Monday, November 5, 2012

Rising Stars Game Writeup

With the Rising Stars game nationally televised, below is my breakdown of what I saw:

RHP Jarred Cosart (Astros) - More of the same from Cosart, hard FB that doesn't generate swings and misses and he deteriorates into a thrower.  His CB was 78-82 that breaks early and doesn't elicit swings and misses and his CH was 85 and was a bit firm.

RHP Kyle Gibson (Twins) - My first look at Gibson and he wasn't as good as I heard he was in the beginning of the AFL.  His sinker was 92-95 w/ gd angle and generates a lot of groundballs, but he still doesn't have an avg secondary pitch for me, as his CH at 83-85 doesn't have a lot of life and his SL at 86-87 was cutlike and stayed on 1 plane.

RHP Chase Anderson (Diamondbacks) - Anderson was significantly better then the last time I saw him and he actually had the look of a # 4 starter for me.  His FB was up to 90-94 with gd life while his CH was an above avg to plus pitch at 81-82.  His CB was 76-78 and looked like it could have been more then an early count strike pitch.  Didn't even need to throw his cutter to get outs on this day.  He probably did the most of anyone to stand out.

LHP James Paxton (Mariners) - Better CB on this day and paired it with an above avg CH at 84.  He was up to 98 with his fastball and profiles as a # 3 starter, though I am not sure how healthy he will be.

RHP Michael Brady (Marlins) - Brady worked his sinker at 89-91 and paired it with a short SL at 79-80 and a firm CH at 86. 

LHP Daniel Huchingson (Mets) - Lacks the breaking ball to be a lefty out of the pen despite the boring action his 2-seamer features at 88-92.  The offspeed pitches will need to continue to develop.

RHP Aaron Barrett (Nationals) - Same things as before, as he worked 91-92 with his sinker and 83-85 with his plus SL.

RHP Tony Zych (Cubs) - For whatever reason, Zych chose to showcase his CB, which didn't do much for me, in addition to his FB at 95-97 with life.  His SL will need to continue to develop while his SF at 87 had some dive.

RHP Michael Tonkin (Twins) - SL wasn't as good on this day, which resulted in him getting knocked around.  Velo was 94-95, so he still profiles as a solid middle relief piece.

LHP C.J. Riefenhauser (Rays) - Short, stocky with a thick lower half, he worked 90-93 with ride and deception.  His CB was 76-79 w/ mdm dwnr and was an avg pitch, although he elevated it on this day.  Has a shot as a lefty reliever with this being my first look at him.

LHP Mike Belfiore (Orioles) - Same guy, 90-91 w/ a SL at 80.

RHP Victor Black (Pirates) - Same guy, power arm no strikes.  Worked 95-96 w/ a power CB at 84.

RHP James Simmons (Athletics) - Velocity was up from the previous games I saw him at 92-93, but he still has zero feel for spinning a breaking ball and that will hurt him.

LHP Grant Dayton (Marlins) - First look at the lefty whom I believe will have arm trouble based on his action.  He was 92-94 and paired it with a SL at 83-86 with sweep.

No one really jumped out offensively on this day besides possibly Brian Goodwin, but I have been all over him as a stud, so wasn't a surprise to see him swing it like that on this day. 

November 5 - Desert Dogs @ Saguaros

Pete Ruiz blew a 4 run lead in the 9th as the Dogs knocked off the Saguaros 6-5.  Some thoughts below:

SS Hak-Ju Lee (Rays) - Lee continues to be a pull heavy hitter whose bat looks slow out here.  Will try to be a speed and defense based SS based on his profile out here.

OF Bryce Brentz (Red Sox) - Brentz homered on a hanging slider to LF and is starting to do more things to stand out, as he also showed an above avg throwing arm in RF today.  Not sure how much average he will hit for, but he is growing on me as a potential above avg corner OF.

RHP Zeke Spruill (Braves)- Spruill started before leaving after being hit by a line drive.  He is a tall, slenderly built kid w/ little muscle definition and attacks hitters from a 3/4, SWU.  He worked 90-93 w/ run to his FB and paired it with 2 solid avg off-speed pitches in his CH at 84-85 and his SL at 82-83.  With his slender build, he likely profiles as more of a middle reliever then a back end starter.

RHP Kyle Heckathorn (Brewers) - Heckathorn is a tall, well proportioned righty who attacks from a 3/4, SWU.  His delivery is high effort and unathletic and he is going to have problems throwing consistent strikes.  He worked 90-93 with some life and deception on righties.  Doesn't really have another pitch, as his SL was 82-85 and was fairly soft out of his hand while his CH was 84-86 with gd armspeed, but lacked life.  Not sure if the FB is good enough to make him a big leaguer.

