF, Chris Singleton, Lexington County (Charleston Southern), 6'1 175, R/R, 7/5/96, runs smooth as well as playing CF with ease, playable arm strength, showed qk level stroke and ran easy, gliding type runner, worth a good look in 2017, 2018 grad, chance to be decent low A type draft.
RHP, Barrett Loseke, Gastonia (Arkansas), 6'1 195, R/R, appears slightly shorter than 6'1 listing, big arm however, qk from 3/4 slot, a bit of funk, qk out front and loose, fb touches 92, most were 90-91, also 69-71 cb, showed near ave command/control, 2019, must follow progress next 2 years, 11/02/1996, upside here to be decent prospect quickly.
Sunday July 10
Coastal Plain All-Star Game, Monday, Fayetteville.
Saturday, July 9 UPDATED: 7/26/16
My 2017 Follow List (Carolinas/Virginias), Draft Eligibles for 2017 MLB Draft added in all players I've scouted this year from where-ever they are from.
TOP TIER (1-3 Round type for 2017 MLB DRAFT) All players are not listed by where I feel they will be picked.
RHP, JB Bukauskas, UNC, 6' 200, R/R, live fb, plus stuff, closer mentality and aggressiveness
RHP, Hunter Greene, 8/6/1999, 6'3 195, R/R, Notre Dame HS, CA (commit-UCLA)
LHP, Zach Lowther, Xavier, 6'4 215, L/L, on paper, could be one of first 5 taken in 2017
RHP, Andrew Wantz, UNC-Greensboro, 6'4 230, R/R (One of best Cape Cod pitchers this summer)
LHP, MacKenzie Gore, Whiteville HS, NC, 6'2 175, L/L (high exposure during summer '16, solid stuff)
IF/OF, Royce Lewis, JSerra Catholic HS, Aliso Viejo CA, 6' 185, R/R, lively bat, power, 5 tools.
SS, Mark Vientos, Flanagan HS, Miami FL (Transfering to American Heritage HS for '17), 6'4 190 R/R
RHP, Blayne Enlow, St Amant HS, Sorrento LA, 6'4 170, live arm with plus slider and command.
RHP, Shane Baz, Concordia Lutheran HS, Cypress TX, 6'2 185, live arm, hard sl, control is there.
OF, Garrett Mitchell, Orange Lutheran HS, Anaheim CA, 6'1 205, L/R, 5 tools folks.
RHP, Hans Crouse, Dana Hills HS, Dana Hills CA, 6'5 185, thin body, upside, fb up to 96, hard cb.
LHP, Jake Eder, Atlantic High School, Ocean Ridge FL, 6'4 210, loose, velo and sl, delivery needs work.
RHP, Alex Scheff, Prestonwood Christian HS, Texas, 6'1 205, R/R (live arm, lost weight prior to '16)
OF, Quentin Holmes, Monsignor McClancy High School, East Elmhurst NY 6' 170, R/R, can fly w/qk bat.
SS, Brady McConnell, Merritt island High School, FL, 6'2 170, R/R, 5 tools, good face.
RHP, Garret Cave, Florida Int'l, 6'3 200, R/R, used primarily in relief, that's his ticket to ML.
OF, Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest, 6'1 190, R/R, 5 tools, power is there.
HIGH "A" Type (rounds 4-7)
RHP, Peter Solomon, Notre Dame, 6'4 190, very qk arm, plus velo and hammer cb, consistency key
RHP, Brady Puckett, David Lipscomb, 6'8 220, high upside, could move into early round group, 95+ fb.
C, Nick Feight, UNC-Wilmington, 5'11 200, R/R, legit power, catch n throw, improving.
RHP, Tommy DeJuneas, N C State, 6'1 185, lively arm, fb up to 96 is straight, location/command key
SS/2B, Ricardo De la Torre, Puerto Rico Academy, PR, 6' 175, R/R, 4 tools, lacks power at present
LHP, D.L. Hall, Houston County HS, GA, 6'1 185, L/L, live arm, delivery needs work, hard cb w/bite
OF/RHP, Jordon Adell, Ballard HS, Louisville KY, 6'3 200, R/R, athletic body, arm strength, intriguing.
SS, Nick Allen, Fracis Park HS, San Diego CA 5'8 155, R/R, gamer, 3 plus tools, ave run, lacks power @ present
3B/OF, Jayson Gonzalez, Bishop Amant HS, Covina CA, 6'0 210, R/R, plus arm, has bat speed w/power, raw glove
SS, Nick Rutherford, Old Dominion U, 6' 180, R/R, gamer, solid tools across the board, instincts.
RHP, Zach Schellenger, Seton Hall, 6'5 210, plus velo, inconsistent delivery needs work, stuff is there.
RHP, Shane McCarthy, Seton Hall, 6'2 190, easy delivery, ave fb, 2 breaking balls to get there with.
LHP, Packy Naughton, Virginia Tech, 6'1 190, 2 ave pitches, delivery is ok, comparable Neal Cotts.
1B, Gavin Sheets, Wake Forest, 6'5 235, L/L, strong w/plus power,solid bat speed, know how at 1b, bloodlines
C, Steven Williams, Deerfield-Windsor HS, Albany GA, 6'3 215, L/R, arm strength, power, bat speed, size
C, Tyler Solomon, Battlefield HS, Haymarket VA, 6'5 210, S/R, arm strength, bat speed, know how on "D"
OF, Cole Turney, Ft Bend Travis HS, Richmond TX, L/L, 6'0 200, bat speed, size, arm strength, raw talent
RHP, Sam Carlson, Burnsville HS, MINN, 6'3 195, arm strength, loose arm, delivery, proper spin on BB
OF, Connor Uselton, Southmoore HS, Oklahoma City OK, 6'4 200, R/R, arm, speed and bat speed, raw.
IF, Joe Dunand, N C State, 6'1 205, R/R, bat speed and arm strength, bloodlines, versatile.
SS, Logan Warmouth, UNC, 6'0 185, R/R, ave defensive tools, has bat speed and strength for occ power.
RHP, Brandon Bielak, Notre Dame, 6'2 200, R/R, qk arm, slings a bit, fb touches 93, hard cb, fair control.
MIDDLE "A" type drafts (rounds 8-12)
LHP, Hunter Williams, UNC-CH, 6'3 210, L/L, bullpen guy, fb lively up to 95, proper bite on CB, competes
RHP, Joe Ingle, East Carolina, 6'4 210, R/R, bullpen guy, fb in low 90's touches 95-96, agg, could move up
RHP, Will Gaddis, Furman - have not seen him yet, just a name to follow
OF, Brock Deatherage, N C State, 6'1 185, L/L, plus runner, near ave tools across the board, instincts.
RHP, Tanner Burns, Decatur HS, Decatur AL, 5'11 210, qk arm w/plus velo, hard cb, throws strikes.
RHP, Donnie Sellers, Wake Forest, 6'1 185, R/R, used in relief, has plus velo, fb true, cb ok, T92 w/FB
RHP, Gage Herring, Hobbton Newton Grove HS NC, 6'3 200, arm strength/bite on cb, EZ delivery, T90 w/FB
SS/2B, Noah Campbell, Cardinal Gibbons HS, Durham NC, 6'0 190, S/R, strong, interesting tools
3B, Garrett Blaylock, TC Roberson HS, Asheville NC, 6'3 205, L/R, plus arm, still developing
OF, Kier Meredith, Glenn HS, Winston-Salem NC, 5'9 170, L/L, plus runner, has range, bat is fair, fair arm.
LHP, Mitchell Stone, Deer Creek HS, Edmond OK, 6'10 245, L/L, improved from '15, size/arm strength, T92
RHP, Justin Bullock, S. Granville HS, Creedmoor NC, 6'1 1/2 185, R/R, arm strength, proper bite on cb, T91.
OF, Leugim Castillo, Lancaster Central HS, Lancaster NY, 6'2 215, R/R, raw, ++ speed, stiff arm/swing.
OF, Kyle Jacobsen, Allatoona HS, GA, 6'0 180, R/L, turnaround guy, bat speed, instincts, runs, ok arm.
1B, Nick Pratto, Huntington Beach HS, CA, 6'1 195, L/L, smooth stroke, arm strength, know how @ 1B
LHP, Reed Detmers, Nokomis HS, ILL, 6'2 195, L/L, arm strength, proper bite on cb and throws strikes, T 90.
RHP, Michael Dibrell, Kennesaw St U, 6'3 200, R/R, qk arm, ez delivery, hard cb, str change, competes.
RHP, Kris Armstrong, Benjamin School, Jupiter FL, 6'2 205, S/R, ambidextrous, has arm strength, touches 90
SS, Sam Hall, Topsail HS, Topsail Beach NC, 5'11 185, L/R, solid college tools, interesting.
C, Zachary Almond, High Point-Thomasville (Catawba), 6'3 205, R/R
OF, Chris Singleton, Charleston Southern, 6'1 175, R/R, runs and shows range, qk bat, instincts.
RHP, B.J. Myers, West Virginia, 6'1 215, knows how to pitch, fb touches 92.
RHP, Jason Morgan, UNC-CH, 6'6 205, R/R, tall, arm strength, delivery needs work, touches low 90's
RHP, Hansen Butler, UNC-CH, 5'11 195, R/R, used in relief, has arm strength, bite on breaking ball
Weak "A" Drafts and/or previously drafted in 2016 (rounds projected 13-40)
RHP, Nick Jodway, Draughn HS, Morganton NC, 6' 200, R/R, threw plus from OF, touched 92 on bump, must see
IF, Tripp Shelton, UNC-GB
RHP, Thomas St Clair, Lenoir-Rhyne, 5'10 175, one of leaders in K's per 9 in '16, will see.
LHP, Brian Brown, N C State, 6' 175, loose arm, touches 90
C, Bradley Brown, Wingate
LHP, Cody Smith, Chowan U
OF, Cade Snapp, Carson-Newman U Tennessee area
OF, David White Jr, Benedict SC
OF/IF, Daniel Heleine, Shepherd U WV
RHP, Johnny Piedmonte, NC State
RHP-IF, Evan Mendoza, NC State
RHP, Cory Wilder, NC State
2B, Brett Netzer, UNC-Charlotte
SS/2B, Brian Mims, UNCW
RHP, T.J. Wilkie, NC-Wesleyan
RHP, Connor Riley, USC-Aiken (Seen @ CPL ASG - NDFA, 2017 grad)
RHP, Michael Parmentier, Norfolk St U
RHP, Ridge Chapman, Spartanburg Methodist
RHP, Davis Alge, Spartanburg Methodist, drafted Phillies, did not sign '16.
OF, Kep Brown, Spartanburg Methodist
OF, Hunter Baker, Hough HS, Huntersville NC, 6'1 180, L/R, qk bat, wiry strong, runs and throws near ave.
OF, Austin Beck, North Davidson HS
C, Spencer Smith, Northern Durham HS
C, Drew Donathan, Charlotte Christian HS
IF, Ashton McGee, CB Aycock HS
SS, Tate Pennington, Butler Mathews HS
RHP, Kyle Blendinger, SW Guilford HS
LHP, David Harrison, Rocky Mount HS
IF, Greg Jones, Cary HS
OF, Ward Hackler, Dutch Fork HS, Irmo SC (seen again, Sept 25, SABB)
LHP, Peyton Blake, Northside Christian Academy SC
RHP, Seth Chestnut, Barnwell HS, SC
CF, Jadarius Munford, Lamar HS SC
RHP, Carmen Mlodzinski, Hilton Head HS SC (seen again, Sept 25, SABB)
SS, Josh Jones, Randolph-Henry HS VA (seen again, Sept 25, SABB)
RHP, Will Crowe, U of South Carolina, drafted '16
RHP, Bailey Ober, College of Charleston, drafted '16
OF, John Crowe, Francis Marion, drafted '16
LHP, Cody Beckham, N C State, drafted '16
RHP, Alex Cunningham, Coastal Carolina, drafted '16
RHP, Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest, drafted '16
LHP, Pat Krall, Clemson, drafted '16
RHP, Chris Farish, Wake Forest, drafted '16
LHP, Matt Crohan, Wintrop, drafted '16
RHP, Aaron McCarity, Virginia Tech, saw in '15 in Cape Cod, drafted '16
LHP, James Ziemba, Duke, 6'10 lefty, drafted '16
RHP, Cole Henry, Florence HS, AL, 6'4 180, R/R, arm strength and delivery, fb is true, hard cb.
OF, Jarred Kelentic, Waukesha West HS, Waukesha WI, 5'11 185, L/L, strong arm, plus runner, qk bat w/pop
OF, Mike Siani, William Penn Charter, PA, 6 180, L/L, solid speed & arm, qk bat
2B/SS, Brice Turang, 6'0 170, L/R, Santiago HS, Corona CA (commit-LSU), runs well, qk bat, arm.
OF, Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel HS, Chicago IL, 5'9 160, L/L, strong, qk bat, speed, ok arm.
LHP, Brendon Little, North Carolina, 6'3 195, fb up to 96, hard cb, upside
RHP, Logan Jarosz, E Alamance HS, Mebane NC, 6 165, loose limbs, still growing, touches 91, ez delivery
RHP, Owen White, Carson HS, Mount Ulla NC, 6'2 165, loose arm, touches 90, crosses body some, young.
OF/RHP, Sam Zayicek, Lake Norman HS, Mooresville NC, 6' 165, L/R, strong arm, runs well, ok bat.
RHP, Taylor Sugg, High Point-Thomasville (UNC), 6'2 170, R/R, loose, qk arm, bite on cb, ez delivery
Thursday July 7
2nd start for RHP, Michael Kopech, Salem (BOSTON), 6'3 205, 4/30/1996, easy qk arm, tends to rush from 3/4 slot, fb touches 100 and sits 96-97 with sink and arm side run, has trouble repeating delivery and getting arm up, throws slider with qk break tends to hang, 90-92, showed change and cb in warmups not in game however, went 4 innings, 60 pitches tonight, first start at Salem this year. Saw him at TOS for 2 years in Cary and he's added strength and arm is quicker, just 20 years old, still has some ceiling to improve his delivery and command, chance to be closer or 3-4 man in starting rotation. 80 fb, 70 Sl, 40 command/control, 63 OFP!
RHP Chad Sobotka, went 2 innings once again tonight for Carolina (ATLANTA), sat 96, 95-99 range w/fb with sink and run, hard slider 84-86, a few were nasty, others easy to read qk break, has a chance to be effective setup or closer in ML.
Wednesday July 6
After a few ab's and bearing down a bit more, I finally warmed up to writing up, 3B, Rafael Devers, 6'0 200 L/R, 10/24/96, Salem (Boston), he has a qk bat with level line drive stroke and ability to drive the ball in the OF gaps, runs better underway, a step below ave home to 1st, solid arm strength, and qk glove w/lateral range, able to adjust during abs should improve as he has that knack already, the rest will be better plate discipline, tends to take outside corner pitches a lot, 30/40 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 field, 46 OFP, chance to be ML 3b in time, will go as far as bat takes him.
Sunday, July 3
Will finish catching Lynchburg and Salem @ Mudcats this week, then Valley League All-Star Game and Coastal Plain All-Star Game, Sunday and Monday, July 10 & 11th.
2017 Follow List will be up later this week and revised as the summer goes into fall baseball action.
Sunday, July 3
RHP, Chad Sobotka, 6'7 200, R/R, 7/10/93, CAROLINA (ATL), 2 innings of short relief, worked from set/stretch position, showed quick loose arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb ranged 94-99, sat 94-96 with some sink down, kept pitches down for the most part on 30 pitches, 20 strikes, showed hard qk early breaking slider 84-86, needs to work on location and develop a solid 2nd pitch, enough here to develop further, especially for a big'en! 60 FB 40/50 SL 50 CON, 52 OFP, chance to be solid set up or potential closer, ETA 2018-19.
Friday, July 1
RHP, Mitch Brown, Lynchburg (CLE), 4/13/94, 6'1 215, strong build, Semi-windup delivery from upper 3/4 slot, fb touches 95 on occ, most fb 91-92, fairly true, occ arm side run/sinking action, has a little wrap in the back swing down then up in his arm arc to home during delivery making it tough for repeating delivery thus command and control were very eratic, cb has hard downer action, command is ok for 2nd out pitch, occ straight change, needs work still, only 22, has some pitchability left to improve, may end up a set up man or emergency back of the rotation starter.
Thursday, June 30
Cleveland Indians/Lynchburg 2nd round of write ups on prospects: Still need to see Mathias and bear down on pitching, roster has changed since first 2 times I've seen them, with some moving to AA since last time Lynchburg came to town.
LHP, Luis Lugo, 6'5 210, full windup guy, upper 3/4 slot downhill w/fb, touches 92 w/fb, most fb 88-90 with some sink down in zone, locates fb down, straight change with same arm slot, slows arm a tad on pitch, hard cb with 1/7 break, throwback delivery and enough pitchability to be back of rotation guy, graded him out 50 fb, 50 cb, 40 chg, 50 control, 48 OFP, seen 2 times now, 13 innings.
CF, Greg Allen, 6'0 180, S/R, listed at 6'0 which is generous, kid can flat out fly and covers ground in CF, 70 range, 70 runner, makes enough contact, short swing, puts ball in play, can tend to chase out of zone pitches, has enough arm strength to stay in CF and can take the XBH away from hitters in gaps and deep in CF w/defensive skills, will steal bases, 40 hit, 30 power, 70 run, 40 arm, 70 fld/range, 50 OFP, top of lineup guy, will go as far as bat goes, should hit for average and can bunt for a hit.
Wednesday, June 29
Also met today, Hall of Fame, Scout with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hall of Fame, former, Jr College Head Baseball Coach, Lon Joyce, who's signed some quality players currently in the Majors including Jonathan Broxton and SS Corey Seager from NW Cabarrus HS.
Attended Day 2 of the Breakthrough Series catching Blue 3 vs Blue 4. Interesting players to follow, Catcher, David Duate, Alhambra HS, Phoenix AZ, 5'11 210, R/R, 2017 grad, shows apparent arm strength, raw catching skills, 1.94 to 2.0 pop times, needs to work w/feet, setting up to throw to bases, as hitter shows strength and bat speed, short stride w/pop in his swing, developmental guy here, would benefit from everyday playing time at JC level once graduated from HS.
Catcher, Jethro Hurt, 6'2 210, R/R, 2018 grad, shows arm strength and decent mechanics as a receiver, has some bat speed and raw strength at the plate, still young, 2 more yrs of HS level, attends, Norman Thomas HS, NY NY.
Tuesday, June 28
Mother Nature plays games w/start up of the Breakthrough series workouts and it's likely a game will not be played today unless the rain subsides for a while.
Monday, June 27
Workout day scheduled for Tuesday, June 28 @ NTC in Cary for Breakthrough Series and a game or so in the afternoon then pro coverage this weekend with Carolina hosting 2 affiliates, Lynchburg (Indians) & Salem (Red Sox).
Should have some reports up in the next couple of days.
Saturday, June 25
Last write ups from TOS, some players of interest that I'd love to see again as these have at least 2 tools that warrant follow consideration for 2017 or whom I've seen before and an update on their progress.
LHP, Jordan Butler, 12/2/98, Alonso HS, Odessa FL, 6'1 180, L/L, listed at 6'1, he doesn't appear that tall or imposing, his delivery has a bit of funk and he shows a qk arm from lower 3/4 across his body slot/delivery, fb is sneaky quick as he hides his pitches well, fb touched 88, a bit better than last year and his cb had bite, he's tough of lefties from that arm angle and he throws strikes though many pitches were up in the zone getting hitters to chase, he's got a college commit to Florida, he appears he likes being out there and will definitely track his progress next couple of years.
RHP, Kristopher Armstrong, 7/7/1999, The Benjamin School, Jupiter FL, 6'3 205, S/R, better on the hill than as a position player, he shows arm strength and idea on the hill, fb touched 90 a few times, pretty true and has bite on breaking ball, command needs some work as he has a tough time repeating delivery, rushes, he's just going to be 17 and graduates in 2018, has verbal to Florida as well.
3B, Garrett Blaylock, 2/26/1998, TC Roberson HS, Asheville NC, 6'3 205, L/R, Garrett has a plus arm and has fundamental hitting approach, fair runner at best, 4.5 from LH Side home to first, range to left is adequate at corner position and has decent instincts, verbal to Vanderbilt, 2017, interesting follow due to arm and hitting approach, already 18 yrs old.
OF, Calvin Mitchell, 3/8/1999, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego CA, 6'1 200, L/L, shows fair arm strength and straight away speed, kept hands back in hitting approach and direct swing to the ball, raw tools there to keep an eye on, has a verbal to U of San Diego, 2017.
LHP/OF/1B, Nick Pratto, 10/6/98, Huntington Beach HS, CA, 6'2 195, L/L, Nick played in this event last yr and this spring he was not eligible to play during NHSI, however, he shows decent hitting approach and arm strength to keep an eye on as a position player, level stroke w/balance and bat speed, contact spray type hitter w/raw strength, runs well underway, step below average out of the box to 1b, as a pitcher his best pitch is his straight change which has deception and good arm speed, fb touched 88, most were 85-86 with some arm side run away from RHH, has verbal to USC, need to see more progression for next year, 2017.
C, Tyler Solomon, 12/6/98, Battlefield HS, Haymarket VA, 6'5 210, S/R, stand up and throw guy behind the dish, pop times ranged from 1.9 to 2.1, glove to hand and foot work a step slow currently, has ave to abv ave arm strength and decent hands receiving velo pitches and seems alert and knows how, has direct level swing from both sides of the plate, most ab's were from the LH side, has gap type extra base power, swing is a bit long or he jams his left elbow in during swing, not allowing full extension, intriguing due to strength and size, has verbal to Vanderbilt, 2017.
OF, Cole Turney, 1/16/99, Ft Bend Travis HS, Richmond TX, L/L, 6'0 200, arm strength from the OF, arm is a bit stiff and acc is eratic on throws to bases, shows straight away running speed, hitting approach, a bit tentative as a hitter, shows bat speed and fundamental approach, his pitch recognition needs work, verbal to Arkansas, worth a look in 2017.
C, Steven Williams, 2/18/99, Deerfield-Windsor HS, Albany GA, 6'3 215, L/R, strong and durable build, runs well underway for his size and position, hitting approach is level swing from slightly open stance, bat goes directly to the ball, can drive ball to gaps for extra base power, as a catcher has fair hands and transfer to throwing hand, 1.9 to 2.1 pop times, shifting and stance at plate need some work, enough to work with, has verbal to Auburn, 2017 follow.
