Attended the advanced instructs game at Maryvale stadium today, which featured the Surprise (Royals and Rangers) squad against the Maryvale (Brewers and Mariners) squad.
OF James Jones (Mariners) - Was my first look at the 5 tool player and he was very good on this day. A long, loose, athletic body that still has growth to it, he showed above avg bat speed and usable plus pull power (hit one ball that was barely foul, then hit a HR about 390 to RF in his last AB). Also features plus speed, getting down the line at 4.06 from the left side. An exciting player who wasn't tested much in RF and he should be able to play CF with his speed. A guy to watch who has the profile to be an above avg regular.
SS Orlando Calixte (Royals) - Had the best bat speed of any players on the day. While the swing itself is a concern (has a tendency to fire his hips early and get way out on his front side), he features the raw tools of an avg everyday player. He DH'd on this day and didn't do much as a runner, but the bat is impressive.
C Jorge Alfaro (Rangers) - 2nd straight instructs look at this young C and he has all the tools to be a plus defender behind the plate. Quick release with a plus arm and had a 1.88 pop time. He moves well behind the plate, although he can be a bit lazy. Offensively, didn't do much, but shows a swing that should be able to be at least backup catcher worthy with time.
OF Brett Eibner (Royals) - Appears to have lost some weight from last year, he still features the avg bat speed and power potential. The swing is a concern for him, as he is consistently late and everything is forced to play catchup. He has been widened out and would prefer to see him get narrower and actually have to stride. Still a pull heavy hitter. At this point, I would have to guess he isn't far from getting on the mound.
3B Cheslor Cuthbert (Royals) - The perennial prospect, he also DH'd in this game (Surprise hit 10 guys) and showed the bat speed he has always had. He has a hitch with his hands that makes him struggle to turn the bat loose. He suffers from a similar problem as Eibner in this regard.
SS Yadiel Rivera (Brewers) - The 20 year old had a rough introduction to full-season ball and it has appeared to continue. He is suffering from lapses in the field and still learning the speed of the game. Swing itself isn't bad w/ avg bat speed, which suggests he just needs reps to start hitting.
3B Steven Proscia (Mariners) - Made all the plays at 3B and hit a bomb to left center. That being said, he still has the look of a guy who is going to struggle to hit for a high avg and isn't a plus defender at 3B. He should supply enough RH power to have some value.
LHP Greg Williams (Rangers) - Prolly the best arm I saw on this day, he worked 89-92, up to 93 in his first inning. He paired that with an avg CH at 83-86 and a short 3/4 tilt SL at 79-82. He lost a lot of velo in the 2nd inning, as he worked 88-89. He intrigues me as a potential lefty reliever, but will need to continue to develop the SL.
Other Rangers pitchers seen on this day were Nick Martinez (88-92 w/ below avg 4 pitch mix), Jon Edwards (first full year pitching, 91-94 w/ inconsistent 75-77 CB and was a pure thrower) and Phil Klein (who had a big year this year, but was 90-92 w/ a developmental SL at 82-85).
LHP Alan Williams (Brewers) - The best Brewers arm on the day, Williams worked 90-91 in his 1 inning of work and showed a straight change at 83-85. He also showed a CB in warmups. Not a big upside here, but he has a chance to pitch himself into a low leverage role with the big club.
Other Brewers pitchers seen on this day were Matt Miller (88-90 w/ below avg 4 pitch mix, best of which was an avg CH), Eric Marzec (88-90 w/ ok SL and CH) and Greg Holle (89-90 sinker w/ little else).
Tomorrow, I will likely be attending the instructs game between the Padres and Reds, of which you can expect another full report.