LHP Ryan Buchter (Braves) - Buchter was traded from the Cubs this year and is another tall, athletic kid with a well proportioned body.  He comes from a L 3/4, NWU.  He was 88-92 (up to 93) and paired it with a slurve at 77 that he only threw once and buried.  Didn't get a good feel for him, but appears to have the raw tools to be a 2nd lefty in the pen.

RHP Kirby Yates (Rays) - The short, stocky right hander w/ a thick lower half was 92-94 w/ ride, a CH at 84-86 w/ gd armspeed and fade and sink and a SL at 82 with 3/4 tilt.  Doesn't have an above avg offspeed pitch, but can likely fit in a pen as a low leverage middle reliever.

RHP Pete Ruiz (Red Sox) - Stuff was down significantly from when I saw him last, as he was 90-93 today w/ a big, slurvy CB/SL at 78-82. 

Got 2 games tomorrow, so life is awesome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31 - Salt River @ Mesa

Got a fairly quick game from Mesa today, thanks in part to it being called after 9 innings with a 2-2 tie.

OF Corey Dickerson (Rockies) - I didn't want to like him while I was out here and still not sure what his ultimate ceiling is, but it is an easy to repeat lefty swing that can work for avg and power when it doesn't get long.  Seen some barrel control from him.  He is limited to LF (and profiles as a fringy defender) and not sure if there is enough offense to offset that.

RHP Luke Putkonen (Tigers) - First look at the righty who pitched in the big leagues this year, he is a tall, athletic guy with long arm and attacks from a H 3/4, SWU.  He worked 93-96, but it played down due to lacking life in the strike zone.  His CH was 84-86 w/ ok armspeed, but he had a tendency to pull the pitch and he showed a 79-81 CB that was a mdm dwnr and slowed his arm slightly for early in the count, but it did show 2-plane break as an out pitch.  Interesting first look, but want to look closer at the delivery.

RHP Evan Marshall (Dbacks) - Still like this guy and he threw a sinking FB at 92-94 w/ a big SL at 82-84 and a SF at 84.  Profiles as a setup guy for me and have seen him fill up the strike zone and get early outs in both outings.

As you are noticing, the writeups are getting shorter.  This is because guys are starting to settle in as what I see them as.  I plan to start finalizing reports this weekend for players who have exited the AFL (this list includes Javier Baez) and for guys who I have a feel for.  These will be posted sporadically and will culminate with an AFL overview post about a week after the AFL has concluded.

Tomorrow, will be heading to Scottsdale to watch them take on Surprise with a first look at Justin Marks and a 2nd look at Chris Gloor.

October 30 Doubleheader

Took in a doubleheader on the 30th and have more notes from the Scottsdale @ Peoria game then the Surprise @ Salt River game.  Below is what I saw:

RHP Robert Cassevah (Angels) - Still is what he is, working with a plus sinking FB at 89-93, up to 94 and showed 2 below avg secondaries in his CT/SL and splitter.

LHP Robbie Erlin (Padres) - First look at the small, athletic left hander and he is a significantly better fit for Petco then Texas, as he is a true finesse lefty without a plus pitch.  He features a solid avg FB at 88-90, up to 92, and paired it with 3 other offspeed pitches, a CH at 79-80 that had gd armspeed and was an above avg weak contact pitch, a SL at 78-81 that was solid avg and a big downer CB w/ gd spin at 71-77 that isn't a strikeout pitch.  Repeatable delivery w/ feel for moving the FB around, he profiles as a back end starter.  He gets high marks for pitchability and will throw any pitch in any count.  Solid lefty.

RHP Michael Tonkin (Twins) - First look at the XL tall, athletic righty who comes at hitters from a L 3/4.  He came at them with a moving FB at 93-95 that had above avg life and paired it with a SL that he threw once and didn't have a lot of break to it.  Has been throwing the ball well here, so hope to catch him again.

OF Slade Heathcott (Yankees) - Swung a real good bat on this day, going 4-5 with 2 triples.  He features a line drive oriented approach with the ability to hit gap to gap.  Getting a clearer look at him and he profiles as a solid avg regular.

RHP Trey Haley (Indians) - Not as electric the last time I saw him, but was 94-96 with life and paired it with a hammer CB at 85-86 when he didn't get around it.  Big time stuff.

RHP Victor Black (Pirates) - Black was the same guy I have seen, electric stuff (96-98 w/ FB, 83-84 w/ power CB) but no command. 

From the night game, got looks at 2 pitchers I hadn't seen:

RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (Rangers) - 89-91 w/ an avg SL at 81-83.  Pretty conventional righty reliever profiles as org depth from this look.

