Friday, August 31, 2012

Keeping Dreams Alive

Today, one of the best personalities on the internet left the internet, kind of.
He says he'll still be checking in but I wonder if he will now do it under an anonymous handle, but however it happens, Kevin Goldstein has left the building. He is now the Pro Scouting Coordinator for the lowly Houston Astros. I say lowly because of their MLB record, but I really do think they are doing it right, building from the ground up. I think if you are reading this, you are aware of what I would have done with their system, whether everyone in the world thinks it was unrealistic or not. That said, I am happy for him. I will miss his podcast with the always #wet full of #want, Jason Parks. I was even mentioned on it once thanks to my insanity of ranking 2000 prospects. At least I know his knowledge is going to a good place.

I was a huge fan of the Astros when I was a kid. I'm looking forward to seeing them become a force again in the A.L.

To all of you baseball nuts and writers, hopeful amateur scouts and everyone who wants to work in baseball, KG is a reason to keep that dream alive. Dedicate yourself, build contacts and kick ass at what you do and maybe you will be next. I'll be cheering you on.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The 5 Tool Player

There was a 16 year old dominican in 2006 that I thought was a potential 5 tool guy. I knew he would lack power but for a shortstop, I thought he could have enough pop to be a good hitter for the position. His defense was stellar and would get him to the bigs quick. His speed was solid average, his contact was 55-60. He was a solid 53-55 type of player. This is a 5 tool player to me. Solid average to slightly above across the board. This is a guy that would have been a 1st rounder or a supplemental pick in the draft if he weren't an international guy.
This guy made it to the bigs by 20 years old, has 896 MLB AB's and has hit .271/.338/.336 in those AB's. He has 3.3 career WAR over these 3 partial seasons and I think he is a success as a big leaguer but if you expect more than this out of a 5 tool talent, you are mistaken. There are so few players that make it to the majors and make an impact, that anyone who puts up these kind of numbers is a clear success of scouting and development in my opinion.
My example 5 tool talent here is more of a 3 tool talent now. It is Ruben Tejeda. I loved him in 2006 and am impressed by the player he is now. To me, these are the types of players that every team needs to succeed. Guys with a lot of potential that will likely regress from what you expect them to be but still be good enough to get AB's. That is why I draft high end athletic guys that are high risk. Even if they don't get to 40% of their potential, they will still be MLB'ers with positive results.

A lot of college players that make it to the majors and put up these kind of numbers are guys who reached above what the tools look like they could achieve. These are a lot harder to find because most of those players do it on mental toughness and making adjustments. These are two very unpredictable elements of a player. Without talking to players in person and sitting on them for months, it is almost impossible to know. I'm kind of rambling here, but I never said I was a good writer. I just love baseball and the intricacies.


Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins

Max Kepler is an amazing athlete but had a slow start after signing out of Germany. Both his parents are ballet dancers, so the athleticism is obviously there. Shortly after signing, comparisons to elite athletes were being dropped, including Mickey Mantle. That is crazy but it says there is really something there. The results didn't come immediately but no one expected that.

This season he is repeating the Appalachian League and the skills are starting to really pop. His isolated power is up from .105 to .241. That is enormous. He has hit 10 HR's in 269 AB's and has very good secondary numbers.

Everything is going the right direction for the young German. It would not surprise me a bit if he is in many of the experts top 100 prospect list this spring. He was #86 on my pre-2011 list and #148 prior to this season with my new ranking that included amateurs. However you look at it, he projects to be a future starter in RF or LF and should produce well above average and be a solid MLB starter with a chance to be a star.

Baseball America Article
Baseball Reference Page
MiLB Page
Fangraphs Page


Hit - 55/60
Power - 60
Speed - 50/55
Arm - 50/55
Defense - 55/60


TJ Pecoraro, P, Vanderbilt


Vandy Baseball Profile


Daniel Palka, 1B, Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Profile
College Baseball Daily
Perfect Game Profile
Scout.com Video


Joseph Martarano, 3B, Idaho HS

Perfect Game Article
Idaho Statesman Article
ESPN Article
ESPNHS Article 
MLB.com Article


Monday, August 20, 2012

Under Armour Game at Wrigley



Clint Frazier Prospect Video, Loganville High School (via Steve Fiorindo)
The 2013 baseball draft prep class is hard to figure out. There are a few guys at the top that stand out with the bat but don't have a lot of defensive value. That makes this difficult. The clear talent was at the plate though.
1. Clint Frazier, OF, 6', 190, Loganville, GA
He has ridiculous bat speed. He isn't a physical presence like some others in this draft but the wrists and forearms create elite bat speed and plus power. He has great contact ability and plays like every play will be his last. He was the best player in this game and will be the best player in a lot of the games he plays until he retires.
2. Justin Williams, OF, 6'2", 215, Houma, LA
Williams is a physical presence. He is a good football player as well apparently but baseball is his future. His bat is really fast and his power is extremely impressive. He is a RF and should be a solid defensive outfielder. He has a very good arm as well but the bat is the value here. The fact he can be a RF and not resigned to 1B is the reason he is above Smith.