RHP, CJ Van Eyk, 9/15/98, Steinbrenner HS, Lutz FL, 6'2 185, R/R, verbal to Florida St, shows arm strength from 3/4 arm slot, crosses body, at times chops off extension, fb touches 91, most are upper 80's with some arm side run, breaking ball breaks quick out of hand but easy to ready, not much deception, enough to work with and keep an eye on for 2017.
Friday, June 24
Looking at the rest of summer itinerary, will most likely attend Breakthrough Series in Cary next week, have the Carolina League June 30-July 6, then Coastal Plain All-Star game in Fayetteville and Cape Cod All-Star game this year in Chatham after going to Wareham last year. Chatham is a much more scout friendly ball park with a better view from behind the plate at ground level to see the pitching this year. After that, a small vacation and possible appearance at the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina, then fall baseball begins for area colleges.
Took today off to finish up on thumbnail reports on players to see again in 2017 and 2018 from TOS event in Cary the past 3 days.
Last year I was fortunate to see LHP Mitchell Stone, (PRIDE), listed an inch taller than last year @ 6'10 245 L/L, 2017, 5/29/1998, Deer Creek HS, Edmond OKLA, and he was interesting, albeit his arm didn't work real fast like many ML pitchers do last year, this year he's a bit stronger and his fb has a bit more velo and arm speed slightly improved, touching 87 LY w/fb, he has an imposing presence due to his height and works downhill mostly from his 3/4 slot, touching 91, most fb are upper 80's, he's 18 already so not much physical growth left, though he may fill out his frame more, his breaking ball has bite from 3/4 slot and 1/6 break action and he's around the plate with arm side run on occ w/fb down on knees, he's got a commit to Oklahoma State, and is worth a good look again in 2017.
RHP, Kyle Hurt (BRAVE), 6'2 190, R/R, Torrey Pines HS, Rancho Sante Fe, Calif, has a commit to USC, from 3/4 arm slot, Kyle touched 92, most fb worked at 88-90 with some sink when down and arm side run when in vs RHH, also had some deception to his change at 80-81 along with proper spin and bite on 11/5 cb in the low 70's. Key to his development will be stamina and keeping his pitches down and away from hitter's bats. 2017 follow.
OF, Kyle Jacobsen (PRIDE), 6' 180, R/L, Allatoona HS, Ackworth GA, saw him this spring at the NHSI playing two positions, OF and LHP (was up to 84 w/fb in March) on the bump he didn't show velo to interest but loose arm, he ran and threw well enough from the OF and has good instincts as a fielder to have interest in him, short direct swing w/bat speed, not much power and runs well, solid 4.28 home to 1st from RH side, he's a turnaround hitter meaning lefty thrower and righty hitter, not many has played in the ML, best known two are Rickey Henderson known for his speed and driving pitchers crazy with his crouch stance and qk bat and former STL Cardinal, Ryan Ludwick who had plus power and strong throwing arm. Kyle has a college commit to S. Carolina and he's definitely worth a look if he can keep on hitting and shows improvement and further strength development for 2017.
RHP Nick Storz (PRIDE), 1/23/1998, already 18 and at 6'6 245, he appears to have reached his physical height and may add more weight in the future in his biggie sized frame, R/R, saw him as well at NHSI in March @ Cary TC, he showed the same velo and breaking ball as he did this spring and is an interesting follow for 2017 w/college commit to LSU. He attends Poly Prep Country Day HS in New York, has some pop in his bat as a hitter w/strength for power to all fields, upper cut swing he's susceptible to pitches low and away from him as well and breaking pitches.
LHP, Jake Eder (STARS), 10/9/1998, 6'4 210, L/L, 2017, Atlantic HS, Ocean Ridge FL, has a commit to Vanderbilt, Jake has nice size and presence on the hill from 3/4 slot, slightly across his body delivery w/fb that touches 92, most fb were 89-90 down on knees and did get some pitches up out of the zone, showed proper spin and rotation on cb and showed a few changes which he slowed arm on, has type of frame to add more strength and velo, stamina a question as he was down to 88-89 after 2 innings.
If/OF/RHP, Hagen Danner, (UNITED), 8/30/1998, Huntington Beach HS CAL, 6'1 195, R/R, seen for 3 straight years now, 5 total events, he played at NHSI this spring, he can still hit and shows presence on the mound for strong follow again in 2017, you can tell this kid loves being out there by his hustle and demeanor, has college commit to UCLA, he showed some throws from catcher as well and seems to have natural ability to adapt to any position and situation on the field, hit a warning track triple off a breaking ball up.
Some North Carolina kids I'll need to see again and having seen them one time or another in the NC State games or NHSI or regional high school tournaments this spring and have seen often already are Kier Meredith who runs very well (Glenn HS, Winston-Salem), IF Sam Hall from Topsail Beach, RHP Kyle Blendinger of SW Guilford HS in Greensboro, Patrick Bailey, Catcher at Wesleyan Christian w/college commit to NC State, and Tristan Shea, another Catcher, who attends Porter Ridge HS, Matthews NC, switch hitter w/idea behind the plate and college commit to U of North Carolina.
Thursday, June 23
Covered first 3 days of the TOURNAMENT OF STARS in Cary. First day was a workout day, day 2 & 3 were games, game 3 on Day 2 will be suspended until Friday.
Again, I want to reiterate, that my thumbnails reports on the players in this event, are not intended to offend any of the players, their family or school. Also, I do not currently work for any MLB organization/Club, but if you work for a MLB Club and need someone to help your club in the Carolinas and Virginia.
On with the reports:
OF/RHP, Jordon Adell, 4/8/1999, 6'3 200, R/R, Ballard HS, Louisville KY (Commit-Louisville), wound tight muscular build with room left to fill out physically, shows arm strength from the OF and straight away speed, ran 4.3 on a fielders choice, as a hitter, has bat speed and extension in his swing, balance and pitch recognition need work,chased pitches out of the zone, showed loose arm as RHP touching 91 with proper bite and spin on cb, fair control, not much movement on his fb, has college commit, definite follow for 2017, graded out: 20/30 hit, 30/40 power, 60/60 run, 40/50 arm, 40/50 field, 46 OFP as position player, as a pitcher, shows idea on the hill, H 3/4 arm slot, loose, qk arm, gets proper extension on his pitches, fb, true, cb with tilt and bite, lacks deception, 40/50 fb, 40/50 cb, 40/50 control, 30/40 change, 50 OFP as RHP.
SS, Mark Vientos, 12/11/1999, 6'4 185 R/R, Flanagan HS FL (Commit-Miami), 2017, seen at NHSI this March as well, Mark shows bat speed and strength in his swing, shows plate discipline and pitch recognition, squared up pitches where they were pitched, some pop in his swing for power, nice long and loose wiry frame that should fill out, some comp to a younger Manny Machado, 60 arm, 50 field/range, will be a short stop, 45 runner, ran 4.44 on grounder in the 6 hole, better on the bases, 50 glove and range, potential early pick in 2017.
LHP, D.L. Hall, 9/19/1998, 6'1 180, L/L, Houston County HS, Warner Robins GA (Commit-Fla St), loose lefty, cross his body delivery from 3/4 slot, fb touches 92, most fb are upper 80's with some arm side run, sharp cb with fair command and showed several change ups, a work in progress still, has upside, worth strong follow in 2017.
OF, Mike Siani, 7/16/1999, 6'0 180, L/L, William Penn Charter, PA (Commit-Virginia), athletic, live body, strong throwing arm and ave to better than average running speed, shows bat speed with strength for pull foul line power, can cover ground in OF and showed good instincts going back on the ball in the OF and charging to throw, graded across the board, 30/50 hit, 30/40 power, 60/60 run, 60/60 arm, 50/60 field, 54 OFP, could be one of top 3 rounds type draft in 2018.
RHP, Alex Scherff, 2/5/1998, 6'1 205, Prestonwood Christian, Colleyville TX, (Commit-Arizona St), live arm with short qk arm in arm swing, fb has run and sink, heaviness when down in the zone, touches 93-94, most fb are 91, showed some straight changes with split effect and slurvy breaking ball that will need to be tightened up, enough stuff for strong follow in 2017, needs some work, can project for improvement, some comparable body wise and delivery to Strickland of SF Giants, mature type body already, will be 19 next spring.
RHP, Justin Bullock, 5/12/1999, 6'1 185, R/R, S Granville HS, Creedmoor NC (Commit-N C State), showed a bit better command of fb today than his last outing in May at Doak Field, touched 91 on a few occasions, most fb upper 80's with slurvy breaking ball that needs to be tightened up, showed some straight changes, lil hook in arm swing a bit concerning, definite arm to follow next year.
2B/SS, Noah Campbell, 6/6/1999, 6'0 190, S/R, Cardinal Gibbons HS-Raleigh, from Durham NC (Commit-S Carolina), interesting player, shows straight away speed and at least an ave arm for IF, fair bat speed, better from the left side than right, not much power, will have to spray the ball around/contact type, key will be hitting development, follow for 2017.
2B/SS, Brice Turang, 11/21/1999, 6'0 170, L/R, Santiago HS, Corona CA (commit-LSU), only 16, runs well, better underway, ran 4.17 from LH home to 1st, shows near ave arm strength, qk hands and lateral range, contact hitter, can drive the ball, qk twitch actions, should get stronger and improve hitting approach, solid follow for next 2 years, 2018 grad to be, suited for 2B or possibly move to CF in future.
3B, Jayson Gonzalez, 4/26/1999, 6'0 215, R/R, Bishop Amat HS, Covina CA (Commit-Vanderbilt), strong with mature body, runs near ave home to 1st, better on the way, ave arm strength to stick at the corner, fair hands and range, bat will be his ticket, shows short compact swing with idea and pitch recognition, will go as far as bat develops, may end up moving positions in pro ball to OF or 1B, unless range and actions improve at the corner.
RHP, Blayne Enlow, 3/21/1999, 6'4 170, R/R, St. Amant HS, Sorrento LA, (Commit-LSU), loose, easy arm action, crosses some in delivery, gets good extension out front from 3/4 slot, FB touches 93, most are 90 with sink, hard slider at 80-82 with bite, threw strikes, teased a few change ups, upside is there, strong follow, could be top 3 round talk about him next spring, type of frame to fill out and get stronger, may add velo, body comp to Zach MacAlister-Indians.
RHP, Shane Baz, 6/17/1999, 6'2 185, R/R, Concordia Luthern HS, Cypress TX (Commit-TCU), live arm with qk arm action, loose out front and throws strikes, touched 94, most fb low 90's, easy Semi-windup delivery, threw cutter at 85-88 w/short break action, occ cb at 77, maintained velo through 3 innings, good upside, numbers come out to be top 1-3 type guy for 2017, has some bat speed as position player as well.
RHP, Jeremiah Estrada, 11/1/1998, 6'0 185, R/R, Palm Desert HS, CA (commit-UCLA), strong arm, strong build for his size, H 3/4 arm slot with qk easy action, overthrows, rushes delivery, fb touches 93, most are 90 and straight, also showed cb and change, most pitches were up in the zone, will need time to develop, worth follow next year, college in picture as well.
RHP, Hans Crouse, 9/15/1998, 6'5 185, R/R, Dana Hills HS, Dana Point CA (commit-USC), tall with thin frame, room to fill out, long arms and legs, recoil leg and pitching arm action, semi-windup with very qk arm, touches 96 on several occasion sat at 93-94, also showed sharp cb at times with proper lead elbow, keeps pitches down for the most part, some similar delivery comparable to John Lackey, strong follow for 2017.
OF, Garrett Mitchell, 9/4/1998, 6'1 200, L/R, Orange Lutheran HS, Anaheim CA (commit-UCLA), live strong body, throws and runs above ave, has strength and good bat speed with balance as a hitter, pitch recognition, can drive the ball to power alley, pull type, played RF and CF, shows decent instincts, not a CF, will end up a corner guy, would like to see power generated in game action, worthy of strong follow in 2017.
SS/2B, Nick Allen, 10/8/1998, 5'8 150, R/R, Francis Parker HS, San Diego CA (commit-USC), deceptive strength as a hitter, shows qk bat with leverage and puts the ball in play, can take extra base with his speed, ran 4.24 home to 1st, quicker on the bases, plus release and solid ML arm with qk hands and lateral range, range is better than average took away a potential base hit from Hunter Greene up the middle throwing Greene out at 1b, chance to make his mark quickly as he physically develops, some comparisons to former ML Dickie Thon-Astros, instincts and first step quickness are assets and plays all out.
OF, Alek Thomas, 4/28/2000, 5'9 160, L/L, Mount Carmel HS, Chicago IL, live body, runs well underway, 4.2 from LHS, showed qk bat w/upper cut swing, fair arm strength with carry and knows how to cover position, played CF and corner OF, ran 4.2 from LH Side home to first, interesting to follow, next couple of years, 2018 grad (commit-uncommited at this time).
SS/2B/OF, Royce Lewis, 6/5/1999, 6'0 185, R/R, JSerra Catholic HS, Aliso Viejo CA (commit-UC Irvine), fluid athlete, runs well and has ave to plus arm strength, best suited for middle IF, has enough arm for SS and range, qk bat with balance and strength, drives the ball to LF alley w/power, ran 4.17 home to 1st, showed alley power during BP workouts consistently, has similar comp to former ML Royce Clayton SF Giants, a bit of a free swinger, aggressive hitting approach, strong follow for 2017.
RHP, Hunter Greene, 8/6/1999, 6'3 195, R/R, Notre Dame HS, CA (commit-UCLA), loose, qk arm from 3/4 slot, touches 96, most fb 93-95, also solid straight change w/deception 85-86 and 80 cb, semi-windup with easy delivery, occ rushed, was composed and knows how to pitch, keeps pitches down, fb showed arm side run w/sink on occ, grades come out to 1st round talk for 2017, best shot as RHP, decent position player, SS/2B, easy swing w/bat speed, strength and knows how as a fielder, runs fair, 60 OFP as RHP. 1st round projection.
OF, Jarred Kelenic, 7/16/1999, 5'11 185, L/L, Waukesha West HS, Waukesha WIS (commit-Louisville), solid build, strong, runs well, better on the way, strong throwing arm with carry and accuracy from RF, qk twitch guy, has bat speed and strength as a hitter, pitch recognition and barrels up fb, has 2 years to develop, turns 17 in July, has helium left, should get a bit bigger and stronger, 2018 follow, kid is a baseball rat! Also pitched an inning, touching 91, some idea, but appeared more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point.
LHP, Reid Detmers, 7/8/1999, 6'2 195, L/L, Nokomis HS, IL, (commit-Louisville), scouted his father in HS in early 90's out of the same HS (Kristen) who pitched in the STL Cardinal organization and was 6'5 190, Reid touches 90 w/fb from 3/4 slot, cross body some, short arm swing, loose out front, has proper bite and action on CB to be solid out pitch, most fb are 86-88, some room left to fill out and improve, definitely worth a look again in 2017.
1B, Alex Toral, 1/26/1999, 6'0 235, L/L, Archbishop McCarthy HS, FL, (commit-Miami), solid strength and bat speed as a hitter, ball jumps off his bat, fair arm strength and fielding ability at the corner, does not run well, 4.6 from LH side, will go as far as bat takes him, fringe 2017 follow.
OF, Connor Uselton, 5/20/1998, R/R, Southmoore HS, Oklahoma City OK (uncommited), strong arm from OF, runs well, better underway, 4.25 home to 1b, long swing level swing w/bat speed and strength at the plate, does not chase, has pitch recognition, definitely worth a look in 2017.
SS/2B, Brady McConnell, 5/24/1998, R/R, Merrit Island HS, FL (commit-Florida), wiry frame w/deceptive strength, runs well underway, 4.24 best home to 1st time, makes solid contact, sprays the ball around, frame to get stronger to add power, throws w/carry from SS and qk hands and ranges well either side, will be 19 next spring, worth strong look in 2017.
OF, Quentin Holmes, 7/7/1999, R/R, 6'0 175, Msgr. McClancy HS, East Elmhusrt NY (commit-Mississippi St), wiry strong, plus runner with plus range in OF, know how w/instincts in CF, arm has fair strength w/carry and acc to bases, makes contact with short swing approach, ran 4.08 best from home to 1st, consistently sub 4.2, interesting player for 2017.
RHP, Tanner Burns, 12/28/1998, R/R, 5'11 210, Decatur HS, AL (commit-Auburn), strong durable frame, compact delivery with tight cb with 10/6 break, fb explodes out of his hand, touches 96, most are 92-93 with some arm side run, heaviness, threw strikes, also showed straight change w/deception, gets decent leverage, definite arm to follow in 2017, similar frame as Boston Red Sox RHP reliever Craig Kimbrel.
RHP, Sam Carlson, 12/3/1998, R/R, 6'3 190, Burnsville HS, Burnsville MINN, loose out front from 3/4 arm slot, gets under his breaking pitches and straight change, hyper extended elbow at times, concerning arm action, when he has his delivery in synch, fb will touch 92, most are upper 80's w/arm side run naturally, showed qk slider with break and straight change, all pitches still in development stage, has (commit-Florida), 2017 grad.
Friday, June 17, updated Sunday, June 19.
Attended N C State games at USA Training Facility, Wednesday and today. Some very good players to follow over the next couple of years and it was good to meet some old faces and put names with faces. Several players with hopeful opportunities collegiately listed as well from N C State games.
RHP, Logan Jarosz, E Alamanche HS from Mebane, 2018, 6 165, full windup, upper 3/4 slot, qk and loose out front, fb with some tail when in vs RHH and proper bite on cb, throws strikes, room to grow, touched 90 w/fb.
LHP, David Harrison, Rocky Mount HS, 6'3 185, L/L, ran 7.1 60, showed near ave ML arm from OF workouts, loose limbed, wiry frame, verbal to N C State, 3/4 slot semi-windup, flashed a few upper 80's fb, some arm side run middle out vs RHH, proper spin on cb and showed a few straight changes, still filling out, follow for 2017.
SS, Greg Jones, Cary HS, 5'11 165 S/R, 2017, verbal UNCW, runs well, 6.6 60, solid arm w/carry from SS, qk actions with glove either side, knows how, qk short stroke, hits the ball to all fields, pitch recognition, type of frame to add strength and room for growth, must see again, will be 19 yrs old in spring 2017.
LHP, Bennett Nance, Moorehead HS Eden NC, listed at 6'1 165, young, 16 yrs old, 4/14/00, showed easy arm action from 3/4 slot, touched 84, short arm arc w/qk slider 73-74 with diving action, a name to watch the next few years w/added strength, growth and maturity, appeared to be 5'11 160 to me, definite college material, 2018.
RHP, Kyle Bendinger, SW Guilford HS, 6'2 180, R/R, came back from Perfect Game Showcase to finish commitment at NC State games, showed arm strength and know how on the mound, easy 3/4 arm slot, touched 90, most fb 88, short qk slider with bite, 77-80 that should be his out pitch, needs to keep pitches down, some heaviness to his low zone fb, has college commit, 2017 follow.
RHP, Owen White, Jesse Carson HS, 6'2 165, R/R, ran 7.4 60, threw well during IF, plus arm strength w/carry, on the hill is where this kids' future is, touched 90 several times thru 5 innings, most fb 87-88, qk arm from 3/4 slot with proper bite/rotation on cb, threw strikes, competitive, slightly pitches across his body, type of frame to add strength and add more velo, also a 2018.
C/OF, Spencer Smith, Northern Durham, 2017, 6'1 200, R/R, ran ok, shows near ave arm strength, qk release behind the plate, knows how, bat has strength, level stroke with short stride, line drive type power, has verbal to ECU, pop times during workout ranged from 1.85 to 2.0. Definite follow for 2017.
SS, Chris Locklear, listed at 5'10 140, R/R, slightly smaller, wound tight body, ran 3.9 on drag bunt single, showed a strong arm w/carry at SS with solid hands, qk feet and confidence, ran 7.0 60, appears a bit quicker than that, he got injured on a fly ball to short CF and colliding with a team mate, hopefully the injury is not serious, he attends St Pauls HS, Pembroke NC, 2017. Also listed positions as CF and 2B, observed him at SS.
RHP/IF, Sam Zayicek, Lake Norman HS, 6' 165, L/R, qk twitch player, ran 6.8 60, showed plus arm from OF and IF, fair bat speed and strength, did not see pitch, he's a 2018, will need to keep an eye on him with the 2 at least average to plus tools, throwing and running speed.
OF/1B, Matthew Stevens, Charlotte Catholic, 6'3 190, L/L, ran 6.8 60, threw at least ave from RF, shows some bat speed and raw strength, unorthodox hitting style needs work, 2017.
OF, Hunter Baker, Hough HS, 6'1 180, L/R, ran 6.95 60, shows near ave arm strength from OF w/carry on his throws, has decent bat speed and open stance, pitch recognition, solid D1 guy who must be followed for future progress and added strength.
IF, Eric Robinson, Asheville HS, 6'2 185, R/R, ran 7.15 60, has arm strength and decent plate approach and bat speed as a hitter, type of frame to get bigger and stronger, 2017 grad, interesting enough to track his progress.
C, Drew Donathan, Charlotte Christian, 6'1 205, R/R, ran 7.6 60, showed strong arm with carry to 2b, some transfer to hand probs, rushed throwing to 2b, has bat speed and strength in his swing, approach needs work, has commit to Clemson, 2.0 pop times to 2b, development college player at present w/upside, should get stronger with exposure to training program and hard work, 2017.
RHP/IF, Austin Love, West Rowan HS, Salisbury NC, 6'3 205, R/R, threw well across the diamond during workouts Wednesday, arm has strength w/carry, accuracy, fluid arm action, also pitches, did not see, will keep an eye on him next spring, 2017.
Thursday, June 16, caught Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC Royals) vs Carolina (Braves, 2 prospects I liked:
RHP Corey Ray, 6'4 195, loose w/qk arm, fb touched 96 several times, pitched at 93, cb is sharp downer type w/eratic command, throws strikes w/fb, had command issues, chance to be middle man or put in the pen, needs to harness command of cb and straight change, 12/15/92 DOB, some upside left if secondary pitches can keep developing w/command.
