Saturday, April 18, 2015
Dillon Overton (LHP) -
Slim build evenly distributed throughout, minimal potentiality for mass to be accumulated with narrow hips/waist and condensed shoulders; some probability of weight in chest to be added, though not a tremendous amount. Weight figures not to present issues regarding excessive increases with a sustainable build, though bulk limited given thin dimorphic dimensions with strength through upper half essentially materialized. Throws from 3/4 with average action, little to no drag whatsoever with decent arm speed and a repeatable slot with consistent release point; exaggerated kick when set with ease to stride and soft front to start, smooth with little effort with deceptive path prior to stride. Drops arm out of the break, condenses action to average with ball initially shown out of the shoulder from the batter perspective; consistent deception to both handed competition, though extended path on occasion with prelimary looks to righties out of the stretch. Front side, lead shoulder and kick rushed periodically out of the stretch; landing hard, sluggish often with baserunners on with late release and more effort. Lacking deceptive arm speed on changeup at times from stretch as well, slowing with more methodical; mechanical approach with cross-body finishes more evident, velocity sustained though sacrifices ease; missing often with inner gloveside location. Fastball sitting 87-89 MPH with some life flashing at times, possesses consistent gloveside fade with wiggle alongside some armside run from the left to serve as another movement variation to the pitch; command hazy from stretch with east-west ability slowing, downhill ability ok though lacks consistent natural sink; sacrifices with pronation to get on top of the pitch on occasion. Command within the zone decent presently, though often sat loose with little plane; reliable in locating there with competent control ability. Flashes command enough to provide optimism for average eventual potential, can hit lower quadrants middle-in and middle-away to both handed sorts with consistent release and mechanical repetition; difficulties locating the barrel to his pitches when movement flashes on. Changeup shows reliably at 76-80 MPH, jumps out with out pitch potential; polished feel and command ability with good arm speed, shows continual confidence with the pitch regardless of count, comfortable pitching backwards off it. Release point in conjunction with the fastball, crisp downward plane with late funneling; tumbling bite located towards the armside (low-away to RHB) with repeatable movement, rarely deviates or loses shape; depth. Curveball shows at 71-74 MPH, muzzled early with the break with a set pitch limitation imposed during the outing; features vacillating 12-6, 1-6 and 1-7 shape from the left; exaggerated shape compensated with good bite and downward thump alongside some feel ability; comfortable with it in backwards situations with ability to be located within the zone, induced missed bats behind and ahead in counts. Noticeable pronation shown on the pitch, action slightly condenses with a slight slot elevation to service as tells; deception requires improvement with shape more readily tackled by more seasoned bats. Showed initial look at a potential split variations, only flashing within a couple instances with flucuating depth and frenzied arm speed, presently irrelevant; potential developmental project heading forward to figure in a fourth pitch up to a useable standard. Body language for the most part consistently unfazed, some frustration with stretch inconsistency and mechanical difficulties; makeup shows ok promise as innings begin to accumulate.