RHP Malcolm Culver (Royals) - 90-94 w/ run and sink and paired it with a short SL at 80 and a CH with a little fade at 82.  He got pissed after giving up the go ahead HR and got up to 94 at that point.  He piques my interest a bit.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29 - Rafters @ Desert Dogs

Continue to see a lot of the Rafters and they put a hurting on the Desert Dogs, knocking them off 9-2.  Below are some notes:

OF Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays) - Pillar had a pretty big 2012 statistically, but this is the first game of the AFL I have actually seen him hit.  He showed gd barrel control in a pull heavy approach.  Will be curious to continue to see him, as there may be a 4th OF there.

LHP Brian Flynn (Marlins) - My first look at the oversized, physical left hander, I was only able to watch him for an inning and he worked 91-92 w/ a SL that flashed avg at 82-84 and threw one bad CB at 75.  Interesting lefty based on the 1 inning.

RHP Ryan Perry (Nationals) - Similar to the 2nd outing, just pounded the strike zone with FB's and featured the cutter a little more prominently.  I think he is still a reliever, but he has definitely made strides at commanding the strike zone, though he does like to just lay some pitches down the middle in hitter counts.

RHP Cory Rasmus (Braves) - Obviously tiring, as he was 84-88 (as opposed to his usual 88-91) and showed a gd CH at 80-82 and a big CB at 72-74.

RHP Scott McGough (Marlins) - Worked 92-94 w/ a SL at 80-85 that was inconsistent and flashed avg.  Also showed off his plus athleticism with a few nice defensive plays on bunts and comebackers.

LHP Chris Rearick (Rays) - Still doesn't do anything for me, as he worked 86-89 w/ a SL at 79-83 that was just ok.

LHP Santos Rodriguez (White Sox) - Up to 98 today and the slurvy CB flashed plus with hard dwnr action.  Also worked in a CH at 84 that had gd armspeed.  Has improved every outing of the AFL and, while he will never throw a lot of quality strikes, has been around the zone enough to force bad swings on his FB.

RHP Aaron Barrett (Nationals) - Showed more sink to his 90-92 fastball and paired it with a plus SL once again at 83-84.  Can fit as a middle reliever w/ the sinker/slider mix.

RHP Brett Hunter (Athletics) - Struggled badly with command today and was 87-89 (up to 91) w/ run and sink, but no deception and hitters were teeing off.  His SL was a 1-plane breaker at 81-84 and his CH at 82 had a little life, but missed well outside with it. 

RHP Coty Woods (Rockies) - Woods gave up his first hits and runs of the AFL today and was 89-93 w/ hard sink and paired it with a short sweeping SL at 79-82 that had late break and a CH at 82-83 that had gd armspeed and featured later in the inning to elicit swings and misses from righties.  Has a place as a situational reliever.

Tomorrow, will be on double duty.  Will be attending the Scottsdale v Peoria game to see Robert Cassevah a 3rd time, but get to see Robbie Erlin (who was one of the guys I really wanted to see).  Then, will be attending the night game featuring a strong matchup of Kevin Siegrist v Andre Rienzo in Salt River.  Hopefully they will be fast games.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 27 - Peoria @ Surprise

Got a beautiful game yesterday, as the Saguaros knocked off the Javelinas 4-1 in a game that lasted 2 hours and 22 minutes and had an astounding 7 double plays.  Below is what I saw:

OF Nate Roberts (Twins) - Had another 2 hits yesterday to bump his average up to .522.  He puts together quality at bats, but doesn't profile to hit for enough power to play a corner, so will be interested to see him in CF one of these days.

2B Cory Spangenberg (Padres) - Spangenberg hit an oppo HR yesterday that got up in the wind and appeared to be a ball he wanted to pull, but was late and hit it out to LF.  Still don't have a feel for him.

1B Chris McGuiness (Rangers) - He collected another 2 hits today with his pull heavy approach designed to hit line drives and fly balls.  I am not sure if he is going to provide enough production to profile as an everyday 1B, but should have value on a bench.

OF Mike O'Neill (Cardinals) - O'Neill collected another 3 hits today with his slap approach and is another guy that doesn't profile to hit for enough power to play a corner.  Another guy that grinds out at bats and it depends on how he plays in CF for what his ultimate profile would be.

RHP Kyle Simon (Phillies) - The sinkerballer attacked from a L 3/4 arm angle w/ an unathletic delivery that throws across his body.  The sinker is a gd weapon, as it gets groundballs w/ velo at 89-92.  He pairs it with a fringy CH at 83-86 and a cutter at 87 that is developing and showed a little tilt.  Sinker is intriguing, but secondary stuff is behind. 

LHP Caleb Thielbar (Twins) - 2nd look at the lefty and he was 89-93 w/ a SL at 79-82 and a CB at 72-75.  Has a chance to be a 2nd lefty in a pen, but profiles as more emergency depth.