CF, Brandon Downes, 6'3 195, R/R, 09/29/92, agg hitter, qk bat w/line drive stroke for alley power, pull side, range is plus in CF w/ave arm strength, runs well underway, coming off injury from last yr to hand, enuf strength and bat speed to develop more power and hit for average as well as play solid "D". 40/50 hit, 40/50 power, 60 run, 50 arm, 60 range, 52 OFP.
Saturday, June 11
WS Dash, RHP, Jordan Stephens, 6'1 200, R/R, started for Dash (White Sox), easy slight cross body delivery from 3/4 slot, fb touches 94, most are low 90's and hard cb 77-80 with bite, decent command, repeat of delivery was ok, saw him for Rice in college, he's probably more effective as a middle or set up guy in the pen or back of the end ML Starter, 50 fb, 40 cb, 50 control, 40 chg, 50 sl, 48 OFP.
White Sox called up 2012 Compensation "A" pick, 1B, Keon Barnum to AA, 6'5 240, L/L, Birmingham after Thursday's game. Power numbers and contact ability still not where it should be, he's still young and perhaps he'll adjust by moving up a level, drive and energy and want to I don't know if it's there for him to be honest, not like he had when he played in the Break Through Series @ DBAP back in 2010/11. Graded him out as 30 hit, 50 power, 30 run, 40 arm, 50 fld, 40 OFP.
C, Brett Austin, WS Dash (White Sox), have seen Brett since HS and NC State days, listed at 6'1 210, S/R, Brett still shows the arm and "D" skills to catch, bat however has not progressed, hands tend to drift as a hitter, saw mostly on his left side in 4 abs on Friday night, during BP he sprayed the ball with no real authority as he was feeling for the pitch, his assets are his arm and catching acumen, the bat needs to improve, he also pitched a bit in HS, perhaps a move to the mound ala Chris Hatcher? 20/30 hit, 40 power, 40 run, 60 arm, 50 fld, 40 OFP.
Friday, June 10
Got to see WS Dash (White Sox) vs Carolina (Braves) even with the MLB Draft going on, caught most of that on my i-phone. Amazing gadgets we have today that we didn't have years ago. Anyways, caught Sox rated prospect, RHP, Thad Lowry, starter, show flashes of a plus fb with some sink when down in the zone and middle in life vs RHH, showed hard slider with some bite, not much depth but effective pitch along with some straight changes which at times threw off hitters' balance a bit, he must keep his pitches down, 3/4 slot, semi-windup, still just 21 yrs old until October, listed at 6'4 215, appears a bit shorter to me, closer to 6'2 210, back of the rotation guy or long man in the pen at the ML level, some comp to Shelby Miller. 50 fb, 50 sl, 50 con, 50 change, 50 OFP, knows how to pitch.
I'll have more later tonight, early tomorrow.
I was happy to see my childhood fan's team, the Phillies take Mickey Moniak, whom I saw last summer during TOS in Cary, even though I had a strong feel for LHP Jason Groome. I'm an advocate you take the best player available with the addage, don't pass on premium lefthanded pitching anytime as you don't get a chance to take them all that often and you are gambling you are going to get lefthanders later somewhere in the draft. As we know baseball is an inexact science and I do believe Moniak will contribute to the Phillies, he's probably 3-4 years away from AAA and there is no rush, and in time I hope he has a terrific MLB career with the Phils.
Best of luck to all the players remaining who are awaiting their name to be called today and tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 7
Confirmed today thanks to Hudson Belinsky w/Baseball America, RHP Donnie Sellers meets the 45 day rule, thus he's eligible to be drafted, the technicality is his birthdate falls within the 45 days by the 3rd day of the MLB Draft, making him eligible day 2, day 1 is mostly 1st rounders and compensation picks for the first round.
I will be attending the N C State Games in Cary next week, June 15-19 to catch the younger, 2017 and beyond top HS talent in NC and also SC.
Saturday, June 4
Caught the NCHSAA State Baseball tourney's for 1A & 4A this weekend and came back impressed with some pocket follows, or names if you will to keep an eye on for the future for each of the 4 clubs. Some of the kids who graduate this year and go onto college and continue playing baseball collegiately, there were a couple kids also to keep their names to see how far they improve with natural maturation and physical development as well as improving their skill set with further instruction.
I also found my 2006 & 2007 reports finally after some digging in my closet of old reports. Yes folks, I'm a pack rat and I'm actively seeking an opportunity to work for a ML Club once again after years of working as a recommending scout, part-time scout and area scout as well as doing special assignment stuff for showcase and Minor League Baseball All-Star game assignments the past 7 years.
I have my old thumbnail remarks on players I was fortunate to have scouted in the AFLAC All-Star Game, Cape Cod All-Star game and 2007 Tournament of Stars as well as Impact Baseball's Prospect showcase events at Chapel Hill and other surrounding areas of the Triangle. Those are below. Enjoy!
Also my reports are of my own convictions and they are not intended to offend any player or their families, so don't take a scout's view point and being concrete, it's just one man's opinion who's done this for 33 years now, starting as a 23 year old college graduate and becoming a 'bird dog' in 1983.
Friday, June 3
So I was trying to find my old archive reports from 2004 featuring Team USA Collegiate team and the first Tournament of Stars games when SS, Tim Beckham first appeared from Griffin HS, Georgia as well as Eric Hosmer, Freddie Freeman, Mike Moustakas, Matthew Purke, etc., all played and I had little reports on them as well as other players who are now either in pro ball or out of pro ball or never made it into pro ball. Once I find these reports, I'll add them to this page.
Caught Green Hope vs N Davidson in 4A action at NCHSAA State tourney @ 5 County, Green Hope with a 2018 OF with some speed, raw baseball approach to watch and 3B/RHP, 2017 Jordan Montgomery, 6'1 185, L/R, with arm strength at hot corner, shows some bat speed and decent hitting approach for Green Hope.
2017, LHP Mackenzie Gore for Whiteville HS in 1A game, qk loose arm, exaggerated leg lift and kick, from Upper 3/4 slot, slight x-body, touched 90-92 a few times in 1st inning, k'd the side, held 85-88 thru 5 innings threw both 2 seam and 4 seam, showed 69-71 1/7 curveball and occ straight change, throws strikes at times gets under and pitches up hill, is around the plate, appears to be 6'2 and about 175 or so, ran 4.12 on infield single, plays OF when he doesn't pitch, 2017, definitely worth a look, projectible frame, with proper instruction in pro ball, he could move quickly in a patient farm system. 02/24/1999, 6'2 175, L/L are his bio stats, updated 6/28/16.
Wednesday, June 1
Sad to hear of the passing of RHP Donnie Everett, freshman @ Vanderbilt, who tragically drowned while on a fishing outing and he tried to swim across the lake. We lost a good young man there. Prayers go out to his family and to the Vanderbilt team!
May 27-30, caught Frederick (Orioles) vs Carolina (Braves) series, day one featured two prospects for the Frederick club:
LHP, Tanner Scott, 6'2 220, saw him the first time last fall in AZ Fall League, tonight he showed the loose qk arm from upper 3/4 slot and touched 98 many times, most fb were 96 with slight tail away from RHH and spun some cb that had slider effect and short downward tilt, 2 to 7 type break at 83-85, was around the plate, got away with pitches up in the zone for pop ups and a couple cracked bats, used as a closer in this game, he's got the type of arm to close a game or set up the closer ala, former ML reliever, Randy Myers w/Reds & Mets. DOB is 7/22/94, so has yet to turn 22, graded out, 80 FB, 50 SL, 40/50 control, 40 change, 50 field, OFP 60 premium lefty, closer role.
C, Jonah Heim, 6'3 190, S/R, nice looking receiver with plus arm and accurate to all bases, frames and receives easy with range each side, shows level bat plane swing w/bat speed from just below shoulder level launch position and some strength to hit eventually enough w/occ power, swung from left side mostly in 3 games and 11 abs I saw, takes a lot of close pitches DOB 6/27/95, will be 21 soon, has around 2-3 years more of development as a hitter, and could be front line ML catcher, at worse a backup with plus "D" skills, 30/30 hit, 30/40 power, 40 run, 60 arm, 50 fld, 1.88 pop time, OFP 47 OFP adjusted for premium position.
CF, Josh Hart, 6'0 185, L/L, first scouted at NHSI in 2011 in Cary, has plus speed and range in OF, slightly below ave arm w/plus release, acc throws mostly, some throws fade away to home, right up on the plate w/hitting approach and free swinger, needs to take more pitches and get off the plate some to utilize his speed and get full extension w/his swing, quiet launch from elbow to elbow 10/02/94 DOB, has 3-4 years to work on hitting to get to next level, otherwise a AAA prospect, emergency call up type, limited to CF, can play all OF positions, will go as far as bat improves, 30/40 hit, 30/30 power, 60 run, 40 arm, 60 field, 46 OFP.
Tuesday, May 31
Will be catching Whiteville vs Cherryville and Green Hope vs N Davidson on Friday, June 3 for 1A and 4A NCHSAA baseball championship series, top name is LHP, 2017, Mackenzie Gore, this will make 3rd time I will be seeing him and I understand N Davidson OF/RHP, Austin Beck is out with a knee injury.
Updating on OF/DH/1B, Kel Johnson, Georgia Tech, he's draft eligible due to age within 45 days of draft, he's 21 years old, graded out 30/40 hit, 50/60 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 field, 48 OFP, will go as far as bat takes him, will have to play the corner OF spots, runs 4.4 at best home to 1st, some length w/bat speed, lofts for HR power, susceptible on slow stuff away from outter part of strike zone, will have to make adjustments in pro ball w/instruction, has 2 years to bargain with, shows arm strength w/carry, accuracy is near average, 6'4 220, R/R, 7-10 round projection, could be drafted higher, depends on his signability and does he want to go out now rather than come back next year and see how he does w/wood this summer.
Saturday, May 28
3B, Blake Tiberi, Louisville, 5'11 210, L/R, 2018 grad, turned 21 as this season started to be draft eligible, his bat is his calling card, short, compact direct to the barrel approach as a hitter, has pull power down the foul line and can hit to the gaps for extra base hits, runs fair at best, 4.38 from left side home to 1st, shows playable arm and sure hands at 3B, better range to his left than to right, instincts are adequate for 3B at pro level, will go as far as his bat takes him, has 2 years leverage, graded him out as 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 40 arm, 50 field for OFP of 46 OFP, top 7-10 rounds, another player who'll make his mark if the bat tools play up in pro ball, his plate discipline (doesn't strike out much) is a strength to help him move up the ladder. Born 02/16/95.
Friday, May 27
SS, Connor Justus, Georgia Tech, 6' 180, R/R, pesky player who's strengths are on "D", shows qk first step to left and can go in the hole w/solid ML arm, 50, runs well, better underway, got him 4.32 on a turn on a single, shows a qk bat but moves the hands around a lot before launching his bat, some hand drift which is a concern vs pitchers with velo and better breaking balls than he's used to seeing, can he make the adjustments? graded him out after 12 at bats, 30/40 hit, 30/40 power, 60 runner, 50 arm, 50 field, for a 48 OFP, top 7 round type who'll make best impact defensively, if he hits, that will be a plus and he could make a mark in the ML if the bat tool proves consistent in pro ball.
RHP, Johnny Piedmonte, redshirt Jr, 2017 grad, 6'8 240, N C State, had a good statistical year last year and struggled mostly this season with some ailments coming back from but still has the loose arm and natural cut on his ML ave FB, touches 92, pitches at 89-90, needs that secondary pitch other than the 4 seamer and cut fb w/slider effect to succeed in pro ball, he's definitely worthy of a draft and get him some professional instruction to help him continue his development, OFP 46., 50 FB, 40 CON, 40 SL, fringe guy, get him a shot.
Wednesday, May 25
Top of the 9th, Louisville brings in RHP Zach Burdi, 6'3 205 listed, 2017 grad, easy arm action, ball jumps out of his hand with arm side run and sink when down, 98-99, hard slide piece with short qk break 84-87 and straight change at 91, threw strikes, from 3/4 slot, easy downhill, has better upside than his brother, Nick, graded out here at 80 fb, 70 slider, 50 control, 50 change, 65 OFP raised due to quality arm out of pen, should be one of top 10-15 picks in the draft.
Follow, RHP,Sam Bordner, easy 90-92 fb with arm side run, lost his control in second inning of work, short slider gets out early in front on 81-82, young, projectible, should fill out lean build, Louisville, 6'6 240 listed, 2019 grad, eligible in 2018.
C, Will Smith, 6'0 190, R/R, Louisville, 2017, lacks the true arm but does everything else well enough to be a backup type catcher in pro ball, level, balanced swing, can drive ball to the alleys w/power, receives well, handles live arms and velo well and is alert behind the plate, 2.08 pop time best I got, 45 OFP.
SS/2B, Nick Solak, 5'11 170, R/R, Louisville, 2017, scrappy player with surprising pop with qk, balanced swing, runs well underway, throws have accuracy and ave arm, qk feet to turn DP, could be solid ML, top or end of the lineup guy who could drive in runs as well, 30/50 hit, 30/40 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 50 field, 48 OFP.
RHP, Garrett Kelly, Wake Forest, Sr, 6'1 200, R/R, converted to pitching last year, had been a catcher, clean arm action, qk and loose arm from H 3/4 slot, fb w/arm side run or spots 4 seamer, touches 93, most are 91, also hard cb 80-82, both pitches show ability to improve as he gains more experience, senior draft, could be one that climbs the ladder and not talked about much by area scouts.
RHP Cory Wilder, N C State, 6'4 215, R/R, pitched his best game of the season today, touched 93, pitched at 87-89 most of his 5 innings on the hill, he reached back and got 91 a few times, have seen him touch 94 in the past, also cut his fb, was around the plate for the most part from 3/4 slot and threw some effective changeups 78-81 as well. He's got another year and needs to work with pro instructor to iron out some kinks and is worth draft pick on him even with fringe numbers, 42 OFP, best shot may be as a middle or set up guy in the bullpen, last game out hit two batters, walked one and didn't make it out of the first inning vs UNC.
C, Andrew Knizner, 6'1 205, R/R, N C State, 2017, catch n throw guy and makes solid contact, runs ok for a catcher, 4.58 home to 1b, short stroke, goes with pitch, strength in his swing to add power in time, ML comp, Taylor Teagarden - Texas. 2.0 pop home to 2b, 44 OFP.
LHP, Will Gilbert, N C State, listed at 5'11 170, L/L, appears closer to 6', showed short hard slider as an out pitch, fb mostly 88-89, touched 90 at times, senior draft, perfect for a middle innings role or set up role in a bullpen, some room for development still, 45 OFP.
RHP, Tommy DeJuneas, N C State, 2018 grad 6'1 185, appears a bit taller as well, Loose and qk from upper 3/4 slot touches 95, most fb were 93, fairly true fb, needs to locate pitches down, breaking ball still in development stage, needs improvement there, definite follow for 2017.
Already mentioned earlier, SS Joe Dunand, 6'1 200 R/R, blood line to Alex Rodriguez, shows level plane swing with strong hands and ability to drive the ball, runs better between the bases and shows at least ave arm strength, laterally gets to balls at SS, may end up at 2B or 3B, power may increase as he adjusts and learns pro pitching, 2017 eligible, 2018 grad, follow, ran 4.5 home to first.
OF, Brock Deatherage, 6'1 185, L/L, can really run, 4.1 from left side and quicker on bases, has playable arm and makes contact w/short qk swing, would like to keep an eye on him for 2017, 2018 grad.
1B, Preston Palmeiro, 6'1 195, L/R, N C State, fundamentally sound, shows bat speed w/strength, fair runner, plays solid "D", arm enough to play there or move to LF, will go as far as bat takes him, good bloodlines.
C, Cal Raleigh, Florida St, 6'3 210, S/R, 2019, follow for next couple of years, fundamentally sound as a receiver, shows bat speed and strength, pitch recognition and aggressiveness were just ok, tends to throw stiffly to 2B, better days ahead for sure.
C, Zack Collins, Miami, 6'2 235, L/R, 2017, have seen since NHSI and TOS, has some power and level swing w/power to alleys, fair arm strength, will need to move to 1B in pro ball, catch n throw skills are not qk twitch and throws fade, lefty throwing 88-89 threw 3 fastballs bye him, will go as far as bat takes him, lacks arm and foot speed tools, but can receive the ball, limited range behind the dish, 30/50 hit, 50/60 power, 20 runner, 40 arm, 40 field, making him an OFP adjusted at 45, someone may take him in the 1st round, for me, he's just a bat and he can be pitched to.
RHP, Brian Garcia, Miami, 6'1 205, R/R, 2017, closer role, has ML arm, live fb, tends to fall off 1st base side rushing delivery, fb w/arm side run, also hard slider w/bite, 3/4 arm slot, loose, fields position, release points and repeating delivery key to being successful at the next level here, 50 fb, 40/50 slider, 40/50 control, 50 OFP, setup or closer type in pro ball.
SS, Brandon Lopez, Miami, 6'1 190, R/R, 2016, fringe prospect, shows bat speed w/strength, idea, decent pitch recognition, runs slightly below average, ave arm strength, will end up moving to 2B eventually, start him out at SS, sure handed, throws w/carry, could be decent backup IF at ML level, 30/50 hit, 40/40 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 field, 46 OFP.
OF, Willie Abreu, Miami, 6'4 225, L/L, 2017, strong RF arm and show bats speed w/strength as a hitter, fair runner, will be corner OF or move to 1B, plate/pitch recognition is there, slight hitch in swing, will go as far as bat takes him, has another year left, 30/40 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 field, 46 OFP.
Tuesday, May 24
Attended the ACC first day - Wake Forest vs Duke, game 1, second time seeing Will Craig in less than a week, same guy, threw in relief a bit more today, it wasn't easy for him, his strong suit/tools are arm strength and raw power, shows long swing upper cut w/bat speed, fair runner and fair fielder, bumps fb up to 93 w/some arm side run, hooks in back swing, loose out front, doesn't repeat consistently and slider lacks sharp bite and command to be solid secondary pitch, still a 44 OFP for me though someone will probably draft him a lot earlier than my numbers come out to be.
RHP, Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest, 2017, 6'1 210, knows how to pitch, pushes some from 3/4 slot, maintained velo range of 88-91, spotted pitches, slider a bit easy to read, not a sharp pitch, shows control and command of the strike zone, keeps pitches down for the most part which he'll need to do at pro level, OFP comes out to be a 42 for me, he'll goes as far as his pitchability takes him, one year left, saw in Cape All-Star game in 2015.
CF, Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest, Soph, 2018, 6'0 190 R/R, runs well, solid arm strength with know how in CF w/plus range and instincts to stick in CF, balance and strength at the plate with power to LF, numbers come out to be a very good follow for '17.
1B, Gavin Sheets, Wake Forest, Soph, 2018, 6'5 235 L/L, lumbering runner, shows arm strength and know how as a fielder, has bat speed w/balance and plus power potential, son of former ML player, Larry Sheets (Orioles), is on the radar for ML teams for 2017.
Duke has a solid college club with some pocket follows for 2017/2018.
OF, Kel Johnson, Ga Tech, 6'4 220, R/R, 2018 grad, shows proper balance and keeps hands back for most part as a hitter, on the way runner, have seen him since TOS and NHSI. Has some hitting tools to keep ML interest for next year. He is draft eligible by age.
3B/OF, Michael Gonzalez, Ga Tech, 5'11 190, R/R, 2016, upper cut swing w/strength and balance as hitter, has enough ability to give a shot at pro ball and will go as far as bat takes him, need to see more before final grades come out on him, organization guy, ran 4.44, near ave arm strength from LF, fringe senior draft.
BC has a good young college club as well.
Will see NC State, Miami, Fla St and L'ville on Wednesday.
Saturday May 21
Ran across some old info cards when I worked for the Mets and Rangers years ago. I still have my old reports and a few tryout cards after going through some old boxes in storage the past week I've had off from work. I added two of the info cards below this page.
Got to see a few good ones today who'll likely be taken in 2016 MLB Draft.
3B/RHP, Will Craig, Wake Forest, 2017 grad, 6'3 235, R/R, showed the strong arm and some ability on the hill, his bat swing is long and some inside out on his extension from straight away stance, top hand didn't drive ball like a good hitter should, fair runner at best and lacks foot quickness for hot corner, graded him out, 30/40 hit, 50 power, 30 runner, 60 arm, 40 fld, OFP 44, fringe guy for me, have seen him w/wood before and he's the same guy, ave to abv ave fb gets in his kitchen.
CF, Corey Ray, 5'11 185, L/L, 2017 grad, U of Louisville, have seen him for 5 years now since he was at TOS and Simeon HS, he's stronger than he was in HS, still has some inside out swing w/slight open stance, runs solid out of box, 4.42 on hard hit ball to 2b for a single, got spun around in CF on a ball at him and tracked down a fly ball to the warning track didnt' track the ball in CF as a CF should, arm is enough for each of the OF positions, will go as far as bat takes him, graded him out, 30/40 hit, 40/40 power, 60 run, 40 arm, 40 field, 44 OFP.
RHP, Kyle Funkhouser, 6'4 235, R/R, 2016 grad, U of Louisville, tall righty w/strength in his upper and lower body, tends to fall to 1st side w/semi windup 3/4 slot, most fb with arm side run and sink when down on knees, vel ave 93, range 91-96, could dial it up when he wanted, best pitch is 2 seamer on knees, hard cb with some bite when he leads w/extension, other times, easy to read and flat, showed straight changes down in zone, both secondary pitches can improve in pro ball, showed stamina for 7 innings, 60 FB 50 movement, 40/50 control, 40/50 cb, 40/50 change, 55 OFP, 4-5 man in rotation or end of bullpen guy at ML level, he's a senior, so not much bargaining power.
RHP, Donnie Sellers, Wake Forest, 2018 grad, draft eligible by the 45 day rule, July 26, 1995, 6' 190, R/R, qk arm with low 90's fb, most were 91, not much life, showed hard cb with proper lead and extension from no windup upper 3/4 slot, fb w/not much movement, needs to be pin point with his pitches to be successful at next level, has 2 more years of eligibility left, 42 OFP-Follow, has not pitched much, was an OF in HS, used as middle to end of game reliever this season.
1B/LHP, Brendan McKay, U of Louisville, 6'3 225, L/L, has some interesting ability as a hitter, plus power, and ave ML arm strength, didn't see him pitch, showed ability to field position enough to get look there in future, can square the ball up at the plate with leverage, uppercut swing, 2018 grad, follow, fair runner at best, should get to see him pitch this summer for Team USA.