3. Dominic Smith, 1B, 6', 195 Los Angeles, CA
Smith has great offensive potential. He can really hit the hell out of the ball. His double in this game shows his elite hitting ability. He is anchored to 1B unless he steps onto the mound, where he is very good as well, though he didn't pitch in this game.
4. Jan Hernandez, SS, 6'3", 185, San Lorenzo, PR
Hernaadez may be a 3B in the long run because he is slow. He may have enough quickness to play SS for a while but it doesn't matter. He crushes baseballs. He hits everything hard. He takes aggressive hacks but he barrels everything.
5. Brett Morales, RHP, 6'2, 190 Tampa, FL
His breaking ball flashed plus and his change was very good. His fastball was the best I saw in the game and he really impressed me. He got hit around a little but he was the best arm in this game.
6. Zack Collins, 1B, 6'3", 215, Pembroke Pines, FL
Collins has almost no defensive value if he can't stick behind the dish. I didn't get a good feel for his ability back there but his value is at the plate. He is one of the top bats in this draft. He should be a middle of the order hitter and his bat should over ride the lack of defensive value.
7. Austin Meadows, OF, 6'3", 200, Loganville, GA
Meadows looks like a star. He is athletic, smooth and effortless but I have yet to see anything that blows me away with him. His triple at the end of the game was the best swing I have seen from him out of dozens of AB's. I need to watch more of him to see if I am missing something but I don't see a top 10 guy here as everyone else does.
The others:
Brian Navaretto, C, 6'3, 215, Jacksonville, FL
Navaretto looked good great behind the dish, showing off his arm and also looking good at the dish. He is a nice looking prospect.
Jon Denney, C/1B, 6'2, 205, Yukon, OK
Denney looked good behind the dish as well but made it look easy at the plate. I heard he looked good at the Area Code Games as well. I haven't seen enough of him to know if this is who he is, but if he can keep this up, he is a 1st rounder.
Trey Ball, OF, 6'6", 180, New Castle, IN
Ball looked long, lean and loose in his swings at the plate. Much better than on the mound in my opinion. He could be interesting next spring to see what MLB teams think of him. I would think he'd be a OF'er but that is only if he doesn't gain a couple ticks.
Pitchers are hard to get a grasp on in showcase events. You don't get to see a lot of them and you can only see flashes of what they could be.
Kacy Clemens looks a lot like his Dad without the Split and the mid 90's heat. SO he looked kinda OK. I'd still like him if his name were something other than Clemens but watching that delivery makes me hopeful he follows in his Pop's footsteps for just a few years.
Connor Jones, RHP, looked good. He has a similar delivery to Danny Hultzen with his bent knees on the mound. His sinker/slider combo was impressive and he looks like he could be a solid college pitcher and be a back end of the rotation guy down the line.
Robert Tyler, RHP, is in the same boat. He flashed an average fastball, change and a fringy curveball but with some improvement to the curve, he could be a solid #4 starter in the bigs.
Thomas Hatch, RHP, doesn't have the best fastball in the world, it's 85-89 but he works well off it. His breaking ball is average but his change flashes plus. It has good fade to it and he commands it well. I don't know if he projects better than a reliever but if he gains a couple ticks on the fastball, he could be a solid arm.
Chris Kohler, LHP, while his fastball is only in the upper 80's and scrapes 90 on occasion, his arm speed projects more. His delivery is easy and effortless and his secondary pitches are solid. He is athletic and could be a guy that really could jump up with a velocity uptick.
JP Crawford, SS
Nice bat, good athlete.
Dustin Driver, RHP
Bulldog with potential.
Dalton Dulin, 2B
For all the little 2B fans and fans who like grinder types.
Corey Ray, OF
A little like Brian Goodwin. Announces say Granderson but I don't see that.
Jared Brasher, RHP
Love the hair. Better in other views.
Matt McPhearson, OF
Blazing OF. Great athleticism.
Joey Martarano, 3B, Ivan Wilson, OF and KJ Woods, OF all look like football players on a baseball field.
Wait a bit longer on...
Lewin Diaz, 1B
A top name for July 2, 2013. Will be huge since he is already like 6-3, 210. A little Ron Guzman to him.
Alex Jackson, C
One of the top preps for 2014. Didn't see a lot of him but it's easy to see it's there.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Johnny Field, OF, Arizona

