Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reds @ Padres

As I have seen these teams multiple times this instructs season, I took in 5 innings of their game today to get a look at a couple pitchers.

RHP Zach Eflin (Padres) - Eflin dealt with some bad luck, coming down with forearm tightness before the draft, causing him to fall to the Padres in the supplemental first round.  He then came down with mono and missed a good deal of the AZL season.  The tall, sturdy Eflin took to the mound today, but still hasn't regained his strength.  He attacked hitters from a H 3/4, SWU and his arm works very similarly to Tommy Hanson of the Braves.  He showed a FB at 88-91 with a SL at 80-81 and a CH at 84-85.  He has the makings of a solid avg to better 3 pitch repetoire, with the SL needing more work, though it still flashed avg on this day.  The FB also lacked deception and had a little cut and I am don't think you can create deception there.  The CH was thrown with ok armspeed and had fade, though it looked better in warmups.  Good to get a feel for the type of player he is, but to evaluate him at less then full strength is a mistake.

RHP Dan Langfield (Reds) - Langfield was the reason I attended this game, as I wanted to see if he was a potential quick mover to the big leagues as a reliever.  The close to mature pitcher with a bulldog build in his lower half attacked hitters from an OTT, SWU.  There was high effort there, as he grunted on every pitch and did appear to be overthrowing at times.  He worked 92-94 w/ gd angle to his FB and paired that with a power CB at 79 that is a swing and miss pitch.  His other 2 offerings (SL at 86-88 and his CH at 84-87) are developmental.  The delivery creates some command problems, as he doesn't maintain a consistent direction from pitch to pitch and struggles with keeping his arm on time.  Also finishes a bit upright, which can make it a little harder to get the ball down in the zone.  I still believe his future is in the pen, but I don't think he is as quick a mover as I thought.

C Dane Phillips (Padres) - Phillips was a 2nd rounder out of Oklahoma City after transferring from Oklahoma State.  He was the C on this day and you can add me to the group that thinks the mdm, athletically built Phillips will wind up in LF.  For me, he comps similarly to John Jaso of the Mariners (formerly the Rays) when I saw him in AA minus the quick release.  Phillips is an extremely raw receiver, showing an inconsistent setup from pitch to pitch and a tendency to jump into position (which creates a lot of action for a pitcher to see).  He, like Jaso, features a below avg arm, but he lacks the release that helped Jaso throw in the 1.95 range.  Phillips best was a 2.06 between innings and was a 2.11 on a steal by the Reds 1B.  There is also some head violence in his throw that would tend to think avg accuracy is the ceiling.  He will hit though, as he features above avg bat speed (will swing uphill at times) and should hit for some average and power.  Profile is that of a bench bat.

C Austin Hedges (Padres) - Lets get this out of the way, Hedges is the best catch and throw guy in the minors, bar none.  I have heard from many sources of consistent 1.8 pop times.  What I don't understand is why people aren't buying higher on the bat.  Hedges, for me, is Buster Posey when all is said and done, minus some power.  Hedges has an extremely repeatable swing that just needs game reps against breaking balls.  Has a tendency to get out on his front side, but keeps his hands back well.  Currently has gap to gap power and profiles for 15-20 HR's and ability to hit .280-.290.  People seem to overlook the fact that the 19 year old slugged .451 in the MWL and that would have ranked him 13th in the league, ahead of players such as Brewers 1B Nick Ramirez and Royals OF Jorge Bonifacio.  Hedges is a great fit for Petco and will hold down the C job when he is ready in 2015.

OF Brian Adams (Padres) - Formerly a 2 sport player at Kentucky (football), Adams never focused on baseball until this year.  The tools are there for a solid avg regular, as he showed avg bat speed and was an above avg runner, though he is still raw.  He needs to learn to get to top speed quicker and get better jumps on the bases.  The swing is cleaner then I anticipated, but he is in for a big test at Fort Wayne.

Tomorrow will be a much needed day off for myself and then will check out Central Arizona against the Rangers on Friday.  Hope to introduce some amateur draft reports for those whose interest is there tomorrow.

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