Friday May 20
So the lights go out on me again at Doak tonight between NC State & UNC in the 6th inning after it did the same thing to me with daylight left when S Granville played Bunn. I got to see RHP, 2018 grad, JB Bukauskas, a 6' 195 righty with some pop on his fb and a hard downer cb, not a slider, a slider goes side to side folks with slight tilt, JB's cb goes down from 3/4 slot at 80-83 and his fb registered up to 96, most were 92-93, fairly straight but he zoned the pitches for the most part, hitters sat on his fb and he threw some straight changes with an idea, semi windup, he's got enough stamina to be a starter and could be a closer in time. He has some leverage even at his heighth, listed at 6'0, he's closer to 5'11 or 5'10, it don't matter, Craig Kimbrell is about the same heighth, and this kid is just 19 years old still! 60 fb, 60 cb, 50 control, 40 change future 50, 50 field, 60 OFP, he'll be one of the ones talked about in the first for next 2017's MLB Draft.
SS, Logan Warmouth, UNC, 6'0 185, R/R, 2018, eligible 2017, definite follow, qk bat with balance and idea showed he could pull his hands inside and launched a dinger to LF on an 88 FB, plays enough "D" w/range laterally to play SS, arm is enough there, could be 2B in future, running speed I didn't get a time, but he ran between bases well enough to consider he's a solid average runner. 2017 Follow.
RHP, AJ Bogucki, UNC, 6'3 210, R/R, loose arm from 3/4 slot, kept pitches down in zone with some arm side run and some sink down in zone, fb up to 94, most were 92, also showed proper spin on slider/curve a tweener pitch that kept hitters off balance, he's been used primarily as a reliever and should be started out that way in pro ball but he might just have enough out there to try as a starter and then go back to pen if stamina doesn't pan out. 50 FB, 40/50 SL, 40/50 control, 40/50 change, 50 OFP, should go in top 7 rounds. Something to work with for sure.
C, Wyatt Cross, UNC, 6'3 190 L/R, hasn't played much according to stats given out, saw at TOS and this kid can catch and throw, his bat has been biggest question mark and he's improved some on his swing and stance, all still in progress, plus throwing arm and release, he's one to keep an eye on at a premium position folks. 2019 grad, he'll be eligible in 2018.
Thursday May 19
Got the first game in between UNC & N C State, thru a few tiny rain drops on occasion tonight. Came away with some impressions of players, mostly those to keep an eye on in the future and an evaluation on 2016 eligible,
RHP Zac Gallen, listed taller than what I can measure, he seems 6'1 and 190 to me, strong legs, loose arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb down has some heaviness and life with 2 seamer but 4 seamer lacks any life and slight cross body semi-windup doesn't fool hitters much, breaking ball was lazy and easy to read, most fb were 90, topped at 92, 79-81 cb and also threw a few change ups, lacked stamina as when 5th inning came around he topped at 90 and fb straightened out, marginal grades across the board for me though he'll probably go 4-7 rounds or maybe later, depending on his signability.
UNC with a couple organizational players,
CF, Tyler Ramirez, UNC, 2017, 5'9 185, L/L, lacks first step quickness and instincts to stay in CF, shows enough bat to contribute at pro level, no real power to be a threat in top of a ML lineup, should be decent senior sign if he comes back, graded him as 30/40 hit, 30/30 power, 45 run, 40 arm, 40 field, OFP 40 at best w/no solid average tools = organization type.
Follows for NC State, SS Joe Dunand, 6'1 200 R/R, blood line to Alex Rodriguez, shows level plane swing with strong hands and ability to drive the ball, runs better between the bases and shows at least ave arm strength, laterally gets to balls at SS, may end up at 2B or 3B, power may increase as he adjusts and learns pro pitching, 2017 eligible, 2018 grad, follow.
OF, Brock Deatherage, 6'1 185, L/L, can really run, 4.1 from left side and quicker on bases, has playable arm and makes contact w/short qk swing, would like to keep an eye on him for 2017, 2018 grad.
RHP, Cory Wilder, N C State, 6'4 210, has solid ML arm strength and rushed everything, fb topped at 94, most were out of the zone, hit 2 batters and walked a hitter and again, not around the zone from 3/4 slot, pro instruction can help him and he would need time to develop, but there is enough arm there to work with. Rough around the edges, he's eligible for 2016, 2017 grad.
Found out LHP Dion Henderson, who had transfered to DH Conley HS in Greenville, ended up going back to Michigan and pitched at the Perfect Game pre-draft workout. He signed a verbal to attend TCU which may be an excellent place for him to grow and improve his pitch-ability. Best of luck to Dion. (DRAFTED - CINCY REDS)
North Carolina HS is down close to the final 4 teams in each class, 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A and Orange HS w/RHP Bryse Wilson is still alive as is LHP Gore, 2017, @ Whiteville HS, who's got some ability and a qk arm, fb in mid to upper 80's.
Will also track RHP Gage Herring this summer for Hobbton/Newton Grove, listed at 6'3 and 200, with live arm and fb that touches low 90's, a 2017 grad to be.
Monday, May 16
Got to see LHP, Justus Sheffield for Lynchburg (Indians) tonight finally, the last game of the Mudcats home stand, last time I saw him, he was a junior from Tullahoma HS pitching in the TOS event in Cary. Tonight he showed a bit more zip on his FB, touching 96 a few times early in the first 3 innings from H 3/4 slot, tends to push up hill with his elbow down depending if he rushes his delivery or not, so release points varied tonight, most fb were 92-93, occ tail vs RHH when down and away, hard cb w/some sweep from 81-84 and tease a few straight changes at 84-86, must keep his pitches low and on the corners, his fb has fair life for a lefty, only 6' at best and around 200 pounds, he turned 20 on May 13, there is some upside here and chance for him to be a solid 4-5 man in ML rotation or a potential closer w/his aggressive demeanor on the hill. Semi windup he holds his hands low and has a fair move to 1b to hold runners. Overall grades, 60 fb, 40 movement, 50 control, 40/50 cb, 40 change, 50 OFP. No need to rush him, development of his secondary pitches moving up the ladder will be key to how far he goes in ML.
1B, Bobby Bradley, Lynchburg (Indians), 6'1 230, L/R, his tools are his bat, 20 runner, 40/50 arm strength, tends to take pitches on the outside corner, attacks the fb, has plus power to LF and RF, over swings on pitches he should crush in the zone, direct, short swing w/upper cut, he'll go as far as his bat takes him and his only spot would be 1b in ML or DH, 4.7 runner from LH, graded out as 30/40 hit, 60 power, 20 run, 50 arm, 40 field, 42 OFP. An extra bat or emergency call up guy, unless his bat plays up as he moves up levels in MILB.
Saturday, May 14 UPDATED
RHP, Julian Merryweather (Lynchburg - Indians) 6'5 215 lean build, R/R, H 3/4 slot, fb 91-93 mostly, not much movement, has to pin point his spots, will touch 96 on occ, best pitch is straight change, the bottom falls out of the pitch, his breaking ball is easy to read, he'll be 25 years old this fall, fringe ML starter/bullpen guy, will go as far as his breaking ball develops, right now he's a 2 pitch guy with a show me curveball and he throws strikes, 50 fb, 40 movement, 50 control, 40 cb, 50 change, 46 OFP.
Saturday, May 14
Going to get my 2nd look at RHP Julian Merryweather (Lynchburg-Indians) this evening. Last time out he showed a loose qk arm w/fb up to 96, and his best pitch is a bugs bunny change he appears to palm the pitch but gets good fade and drop on it to keep hitters off balance, there is effort on his breaking ball which tips off hitters, he's 6'5 215, and he'll be 25 this fall, so time for adjustments and polish needed. He's a strike thrower and fields his position. All pitches from upper 3/4 arm slot, semi windup. Will finish my report on him after this evening's game.
Will also bear down a bit on position players and the bullpen for Lynchburg (Indians).
Wednesday, May 11
Not much at the NJCAA REGION X D1 action over the weekend. Same suspects, a few good D1 college players who are pocket follows as well as the 2 players I wrote up earlier from LC & Spart Methodist.
Caught Potomac (Nationals) vs Mudcats (Braves) - RHP, Eric Fedde, formerly of UNLV (Potomac-Nationals), slender build at 6'4 180 and qk arm, fb occ tail life in on RHH, must keep his pitches down due to lack of life and sink on his fb, short qk slider at times unhittable, other times hangs in the zone, also straight change w/arm side fade up to 88, key will be in keeping pitches down, fb touches 95, most are 91-93, slider 83-87, all pitches from 3/4 slot, shows enough poise to be a 4 or 5 man in rotation or long man in the middle, 60 fb, 50 slider, 50 control/command, 50 change, 52 OFP.
CF, Andrew Stevenson, L/L, 6' 180, formerly of LSU, (Potomac-Nationals), qk, direct bat w/balance and attacks pitches in the zone, runs well underway, 4.1 out of the box, lacks power and will have to use speed to play up for defense as his arm is just playable 40 at best w/accuracy, shows range and instincts to stick in CF, will be extra type call up guy, should add more strength to frame, will steal bases to be a threat at the top of the lineup, 50 hit, 30 power, 60 run, 40 arm, 60 field, 48 OFP.
Wednesday, May 4
Checking out South Granville HS vs Bunn HS tonight @ Doak Field, home of N C State baseball. RHP, 2017 grad, Justin Bullock toed the rubber, he's a legit 6'2 and appears to be slightly less than 200 pounds, loose arm, slight hook in back swing w/semi windup from 3/4 slot, fb runs in on RHH, most fb were 86-88, touched 91, also showed hard downer type cb with some depth, 73-77 and straight change with fade/sink at 77-80, only saw 3 innings, most fb up were straight and hittable. Has verbal to N C State. Definite follow for 2017.
1B, Spencer Brickhouse, Bunn HS, 6'3 200, L/R, 2016 grad, decent arm strength and presence as a hitter, quiet hands at the plate with raw strength and bat speed, still bat, can turn on fb, on the way runner, can toe the bag well enough to stay there, came in to pitch in 4th inning, touched 83 several times, has college commitment, will be good college player, pocket follow as he develops in college.
Pocket follow for 2019, Catcher, Jackson Anderson, Bunn HS, 5'11 180 R/R, strong arm and not afraid to throw the ball behind runners, showed short compact direct swing at the plate with some pop, should grow a bit more as well as add physical maturity in next 3 years. Definitely will keep an eye on his development.
LHP, Holden Laws, S Granville HS, 6 170, L/L, qk loose arm from 3/4 slot, low 80's fb and sharp cb, aggressive and throws strikes, should fill out and gain more strength in next couple of years, 2018 grad.
Wednesday, April 27
Worked at Mudcats tonight and ran into long time friend, former U of Nebraska baseball coach, John Sanders who's now with the Dodogers as a pro scout. It was fun to reminisce about old times when I competed against John's team as well as scouting his team through his long tenure there in Lincoln as well as his former professional playing days back in the old Nebraska League.
Wilmington (KC Royals) was in town to play the Mudcats (Braves), RHP Josh Staumont was on the bump, he's probably 6'2 and a strapping 200 pounds, his delivery needs some refinement but his arm works well, it's quick, loose and from upper 3/4 slot his fb thrown was 2 seamer with some sink and 4 seamer, vel ranged from 90-97, most fb 93, hard downer power curveball with depth 84-86 and some occ straight changes and cut his fb at times, his command however suffered as he crossed his body rushing his delivery and jammed his front heel a few times, nailing Keith Crucio on the arm almost nailing his face with a cutter. There is something to work with here for sure and some throwback comps here to ol' KC pitcher, Steve Busby who's an announcer with the Rangers now. Graded John out at 60/60 fb, 50/60 cb, 40/50 command, 40/50 change, 55 OFP, chance to be 3-4 man in rotation or a solid bullpen guy in middle innings or set up, depending on his stamina and improvement w/his delivery, all correctible which is what the development folks are for.
1B, Ryan O'Hearn, Wilmington (KC Royals) 6'1 200, L/L, qk bat w/plus power, pull hitter, adequate defensively, 45/50 arm, runs better on the way, takes means cuts but misses those pitches he should crush, mistake pitch type hitter, w/bat strength and plus bat speed, just needs work with recognition and discipline as a hitter, not yet 23 years of age.
Tuesday, April 26
Caught Orange HS RHP, Bryse Wilson, today and ran into an old friend, Rick Mathews from Centerville, Iowa, he works for the Rockies as a special assistant, several scouting supervisors/crosscheckers and a couple of scouting directors today, Bryse is 6'2 215, loose, qk arm, strong legs, 3/4 slot, fb touched 94 several times, range 86-94, sat mostly at 91-92, also had tight slider when leading w/elbow properly at 81, latter 2 innings 6th & 7th, started w/fbs at 86-88 bumped it up after a couple strikes on hitters, straight changes, threw both 2 seam and 4 seam fb tonight, delivery is mostly all arm, strong body, will benefit from pro instruction, 50/60 fb, 40/50 SL, 40/50 control, 30/40 change, commitment to U of North Carolina, 50 OFP, chance to be ML pitcher as he improves his delivery and command, tends to pitch up in zone. Will need time to work out some kinks in his delivery.
Sunday, April 24
Went back and saw the same 2 JUCO teams and got to see RHP Ridge Chapman for Spartanburg Methodist, he's got arm strength, a little bit of Rick Sutcliffe's old delivery, fb touches 90-91, most are upper 80's some with sink, tends to over throw, full effort from upper 3/4 slot and also slurvy breaking ball at 77-79, he's 6'1 probably 220 pounds, a freshman and solid D1 guy.
Also beared down on Mason Berne, he's got arm strength as a firstbaseman and some bat speed, but hitting approach is a bit crude, he'll be a solid D1 player for whomever he goes to, keep an eye on him as he progresses, 6'4 220 R/R, I believe he's got 20 dingers this spring.
Bryce Myers for LC played 3B, not his position, he'll need to move to OF or stick at SS until he proves he'll need to move positions in pro ball. C, Tyler Lancaster hit the ball hard again, dead pull mostly, did manage to get a 2.0 pop time not on the bag however, he needs work defensively still, coach told me he's committed to Clemson if not drafted and signed this year.
I'm looking to cover Orange HS on Tuesday and Region X Jr College series in Kinston in a couple weeks.
Saturday, April 23
Went to check out Louisburg College vs Spartanburg Methodist today @ LC. Small turn out of evaluators. A couple interesting players who'll be very good D1 players, possibly low round drafts with some upside left possibly and instruction could help them further once in pro ball.
SS, Bryce Myers, R/R, listed at 6'3 200, more like 6'2 185/190 ish, runs well, ran 4.12 and 4.18 on pulled grounders, one for a hit and one an E6. In the 6th he got a 86 fb up belt high and pulled it over left field alley for an HR. Showed arm strength and good glove actions and range in the field, reminds me some of BJ/Melvin Upton JR when he was at SS in High School in Chesapeake area years ago. Dead pull hitter w/bat speed and active hands as a hitter, will need to tone down a bit and take more pitches that are not strikes. Free swinger at present, I graded him out as 30/40 hitter, 30/40 power, 70/60 runner, 50/50 arm, 40/50 field, 48 OFP, a little more mature than most players in JUCO, 3rd year of school, must sign or be a senior sign @ 4 year level.
C, Tyler Lancaster, L/R, listed at 6'4 200, tall, lanky, shows arm strength and know how as a catcher, double pumps to throw to 2b at times, not real smooth receiving the ball, keeps poor pitches in front for the most part, needs further instruction, as a hitter, has an upper cut swing w/bat speed and raw strength, middle in type hitter and pulls and lifts mid 80's fb, stands basically on top of the plate as a hitter, should get away from plate a bit and try to use all fields, graded him out at 30/40 hit, 40/50 power, 20 run, 50 arm, 40/50 glove, 2.0 to 2.18 pop time on steals, 42 OFP no adjusted number, low "A" draft type, had a commitment to UNCW for 2015-2016, had torn meniscus in 2015, missed most of spring in 2015, played last summer in Coastal Plain League w/wood bat. Something to work with if he'll sign.
Spart Meth also has a 1b, Mason Berne who's interesting, decent size and bat speed, hands drift, dead red pull hitter w/upper cut swing, fielded position well, will try and bear down on him more on Sunday. Appears to be a solid D1 guy right now.
Tuesday, April 19 - page is under construction as I accidently deleted the bottom 1/2 of my page of saved mini reports and archived items of interest. Please bear with me for a few days as I collect my info from my old evaluation notes in storage.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Been covering the Carolina League @ Mudcats stadium, Class A affiliate for the Atlanta Braves. Caught Myrtle Beach (Cubs) and tonight, Salem (Red Sox).
SS, Dansby Swanson, Carolina (Braves), 6'1 185, R/R, quick bat, some length in the swing that generates extra hit power and alley HR power to LF/RF, decisive at the plate with solid pitch recognition, runs well underway, ran 4.3 on infield grounder, shows solid arm strength to stick at SS, ave range and sound defensively, graded him out as 50 hit, 50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 50 glove, solid 50 OFP, he won't last in "A" ball much longer.
2B, Ian Happ, Myrtle Beach (Cubs), 5'11 205, S/R, steady player, shows qk compact swing from quiet launch, strength in his swing with occ alley power, shows pitch recognition from both sides of plate, ave runner, better on the way, near ave to ave arm strength, has range to left, range to right is fair, may have to move to the OF permanently and fill in utility IF, graded out as 50 hitter, 40 power, 50 runner, 50 arm, 40 field, 46 OFP, capable role/fill in player at ML Level eventually.
CF, Andrew Benintendi, Salem(Red Sox), 5'10 170 L/L, can play CF at the ML level, solid arm strength and range, gets good jumps on hit balls, shows short, direct swing from level plane with occ gap power, runs better once underway, will see 2 more games to finish my write up. I like what I see so far.
2B, Yoan Moncada, Salem (Red Sox), 6'1 200, S/R, solid hitting approach, some sting in his bat from right side, shows a ML arm, fair defensively, may have to move to corner or OF, doesn't make challenging plays at 2B, will see 2 more games. After 4 games, showed ability to drive the ball and produce runs as well as taking the extra base and showcasing his straight line speed, defensively a work in progress, will be a plus hitter w/power at the next level, 50/60 hit, 50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 45 field, 55 OFP-raised because of his bat and speed.
Sunday, March 27
One player who is intruiging is LHP/OF/1B, Nicholas Pratto for Huntington Beach HS, CA, 6'2 195, I could only see him in workouts for his team during NHSI as he is ineligble to play until first week of April because he transfered in. He's got legit arm strength and a free and easy arm action and as a hitter he has a direct approach w/level and balanced swing, he works at it. I saw him last summer during TOS and he showed ability then. Hopefully will see him again at TOS this summer.
Thursday, March 24, 2016 - spent 2 days in Cary at the USA Training Complex watching the NHSI. A well attended event by fans, parents as well as some very good HS baseball teams. Many scouting directors and all ML clubs well attended as well.
Follows to keep an eye on, first player:
SS, Mark Vientos 6'4 185 R/R, Flanagan HS FL, 2017, showed bat speed and strength in his swing from the 3 hole and squared up pitches where they were pitched, some pop in his swing for power, nice long and loose wiry frame that should fill out, some comp to a younger Manny Machado, 60 arm, 50 field/range, will be a short stop, 45 runner, ran 4.44 on grounder in the 6 hole, better on the bases, 50 glove and range, potential early pick in 2017.
C, Alex Hernandez, 5'11 190 R/R, shows arm strength, 2.0 release pegging a base stealing attempt, alert, not afraid to throw, made solid contact with some strength in his swing, room for improvement, 2017, Flanagan HS, FL.
LHP/OF, Kyle Jacobsen, 6 185 R/L, smooth lefty with easy delivery 3/4 slot, some arm strength, fb mostly 80-84, decent bite and rotation on cb and threw strikes, Allatoona HS, GA, college South Carolina, 2017, keep an eye on him. Turnaround hitter, has straight line speed, instincts in CF.
CF, Blake Rutherford, 6'3 195 L/R, Chaminade HS, CA, nice looking athletic build, showed ave ML arm strength, acc from CF, ran 4.37 on turn, adjusted his swing on better velo, showed long swing on soft tossing fastballs first day, makes solid contact, some pop in his bat to add power with maturity, runs bases well, nice looking 2016 ML Draft, 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 45/50 field, 50 OFP.
LHP, "Brax" Braxton Garrett, Florence HS, AL 6'2 185, L/L, listed taller, smooth delivery fluid arm action, fb topped 92, most were 89-90 with some tail away from RHH, hard downer off the table cb from 77-80, straight change he relied on early in complete game 8 innings at 80-84 with some deception, fields position, solid move to keep runners honest at first base. FB 50/55 CB 50/55, CH 40/50, CONTROL 40/50, OFP 55 premium lefty, has college commit to Vanderbilt. Reminds me of a young Cliff Lee/John Lester.
RHP, Cole Henry, 6'4 185, R/R, tall lanky build, room to add w/maturation, Florence HS AL, H 3/4 slot showed fb up to 92, most were upper 80's with some arm side run, not much deception, over threw at times, showed proper bite and rotation on cb and teased a few straight changes, didn't miss a lot of bats, 2018, has college commit to LSU. Could be a good one!
RHP, Hagen Danner, 6'2 195, R/R Huntington Beach HS, CA, second yr seeing him, not much added velo, most fb were 88-92, showed downer type cb and a few straight changes, keeps pitches down, 2017 follow, UCLA commit.
RHP, Zach Hess, 6'5 210, R/R, Liberty Christian Acad HS, VA, tall righty with lower 3/4 slot fb top 93, most were 90-92, threw slurvy breaking ball, 77-81, at times solid, other times flat and easy to read, threw strikes, has a bit of a head jerk, loose arm with room to fill out his frame, 50/60 FB, 40 SL, 40/50 Control, 40 change, OFP 45, a lil strain potential with delivery.
CF, Josh Stephen, 6 185 L/L, sturdy strong frame, qk bat w/level stroke and strength for foul line and gap power, runs well, better underway, 4.1 from LH, enough arm strength to stay in CF and ranges well, will go as far as his bat takes him, instincts and aggressiveness there to be a solid ML player, 30/50 hit, 30/40 power, 50/50 runner, 40/40 arm, 50/50 field, 46 OFP, 2016 Mater Dei HS, CA. USC commit.
