Returned to Scottsdale for the night game, which Scottsdale won 5-2 on the strength of 5 shutout innings from Pirates prospect Kyle Kaminska. Observations are below:
OF L.J. Hoes (Orioles) - Got my first look at Hoes and he did some positive things and some negative things. His bat speed was apparent, as he ripped a single to left center off a 96 mph FB from Victor Black and showed the ability to track the ball in RF. He didn't hustle out of the box though and would consistently take 3 hard steps then shut it down. Whether that is a deeper issue or a fatigue issue, we will find out.
1B Ricky Oropesa (Giants) - Oropesa features avg bat speed from a strong, physical frame. He features above avg raw power, though he gets it more strength then bat speed. He struggles with pitches on the inner half and prefers to extend his hands. He homered tonight on a CH from Rhee (threw him way too many over the course of 2 AB's) and it will be interesting to see how he profiles as I get more looks at him.
RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (Cubs) - The Korean threw the ball as well as he has thrown it all year. He featured a FB at 90-92 w/ run and sink that had occasional late run to go with a CH at 79-84 that was solid avg w/ gd armspeed and mvmt (fade and sink, sometimes hard fade and sink) and a CB at 74-79 with gd spin and avg depth. Still, he is probably not a big leaguer.
RHP Kyle Kaminska (Pirates) - Kaminska is a sinker baller who worked 88-91 with the pitch, but it didn't feature big time mvmt or velocity. He paired it with a SL at 83-84 that got better as the game went on (broke later) and a CH at 83-86 that had gd armspeed and looked like a CH out of his hand. He pounded the strike zone and generated a lot of soft groundballs to Cowart at 3B. Profile is more of an emergency starter then a consistent big leaguer, though the stuff could play up out of the pen.
3B Kaleb Cowart (Angels) - While he is still struggling with his timing offensively (oppo oriented approach and can't tell if it because he is consistently late with his foot or because he is loading too deep with his hands to generate power), but he is a plus defender at 3B. He featured the ability to make plays on the run with plus arm strength and a reliable glove. He has a tendency to do no look stabs, but his hands are so good that the glove always gets the ball. Still waiting for the offense to match the reports and the player I saw last year, but the tools are there.
LHP Alex Sogard (Astros) - 89-91 w/ a CB at 75-78 and a CH at 78 that slipped out of his hand. Stuff was pretty marginal tonight and struggled to command.
RHP Shawn Armstrong (Indians) - Still a big fan and he was 94-96 and loves to pitch inside. He paired it with a SL/CT (more like a cutter on this night after looking more like a SL his previous outing) at 89-90 and a CB at 83. He may need to learn to get more differential to his stuff to generate the swings and misses that it should. He also lacks life in the zone and deception, so his FB will play down at times.
RHP Tyler Clark (Tigers) - My first look at the Tigers reliever, he was 90-93 w/ gd deception but little life. He paired it with a CH at 81-83 that he was pulling and slowing his arm down slightly on.
RHP Mark Montgomery (Yankees) - Established the FB in this outing and was the same guy, but was able to throw the SL in counts where hitters would chase. Was 91-93 w/ the SL at 83-85.
LHP Chris Petrini (Orioles) - My first look at the Orioles reliever, he worked 90-92 w/ a little life (though inconsistent) and paired it with an above avg SL at 80-82. He has a shot as a 2nd lefty in a pen thanks to the SL, but will need to learn to throw more strikes with the FB. Still a bit of a thrower.
RHP Jacob Dunnington (Giants) - He weighs 160 pounds and that is not a lie. He looks like he has never seen a weight room. That being said, this is a guy to watch until he blows out from his max effort delivery. He was electric on this night, working with a FB at 92 that had ride with a quick arm that could add velo if his frame could support more weight (hint, it can't). He paired it with 2 plus breaking pitches, a SL at 78-79 that had late break and frisbee action to it and a CB at 74-77 that was a true knee buckler. His issue is he threw the CB from a different slot, which will not work at higher levels. He can still be a FB/SL reliever and a high leverage guy at that. Promising first look.
RHP Tony Zych (Cubs) - Threw a 60 on Zych coming out and felt a little better after watching him tonight. He features excellent deception due to his short arm action and glove action and causes his FB at 95-96 to play up. He has good life on the pitch, with run and sink and paired it with a SL at 83-86 that was tight w/ inconsistent depth and flashed above avg. Just needs to continue refining the SL.
RHP Victor Black (Pirates) - Black has electric stuff from an over the top release, working 95-97 and a power mdm downer CB w/ tight spin at 81-84. His delivery is max effort and he has a glove tap with the ball that was causing his timing to be off early on. His main struggle was not getting over his front side and drifting a bit on the rubber. He walked guys early (and we joked it was to face Castellanos and Singleton) and it turned out it may have been the case. He made Castellanos look silly (chased a 0-1 CB buried) and struck him out on 3 pitches. He then won a great at bat against Singleton by throwing his hammer on the inside corner after Singleton fought off a number of tough pitches to strike him out. Intriguing guy and will be curious to see how his command is in future outings.
LHP Dan Runzler (Giants) - After Black needed 30 pitches, AFL veteran Dan Runzler worked 93-94 to strike out George Springer.
Tomorrow, will be heading to Phoenix to watch Jimmy Nelson face off against the Surprise Saguaros and Joe Van Meter.