Arizona Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
Tucson Citizen Article



Dale Carey, OF, Miami

Miami Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile

Big League Futures


Zach Alvord, 2B, Auburn

Auburn Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
MLB.com Video
Baseball Prospect Report



Kevin Ziomek, P, Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
Baseball Prospect Report
Baseball America Article


Ian Hagenmiller, 3B, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Recruiting Profile
Team ONe Baseball Article


Christian Arroyo, SS, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile


Thomas Hatch, P, Oklahoma HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPNHS Article


Jarret Dehart, OF, New Jersey HS

Perfect Game Profile


Mark Ecker, P, Texas HS

Perfect Game Profile
My San Antonio Article
ESPN Recruiting Page
Minor League Blog


Chris Kohler, P, California HS

Perfect Game Profile
Baseball America Article



Jonathan Denney, C/1B, Oklahoma HS

Perfect Game Profile
Baseball America Article


Kacy Clemens, P, Texas HS

Perfect Game Profile

MaxPreps Article
Perfect Game Article

Baseball Prospect Report


Nick Ciuffo, 1B/P, South Carolina HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN HS Article
Mack's Mets Q and A

Big League Futures 


Robert Tyler, P, Georgia HS

Perfect Game Profile
Baseball Scoutz Article
Baseball Prospect Report
WALB Article

Kevin Franklin, 3B, California HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Recruiting Profile
Baseball Prospect Report



Brian Navaretto, C, Florida HS

Perfect Game Article



Nick Longhi, 1B/LHP/OF, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Recruiting Profile
Baseball Prospect Report
Amateur Baseball Report
TeamOne Baseball 
Baseball America Article

Baseball Web TV Video

Colby Suggs, RHP, Arkansas

Arkansas Basball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
Baseball Prospect Report
BPR Video
Mack's Mets Q and A





Saturday, August 4, 2012

Keegan Thompson, P, Alabama HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPNHS Baseball
Baseball America Article
Cullman Times Article


Max Knutson, P, Minnesota HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Recruiting Page


John Sternagel, SS, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPNHS Recruiting Profile
MaxPreps Stats 
Video Interview


Andrew Mitchell, P, TCU

TCU Profile
Perfect Game Profile


Big League Futures


Bernardo Bonifacio, OF, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile

Marco Gonzales, P, Gonzaga

Gonzaga Baseball Profile
Denver Post Article



Zach Farmer, P, Ohio HS

Perfect Game Profile

Stephen Gonsalves, P, California HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Article
MaxPreps Stats

Friday, August 3, 2012

John Simms, P, RIce

Rice Baseball Profile
College Baseball Daily Article
Perfect Game Profile

Baseball Prospect Report


Big League Futures
Scout.com Article 


John Paul Crawford, SS, California HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPN Article
Perfect Game Article


Ben Wetzler, P, Oregon State

OSU Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
OSU Baseball Article
Oregon Live Video
Oregon Live Article
Cape Cod League Stats


Scott Frazier, P, Pepperdine

Pepperdine Profile
Baseball Prospect Report
Perfect Game Profile
Baseball America Article
MLB.com Video


Jonathan Gray, P, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Baseball Profile
Crimson and Cream Machine Article
Oklahoma Sooners Blog
MLB Bonus Baby Notes
Baseball Draft Report Article
PineTar Press Article


Konner Wade, P, Arizona

University of Arizona Profile
Perfect Game Profile
Huffington Post Article
Tucson Citizen Article



Brett Morales, P, Florida HS

Perfect Game Profile
Tampa Bay.com Article
MaxPreps Stats
Minors MLBlogs Article
PG National Day 2
Baseball America Article
Baseball America Article


Andy McGuire, SS, Virginia HS

Perfect Game Profile
Dynamic Baseball Profile
The Big Spur Article
Yahoo Sports Article
Washington Post Article



Dustin Driver, P, Washington HS

Perfect Game Profile
ESPNHS Article
ESPNHS Recruiting Page
Washington Sports Network
Wenatchee World Article
Big League Futures


Rowdy Tellez, 1B, California HS

Perfect Game Profile


Baseball Sacremento Article
Power Showcase Info
MLBlogs Article
Area Code Interview
High School Recruiting
MaxPreps Stats



Trevor Williams, P, Arizona State

ASU Baseball Profile
Perfect Game Profile
MLB.com Article

Big League Futures