RHP, Nick Storz, Poly Prep HS, NY, 6'6 250, R/R, good size and downhill trajectory from upper 3/4 slot, touched 92 with fb, a bit of a dart thrower with arm strength, cb with proper bite, needs work, frame to get bigger in time, also showed bat speed and strength, 4.6 runner from RH, 2017 follow, LSU commit.
SS, Scott Sorenson, Rocky Mountain HS, CO, 6'0 195, R/R, 2017, solid arm strength and some pop in his bat, short level stroke with alley power, throws w/carry from SS, may end up at 2B or 3B in pro ball, runs well enough, will steal an occ base, 2017 follow, uncommitted at this time.
CF, J C Flowers, Trinity Christian HS, FL, 6'1 180, R/R, smooth runner w/arm strength in CF, ranges well either side, showed qk bat and decisive hitter, attacks the ball, runs well once underway, 4.3 straight away, also pitched, touch 92, seemed a bit gun shy on the hill, appears playing a position is his thing, 30/40 hit, 30/40 pwr, 50 run, 50 field, 50 arm, 46 OFP, 2016 MLB draft, commit to Kentucky.Attends Florida State University
RF, Todd Lott, Trinity Christian HS, FL, 6'3 230, R/R, strong big body, has strength in his swing w/bat speed, tends to get out front on slow stuff, attacks fb, runs fair, 4.8 on turn on 2B in LF gap, throws have carry w/strength, agile enough to play either corner OF spot, 30/40 hit, 40/50 power, 30/30 run, 40/50 arm, 40/40 fld, 42 OFP, college commit to Louisiana-Lafayette, 2016 MLB eligible.
SS, Carter Kieboom, Walton HS, GA, 6'2 190 R/R, fair actions at SS, fields ball inwards, may have to move to 3B or 2B, arm strength is there, shows bat speed w/strength, on the way runner, 30/40 hit 30/40 Pwr 40 run, 50 arm, 40/50 fld, 44 OFP, Clemson commit, 2016 MLB Eligible.
I'm a bit bored so I'm going to post some reports on players I saw in the Arizona Fall League while attending the First Annual Major League Scouting Bureau, "SCOUT SCHOOL", an event second to none and something I'll cherish the rest of my life.
RHP Eric Yardley (San Diego),6 165, R/R, slender built side winder with some deception, throws strikes and messes with hitters keeping them off-balance, he's from sub marine, low 80's fb with sink and bend, moves in on rhh/away vs lhh, also threw some sliders with sharp break away vs rhh, locates pitches down to be effective set up man or spot closer at the ML level. Threw 3 innings, 35 fb, 45 SL, 55 control/command, 40 OFP .
SS Johan Camargo (Atlanta), 6' 160, S/R, wiry, smooth fielder with field and throw ability to play at the ML level, glove swallows up the ball, has ave range laterally, runs below average 4.38 from LHS, as a hitter has a slap and hit approach with slight loop, contact guy, mostly a singles hitter, shows more power from right side of plate, lacks useable power, end of the lineup, defensive specialist, role player at ML level, 30/40 hit, 20 pwr, 40 run, 60 arm, 60 fld, 44 OFP.
RHP Lucas Sims (Atlanta Braves) 6'2 220, R/R seen a number of times at TOS as an Amateur and in Carolina League for 2 years, strong, durable build, semi-windup from 3/4, clean arm action, lands on front side rather eratically and spins on heal causing some command issues, most fb are true, velo ranges 92-96, most are 93, qk out of his hand, arm side run on occ, throws 4 and 2 seamers, hard cb tends to be easy to read, slider with sharp short break 81-83 to be effective at ML level, occ change, will get hitters to chase on occ, type of arm to be solid back of rotation guy or short man in the pen, 21 yrs old, 60 fb, 45 cb, 45 sl, 50 con/comm, 45 chg, OFP 52.
2B Adrian Marin (Baltimore), 6 180, R/R, qk glove and actions, moves well laterally, abv ave range at 2B, throws are strong and accurate, runs well, better underway, 4.2 from RH, short qk level stroke, can drive ball to gap for extra bases, not a HR threat, could be a regular everyday type, 21 yrs old at time of writeup, 50 hit, 30 pwr, 55 run, 50 arm, 50 fld, 47 OFP.
OF Tyler O'Neill ( Seattle ), 5'11 210, R/R, strong durable body, build like former ML Ron Cey/Cole Calhoun, shows short stride and qk bat with line drive type power to LF alley, middle of the lineup guy, strong arm with some eratic accuracy, corner OF type, knows how on defense, will go as far as bat takes him, solid everyday type player at ML level., just 20 yrs old, 40/60 hit, 50/60 pwr, 40 run, 50 arm, 45 fld, OFP 56 adjusted.
LHP Tanner Scott (Baltimore), 6'2 220, R/L, short man out of the pen, lefty with better than ave fb and hard cb with proper bite and rotation, only saw 1 inning, fb was mostly 94, range 93-98 with occ tail away vs RHH, threw strikes, reminds me some of former ML Closer Randy Myers (Mets), Quality bullpen guy in set up or closer role. 21 yrs old, 65 fb, 50 cb, 50 con/comm, 40 chg, 55 OFP.
C Chance Sisco (Baltimore), 6'2 195, L/R, saw quite a bit of him in Carolina League in 2015, qk bat with slight upper cut stroke, quiet hands that generate some pop to the alleys, occ power down the foul lines, throwing arm is ave to plus with 1.9 release and know how behind the plate, alert and frames well. 40 hit, 40 power, 40 run, 55 arm, 55 field/range. Will be decent backup at the ML level, 40/45 hit, 40/40 pwr, 40 run, 50 arm, 50 fld, OFP 48 adjusted premium position.
OF Roemon Fields (Toronto), 5'11 180, L/L, qk twitch type, lead off, top of the lineup type hitter, makes solid contact with short compact level stroke, not a power threat but his speed plays up to take the extra base on gap singles, 4.04 from LH and 3.6 on bunt as a runner, 70 runner, better on the bases, will be a threat to steal as gains more experience, will play LF mostly, has enough range and instincts to play CF adequately, below ave arm strength w/accuracy, overall role player type who will go as far as his bat takes him, 25 yrs old, 50 hit, 20 pwr, 70 run, 40 arm, 50 fld, OFP 45.
C Spencer Kieboom (Washington), 6'1 230, R/R, seen several times in Carolina League, solid durable catcher, solid defensive skills, slightly better than ave pop time 1.9, short stroke from high hands load position, ability for power to all fields, regular everyday type contributor at key ML position, 24 yrs old, 45/50 hit, 50 pwr, 30 run, 55 arm, 50 fld, 52 OFP adjusted.
RHP Adam Miller (Arizona), 6'0 185, R/R, solid arm from the bullpen, most fb were 94-95 with some run vs RHH, setup type or middle guy at ML level, has slightly below ave command, aggressive, slider has some tilt at 85 mph breaks hard, a bit easy to read at times, 26 yrs old, fringe bullpen guy at ML level, 55 fb, 45 sl, 50 con/comm, 40 chg, 48 OFP.
RHP Carlos Estevez (Colorado) 6'4 210, R/R, power arm, closer type or quality set up man, most fb 94, range 92-97 some run on occ most fb true, hard slider from 3/4 slot, threw strikes in downill approach, 24 yrs of age in December, solid ML contributor out of the pen, 60 fb, 50 sl, 50 con/comm, 55 OFP.
1B Rowdy Tellez (Toronto) 6'4 245, L/L, big powerful body, good upper body strength, tends to swing from his heels, open stance long swing, power stroke, will have to stay at 1B or move to LF, not a threat as a runner, BA runner, throws well enough to play the position or LF, will go as far as bat takes him, Utility/role guy if bat plays up, only 21 yrs old, so still a bit of time to develop, 40/50 hit, 60 pwr, 30 run, 40 arm, 45 fld, OFP 47.
MESA Solar Sox
C Willson Contreras (Chicago Cubs) 6'1 190, R/R, attacks the ball as a hitter, qk level stroke with alley power, gets full extension, defensively solid to plus, ave to better than ave pop to 2B, keeps ball in front of him and calls game, alert, runs decent for his role, not a base stealer may on occ, premium position guy, chance to be everday ML contributor or occ All-star in time, 23 yrs old, 40/50 hit, 40/50 pwr, 35 run, 60 arm, 50/60 fld, 55 OFP adjusted premium position.
LHP Rob Zastryzny (Chicago Cubs) 6'3 205, L/L, Strong, extra large frame lefty starter w/loose arm from H 3/4 slot, semi windup, most fb 91, occ 93 with some sink and run away middle out vs RHH, quick tempo, keeps pitches down, cb solid out pitch w/command, uses both pitches and occ straight change to get quality outs, regular ML Starter 3-5 man, 23 yrs old, 50 FB, 60 mvt, 50 cb, 50 con/comm, 40 change, 50 OFP, adjusted lefty starter.
RHP Jake Esch (Florida Marlins) 6'4 200, R/R, slender built righty, 3/4 slot semi-windup guy, most fb 91-92 with sink when down fb will touch 95 on occ, mostly out of the zone, cuts fb for cutter/slider effect that will keep hitters honest, cb easy to read but locates pitch away from RHH to tease and keep off balance, repeats delivery well, type of arm to be middle guy or occ spot starter, 25 yrs old, 50 fb, 55 con/command, 40 sl, 40 cb, 50 chg, OFP 48.
OF Jake Bauers (Tampa Rays) 6'1 195, L/L, young hitter with plus pull power, open stance, reads pitches well, will get out front on occ on breaking pitches, solid arm strength from RF, also plays 1B, not a base stealer, 4.5 from LH best running time, fair defensively, can improve defensively, work in progress, enough overall strength and ability to get to ML level as far as his bat takes him, Role to regular everyday type, 20 yrs old, 40/50 hit, 40/60 pwr, 35 run, 45 arm, 45 fld, OFP 48.
1B Casey Gillaspie (Tampa Rays) 6'4 250 S/L, saw in college and in HS @ TOS, strong, solid around the bag with enough arm strength to play LF, not a base threat, knows how as a runner, short level stroke, middle in hitter with pull power, will go other way on occ, high hands, saw mostly as a LHH, can switch, fringe/role guy, 22 yrs old at this time of writeup, 40/50 hit, 40/50 pwr, 35 run, 45 arm, 45/50 fld, 47 OFP.
OF Chad Hinshaw (LA Anaheim Angels) 6'1 200, R/R, a hitter, goes to all fields, sprays the ball around, short direct level stroke, occ power to LF, runs better on the way, 4.5 out of box from RH may steal an occ base, defensively adequate with slightly below ave arm strength, acc arm, utility/fringe type who will go as far as bat takes him, 25 yrs old, 40/50 hit, 40/40 pwr, 40 run, 45 arm, 50 fld, 47 OFP.
OF Mark Zagunis (Chicago Cubs) 6' 205, R/R, saw a number of times in Carolina League, a solid hitting prospect with ave straight line speed, qk bat to the ball with good balance and drives the ball, occ power to gaps, type of power to generate 10-15 HR eventually, can also steal bases, 4.2 out of the box very quick first step on base paths, more than enough arm for any OF position, role player, 4th OF type, also caught in HS and in college, 22 yrs old, 40/60 hit, 40/50 pwr, 55 run, 50 arm, 40/45 fld, OFP 50.
Teams are working out and gearing up for spring action. I have my schedule etched in stone and hopefullyMa Nature works with me this spring. We have a nice NHSI Tourney schedule in late March at the Cary USA Baseball Training Facility with some teams from the West Coast, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Topsail Beach NC will be here. Some top 2016, 2017 and 2018 prospects will be on hand and I'm looking forward to it. I'm still not working for any MLB club or organization but will be out and about, taking down notes/names in hope that one day I can get back into the game I love so much, now that my franchised pizza business is on solid ground with some excellent managers helping run the business for me. I'll also be covering around 70 games this summer in Zebulon in the Carolina League, where the Class A Mudcats, Braves single "A" affiliate will host some very good young prospect talent once again.
I plan to catch Louisburg College, the 3 ACC area schools, Mount Olive, Barton College, NC Wesleyan as well as a host of high schools in the area, including Orange HS in Hillsborough where they have a RHP signed with UNC-CH who is on the scout's radar and listed in Baseball America's top 100 HS prospects for 2016.
Monday, November 2, 2015
I attended the first ever, MAJOR LEAGUE SCOUTING BUREAU SCOUT SCHOOL, which the MLSB ran! It was first class, very informative and it was great to mingle with like minded people of all walks of life, ages, backgrounds, ethinicities, male and female and it was neat to evalute professional prospects from the Arizona Fall Baseball League. The School cost a fee and was held at the same hotel which made it very convenient for attendees "FUTURE SCOUT" hopefuls.
The School was ran by the MLSB, including lifetime baseball execs, Bill Bavasi and Bob Fontaine Jr. Also MLSB area scouts, Tim Osborne, Carl Moesche, Walt Burrows, Andy Campbell and Gil Kubski Jr. All of these guys have well over 100 years of experience and expertise in their field and were there to answer questions and give helpful advice on career seekers wanting to be a scout or just in baseball in general.
My hats off to the MLSB for hosting such an event and allowing me to become more knowledgeable and learn more about focusing in on prospects if I were to be a Crosschecker or Supervisor or Director of Scouting.
The event was held in Phoenix, Arizona @ the Sheraton Crescent Hotel. We attended fall league games in Mesa and Salt River.
Updated, Sunday, August 30, 2015.
Caught my last action of the Carolina League today. Updated player reports are below and correction on the team Underwood and Zagunis played for, it's Myrtle Beach not Lynchburg as first reported, Lynchburg is the Cleveland Indians affiliate which I just wound up seeing again for the third time this season.
OF, Clint Frazier, Lynchburg (Indians) 6' 200, R/R, 50 hit, 55 power, 55 runner, 50 arm, 50 range/field, slight upper cut quick bat with alley power, runs well, much better on the way, solid arm strength and instincts for CF, plays hard and has upside to increase strength and develop further with maturity.
RHP, Pedro Fernandez, 6' 190, R/R, Wilmington (Royals), strong build and qk arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb mostly true but qk, 91-94, will touch 96 on occ, hard slurve type breaking ball, easy to read early in the game, shows enough stamina but destined for bull pen, straight change needs more work as does location of his pitches, not overpowering and lacks deception in delivery, easy read currently, but good arm, 52 OFP.
Update Saturday, August 30, 2015.
Since April, I've been covering the Carolina League while the Carolina Mudcats are a home and here are my reports on the best talent that should make it to the next climb and eventually the ML.
One interesting specimen and I do mean specimen is 1b, Yasiel Mederos for Frederick Keys (Orioles), he's a sturdy 6'5 and 220 R/R, older player, 26 years of age, great build, but his bat is rather stiff, his plate approach is decent, high bat level elbows but the swing is just very rigid, the bat does go to the ball, but I just don't see enough quickness for this guy to climb any higher than AA but I'm sure there is an investment in him, his footwork around the bag is good and he's got the arm for the position. He'll need to loosen up that muscle bound body of his to get some quickness in his swing and approach to hitting.
C, Chance Sisco, Frederick Keys (Orioles), 6'2 190 L/R, qk bat with slight upper cut stroke, quiet hands that generate some pop to the alleys, occ power down the foul lines, throwing arm is ave to plus with 1.9 release and know how behind the plate, alert and frames well. 40 hit, 40 power, 40 run, 55 arm, 55 field/range. Will be decent backup at the ML level.
RHP, David Hess, Frederick Keys (Orioles), 6'2 180, loose, qk arm from 3/4 slot, touches 94 most fb 90-92 with slurvy breaking ball, slider action with occ depth and makings of solid change up, throws strikes, most fb are true, not a lot of deception but mixes pitches well enough to keep hitters honest, 4-5 man in a rotation or long man at ML level potential.
RHP, Duane Underwood, Myrtle Beach (Cubs) 6'2 210, decent arm with gradual improvement since HS days in Georgia, first seen in Cary NC at NHSI event a couple years back, Underwood has a fb that can touch 97-98 on occ with some arm side run in on RHH, most fb 92-93, sinks when down, hard cb and occ change up, command and control are ave, could be decent 3 or 4 man in a ML rotation.
OF, Mark Zagunis, Myrtle Beach(Cubs), 6' 205, R/R, a solid hitting prospect with ave straight line speed, qk bat to the ball with good balance and drives the ball, occ power to gaps, type of power to generate 10-15 HR eventually, can also steal bases, 4.2 out of the box very quick first step on base paths, more than enough arm for any OF position, 45 hit, 45 power, 60 run, 50 arm, 60 field/range.
OF, Dustin Peterson, Carolina (Braves), 6'2 185, R/R, converted IF, Petey has a qk bat with decent approach and load and balance at the plate, can drive the ball, shows enough speed and offensive presence to be a 4th OF or possible move back to the IF in time, no rush, 55 arm strength, 4.35 out of the box and decent runner on the base paths, 45 hit, 50 pwr, 45 run, 50 arm, 50 field/range.
RHP, Andrew Thurman, Carolina (Braves) 6'3 220, R/R, decent arm and a bit of a nibbler, will show occ 94 fb, most at 89-91 with some arm side run, needs to hit his spots and have his command/control at all times, fb true mostly, changes speeds and competes, probable to the pen in ML level, cb and change are both ave and has just enough moxy to get to the ML.
RHP, Lucas Giolito, Potomac (Nationals), 6'6 260, R/R, strong build, long arms and legs, good leverage on plus plus fb from 3/4 slot, fb touches 96-97 on occ, most are 93, occ arm side run, hard slider 83-86 and throws strikes, loose, some recoil and cross body, makings of 2-3 man in rotation, will go as far as health stays in line, very mature body already.
RHP, Reynaldo Lopez, Potomac (Nationals), 6'0 185, R/R, qk arm from H 3/4 slot will touch 99 on occ, 93-97 four seam fb true not much deception in his delivery and doesn't hide the ball well, here it is and throws it type delivery, will slow arm speed on his breaking ball and change, throws strikes, lack of deception will keep him from being productive at the ML level, but young enough to learn a bit more to advance.
3b/1b, Drew Ward, Potomac (Nationals) 6'4 225 L/R, qk bat and goes to all fields with alley power, a bit stiff lower back area, occ will turn on inside pitches, playable defensive tools to play the corners, not a threat on the bases, 4.45 runner at best from left side, seen at TOS and HS events in Cary in the past, mature body, mature approach to the game. AAA guy, fringe ML.
OF, Manual Margot, Salem (Red Sox), 6'0 185, R/R, qk bat and qk on the base paths, plays abv ave defense, 4.18 runner and can steal bases, 45 arm and 60 range/defense, will go as far as bat takes him, occ foul line power, 50 hit, 35 pwr, 60 run, 45 arm, 60 field, extra OF or fill in guy at the ML level.
RHP, Ty Buttrey, Salem (Red Sox), 6'5 220, R/R, loose arm from H 3/4 slot, most fb 92-93, touches 96 on occ with hard slurve, downer action and decent control, not a big strike out guy, will get heaviness to two seamer to get grounders and occ pop ups, will need to solidify breaking ball to get to ML level, 2 pitch guy at present with upside.
RHP, Teddy Stankiewicz, Salem (Red Sox), 6'3 200, R/R, loose arm with some effort, touches 96 on occ, most fb are true, occ arm side run in on RHH, 91-93, hard slider/curve and occ change, command and control are fair and improving, will go as far as breaking ball command improves, could be best suited for a set up or closer role at the ML Level.
3B, Trey Michalezewski, Winston-Salem (White Sox), 6'3 220, S/R, good actions and does everything to stick at 3b at the ML level, solid 55 arm strength with sure hands, lateral actions, runs fair, not a base stealer but not a clogger, has qk bat from both sides with alley power for 10-15 type HR power, 45 hit, 55 pwr, 40 run, 55 arm, 50 field, could be solid 3B at ML Level. Gets the job done, not flashy.
2b, Jake Peter, Winston-Salem (White Sox), 6' 185, L/R, qk bat and runs well, better on the bases and on the way, solid arm strength for SS/2B, shows occ gap power, foul line HR power, will go as far as bat takes him, 45 hit, 35 pwr, 60 run, 60 arm, 60 field. Ave ML 2B.
LHP, Andre Wheeler, Winston-Salem (White Sox), 6'1 170, smooth lefty with loose qk arm from 3/4 slot, touches 93-94 on occ most fb 90-91 with arm side run and sink down in the zone, hard cb 77-80 and throws strikes, stamina for short man out of the pen, fringe ML guy.
LHP, Matt Strahm, Wilmington (Royals) 6'4 180, qk arm with plus velo ranges 90-96, most fb true w/occ arm side run away vs RHH, throws 2 seam and 4 seam, hard cb with spike action at times and occ straight change, solid first time through the lineup, got roughed up a bit 2nd time through, enough here to work with, might be destined to be short man out of the pen, needs to work on stamina as a starter and deception to keep hitters honest, mix the pitches more. 60 fb, 50 cb, 50 contro/command, 45 change, 50 movement.
Updated Thursday, August 6
Well got to see another quality arm, RHP Yency Almonte Winston-Salem (Carolina League) White Sox, he was drafted out of HS in Miami by the Chicago White Sox, he's listed at 6'3 205, but appears slightly smaller in stature and definitely lighter, he's listed at 21 years old, smooth, qk arm, easy delivery, topped 95 a few pitches most fb are 91-94 with occ sink down on the knees in the strike zone, change up is adequate at this level as he doesn't locate it down where he needs to, leaving it over the plate for hitters to adjust to it quickly, also throws a hard slurve with not much depth or break, so his breaking stuff will hold him back some, but he's young enough to work in the off-season as right now he would project as a reliever with one solid pitch a plus fb with fair life. Throws from 3/4 slot all pitches and has some re-wrap ala, Yordany Ventura. 70 fb, 45 change, 40 cb, 50 control/command, 47 overall OFP.
Updated: Wednesday, August 5
Got a chance to see RHP Carson Fulmer on Tuesday night in the Carolina League facing the Mudcats (Braves affiliate), he went 4 innings and show a ML fb and ML slider with plus control/command, he's got a lil bulldog and feisty demeanor which will make him a fierce competitor as long as he can control himself, he was definitely worth a first round gamble and reminds me of the throw back years of former Miss St Bulldog pitcher and Cincinnati Red, Jeff Brantley. He's a 4-5 man in a ML rotation as long as he can sustain his durability and stamina for six innings or he could become a closer in the likes of a Greg Holland. 5'11 195, strong durable build.