Tyler Hollstegge (RHP) -
Average build with a thicker torso, some excess weight centered through the midsection and behind having already reached physical maturity. Delievery features excessive effort and a shaky front half, reliant predominantly on torque through the upper half with some preliminary rock-and-fire; landing often hard and shown to disrupt release at times, significant reliance on arm and shoulder to provide thump and velocity. Repeats with 3/4, gives southpaws blatant looks and righties some glimpses as well with a lengthy path prior to stride, slightly longer action with release vacillation; rough landing and momentum through the upper half often cause havoc with repetition ability, command ability not present with difficulty hitting edges while missing continuously towards the gloveside; present thrower. Worked practically exclusively from the stretch, some rushing at times with hurried front and break, showing shifting plane and downhill ability with some pronation required to produce sinking movement. Fastball hovering predominantly at 90-92, some occasional run towards the armside from the right, though minimal and often flattening; elevated often with slight wiggle, able to touch up 93-94 MPH fairly consistenly, capable plus velocity when required despite continual feel struggles throughout repetiore with late life and explosion on the fastball shown when reaching back for extra; present ability to take stuff and manipulate the pitch extremely raw, visibly uncomfortable in adjustments to his primary offering with pitching aptitude immature. Shows a slider with subpar shape and feel, lacking bite with early release and drifting sweep with uncomfortability harnessing the pitch, at the infant stages of approaching an effective or useable standard as lone break throughout the arsenal. Changeup flashes ok arm speed with effort, though detectable to advanced bats with some occasional plane and slight fade to the gloveside; does not figure to project versus more advanced eyes. Possesses split with depth shown enough to bode adequate potential, slight slot elevation with consistent effort with crisp, late depth and bite when on; effectiveness fluctuates with inconsistency on the thump and shape, some pronation in the grip as well that tells pitch off. Repetiore lacks anything at an average potential clip outside of raw fastball velocity, control rudimentary with repetition trouble with semblance to hit spots when locating zone non exsistent; TJS survivor with velocity increase through the previous summer and has carried through the offseason and spring, lacks major league ceiling with floating upside.
Andres Avila (RHP) -
Delayed stride with an average action from the slightly lower than 3/4, average build with a bit of excess weight centralized through the midsection with naturally pronounced lower half; already has achieved physical maturity. Demonstrated consistent release point despite cross-body competition and a whippy finish, able to sequence change-of-pace stuff throughout regardless of count; grip, hand position constant through repetiore playing up the effectiveness. Lefties acquire looks with path, soft landing predominantly as upper half condenses through extension; relative ease in delievery despite lunge exacerbating cross-body finish with command able to flash, comfortable with present mechanical sequence without much hindrance. Shows fastball with some ok placement, able to hit spots east-west; cognizance with zone and plays up with some decent plane shown, minimal run towards the gloveside; can flatten on occasion, seldom utilized through the outing. Shows a cut variation with armside bite, ok command with late inward wiggle to righties, shows miss bat ability deep in counts on bats with short stays through the zone. Slider lacks traditional shape, extremely minimal dimension to the pitch with some late gloveside sweep; mixes horizontal movement with varying amounts of sweep, manipulates grip and wrist to produce differing amounts of fluttering. Able to show it through the zone, doesn't show sweep immediately from release; delayed movement figures more reminiscent of a cut slide interpretation, some feel for the offering with appropriate sequencing. Weilds a split with ok depth, detectable from release with a bit of pronation and arm speed shift; able to pinpoint through the zone consistently and induce missed bats for the level, utilized predominantly as a chase offering ahead in counts. Movement shows plane immediately from release, comfortable contorting depth and shape with the offering for desired result; confident with an organizational arsenal, able to potentially float through opportunities with pitching aptitude.
Jonathan Joseph (RHP) -
Physically matured, thin frame with a moderately athletic build; pronounced limbs with broad shoulders, has successfully sustained dimensions throughout his organizational tenure without much fluctuation. Shifts from 3/4 to high 3/4 periodically on his curve, lengthy action with his front half collapsing through his motion; some difficulties with the landing on occasion with momentum pulling outwards towards the first base bag. Able to repeat desired result when set with fastball command ability, flashes two-seam with decent sinking action able to consistently show middle-low with consistent release despite a lengthy action, showing competence with repetition to southpaw competition with reliable ability to piece the four-seam towards lower gloveside quadrant of the zone. Fastball lacks significant, notable movement with vacillating downhill and non exsistent wiggle outside of some occasionally witnessed run to the armside. Rushed within the stretch, front; break hurried causing some difficulty with duplicating location and command on the fastballs, would show some elevation and late release. Curveball unbridled, significant tells to produce desired output with exaggerated shape and drifting spike; arm collapses, drag often present with an exaggerated slot and hand position shift on the pitch, fluctuation from 11-5 to some 12-6; shape and tightness inconsistent with depth shifting wildly, easily a NP offering that serviced enough to catch loose triggers out in front when through the zone.
