Apparently I couldn't get enough of the Peoria complex this weekend, as I returned there to watch the Mariners host the Royals. Below is what I saw:
OF Bubba Starling (Royals) - Last saw him in extended, where I said he has the most tools I have seen of any minor leaguer, but there is bust potential there. Got a brief look at him today over the course of 3 plate appearances (where he walked twice on 8 total pitches and struck out in the other AB), so it wasn't a great look at his swing. It appears he is starting consistently late, causing his bat to have to rush through the zone This limits his bat speed a bit and helps prevent him from tapping into his power more consistently. He is still a plus runner with a long stride. Saw nothing today to change my opinion.
2B Jack Lopez (Royals) - Features a high maintenance, handsy swing and didn't do much to convince me he could be an everyday player. I feel there is a hole inside and he really struggles to keep his swing on time. This probably helps explain the massive struggles he had in his full season debut.
3B Patrick Leonard (Royals) - Leonard is a 6'4", 225 pound 19 year old who already has a major league body. He is another guy who has some interesting swing mechanics, as he starts his hands in tight on his body even with his back armpit. This causes some struggles with getting to the inside pitch. He showed good power in the Appy league for his pro debut and has a chance to profile as a solid avg to slightly above avg regular at 3B.
3B Mike Antonio (Royals) - Another Royal who had a horrific full season debut at Kane County, he also has some swing issues despite featuring above avg bat speed. He has a tendency to jump at the ball and fly open, limiting his ability to cover the plate or handle off speed stuff. The bat speed is a positive and if you can get his swing cleaned up just a bit, you could have a utility IF.
3B Joe DeCarlo (Mariners) - Saw DeCarlo in the AZL, where he started hot and struggled down the stretch. I came away liking him more then I thought I would. The 2nd rounder from this year, he features a very simple swing that should just need reps against quality pitching. He did struggle against the first couple of Royals pitchers who had some velocity, but that all should come together as he sees this velocity more. I think he has the potential of a solid avg 3B.
OF Gabriel Guerrero (Mariners) - Guerrero hit only .355 with 11 HR's in 200 AB's in the DSL, so he came over to the States to make his debut halfway through the AZL season, where he continued to hit (.333-.350-.560 in 75 AB's). Guerrero is the nephew of Vladimir Guerrero and features similar plate discipline, jumping out of his shoes at times to swing at pitches. The swing itself is a problem, as he has a lot of things going on (including a big leg kick that causes his weight to come forward), but he features above avg to plus bat speed. He has a knack for barreling balls and has a short to the ball swing that can hit for average. He is a project, as he was made to look silly in his 1st AB by 3 curveballs where he wasn't close. A very intriguing toolsy, raw player.
OF Guillermo Pimentel (Mariners) - Pimentel is another player who had a horrendous full season debut and he underwhelmed me. Not very physically imposing at 6'1", 205, he features avg bat speed in a whippy swing. His setup is interesting, as he is slightly hunched over the plate and is in a position with his lower half like he is about to sit in a chair. He also takes a deep hand load, which creates length to his swing. Think he is more org depth.
RHR Edwin Diaz (Mariners) - Diaz was the Mariners 3rd rounder this year and we saw him in the AZL before getting another look at him today. Out of Puerto Rico, I didn't notice much improvement from the AZL to instructs from him. He is a pure thrower with little idea of where the ball is going, coming from a low 3/4 full windup. He has gd deception, but will need to throw more quality strikes to take advantage of it. Stuffwise, he features a FB at 91-93 (though it was 88-89 out of the stretch due to struggles to incorporate his lower half) and 2 developing off speed pitches in a slurve at 78 and a CH at 85 that was straight w/ gd armspeed. For me, he probably fits better as a reliever.
RHS Victor Sanchez (Mariners) - The 17 year old was the Mariners starter on this day and threw 2 innings. He had a stellar pro debut at Everett considering his age and you can see why. He featured advanced stuff, as he had a FB at 91-92 w/ a little late run (just enough to miss the barrel) to go with a straight CH at 81 and a SL at 81-83 that flashed avg more times then not. He is a close to mature body however, featuring a mdm, stocky build w/ a strong lower half. Coming from a H 3/4, SWU, he is a guy to watch, as I think he may fit in a middle relief role when everything is said and done.
Other Mariners I saw on this day were Neritzon Osorio (making his States debut in instructs after dominating in the Venezuelan Summer League, he was 85-87 w/ a CH at 78-81 and has some projection left, which he better b/c that velo won't work as a righty), Pina (can't find a first name or who the heck he is, but he was a close to mature righty who worked 89-90 w/ 2 below avg secondary offerings) and Nate Saquilon (who I believe is an undrafted FA who was 85-86 from the left side w/ no below avg secondary offering).
RHR Aroni Nina (Royals) - Nina is a long, loose lean pitcher who has a frame that doesn't project to add any more muscle. He made his United States debut this year and showed strikeout ability and better command then he had shown previously. On this day, he was impressive. He worked 91-95 w/ gd angle to go with a CH at 83-86 w/ gd armspeed that flashed avg and a CB at 77-79 that was a mdm downer w/ tight late break. His stats haven't yet catched up to his stuff and considering he made his States debut at 22, he will probably need to be a reliever down the road.
Other Royals pitchers I saw on this day were Igol Feliz (making his States debut in instructs, was 87 w/ a short SL at 81-82 with a mature body), Jose Rodriguez (87-91 w/ a short SL at 80 that won't work), Ashton Goudeau (27th rounder this year, was 87-89 w/ an early breaking CB at 73 that helped him put up K numbers in the AZL) and Sam Lewis (90-91 w/ a big downer CB at 71-74 and a CH at 85 w/ little life and struggled to throw strikes on this day).
The Co-Op game was also going on the field next to me and stopped over to watch David Goforth (Brewers), who was a big arm strength guy at Ole Miss and wasn't near the pitcher I used to see in college. On this day, he was 88-92 w/ minimal deception and was still a thrower minus the plus velo he had in college. His SL was 78-80 w/ 3/4 tilt and wasn't even average. Was pretty disappointed with where he was at.
Because I apparently can't get enough of the Peoria complex, I will be returning to watch the Padres host the Royals tomorrow, as I want to see if I can catch one of the Padres young guns.