LHP, Luis Gonzalez, Frederick Keys (Orioles), 6'2 170,22 years old, 1/17/92, smooth lefty with a plus arm, his fb is true and he's around the plate too often with middle out pitches vs RHH and his cb at times very easy to read as he slows his delivery some to throw it, tipping his pitches, he's young, fb is 88-94, mostly 90-92, needs to get better movement on his fb and location location location needs to improve dramatically or he won't climb the ladder much further than AA.
Update Sunday, July 26, 2015
Had the good fortune to catch the Cape Cod All-Star game on Saturday and came away impressed with some of the pitching in the game, albeit all pitchers threw basically an inning except Frankenreider who left with a grimace with elbow issue. The hitters got basically one look at the pitchers which was somewhat a disadvantage, but if you got bat speed, balance and a good sound hitting approach, you should adjust pretty quickly. Good hitters are born! With that all said, here are the players I came away impressed by on Saturday.
LHP, Eric Lauer, Orleans (Kent St) 6'4 210, easy delivery, a bit straight up and down from H 3/4 slot, qk arm with arm side run away vs RHH, and a hard downer cb that is difficult for hitters to get on top of and the makings of a straight change. Throws strikes and was around the plate in his brief stint. Topped out at 93 but enough there to have a plus fb. Definite top 200 guy for 2016 MLB Draft.
RHP, Brandon Miller, Chatham (Millersville St), 6'4 200, nice easy delivery from H 3/4, topped out at 92 most fb with command and changed speeds, showed downer hard cb and slower cb, type of frame to fill out in time. Still has some upside there.
RHP, Ian Hamilton, Wareham (Washington St), 6'0 195, very qk arm with power fb, touches 96 on occ, also hard slide piece, more of a slurve and is aggressive and throws strikes, type of arm to be a short man in the pen or potential closer, ala, Craig Kimbrell. Definite strong follow for 2016.
RHP, Aaron McGarity, Bourne (Va Tech), 6'3 190, slender built with slinger type arm action from 3/4 arm slot, touches low 90's, topped out at 94, should fill out a bit more with maturity, demeanor for relief type, aggressive and a bit effort in delivery. Another strong follow.
RHP, Parker Dunshee, Chatham (Wake Forest), 6'1 200, loose, qk arm, touches low 90's, topped out at 93, also straight change and cb with enough to develop further in pro ball. H 3/4 slot with some late life in on RHH.
1b, Ronnie Dawson, Orleans (Ohio St), listed at 6'2 215, L/R, a smallish 6'2 with qk line drive type stroke, good balance as a hitter, pull type power to hit 15-20 HR in pro ball in time, know how at 1b with arm strength, fair runner, not a burner or base stealer, knows how on bases.
1b, Kyle Lewis, Orleans (Mercer), 6'4 205, R/R, great build and qk bat from slight upper cut stroke with HR power to alleys. Throws well enough to move to OF in time to take advantage of straight line speed and length in his physical build. Runs better out of the box and straight away, shows decent skill set to keep developing in pro ball. Could be possible top 3 rounder in 2016.
OF, Ryan Boldt, Bourne (Nebraska) 6'2 200, L/R, have seen him since TOS days, live bat and good skill set, has enough ability to be competent CF, will go as far as bat takes him. Runs well underway, more of a contact guy than a power threat, will occ turn on a fb for foul line power.
RHP, Gavin Pittore, Bourne (Wesleyan), 6'3 200, R/R, listed height is generous, type of build and demeanor to be a closer or middle guy in ML. FB tops 93 with some sink down in zone and command. Hard downer cb and also makings of straight change, is currently a free-agent, has one year to bargain with, will be a decent senior draft with some upside still, 2016 Grad.
3B, Nick Senzel, Brewster (Tennessee), 6'1 205, R/R, qk bat with strength, some power to be HR threat, throws well enough to stick at the corner, a bit eratic as a fielder at corner, may have to move to LF or 1b, in pro ball, will go as far as bat takes him, hands are qk and to the ball. Follow for sure in 2016.
2B, Cavan Biggio, Harwich (Notre Dame), 6'1 180, L/R, not a burner but knows how to run the bases, good instincts, strength is his bat, he will hit and will hit with enough power to get into a ML lineup at 2b or possible 3b, turns the DP and has good actions in the field, could move to OF if need be, 4.3 runner tops to 1b, better quickness than pure speed. Good bloodlines and this kid is just as much a gamer as his father, Chris. First saw him in TOS 3 years back. Top 100 guy for sure in 2016.
Update Wednesday, July 22, 2015.
Man it's been a nice hot and humid month of July. Managed to catch Wilmington (Class A - Royals affililate) in town to play the Carolina Mudcats and caught a nice looking lefty, Matt Strahm, from Fargo ND by way of Neosho County Com College, KS, he reminds me to the throw back years of Bud Black when he was a starter for the KC Royals in their hey day. 6'4 180 listed, he'll probably mature into his body some more, easy 3/4 slot and pumped in some 94's with a quick arm and hard downer 1 to 7 curveball 73-75 and flashed a few straight changes 80-82, it appears from stats since his promo to Carolina League, he was a reliever mostly and he pounds the strike zone but once through the lineup the Mudcat bats got to him in the 5th inning. He'll need to work more on pitching in on the hands with his velo and work on his command of his secondary pitches. First 3 innings he was untouchable and broke a few woodies. There is some upside to Strahm, he's just 24 years of age (turns 24 in November 2015) , but has a chance to be a 4-5 man in ML rotation or middle guy in the pen. 55 FB, 50 cb, 50 chg, 55 control, 45 command, 50 field with decent move to 1b. 52 OFP.
Update: Thursday, JUNE 25, 2015 -
Nice hot and muggy day at the ballpark at the NTC in Cary today, got to see a few upcoming prospects for 2016 and 2017.
The ones that stuck out are:
LHP, Jason Groome (Stars), IMG Academy, FL, he is from Barnegat, New Jersey, 6'5 plus and holds 220 easy, projectible frame, long, loose limbs, easy delivery from 3/4 slot, throws three solid pitches, above ave fb with velo up to 95, most were 91-93 with arm side run on two seamer and ave command on the 4 seamer, hard round house type cb with bite, velo 74-76, got hitters to chase and he was not afraid to throw it in any count, also straight fade change, velo at 74-76, downhill plane with no pump windup, has good pickoff move at this stage which will only get better with experience - has verbal to Vandy but doubtful he'll see the campus after his showing and with the limited amount of lefties out there. Solid 60 for me today, future is promising!
LHP, Jordan Butler (Brave), Braulio Alonso HS, Odessa FL, follow for 2017 grad year, 6'1 180, long limbs, may grow a tad more and fill out frame, short quick arm swing with deceptive velo, touches 88, most arm side run fbs were 86-87 with deceptive change and drops arm slot from upper 3/4 to lower 3/4 for slide piece, threw strikes, hit the mit and didn't waste time out there, only 16 currently - early verbal to Florida.
3B, Cole Stobbe (Brave), Millard West HS, Omaha NE, 6'1 180, R/R, lean frame with room to grown, qk bat with level plane swing, pop in the bat with alley type power, runs well underway, 4.4 out of the box, ave arm strength, adequate range/glove and instincts for the corner, graded out to a 45 currently, but could be one that rises with experience.
OF, McKenzie "Mickey" Moniak (Brave), La Costa Canyon HS, Encinitas CA, 6'1 1/2 185, L/R, qk out of the box, line drive stroke from left side, runs well, better underway, 4.2 from box, knows how on bases, solid arm strength with carry and range, can play any OF position, enough pop in the bat to project 10-15 HR type power, 48 OFP, will go as far as bat goes, verbal to UCLA.
2B, Austin James, (Free), Bloomingdale Senior HS, Valrico FL, 6'1 180, R/R, qk bat with sting to LF, runs well underway, solid arm strength and range for 2b or SS, project to 2B, type of frame to get bigger and stronger, actions good enough to move to OF possibily, 45 OFP, verbal to FIU.
LHP, Mitchell Stone, (Pride), 6'9 235, Shawnee HS, Shawnee OK, a big'un, not real fluid but what his delivery presently shows is enough to follow for 2017, he's older for his grad year, arm slot from upper 3/4, most fb were 86 touch 88 on occ when out front, downer type cb from 1 to 6, teased on straight change, control is fair for now, showed enough coordination to warrant the follow-has verbal to Oklahoma State, 40 OFP.
CF/1B, William Benson, (Stars), Westminster School, Atlanta GA, 6'5 220, L/L, fluid athlete with qk twitch actions, loose arm with solid strength and carry, ranges well in CF, will probably move to RF in pro ball, runs well once underway, 4.2 from left side, qk compact stroke with slight upper cut, showed vulnerability to off speed stuff but attacks the fb, interesting for 2016, 48 OFP - verbal to Duke.
Updated: June 6, 2015
Caught the NCHSAA 1A and 4A state baseball tourney at 5 County Stadium, 2017 follow, LHP Mackenzie Gore, 6'0 155, L/L, runs well, 4.1 out of box, qk bat w/wiry strength, goes with the pitch well, can play CF/LF at the next level, on the hill, loose, qk arm from 3/4 slot, high kick and solid move to 1b to keep runners honest, fb velo touched 89, most were 85-87 with slight m/o run, proper bite on cb and feel for change, threw strikes, appears to pitch uphill when rushing his front side, definite follow, Whiteville HS, 2017, team has some good college players.
RHP, Clark Cota, Topsail HS, 6'1 205, R/R, solid arm strength w/semi windup, H3/4 slot, fb touches 90, most fb were 87-88, occ arm side run, hard cb w/proper spin n bite, threw strikes, rushes delivery at times, UNCW in picture, durable frame to get bigger and stronger, will be solid contributor at college level and follow at the pro level, keep an eye on him, saw last year, report below.
Update: Sunday, May 17, 2015.
Ran into former ML player and scout I had first met in Omaha in 2001, Mitch Webster today, while watching the Carolina League, Mudcats vs Myrtle Beach. Mitch is with the KC Royals now as a scout.
As heard earlier in the week, the Mudcats traveling back home were involved in an accident, injuring several players, including prospect, RHP, Lucas Sims. Most of the players will be out up to 5 weeks, some worse than others. Not a lot of details due to legalities.
ACC Tourney is this week and I'm going to Durham to check it out!
Back with some reports after it's over with.
Tues, April 21, 2015
May 1, 2015, I will be going back to see once again, Isaiah White, OF, Greenfield School (Wilson NC), 5'11 175 R/R, again, this kid can really run, he has arm strength with a wrapping throwing motion and he has decent instincts in the OF, reminds me some of Gary Pettis in body style and speed wise, his bat goes to the ball and squares it up well, occ power is there to hit 4-7 HR in ML someday, I would like to see him face elite pitching to see how he adjusts as he dominates his current level of competition, his overall grades come out to a 50 due to 70 speed and 65 range, present grades, 20/50 hit, 45 arm, 30 power, type of frame to fill out a bit more with maturity, has a very pleasant attitude about him. Commit to E Carolina. Will need time to develop, 4-6 year guy in development, will benefit greatly from pro exposure.
Wednesday, April 15
Well another top pitching prospect besides Brady Aiken, went down to TJ surgery recently, RHP, Reilly Hovis from UNC-Chapel Hill recently went under the knife and here's hoping he makes a speedy and full recovery and is better than ever. Reilly has a plus breaking ball and solid fb and his control and command are ML caliber.
I haven't been out much to be honest this season however, I've taken in a few Carolina League games and saw Braves RHP Lucas Sims, whom I first saw in Cary in HS tourney 4 years back. He returned to the Carolina League this year and increased his velo a touch, touching 96 a few times in a recent outing vs Salem Sox. His change is still improving and his breaking ball, he throws two of them, the slider and curveball, his cb is a solid out pitch. He reminds me some of former ML pitcher John Smoltz, but totally two different deliveries, but the competitiveness and easy delivery are comparable.
I should be getting out to see some more action and will be catching the NCHS state tourneys in Zebulon in June.
Sunday, April 5
Well guess what folks? Yep, Matuella is done for the year with TJ surgery!! Not surprising since my last post in February when we had some pretty cold and wintry weather after teams got outdoors and started intrasquad games, etc.
Prospects should all learn from these arm injuries as they've become more prevalent than in years past. Everyone wants a shot at being seen and being seen early and the pressure of the big bucks and getting the exposure for the ML Draft seems to be put ahead of a player/pitcher being in optimal shape and ready for a full season. Each pitching/playing outing should be gradual, with pitch counts and playing time monitored until every player/pitcher is in the proper shape. Even if it means moving back the baseball season in both HS and College. If the season were moved back, what harm would it be? Really?!! You could get more football players and basketball players out for baseball when their seasons are over with and they would be in proper baseball playing shape, instead of rushed to start playing. Arms and legs have to be in optimal shape folks, or we are going to keep having the increase of TJ surgery for pitchers and other position players getting injured as well because they are not in proper shape, with oblique and lower leg and back injuries. It takes time for muscles to get warm and ready and it's been this way since I started playing youth ball in 1970 and with the rush of getting games in before school ends, etc., all it's done is became a haven for injuries and draft status for top prospects to be put on the shelf. Get real folks and do something about the season starting time and get back to the basics, or continue to watch the increase of TJ surgery and other injury bugs.
Update: Monday, June 26, 2017
Heading to TOS on Tuesday and found my archived report from the NHSI in 2015, reports below:
Found an archive report from 2015, attending the NHSI in Cary, an usually cold late March tourney with some solid follows for the future and a crop of excellent college impact players. Top name I saw was SS Royce Lewis of JSerra HS CA, at 6'1 170 he ran 4.01 from the RH side w/qk bat and solid arm strength from SS with carry and qk on his feet and laterally, 2017 follow, he ended up being the #1 pick by the Minnesota Twins in this year's MLB Draft.
RHP, Joe DeMers, 6'2 225 College Park HS CA, live arm with abv ave fb movement, velo in the low 90's, touched 95 on occ, breaking ball easy to read w/proper spin and bite, location suffered a bit, fb location however got grounders, pop ups and k's with it, also teased w/a few straight changes, has scholly to U of Washington, 2015.
RHP/OF, Ryan Johnson, 6'3 200, L/R, College Station HS TX, showed a strong arm with ave ML velocity, delivery was out of synch on this day however enough to work with in the future, has college commit to Texas A&M, type of frame to get bigger and stronger in school, definite follow, 2015.
3B/RHP, Austin Riley, 6'2 230, R/R, DeSoto HS, Miss, strong body, thick in the legs and middle torso, has arm strength, some effort in delivery from 3/4 slot will touch 93 on occ, most fb 89-92 with arm side run and bite on slider, feel for change, threw strikes, kept his pitches down in the zone for the most part, as a hitter showed straight away power, length in his swing from his heels, pull side strength, runs fair, 4.55 out of the box, has offer to Miss St.
RHP Dallas Woolfolk, 6'3 220, R/R DeSoto HS Miss, has arm strength and some effort in his delivery from 3/4 slot, fb has some run and sink down on the knees, touches 92 on occ most fb were 88-91, showed late break on slider 77-80 most were flat, will need school to continue development, could be fringe prospect in time, 2015, offer to attend Mississippi.
RHP, Patrick Raby, Farragut HS TN, 6'3 220, R/R, smooth delivery, fb w/location, most fb upper 80's touched 90 on occ w/sink and arm side run, spins slider wide break 76-79, feel for change at 77-78, keeps piches down, has college offer to attend Vandy, will be good college pitcher, fringe ML prospect at 44 OFP, 2015.
SS/RHP, Duncan Pence, Farragut HS TN, 6'3 190 R/R, long arms and legs, w/arm strength from SS, has ave arm with some raw strength as a hitter, decisive approach to hitting w/qk bat w/strength, has trouble w/slow stuff, attacks fb, ran 4.48 home to 1b, on the hill showed fb up to 92, most were true at 88-90, type of frame to get bigger and stronger in time, has offer to Tennessee, interesting to follow, 2015.
3B, Matt Kroon, Horizon HS, AZ 6'1 205, R/R, strong body w/raw skills here, ML arm from IF and range, hands best suited to move to OF in time, short compact swing w/strength to pull side for power, has trouble adjusting to breaking pitch, ran solid average 4.3 from RH side, has Oregon college offer, fringe prospect at 41 for me.
RHP/DH, Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach HS CA, 6'2 190 R/R, strong arm from upper 3/4 slot fb touches 94 most fb are 91-92 with sink when down, easy delivery w/proper 12/6 break on cb and threw strikes, occ rushed his delivery but mechanics for the most part were consistent throwing strikes and challenging hitters, can field position, showed short qk bat w/strength from straight away stance and balance, hit the ball hard each time, tended to chase out of zone pitches but made contact, 2017 follow, has early offer to UCLA.
RHP Noah Davis, Huntington Beach HS, CA 6'2 180, R/R, live body w/qk arm from 3/4 slot touches 91-92 on occ most fb true, can spin it w/proper mechanics, needs to keep his pitches down and use fb to set up cb, feel for change, has college in the picture to UC-Santa Barbara 2015, will follow in college.
CF, Daniel Amaral, Huntington Beach HS, CA 5'11 180, R/R, UCLA commit, I remember his dad playing at UCLA and in the majors, this young man has a qk bat with aggressive approach short swing, level plane, balance, will go with the pitch, not much power can run solid ave, appears qk on the bases, plays D w/range in CF w/enuf arm, arm strength for me is a 40, fringe prospect who could develop further with college, 2015.
LHP, Kolby Allard, San Clemente HS, CA 6'2 180, did not pitch in the event, had stiff back, projected to be an early round MLB draft this season, 2015.
LHP, JJ Bleday, Mosley HS FL, 6'2 190, L/L, Vandy commit, loose arm w/slinger action in the 3/4 low slot fb in the 86-89 range w/life away from RHH, showed proper bite and spin on slurve breaking ball teasing hitters down in the zone, changed speeds well, should get stronger and bigger in college, 2015.
SS, Kyle Datres, Loyalsock Township HS, PA, 6' 190 R/R, solid college prospect, UNC commit, showed near ave arm from SS, hands are fair w/ave range laterally, best suited for corner, not much power projection even w/qk bat, contact type guy who plays to win, all out effort, ran 4.35 home to 1st, fringe type who may come on in college, older senior, will be draft eligible his sophomore year in college, 2015.
OF Seth Beer, Lambert HS GA, 6'3 180 L/R, strong upper body w/qk bat w/strength, showed proper balance in straight away stance, ball jumps off his bat can pull for power, showed near ave ML arm strength with know how in the OF, may be best suited for the corner OF or 1B in pro ball, 2016 follow, Clemson in picture possibly, will be the bat to watch in 2016, fringe guy 45 for me, 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50 arm, 40 field.
RHP Slade Cecconi, Trinity Prep HS, FL 6'1 170, slender build and long arms and big hands, showed loose arm w/arm speed and strength, fb touches upper 80's w/pop down on the knees, showed proper bite and spin on cb from 3/4 slot, semi windup, will be one to watch, 2018 follow.
Monday, February, 23, 2015.
Well folks, I ain't been out yet. Winter has been keeping me indoors along with business and driving the bottom line as the top line has been keeping my restaurant hopping since mother nature started with the cooler winter than normal along with some sleet and snow last week.
I saw where the local 4 year and 2 year schools were working out outdoors, which is fine and dandy, but some of the top arms to see this spring, one of whom came off some rest over the summer for a back condition, Matuella of Duke, is now shut down temporarily with a slight arm strain after pitching on the west coast in front of many ML Crosscheckers and some Scouting Bosses. That's cool, but guess what folks? In my 30 plus years as a scout and former pitcher, arms are not ready to go out in less than ideal weather conditions and pitch counts have to be watched along with proper arm care and keeping the arm covered. This is not happening as evidenced by Matuella having a slight arm strain and I'm not saying that the weather caused that or lack of attention from proper arm care was neglected, what I'm saying is it is too early and pitchers need to be put on pitch counts, no matter what the status of the pitcher may be for the ML teams, etc. I've seen way too many pitching prospects go down early only to have mediocre careers in MLB or even the minors. Andrew Brackman, Mark Prior, Michael Matz (still bouncing back with Mets) and the list will go on and on. Coaches need to wise up a bit more and not succumb to what the area scouts demand on seeing prospects and so forth in late winter, it's not even spring yet folks. Yeah, I know, the California and Florida area guys are playing so should we, huh? NO! The season needs to be pushed back a bit and pitch counts to 50 pitches the first two starts of the year for any pitcher should be mandatory until the weather is more consistent and conditioning needs to be top priority before any team plays their first collegiate/high school game and make it March 1 or March 30 as the first regular season game mandatory. Why? When does MLB start? How many exhibition games does MLB play? What are the number of pitches a ML starter makes his first start in spring training? Get my drift?
It appears I won't be seeing any action probably until the NHSI starts in Cary, late March and I'll get to see some of the teams from outside the US play at the same complex in Cary. Yippee!! :)
My 2015 SPRING LIST:
RHP Reilly Hovis, UNC, 6'3 195, Max effort guy with decent stuff (reliever) and fb that touches low 90's on occ, mostly 89-91, hard slurvy cb and straight change, throws strikes and competes, will be one of top starters for UNC for spring 2015.
OF Skye Bolt, UNC, 6'2 185, S/R, speedy OF with decent instincts and upside, room to fill out still with nice lean athletic frame, can really run, better on the way, had a down year stat wise in 2014, but has the ability to put the bat on the ball to the alleys and occ power to the foul lines, shows solid to abv ave arm strength, possible 4-7 round guy for 2015 or better.
RHP Trent Thornton, UNC, 6'0 175, quick arm from upper 3/4 arm slot, touches low 90's on occ, fb fairly true, competitor on the hill, hard downer type cb with solid command, needs to be fine with his pitches and pitch to the mit, not overpowering enough, but is still learning and should adjust with more experience.
RHP, Benton Moss, UNC, 6'2 190, R/R, flash from Rocky Mount, Benton has a fb that will reach 95 on occ, most fb are 91-92 early in the game and his best pitch is a yellow hammer, however, his command and consistency is what has held him back from reaching full potential thus far, but in his career in two years at UNC, he's done very well, his better years are ahead of him as he's starting to fill out his frame and add some stamina and strength to become a legit 3-4 man in a ML rotation. Also has the 3rd pitch working but still in development stage. 1-3 round projection guy for 2014.
