Thursday, September 27, 2012

Central Arizona JC @ Rangers

The Rangers, on a work day, invited Central Arizona JC to play them (they will also be playing again next week).  This provided the rare opportunity to see how some of CA's top prospects match against pro players.  I was focused more on them then the Rangers.

RHP Ricky Jacquez (Central Arizona) - Jacquez transferred in from Texas, where he saw time as the Sunday starter as a freshman.  He appeared to be very similar to what I saw then, as he is a small, athletically built pitcher who lacks the size and strength for what scouts want to see from the guys they project in the rotation.  He was in his element today though, as he featured 3 avg or better pitches in a FB that was 90-92 with solid life, a CH at 78-82 thrown w/ gd armspeed and fade and a CB at 77-78 that was a power mdm downer w/ gd spin.  He showed advanced pitchability, throwing his off-speed stuff in hitters counts (especially the CH) and kept Texas off balance for his 3 shutout innings (which was against the big boppers in the Texas lineup).  It all comes down to ultimate role and I think he is either going to be a 5th starter or middle reliever, although I have heard reports of higher velo's in shorter stints.

OF Spencer O'Neil (Central Arizona) - I thought O'Neil (a 33rd rounder by the Yankees in 2011) was the best offensive prospect that Central Arizona had and the only other besides Jacquez I would throw a draft grade on based on today.  O'Neil is a tall, athletic projectable player w/ ok present strength.  Hits from a spread w/ a shift of weight and load.  Swing has a tendency to get long, but features avg bat speed and pull power (one AB that I did not get video of was when he hit a 1 hopper to the wall in RF).  In RF, he shows a plus arm w/ accuracy that has him listed as a pitcher on Central Arizona's roster as well.  The ball he drove to the wall was off a lefty, so he will not have any L on L issues.  All that being said, he did struggle with offspeed stuff and there is some pitch recog issues there.  Profiles as a 4th OF type.
OF Jordan Dunatov (Central Arizona) - Dunatov was a 14th rounder by the Pirates in 2011, but was committed to Oregon State and has now ended up at Central Arizona.  He is a tall, athletic (6'5", 200) whose body doesn't appear to be able to support too much weight and will likely end up playing at 215.  He hits from a rotational swing that features below avg bat speed.  He is a long strider and aggressive on the bases w/ above avg speed.  He also features a plus arm, making him a very intriguing package in CF, where he gets ok jumps and takes gd routes.  I just don't know if there is going to be enough offense to make him worth it for a professional organization.
SS David Masters (Central Arizona) - Masters transferred in from Arkansas (14 AB as frosh) to Central Arizona this year after being selected in the 50th round by the Diamondbacks in 2011.  Masters has a mdm, athletic build w/ some projection left.  He hits from a shoulder-width position w/ a stride and mini load.  For me, his calling card is defensively, where hs features soft hands and gd body control, although I don't think he is a SS as a professional and will need to move to 2B.  Offensively, he features below avg bat speed that can drag through the zone and has some length.  Not a draft guy for me based on this 1 game look.
2B David Petrino (Central Arizona) - The 3 hole hitter in Central's lineup, he featured a mdm, athletic build w/ gd present strenght in a close to mature body.  While he plays 2B now, his body type will likely move him to 3B.  Offensively, he hits from an open stance w/ a stride and load.  He features below avg bat speed and, while standing at the front of the box against JUCO competition will work, he needs to stand in the back of the box against the caliber of pitching he faced today.
OF Sean Hurley - Hurley was a Miami commitment, but switched his commitment to Central Arizona.  The juco freshmen features a mdm to tall athletic build w/ gd present strength and a close to mature body.  He features a leg kick that causes his weight to go forward and you can tell he was having timing issues against this caliber of pitching.  He featured below avg bat speed and didn't do much to stand out in the other facets of the game because he was DHing.  He is recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery and the fact he had to have his first game against Rangers pitchers working in the low to mid 90's definitely had an impact on his ability to be on time and let his tools play.  Will be a guy to monitor in the spring as he gets further recovered from surgery.
Also looked a few Rangers, where Ronald Guzman hit a line drive HR to right field, which continues my line of thinking that he just needs to add some leverage to his swing (which will diminish his avg ability) to make him a more valuable hitter.
And Joey Gallo was late, but showed his above avg bat speed and wasn't tested at 3B.
Also, Keone Kela was on the mound for the Rangers and appears to be making strides towards becoming a solid relief option for them, although the only velo I got was 93.  He was up to 97 in the AZL, but appeared to be pitching with more command today.
Tomorrow, I am definitely going to Kansas City to watch Travieso start for the Reds and am not sure if I will then head to Glendale to focus more on these Rangers or just watch the Royals play.

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