Bijon Boyd (DH) -
Thick torso and lower half, prominent through the hips the backside; some weight shaved off this spring, a bit tighter through the midsection with an innately bestowed barrel chest not providing significant physical optimism with age given profile. Speed unlikely to be sustained at present state through ultimate maturity, presently able to show plus pure run from the left side; quick twitch athleticism with instantaneous ability to harness from standstill, varying times from 4.06-4.14 to first base with slightly slow reads out of the box. Limited towards a corner projection with a well below average arm, significant effort required with prelimary momentum; minimal natural strength there. Lower hand position at the plate, slashes towards the zone with a short path prior to entering; able to generate up to average bat speed with effort, load present with an exaggerated lower half at times. Difficulty with timing ability; struggles to allow balls to travel deep, routinely early and shallow to pitches sapping raw already fringe at best. Shows consistent flat plane, though can cut through with a shorter stay on M-M; hands a bit unbridled on spin and depth to his gloveside, some struggles in acclimating to offspeed with detection to tells and mechanical shifts rudimentary at the present. Approach somewhat fragmented presently, will chase out of the zone and elongate in chase counts, trigger happy on elevated at times with timing difficulty; hips fire off early and late inbetween plate appearances in correlation with the front foot. Pitch selection ability raw with recognition ability on movement and release immature. Shows shortness at times, some barrel feel on M-I despite depth there causing some elongated attempts. Able to take one out with sink on M-M, out in front of the offering with a shorter stay; able to generate some loft to pull at a minute clip when barrel feel is present, decently strong hands with sturdy shoulders.
Justin Higley (RF) -
Bulked up mass through the shoulders from Instructs; trim, ideal athletic build through the torso and upper half with longer limbs. Rarely flashes pure run from standstill, though plus-plus in a pure capacity with triggers firing after initial momentum; 7.77 to 2B while slow from the box from the left side; 7.32 first to third. Quick jumps, cognizant with reads on the basepaths. Good reads in the corner outfield, feels out contact well from right field with adequate range and soft hands; coordinated physically in stride with a fringe arm showing effort tethering him to a permanent corner post. Discombobulated at the plate, nagging elongation with consistent fringe bat speed showing average on occasion; timing extremely frenzied with a brief stay within the zone, feel for the barrel and barrel control very immature at the present; inner elbow position can collapse prior to initiating extension through contact. Shows slight load, hands swift into the zone with bat speed able to be generated with relative ease; hands drift backwards at times with significant spin difficulties on depth and tail. Some aptitude for acclimating hands to changes shown, but an extremely rarity with blueprint at the plate non existent at the present. Hips fire late and early wildly through games with fledging ability to time with catch stuff within the zone; not terribly coordinated or comfortable with the back half, reliant on hands and bat speed for opposite field ability. Able to flash some raw with little loft ability, shortness can show in bursts on middle-in with better barrel feel on elevated.
Franklin Barreto (SS) -
Somewhat hurried defensively at shortstop, decent hands though slow off reads with trouble slowing the game down at the position; throws inaccurate when feet aren't appropriately set. Hands slightly better in fighting off gloveside spin, better detection on preliminary horizontal shape from release while remaining competent on middle-in plane; depth. Arm speed detection on changeups, sink still very much raw at the present; elongation constant on low-away fade with the trigger, hands extremely untamed. Continues to flash plus bat speed and rapid hands able to ignite in towards the zone, hips and timing a tad early with barrel feel in the infant stages of development. Shows consistent flat plane, though some shorter stays flashing on elevated and middle-middle. Approach rudimentary, pitch selection raw at the moment with overt aggressiveness on middle and away.