RHP, Taylore Cherry, UNC, 6'8 270, R/R, will have to monitor if he comes back for soph season, he's an eligible soph in 2014, Taylore didn't get much action for UNC in the spring of 2013, but when he did he made the most of it, touching 93-94 with his downhill plane 3/4 arm slot and hard breaking ball that at times could be a plus plus pitch, consistency with release point and keeping his delivery together is still a work in progress, but he's scary how good he could become. 4-7 round type projection, but could move up the ladder come 2014!
RHP Michael Matuella, Duke, 6'6 225, solid arm strength, will touch low 90's early in the game, mostly 91-92 with some arm side run on occ, must get good leverage and repeat his delivery consistently to be effective at the next level, should improve with pro exposure, shows solid slide piece and control.
1b Matt Dacey, Richmond, 6'3 210, L/R, transfered from Michigan after frosh year, solid strength and power from left side of the plate, runs ok, not a burner, has enough arm and fielding ability to get to ML, will need to work on facing lefties more and cut back on his aggressiveness, better plate discipline needed. Definite follow.
3b-OF, Dillon Dobson, Appalachian St, 6'1 220, L/R, strong, aggressive hitter with power to the alleys and adjusts well enough to get to the next level, has solid arm strength, not flashy, just gets it done, runs ok, not going to steal many bases, may on an occ, will get there because of his bat and tenacity as a player.
RHP/OF, Clark Cota,Topsail HS, NC, 6'1 195, R/R, was very glad to see him in this event, he's going to be a stud, very good arm, runs solid and has some pop in his bat, I doubt he see UNC in 2015 unless he regresses quickly and I don't see that. Low 90's fb, has a hammer in the makings and can hit and runs well enough to be a corner OF guy or or corner IF guy if pitching struggles. Bonafide stud for 2015. First seen at NCHSAA 1-3 A tourney in Zebulon NC. RHP, Clark Cota, from Topsail HS, Hampstead, NC, near the Topsail beach area of eastern carolina, the Pirates. Strong fan alliance and team comraderie. He's listed at 6'1 205, more like 6'1 plus and lean 190 or so, loose arm from upper 3/4, quick, easy delivery on fb, fights it on his cb, proper spin/bite on cb, just needs work on release points and some confidence, his fb was upper 80's mostly, touched 90 a few times early in the game, keeps the ball down and in on hitters, competitor and is a 2015 to be grad. Many coaches from NC in attendance, including, Mike Fox from UNC-CH, and E Carolina assistant coach, as well as some other smaller schools in NC D1, D2 and NJCAA. Clark is a R/R, has some pop in his bat as well, short level stroke, hits with power to LF/LC and can go with the pitch to RF as well. Keep an eye on him this summer and next spring. D1 coaches are all over him already, scouts have his name.
RHP, Benton Moss, UNC, 6'2 190, R/R, flash from Rocky Mount, Benton has a fb that will reach 95 on occ, most fb are 91-92 early in the game and his best pitch is a yellow hammer, however, his command and consistency is what has held him back from reaching full potential thus far, but in his career in two years at UNC, he's done very well, his better years are ahead of him as he's starting to fill out his frame and add some stamina and strength to become a legit 3-4 man in a ML rotation. Also has the 3rd pitch working but still in development stage. 1-3 round projection guy for 2014.
RHP, Taylore Cherry, UNC, 6'8 270, R/R, will have to monitor if he comes back for soph season, he's an eligible soph in 2014, Taylore didn't get much action for UNC in the spring of 2013, but when he did he made the most of it, touching 93-94 with his downhill plane 3/4 arm slot and hard breaking ball that at times could be a plus plus pitch, consistency with release point and keeping his delivery together is still a work in progress, but he's scary how good he could become. 4-7 round type projection, but could move up the ladder come 2014!
These guys I saw last summer (2014) or spring and probably won't see them this year unless they come out in the 100 mile area I cover on my own, out of pocket, for the LOVE of the GAME!
RHP-C Matt Dittman, Rice, 6'1 205, R/R, solid prospect with low 90's fb and hard slide piece from upper 3/4 slot, also shows ability behind the plate and has enough pop in his bat to be a solid backup receiver in the bigs. Keep an eye on him in 2015.
LHP Blake Fox, Rice, 6'4 220, L/L, another long list of Owl pitching prospects, Foxy touches 92 on occ with his FB, had a low era last spring and is around the plate and knows how to pitch. Good angle and finish on his pitches, best pitch is his change and curveball.
LHP Dylan Craig, Illinois St, 6'3 210, smart lefty with upside, most fb are 88-90 with arm side run/sink, will touch 91-92 early in games, shows some similarities to Mark Buerhle, best pitch is change up.
RHP Kyle Davis, USC, 6' 190, R/R, solid control and know how on the hill, touches low 90's most fb 90-91 and true, also hard cb with eratic command at present, chance to be solid prospect quickly, depending on development of off-speed pitches and stamina.
LHP Jason Richman, Georgia Southern, 6'3 210, another lefty with enough stuff to get to the next level, pitches at 87-89 mostly, will bump it up to 91 on occ, solid change up he can throw when he wants from 3/4 arm slot, good arm speed on all his pitches to deceive hitters.
RHP Jimmy Herget, U So Florida, 6'3 165, R/R, whippet type body, room to fill out in time, 3/4 arm slot with 88-92 fb, most are 89-90 early and straight, will run fb down and in vs RHH, also loopy type cb that is improving, should be followed closely next spring.
C-3b-1b Jameson Fisher, SE Louisiana, 6'2 195, L/R, level stroke from left side with alley power, slight upper cut in his swing, generates good pop, runs ok, 4.35 from left side, ave arm strength and solid glove, best suited for 3b or the OF.
3b-2b Mark Mathias, Cal Poly, 6' 185, R/R, solid bat with occ power to alleys, ave arm strength and actions are good enough to be competent fielder to get to the next level. Runs ok, 4.4 from right side, appears to be better between the bases.
OF Tate Matheny, Missouri St, 6'0 190, R/R, good bloodlines, can hit with occ gap power, plus arm strength and ave runner at best, not a burner, will go as far as bat takes him, best suited for the corner OF.
OF Gary Russo, Miami-Ohio, 6'1 220, R/R, solid power and good approach as a hitter, tends to overswing at times, has enough arm strength and ability as a fielder to get to the next level, runs well enough, not going to be a base stealer. Will go as far as his bat takes him.
RHP-1b Corbin Olmstead, North Florida, 6'3 210, R/R, solid hitter with abv ave power to alleys, runs fair and solid ML arm, also one of top pitchers for Osprey program.
2006 Top Prospects from Showcase Events and special assignments:
RHP, Matt Harvey, Fitch HS, Groton CT, 6'3 200, strong built righty with loose qk arm from upper 3/4 slot, touches 93 on occ with occ sink and arm side run, biting breaking ball he struggles to repeat due to rushing front side of his delivery, type of frame to get bigger and stronger in time, will add velo as he physically matures, UNC commit, 50 OFP.
RHP, Michael Main, Deland HS, FL, 6'2 175, lightning qk arm touches 98 but pin straight and he rushes and tips his pitches off, live body, runs well, has college commit, breaking pitches need help, hard biting slider that tends to stay on the same plane, control is fair, has upside to improve further, would have to bring along slowly.
RHP, Rick Porcello, Seton Hall Prep HS, NJ, 6'4 185, slender build, wide at the shoulders, frame to add strength and get bigger in time, 17 years old, touches 93, most fb are 90 with sink down on the knees, spins the cb well with eratic command at present, has offer to UNC, type of delivery to work with, pitches downhill for the most part at 3/4 arm slot.
OF, Kentrail Davis, Theodore HS, AL, 5'9 185 L/L, strong build and can run straight away well, has bat speed with loopy upper cut swing from heels, runs 4.1 from LH side, throws well enough to play CF or LF, bat lacks pop at present, has offer to Tennessee, will have to see again.
LHP, Madison Bumgarner, South Caldwell HS, Hudson NC, 6'4 190, live arm from 3/4 sling slot, very strong, wound tight, fb touches 95 on occ, most are 92-93 with arm side run, will get bigger and stronger in time, spins the slider w/wide sweep angle from 3/4 slot, throws strikes, competes, not afraid to be out there, has college offer, has a chance to be solid ML pitcher in time, 50 OFP.
LHP, Josh Smoker, Calhoun HS, GA, 6'3 185, live body which will get bigger and stronger in time, best pitch is round house cb, touches 92 w/fb from 3/4 slot, qk arm, loose out front, tends to rush front side badly, but has enough to work with to be long man in bullpen or back of rotation starter, will go as far as command and control improve, has arm strength and ability to spin it to work with, 47 OFP.
RHP, Neil Ramirez, Kempsville HS, Virginia Beach VA, 6'3 185, large frame to get bigger in time, qk arm from 3/4 slot tends to sling slightly, fb will run and sink to 92-93 velo, most 90, keeps pitches down for the most part, will rush front side causing breaking pitch to flatten out and hang in zone, has college offer, has a shot to be a strong bullpen guy or back of the rotation starter in time, 46 OFP.
C, Yasmani Grandal, Miami Springs HS, FL, 6'2 195 L/R, strong build and arm strength, has quicker release than pure arm strength, 50 arm at present, 1.9 release, times can be eratic to 2b as he rushes foot work, as a hitter has a long direct swing with power, a bit of a loop at present w/strength, chance to hit below average but hit for extra bags, has U of Miami offer, 45 OFP.
RHP, Jarrod Parker, Norwell HS, IN, 6'1 185, electric qk arm touches 95 on occ, some sling to the arm action locking elbow, has hard slider with side to side break, will need time to develop, delivery and arm action are worrisome but has enough stuff and strength to move in a system that will be patient with him, also has solid change of pace with sink, 48 OFP.
SS, D J LeMaieu, Brother Rice HS, Bloomfield Hills MI, tall and rangy with bat speed and strength, line drive type hitter to all fields, runs better underway, 4.45 out of the box, shows ave arm and sure hands, range is a step slow for SS would have to move to 3B or 2B at pro level, has offer to LSU, at 6'4 185 type of frame to get bigger and stronger in time, 48 OFP, has a chance to hit.
3B, Derek Dietrich, St Ignatius HS, Cleveland OH, 6'1 195, L/R, scrappy player with qk bat and strength from slightly closed stance, runs 4.3 from LH side, has ave to plus arm strength type of range and hands to move to 2B or play the corner, will go as far as bat takes him, has alley power for X-BH type power, HR power to foul line on pull side, 45 OFP, has college offer as well.
CF, Ben Revere, Lexington Catholic HS, KY, 5'7 155, L/R, qk on qk, ran 4.0 out of the box, has a qk bat with short swing from balanced stance, no power but elite speed to beat out choppers and balls in the hole, defensively has below ave arm w/qk release, plus range in CF and anticipates well, graded out as 50 hit, 20 power, 70 run, 40 arm, 60 fld, 48 OFP, chance to be ML player who'll go as far as bat takes him.
OF, Jason Heyward, Henry County HS, GA, 6'3 190 L/L, strong build, type of frame to get bigger in time, runs solid ave out of the box, quicker on the base paths, 4.17, showed at least an ave arm with qk release w/accuracy from RF/CF in warmups, long power stroke w/quickness and strength closed stance, has ability to drive the ball where it's pitched, chance to be a corner ML OF in time, 50 OFP, graded out 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 50 run, 50 arm, 50 field.
SS, Christian Colon, Canyon HS, CA, 5'11 175, R/R, solid defensive player with range and quickness to play middle infield w/ave arm strength and qk release, runs solid ave 4.3, showed qk bat with two hand stroke w/balance, tends to chase poor pitches, may hit enough to contribute at the ML level in time has college offer, Cal-State, 44 OFP.
1B, Freddie Freeman, El Modena HS, CA, 6'4 200 L/R, strong build w/type of frame to fill out in time, has qk level slightly u/c stroke w/balance, keeps hands bat and drives the ball where it's pitched, dead red at times hangs in there vs breaking ball, shows at least ave arm strength, can play OF or corner IF position, hands are solid, range is suspect, graded out as 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50/60 arm, 40/50 fld, came out to a solid 48 grade.
C/RHP, Robert Stock, Agoura HS, CA, 6'0 185 S/R, strong arm and frame for his size, runs a step below ave, shows plus arm strength with nimble hands, hitting approach and bat speed are adequate, pop time 1.87 to 2b, also pitches and has an idea on the hill, touches 94 on occ, has offer to USC, graduated early to attend school, appears to be school oriented, has fair chance as a prospect, graded out as a 44.
OF/IF, Joey Terdoslavich, Sarasota HS, FL, 6'2 180, S/R, strong body w/frame to get bigger in time, ran 4.4 from RH side, shows level swing with alley power, tends to swing at everything, throws slightly below ave and below ave fielder, will have to move to LF or 2B in time, has college offer, fair follow for 2007.
RHP, Kevin Quackenbush, 6'4 200, Jesuit HS, Tampa FL, strong build and ave fb velo, command and control have a chance to be average, also can spin slider, occ straight change, saw only 2 innings touching 94 w/fb with arm side run, decent follow for 2007.
OF, Cory Vaughn, 6'3 210, R/R, Jesuit HS, Elk Grove CA, live body with strength, ran 4.24 from RH side showed range and arm strength in the OF, fair instincts, as a hitter has long sweeping bat w/bat speed and strength to hit for power, tends to chase needs better discipline, enough here to work with, 44 OFP.
OF, Mark Canha, Bellarmine Prep, San Jose CA, 6'2 185, R/R, strong build with frame to add more weight in time, runs solid ave, shows qk bat w/power, ball jumps off his bat, tends to chase outer pitches, ran 4.35 from RH side, has near ave to ave arm strength and fair fielding instincts, 47 OFP.
RHP, Phillipe Aumount, 6'7 220, Ecole Secondary, Du Versant QUE, tall righty with downhill pitching plane from 3/4 slot, fb touches 93 w/sink on occ, flat slider w/ late bite, contro/command were fair, chance to get better as he repeats and gets instruction/exposure, could get bigger in time, 44 OFP.
1B, Anthony Rizzo, 6'3 210, Douglas HS, Parkland FL, has qk line drive type swing keeping hands back w/proper balance, will get out front of breaking ball and change of speeds, shows ave arm to plus arm from corner with solid hands and range, knows how at 1b, graded out 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 50/60 arm, 40/50 field, 50 OFP, chance to be solid ML player in time.
2007 Showcases/Tournaments, players to be 2008 HS Seniors, also Collegiate National Team and College players eligible for 2008 MLB Draft.
OF, Isaac Galloway, Los Osos HS, Rancho Cucamonga CA, 6'2 190 R/R, arm strength and straight away speed w/raw power are his main assets, tends to chase everything as a hitter which will limit him offensively, shows range in the OF with tracking ability, will need time to develop, 10/10/1989, 40 OFP.
RHP/SS, Mychal Givens, Plant HS, Tampa FL, 6'0 175, R/R, electric ML arm from IF and on the mound, will touch 94 with set position windup, has feel for breaking ball, tends to push the ball from 3/4 arm slot, control/command will improve with pro instruction, as a hitter, long loopy swing with bat speed and strength, runs well 4.2 out of the box from RH side, tends to lift on gb at SS and has plus range, more than enough arm for SS, 44 OFP, best shot as a RHP in time, 5/13/1990, will need to follow, 2009 MLB Draft eligible.
OF/LHP, Anthony Gose, Bellflower HS, CA, 6'0 170, L/L, qk out of the box from LH side, 4.05, has bat speed with loop in his swing, plate discipline needs work, has plus arm strength from CF w/ave range and hands, tracks the ball well enough to stay in CF, on the mound touches low 90's, 93 top, spins the cb with downer action 1/6, release points vary due to rushing front side will get over the front leg but chops off extension at times, a work in progress, 47 OFP, has college offer, geared to pro ball however, 8/10/1990.
OF, Robbie Grossman, Cy Fair HS, Cypress TX, 6'1 200, S/L, hard nosed player, gives 100% effort, runs a tad better than average straight away, 4.2 out of the box, has ave arm strength w/acc from corner OF, fair CF instincts, hits from both sides of the plate, stance as a RHH is slightly different than stance as LHH, shows bat speed w/strength, extra base type power, enough strength for foul line HR power, body type to get stronger with natural maturation, graded out 20/40 hit, 40/50 power, 50/50 run, 50/50 arm, 40/50 fld, 48 OFP, has college commitment, 9/16/1989.
1B, Eric Hosmer, American Heritage HS, Cooper City FL, 6'3 205, L/L, 10/24/1989, strong build, chance to get bigger and stronger, has level bat plane with strength for alley power, hits to all fields w/bat speed and keeps hands back in zone on poor pitches away and down, solid plate awareness, has ave arm strength w/accuracy and know how at 1b, will be solid pro, graded out 30/50 hit, 40/60 power, 50 run, 60 arm, 50/60 fld, 56 OFP, chance to be a good one, has college offer, should be gone in first 3 rounds of ML Draft.
LHP, Kyle Lobstein, Coconino HS, Flagstaff AZ, 6'3 185, L/L, smooth easy delivery with loose arm from upper 3/4 slot, sneaky qk fb touches 91 most are 87-89 keeps fb down and picks the corners, change up from same slot is his best pitch and spins the breaking ball with 1/6 effect w/lazy break should improve with further instruction, frame to fill out in time, 48 OFP, has college offer, 8/12/1989.
RHP, Tim Melville, Holt HS, Wentzville MO, 6'5 210, R/R, strong body with frame to get bigger, throws down hill from 3/4 slot w/occ arm side run, fb down on knees has sink/heaviness, fb up is straight and hittable, velo range 88-93 most are 89-90, has proper bite and spin on breaking ball, slider type with some tilt/depth a work in progress still, projectible build and delivery, has college offer, graded out at 45, lacks explosive fb at present to project further than just a 50 fb due to lack of movement, 10/09/1989.
LHP, Matthew Purke, Klein HS, Spring TX, 6'3 165 L/L, skinny build with long limbs,qk arm with some looseness fb touches 93 on occ from L 3/4 slot with arm side run, sinks down on knees, spins a qk slider with side to side break also flashes straight change on occ with sink, all from same arm slot, throws strikes, competes, frame should get bigger and stronger in time, has TCU offer, follow for 2009, 50 OFP, 7/17/1990.
LHP, Robbie Ross, Lexington Christian HS, Lexington KY, 5'11 180, L/L, 6/24/1989, qk arm from 3/4 slot with sneaky qk fb touches 92 on occ with slight arm side run, hard cb more of a slurve at 77-79, keeps pitches down w/occ rush front side, leaving fb and breaking ball up in the zone, delivery for most part from semi-windup is easy and gets over front leg, competitor with aggressive come at you approach, 48 OFP, chance to be a middle man or short man in the bullpen or occ starter in a 5 man rotation.
C/1B, Kyle Skipworth, Rubidoux HS, Riverside CA, 6'3 190, L/R, tall, average shoulders/limbs should fill out naturally, has bat speed with strength to opp field, not much pull side vs solid fb pitching, slightly below ave power, more of extra base type power, defensively a catch and throw guy with 1.9 pop time and easy receiving skills with range behind the plate, throws are online and accurate, 50/60 arm, graded out as 20/30 hitter, 30/40 power, 40 run, 50/60 arm, 50/50 fld, 44 OFP no adjustment for key position, decent follow for 2008.
CF/RHP, Aaron Hicks, Woodrow Wilson HS, Long Beach CA, 6'1 165, B/R, 10/2/1989, wiry strong frame with long arms and legs, strength and build to get bigger in time, has above ave running speed, 4.1 from LH side and 4.18 from RH side, plus arm strength from OF with acc arm and plus range, shows enough instincts to be contributor at ML level as CF, on the hill hows fb up to 94 with occ arm side run from semi windup from upper 3/4 slot, hard slider 82-84 with late break buckling hitters, keeps fb down for most part, chance to be solid short man or middle of the rotation man with development, 47 OFP as a CF and 52 OFP as a RHP prospect for 2008, should go in early 3 rounds.
OF/1B, Preston Tucker, Plant HS, Tampa FL, 6'1 190, L/L, best tools as a hitter with strength and level plane swing, can lift for power to pull side, will go opp field with outer half pitches, has decent plate discipline, keeps hands back and attacks the fb, below ave runner, not a clogger, shows near ave arm strength, enough to play either corner OF or 1B at ML level, graded out as 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 30 runner, 40/50 arm, 40/50 fld, 46 OFP, backup type at ML level, will go as far as bat develops, 7/6/1990.
SS, Tim Beckham, Griffin HS, GA, 6'2 180, R/R, wiry strong frame, plus running ability, 4.05 home to 1st, shows plus arm strength with plus range, hands can be eratic as he gets glove in towards body on lateral grounders, as a hitter has bat speed and strength, tends to chase everything and pitch recognition in progress state at present, graded out as 20/40 hit, 30/50 power, 60 run, 60 arm, 50 fld, graded out at 52 OFP, enough here to be ave ML SS, will stick there, could play 2B or move to OF if need be.
RHP, Sonny Gray, Smyrna HS, TN, 5'11 180, R/R, electric qk arm from 3/4 slot with arm side run down in the zone in to RHH, fb touches 95 most are 92-93, hard hammer type cb that gets hitters to chase at this level, chance to be plus ML pitch and flashes straight change with sink down in the zone, throws strikes, competes and aggressive, has offer Vanderbilt, graded out as 60 fb 60 cb 40/50 command 40/50 change, 58 OFP, chance to stick as a starter, bulldog strong body, not much projection left there, will need 3-4 years to reach ML.
RHP/3B, Ethan Martin, Stephens County HS, Toccoa GA, 6'3 200, R/R, strong ML arm from IF and on the hill, fb touches 93 although true and hard hammer type cb with slight slider effect 80-83, mostly downward late break, command suffers some from rushing front side, as a hitter has strength, tends to drags hands in the zone, chases poor pitches, has the arm and fielding ability to stick at 3B, bat lacks consistency and some stiffness in his swing to ever hit, graded out 20/20 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 60 arm, 40/50 fld, as a RHP, 50 fb, 40/50 cb, 40/50 control, needs 3rd pitch, best shot as a pitcher, has college offer.