RHP Colby Shreve (Phillies) - Halfway through the outing, decided to switch to 4-seamers and those were 92-94 with a little ride while his 2 seam was 89-92 w/ a little run and sink.  As a reliever, think he would be better served with the 4-seam.  Paired it with an ok SL at 80-83 and a CH at 83.

RHP Carson Smith (Mariners) - 92-95 w/ a frisbee SL at 86-88 and a CH at 87.  Still has the profile as a middle reliever/setup man.

RHP Josh Ravin (Reds) - Worked 98-100 w/ a CH or CT at 88 that didn't do anything and a CB at 77-78.  Still profiles as more of a middle reliever then high leverage reliever, as he is a comfy AB, as he lacks deception and guys square up his velocity routinely.

RHP Boone Whiting (Cardinals) - Whiting is the same guy, adding and subtracting and was 82-92 again with his FB and paired it with a solid avg to above avg CH at 75-81, mdm downer CB at 77-79 and a short SL at 79-80.  Still more of an org guy and the CH wasn't as consistently good as I last saw it last week.

RHP Chris Martin (Red Sox) - 2nd straight game where he showed gd stuff and solid command of it, as he was 91-94 w/ a little cut and paired it with a solid avg SL at 83-85 that flashed above avg.

RHP Pete Ruiz (Red Sox) - This was my 1st look at him and, according to chatter within the stands, was his most electric.  He was 92-96 from a H 3/4 quirky release and paired it with a SL at 81-86 that flashed plus and a potential put away pitch.  Based on this look, there is setup upside if he can develop his command.

RHP Ryan Fraser (Mets) - Like this guy as a solid middle reliever, even though he battled his command more today then I had seen previously.  Worked 91-93 w/ gd angle and sink and paired it with a solid avg SL at 80 that flashed above and below avg and a CH at 85-88 that showed split life at times.

Not sure on what games I am seeing tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26 - Mesa @ Scottsdale

Witnessed history today, as the Solar Sox finally got off the schneid with an 8-4 win at the Scorpions.  Below is what I remember from seeing, as I left my notes at the office again:

1B Jonathan Singleton (Astros) - Singleton popped a 2B and a 3B and his 3B was about a 410 foot shot to CF that would have been a HR at almost anywhere else.  Still a stud muffin.

OF L.J. Hoes (Orioles) - Hoes had 3 hits and shows a line drive bat with an all fields approach.  He is playing either tired or doesn't feel like being here, so it will be interesting to see how slow his times to first get later on in the AFL.

1B Aaron Westlake (Tigers) - Hit a bomb to right field today that was about 400 feet and is swinging the bat better now.  The swing is still long and not sure if there will be consistent success there.

OF Tyler Holt (Indians) - Holt had 2 hits today, but has underwhelmed me, as he lacks a carrying tool and I am not sure yet if he has the ability to play CF.

DH Austin Romine (Yankees) - Romine is back in the AFL and is showing a solid approach with line drive ability and he has some HR power to his pull side and to CF.  Don't think he is an everyday C due to defense, but can definitely have some value in Yankee Stadium.

C Alex Monsalve (Indians) - Monsalve features a true plus arm w/ a long release, which results in solid avg pop times at 1.90.  He features a pull heavy approach with some power and is young enough (19) where he can still figure out some things to be an everyday C.

RHP Jarred Cosart (Astros) - Cosart worked 94-97 w/ a fringy CB at 79-81 and a solid avg CH at 83-85.  He features a wrist wrap in his delivery, which is going to cause some forearm issues (and he has already had some) and going to make it surprising for him to get through a season fully healthy consistently.  The raw stuff is good, but he really struggles to command his pitches.  More of a # 3 starter then a truly elite starter because of the command struggles.

RHP Nick Tropeano (Astros) - A taller version of Cosart, Tropeano attacked hitters with a sinker at 92-93 and a change at 80-82.  He also showed what may have been a cutter at 86.  Interesting first look.

RHP Chia-Jen Lo (Astros) - Lo showed a FB up to 97, but it was paired with a slurvy CB at 77.  Didn't really command his stuff either. 

LHP Chris Gloor (Giants) - The big bodied, appeared 6'8", 250, left hander is a truly finesse pitcher who showed a FB up to 91 and worked 87-89.  He paired it with 3 fringy to below avg offerings in his CH at 80-82, CB at 68-76 and a SL at 78-79.  He understands how to pitch and works the fringes of the zone.  That being said, he is probably not a big leaguer.

RHP Trey Haley (Indians) - The pure arm strength right hander was up to 100 today and showed some life to his FB.  He also featured a 1 plane SL at 85.  It is a max effort delivery with a violent throw, leading questions to his ability to throw consistent strikes.  The arm strength is a big calling card though and will be interesting to see how he is in later outings.

Tomorrow, will be attending the Javelinas at the Saguaros to watch the pitching matchup of Kyle Simon v Boone Whiting.