RHP/OF, Gerrit Cole, Lutheran HS, Orange CA, 6'3 190, R/R, ML arm with type of build/frame to get bigger and stronger, fb touches 94 on occ with sink down on RHH knees, fb up with late arm side run and flattens out when he rushes delivery, hard slider with tilt, 82-85 and feel for change, still in development phase, chance to be ML starter or closer quickly, should add more velo with repeating delivery and arm slot, graded out as a 55 OFP, UCLA commit.
RHP, Jarred Cosart, Clear Creek HS, League City, TX, 6'3 180, R/R, qk loose arm from 3/4 slot fb touches 93-94 on occ, most are 91 and true, hard slider at 82-84 with bite and late break, rushes front side in delivery getting poor extension and control suffers, will need time to develop, has college offer, 48 OFP.
RHP, Alex Meyer, Greensburg HS, IN, 6'7 200, R/R, qk long loose arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb touches 94 on occ, most are 91 and have sink down, straight up, spins cb/slurve action w/11-5 break, feel for the change, didn't show many in 1 inning of work here at AFLAC, has college offer Kentucky, 50 OFP.
3B, Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt, 6'2 215 L/R, strong build which will get bigger, has short level swing with power to alleys, will pull inside fb or go to opp fld away, shows near ave arm from 3B, fair hands and lateral range, runs a tad below ave, 4.3 from LH side, best tools are on offensive side, should stick at either corner at ML level, graded out 30/50 hit, 40/50 power, 40 run, 40/50 arm, 40/50 fld, 48 OFP, ave offensive type run producer in time, should go in first 3 rounds in 2008.
SS/2B, Danny Espinosa, Long Beach State, 6'0 185, S/R, smooth range either side laterally, has plus arm strength w/range to stick at SS may end up at 3B or 2B at ML level, 4.3 runner from RH side w/short qk swing with alley power for extra base type power, strength to lift for HR power in time, 46 OFP.
SS/3B, Ryan Flaherty, Vanderbilt, 6'3 200, L/R, strong durable frame, qk bat w/strength for gap power, can pull for HR power from LH side, runs a tad below ave, 4.35, shows ML arm strength and hands to play corner or move to 2B, will go as far as bat takes him, 45 OFP.
IF/OF, Logan Forsythe, Arkansas, 6' 195, R/R, strong frame, chance to get bigger, short compact stroke w/gap power to all fields, has solid pitch recognition, keeps hands back to drive the ball, runs a step below ave, 4.4 from RH side, has ave arm strength, glove actions are fair, stiff hands, 47 OFP, chance to be backup at ML level, extra roster type, will go as far as bat takes him.
RHP, Lance Lynn, Mississippi, 6'5 260, R/R, strong durable frame, pitches from 3/4 slot with arm side run and sink in vs RHH, fb touches 94, most are 91-92, hard slurvy breaking ball, more curve type action with depth, will flatten out at times when he rushes front side with slider effect, release points vary, feel for change, doesn't show it in game, near average command, used in bullpen role has been mostly a starter, chance to be solid ML pitcher, 50 OFP.
LHP, Brian Matusz, U of San Diego, 6'4 185, L/L, live loose arm from upper 3/4 slot, fb touches 93 on occ, most are 91 with sink when down, not a lot of movement but hits his spots, also hard cb 78-80 with depth and gets hitters out front, release points will vary from semi windup, gets hitters to chase, lots of grounders and pop ups, chance to be end of rotation or middle man in the pen at ML level, 49 OFP raised 4 points due to lefty premium position.
SS/RHP, Jordy Mercer, Oklahoma State, 6'2 190, R/R, strong build with long limbs, two way guy, has a shot in the pen at the ML level with fb that touches 95, breaking ball fair consistency, throws strikes, defensively and at the plate has enough there to be contributor at ML level and has the hands and range to stick at SS, plus plus arm strength with ave lateral range and hands, instinctive fielder, graded out 20/40 hitter, 40/40 power, 50 run, 70 arm, 50 fld, 50 OFP.
1B, Justin Smoak, South Carolina, 6'3 200, S/L, strong build with frame to get bigger as he gets older, long power stroke, keeps hands back for most part on soft stuff away, can drive the ball to gaps for HR power both sides of the plate, BA runner 4.4 from LH side, better on the base paths, has ave arm and glove at 1B, should hit enough to be starter at ML level, graded out 30/40 hitter, 50/60 power, 30 run, 50 arm, 50 field, 48 OFP, chance to be top 3 round guy.
RHP, Tyson Ross, Cal, 6'5 200, R/R, extra large frame wide shoulders long arms, frame to get bigger as he fully matures, fb touches 95 most are 92 with occ arm side run, shows hard slider with cb effect, slurve at present, throws strikes, occ rushes causing fair command, will improve as he repeats mechanics, 50 OFP chance to go in top 2 rounds.
3B/1B, Brett Wallace, Arizona State, 6'0 245, L/R, strong lower half big legs, short arms, gets leverage and has balance as a hitter, can drive ball to the gaps, above ave raw power, fair runner, not a base stealing threat, has solid arm strength, lacks foot quickness and range to stick at 3B, will have to move to 1B as he's not quick enough to play the OF, offensive type who'll go as far as his bat takes him, graded out as 30/50 hitter, 50/50 power, 20 runner, 50 arm, 40 field, 44 OFP, extra bat at the ML level.
2B, Jemile Weeks, U of Miami, 5'9 155, S/R, qk on the bases, 3.9 from LH side home to 1b, qk bat with handsy type hitter approach, will chase and hit the ball in the ground, beats out choppers, not much power at all, has ave arm strength and ave hands, plus range, best suited for 2B at ML level, will be top of lineup type guy or 8 hole hitter, will go as far as bat takes him, graded out 20/30 hit, 20/20 power, 70 run, 50 arm 50 fld, 44 OFP, 8-12 round type guy.
2008 Prospect Reports
2009 Prospect Reports
2010 Prospect Reports
2011 Prospect Reports
2012 Prospect Reports
2013 Prospect Reports
2014 Prospect Reports
Ellsworth "Brownie" Browne scouted for many years in the midwest, covering mostly Illinois for the Minnesota Twins. He's credited for signing two big time bats, Kirby Puckett & Bill Madlock. Brownie was from Beason, Illinois and he was married to Mabel. They were a pair and very nice people to get to know.
Gene Baker played in the major leagues and was a scout for the Pirates among teams. I met Gene in the early 80's at a tournament in Ralston, Nebraska along with Hank Krause, Bill Clark, John "Buck" O'Neil, Woody Smith, Jack Zduricienk. Gene hailed from the Quad Cities area in Iowa.
Bill Clark was a very successful scout for the Reds, Braves and Padres, signing many international players who played in the majors along with former ML manager, Lloyd McClendon. Bill hails from Columbia, Missouri and he's still writing for the local paper a column or so a month and is an avid bird watcher and is a great man!
Brad Sloan gave me an opportunity as a 23 year old just finishing up college to bird dog for him in 1983. Brad was the area scout for the San Diego Padres and later became their national crosschecker and scouting director. He's best known for drafting Jake Peavy as scouting boss for the Padres. Brad still scouts today and is married to Cindy, a retired school teacher. Brad was inducted into the midwest scouts Hall of Fame a few years ago and works for the Red Sox today.
Hank Krause is a scout now for the Miami Marlins and has been scouting for over 30 plus years from Akron, Iowa. Hank also has been an auctioneer. Often times back in the day, you'd run into Hank and Bill Clark together at tryout camps at Ida Grove, Iowa.
Larry Chase, was one of my former supervisors for the New York Mets when I was a part-time scout out of Omaha and Quincy, Illinois. Larry signed AJ Burnett and Mike Pelfrey among his top names for the NY Mets. Larry passed away in April 2012 from complications from surgery. He was the nicest and most sincere man I ever met and will always remember him. From Pearcy, Arkansas, Larry often would call me back anytime after leaving him a phone message. He was a true man to the word!
Dale McReynolds from Walworth, Wisconsin was one of the hardest working scouts in the business. Dale became a mentor to me in 1988 after meeting him at a Major League Scouting Bureau tryout camp in Winona, Minnesota. "MAC" as he was affectionately known as, was a former scouting director and signed many former major league players, the highest profile ones were with the Dodgers in Bob Welch and Steve Howe, both from the state of Michigan. We all miss Dale today.
A group of old time scouts who paved the road for many who are working today.
3 of the greatest scouts of all time that we all miss. Rosey Gilhousen who worked for the Royals most notably and signed Brett Saberhagen, Tony Lucadello who I met in 1988 with Gene Bennett at an All-Star game for the Great Lakes Collegiate League at South Bend, Indiana, Tony signed Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and Ferguson Jenkins. Ralph DiLullo worked for the Major League Scouting Bureau but was one of the best Northeastern Scouts for a long long time. I met Ralph briefly when I worked for the Bureau for 2 months before I resigned due to the ill health of my then wife who was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Amanda in 1988. Ralph was always a gentleman.
Great old scouts, some are still working today into their late 80's.
Emil Belich was from West Bend, Wisconsin and worked for the Major League Scouting Bureau and the Phillies among the teams in his long career as a former major league player and scout. Emil showed me around in the upper midwest and he was always willing to help the younger scouts.
Elmer Gray, was the former scouting director for the Pittsburgh Pirates and he scouted for over 50 years. Elmer and I met in 1985 scouting RHP Gregg Olson of Omaha Northwest High School at a game vs Bryan High School. Elmer was a great man and he scouted into his 80's and he was about to hire me on the recommendation from Gene Baker before I took a new job. Elmer was always a class gentleman and knew a player when he saw one. God Bless Elmer Gray for being a friend!
Chris Fye, a lefthanded pitcher from Bellevue, Nebraska, pitched for me in Junior Legion baseball and summer collegiate baseball after a career at Bellevue East High School, Iowa Western Community College and the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Chris pitched very well on scout day for Iowa Western in 1987 and did not make grades so he got in shape and pitched for me that summer and I spent hours on the phone trying to get him looked at and finally he was signed by the San Francisco Giants scout, Bill Parese on the recommendation of his part-time scout, Hall of Fame High School Coach, Bill Olson, father of Gregg Olson in 1988 after a tournament game in Schuyler, Nebraska.
Scouts, Nick Kamzic and Chuck Koney, two old birds with years of baseball experience and the most pleasant gentlemen to get to know. When they talked you listened. Their stories were true and they pulled no punches. Nick was a very successful scout for the California Angels in the day and Chuck worked for the Red Sox after an off the field injury cut his playing career short.
John "BUCK" O'Neil, was a very good scout and former baseball player/manager in the Negro Leagues back in the day. He's a pioneer in baseball and before his passing, the Kansas City Royals named a seat after him in his honor. Buck and I met in 1983 at a Tournament in Ralston, Nebraska. He was a great story teller, a fine gentleman and a straight shooter. He also could hit the golf ball pretty well for his age back then.
Gene Bennett, was a very good scout in the Great Lakes region of the midwest for the Cincinnati Reds of all teams. He signed Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo among the many former major leaguers he signed. I met Gene in 1988 in South Bend, Indiana at the Great Lakes Collegiate League All-Star game. We were both buying a bratwurst at the concession stand and he introduced me to Tony Lucadello and Dick Groch. All legends in the game of baseball!!
Bob Oldis scouts today for the Marlins and has been in the game for over 60 years as a former player, manager and scout. Bob lives near Iowa City, Iowa and he always had the time of day to give me when we ran into each other on the scouting paths. Bob would ask me questions when I was the assistant baseball coach at Iowa Western Community College about players we had and shared stories and such. He was always honest and upbeat. Bob is in his 80's now and still as sharp as ever!
Angelo Guiliani, was a former major league player and he scouted for many years for the Minnesota Twins. Angey and I met in Minneapolis scouting a young player from St Paul named Sean Mackamie. Angey signed former big leaguers, Tim Laudner and Kent Hrbek for the Twins. He passed away a few years back but he will always be remembered by all of us who had to pleasure to meet him.
Mike Arbuckle I ran into when he scouted for the Atlanta Braves as a midwest area scout in 1980, he came and saw our college baseball team I pitched for vs Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Mike currently is the Asst GM for the KC Royals and is best known for his work with the Philadelphia Phillies and bringing in one of the top baseball scouts, Marti Wolever to help build the Phillies system with talented major leaguers which led to the team winning the World Series vs the Tampa Rays in 2008 helped by the acquisition of Roy "Doc" Holladay from the Toronto Blue Jays. Mike is a well known for living in Trenton, Missouri. You won't find a nicer man than Mike Arbuckle!
Bob Fontaine Jr, Bob has been a baseball scout for many years and currently works for the Major League Scouting Bureau but is best known for being the scouting director for many major league teams including the San Diego Padres where he was the first scouting director to actually write me a letter rather than the "John Dear Letter" you get or rejection form letter back in the early '80s. I met Bob finally in 2015 at the Major League Scouting Bureau "SCOUT SCHOOL", the first school they did on their own with 100 attendees. Many who will be scouts in their own right and hopefully will become successful, like Bob has been.
Ted Breznk, has been a baseball scout for a long time and resides in Wisconsin, the photo here shows him watching his son play. I met Ted in the spring of '88 at the U of Wisconsin, Madison WI, we were scouting a LHP named Tommy Fischer who was a 2nd round draft choice by the Boston RedSox in 1988 yet never reached the major leagues. Ted was always cordial to me and knew the good places to eat in Wisconsin. I'll always remember Ted!
Marv Olson, was a former professional baseball player and scouted for many years. From Gayville, South Dakota, Marv and I met during pro coverage at Rosenblatt Stadium, covering the then Omaha Royals when they were in the American Association. I believe that night, RHP Floyd Youmans was pitching vs the Omaha Royals. Marv was a classic old timer who didn't use a radar gun nor did you see him use a stop watch. He basically made judgements based on his instincts and eye sight as a former player and starting out as a scout back then when there were no radar guns nor any digital stop watches. Marv was a very nice man and we shared a few stories and he allowed me to go fishing on his property on a farm pond that he and his brother owned in Gayville which wasn't far from Yankton, South Dakota. Marv is no longer with us but he will always be remembered. He signed former MLB MIF, Dick Green from Rapid City, South Dakota years ago for the Oakland A's, as well as Eddie Bane, Dave Duncan, Bryan Oelkers. Marv Olson died on February 5, 1998, at Tyndall, South Dakota. He is buried in the Gayville Cemetery.
Another old timer, "Cobby" Saatzer, who scouted the upper midwest for a few ML clubs, was known for his reports on Dave Winfield and Robin Yount when he worked for the San Diego Padres. Cobby I met in 1987 after he took over for the retired scout for the Twins, Marv Olson. Cobby sounded like a grumpy old man but he truly was a gentleman and he'd let you know if he liked you or not. Cobby and I talked a few times about things in general in life which some scouts do. He was 40 years my elder and he was like talking to my grandfather. I cherish the times we ran into each other in Omaha on the scouting trail. We miss you Cobby!
A great man and scout with humor, Jerry Lafferty, currently works part-time for the KC Royals in the KC Area. I met Jerry in 1983 scouting a Legion tournament in Iowa when he was a part-time scout for the Phillies. No one worked harder or was more generous than Jerry, who many of us called, the Laughing Bear. Jerry has signed several ML players for the Phillies, most notably is Ryan Howard. Jerry is still a good friend and I hope our paths cross again soon!
Jon Lieber in High School and in the Majors. One of the nicest, hardest working and respectful young men I've ever had the pleasure to talk with and recommend as a pitcher, first to the New York Mets in 1990 and when they passed on him, to the U of South Alabama and coaches Steve Kittrell and Ronnie Powell for allowing Jon an opportunity to pitch for the Jaguar baseball club which lead him to the Major leagues, upon the due diligence of the Chicago Cubs who could not agree with Jon on a contract and the late Kansas City Scout, Ken Gonzales who signed Jon in the 2nd round of the 1992 MLB Draft, 44th overall pick. Jon went onto to pitch for a long time as a ML Starter while basically only pitching in relief in spurts for the Iowa Western Community College baseball program and Coach Bob Nowaczyk.
All of the 2017 inductees fall into one of the aforementioned characteristics for Iowa Western Community College.
Iowa Western baseball has had many great players come through the program. Few if any could compete for with what Jon Lieber accomplished in both his time at Iowa Western, and more notably his accomplishments in his career after his time in Council Bluffs. At his next stop at the University of South Alabama, Lieber collected 12-5 records both years with the Jaguars while leading them to the 1992 Sun Belt Conference championship. A second round draft pick in the 1992 MLB Draft, Lieber had a short two-year stint in the minors. In May 1994, after being traded into the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Lieber started what would be a 14-year career in the majors that also included stops with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Lieber appeared in 401 total games in his career, starting 327 of them and recorded 131 wins. Lieber pitched in the 2001 MLB All-Star Game.
Some old Free-Agent Reports from my employed days with the Rangers and Mets.
Recommended players signed or drafted by the New York Mets, 1989-93, Ricky Helling, Jason Isringhausen, Benny Agbayani, Brian Daubach, Darin Erstad
Bird dog 1983-87 for San Diego Padres, Brad Sloan Supervisor
Midwest Area Scout, 1988, Texas Rangers, Doug Gassaway Supervisor
Part-Time Scout Midwest, 1989-92, New York Mets, Larry Chase, Marty Harvat, Phil Favia Supervisors
Bird dog 1993, New York Mets, Larry Chase, Supervisor
Associate Scout, Texas Rangers 1994-97, Mike Grouse, Rudy Terrasas, Supervisors
Associate Scout, 1998-2001, Cleveland Indians, Steve Abney, Supervisor
Free-Lance Scout, 2002-2008 - Scouted Showcases, USA Events and PG All-Star Games
Special Assignment Scout, 2009-2011, Pro Scouts LLC - Baseball Digest
Free-Lance Scout, 2012-2016
Bird Dog, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tim Osborne Supervisor, 2016-present
This is Steve Abney when he was photo'd as the Kansas assistant baseball/pitching coach some years ago. Steve has signed a couple of ML players for the Indians and he was a college coach in California and Louisiana. Steve resides around the Lawrence, Kansas area.
Here are some of the archived names I've scouted in the past 34 years who reached the Majors, not necessarily in order mind you:
RHP Gregg Olson, Omaha Northwest HS, NE 1983-85 (Baltimore)
3B Alex Gordon, Lincoln SE HS, Lincoln NE 1997-2001, U of Nebraska/Team USA CNT 2004 (KC Royals)
RHP Jon Lieber, Abraham Lincoln HS, Council Bluffs, Iowa & Iowa Western CC (KC Royals, Cubs, Phils, Pirates) 1989-91
RHP Joel Hanrahan, Norwalk HS, Iowa (Dodgers) 2001
3B Albert Pujols, Maplewoods CC, Lee's Summit MO (St Louis) 1999
3B/OF Kevin Young, Kansas City CC & Southern Mississippi (Pirates)
RHP Ricky Helling, Fargo Legion, Fargo ND 1988-89 (Texas)
OF Darin Erstad, Jamestown Legion, Jamestown ND, 1990-91, U of Nebraska 1993-95 (Angels)
SS Mark Ellis, Rapid City Legion, SD (Oakland)
C Charles Johnson Jr, USA South Squad, Ft. Pierce FL 1988 (Montreal)
OF/1B Ryan Klesko, USA West Squad, 1988 (Braves)
RHP Paul Byrd, USA South Squad, 1988 (Cleveland)
SS Jim Thome, Limestone HS, Bartonville ILL 1988 (Cleveland)
SS Joe Randa, Kettle Moraine HS, West Bend WI 1988 (KC Royals)
RHP John Ericks, U of Illinois, 1988 (STL)
RHP Mark Clark, Lincoln Land CC, 1988 (STL)
RHP Jason Isringhausen, Southwestern HS, Piasa IL & Lewis & Clark College IL, 1990-91
RHP Eric Weaver, Illiopolis HS ILL 1991 (NDFA Dodgers)
RHP Bob Wickman U of Wisconsin-Whitewater 1988 (Yankees)
C Dan Wilson, U of Minnesota, 1988-90 (Seattle)
OF Thomas Goodwin, Fresno St, 1988 (Dodgers)
2B Jeff Kent, U of California, 1988 (Toronto)
1B, Ken Harvey, U of Nebraska, 1997-99 (KC Royals)
RHP Mike Pelfrey, Team USA CNT/Wichita St, 2004-05 (NY Mets)
LHP David Price, Vanderbilt/Team USA CNT, 2006 (Tampa)
3B/SS Ryan Zimmerman, Virginia/Team USA CNT, 2004 (Nationals)
LHP/1B Sean Doolittle, Virginia/Team USA CNT, 2004 (Oakland)
OF/IF, Lonnie Chisenhall, W Carteret HS, Morehead City NC, 2005-07, Pitt CC (Cleveland)
LHP Madison Bumgarner, South Caldwell HS, Lenoir NC 2005-07 (SF Giants)
3B, Kyle Seager, U of North Carolina, 2005-07 (Seattle)
C/OF Bryce Harper, Tournament of Stars/Las Vegas HS, NV, Southern Nevada CC 2009-10 (Nationals)
3B/1B Kris Bryant, Tournament of Stars/Bonanza HS, Las Vegas NV, 2009-10 (Chicago Cubs)
SS Manny Machado, Tournament of Stars/2009 (Baltimore)
RHP Carter Capps, Mount Olive College/Forest City Owls, 2009-11 (Seattle)
SS Francisco Lindor, Tournament of Stars/Montverde HS, Fla 2010-11, (Cleveland)
OF Jesse Winker, Olympia HS, Orlando FL/Tournament of Stars, 2010-11 (Cincinnati)
IF, Dee Gordon, Avon Park HS, FL, 2008 (Los Angeles Dodgers) 2009
SS/RHP, Nicholas Gordon, Olympia HS, Orlando FL, 2010-11 (Twins)
3B/RHP Joey Gallo, Tournament of Stars/NHSI, 2011-12 (Texas)
SS Corey Seager, NW Cabarrus HS, Kannapolis NC, 2010-2012 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
1B/RHP Matt Olson, NHSI/Parkview HS, GA, 2012
RHP Jameson Taillon, Tournament of Stars/The Woodlands HS, TX, 2009-10 (Pirates)
OF/1B Christian Yelich, Tournament of Stars/2009, (Miami Marlins) 2010
RHP Kevin Gausman, Tournament of Stars/Grandview HS, CO, 2009 (Baltimore)
RHP Aaron Sanchez, Tournament of Stars/Barstown HS, CA, 2009 (Toronto)
SS/3B Matt Duffy, Tournament of Stars/Lakewood HS, CA, 2009 (SF Giants)