Tyler Marincov (LF) -
Ok reads in the outfield, feet a bit fidgety at times off contact. Average build with thick shoulder build, shows fringe to average pure run at times from the right side; range adequate in a corner though lacks immediate fast twitch triggers. Better composure with the back half through extension, able to catch middle-away deep with coordinated barrel control and back shoulder through extension. Timing somewhat better, spin to the gloveside still gets elongation deep in counts with a fidgety trigger. Better idea of selection, little lengthier stay in the zone. Can fire late on occasion with hips off the front foot, barrel still shows some uppercut and vacillating feel.
Tim Atherton (RHP) -
Average frame with a thick torso; evenly distributed weight throughout with no glaring probable physical issues set to arise; already has reached physical maturity at 25. Slightly higher than 3/4 slot with average action, lots of moving parts with momentum incorporated within the lower half and downward with the non-pitching arm following through to stride; long levers through motion with occasional repetition difficulties surfacing. Can be uneven with the front foot with hard landing, path towards the plate can vacillate with grip showing to lefties periodically; some deception to like-handed competition. Showing early release on occasion with lower slot on breaks; noticeable pronation showing on curve though limited throughout outing. Some cross-body finishes out of the stretch, command wavering with plane and downhill ability flucuating upon the four-seam; missing towards armside location with some overthrows shown with continual release trouble in bunches. Fastball showing at 88-91 with little run towards the armside, straightening out and lacking explosion; firmness with some slight fade and wavering downhill ability. Elevated at times with earlier release, spotting decently towards the gloveside quadrants of the zone. Cutter showing slight armside dip, though shifting and lacking overtly noticeable bite; can lack movement at times and relied upon for armside ability with some missed bats with late shift showing occasionally; not enough to combat major league plate coverage. Changeup showing shifting arm speed, though some flashing adequate deception for the league despite some elevation and release struggles; little downward fade showing occasionally, but lacking a significant amount. Sequenced behind in counts, fairly decent feel on the pitch despite vacillating production and stuff. Curveball muzzled on the evening, release loose and losing grip on a couple with 12-6/11-5 movement dependent on slot and snap, can drift through zone; telegraphed with visable pronation and shortened action, can be thrown for strikes though exaggerated shape and shifting spike. Showing lone cut slider, late; tight horizontal movement to the gloveside and commanded well, good plane and late movement.
Sam Bragg (RHP) -
Significant effort from the 3/4 with an average action; leverage on the upper half and specifically arm with hips that have occasionally tendency to fly open with lower half repetition struggles. Front foot very hard at times, can disrupt release and slot at times with some repetition issues imposing themselves upon command ability. 88-91 with some run and late life, generating ok movement with placement towards the lower portions of the zone flashing. Tends to sit loose with the zone, control able to show though missing spots within the zone with elevation and plane fluctuation showing. Curveball at 78-80 MPH with sufficient bite; able to produce crisp downward spike with some control ability to armside competition. Consistent release, slurvy shape at times with 11-6 movement showing some horizontal dart initially towards the plate. Able to miss bats with the offerings, difficulty relying in situations when pitching backwards. Showing a split variation with some depth and good downhill, difficulty commanding towards lower portions of the zone; chase capacity presently with later release, grip a little off on occasion. Average frame with some physical projection still possible within upper half, lacks natural ability to generate stuff without extreme effort; repetition can float around with trouble hitting spots consistently.
Franklin Barreto (SS) -
Lone defensive effort on a simplistic belt high hop on moderate hit contact; some hesitance to chagre inward and capitalize off arm, hands little uncertain with easy read. Arm showing better accuracy when the feet are firmly set. Difficulty with timing offensively, trigger slightly early with continual immaturity in acclimating bat speed and showing present tracking. Barrel still evading him with feel flucuating at times, plane within the zone shifting slightly though not egregiously; revision required with issues nagging though not gargantuan. Hands unsure on tailing spin and sink, struggling deep in counts to take stuff towards the gloveside, recognition ability off release with tail or horizontal movement is iffy at best. Showing middle-in ability with some backspin ability to pull on elevated mistakes, shortness a constant with above average bat speed and rapid hands; tantilizing attributes continue to flash. Decent with armside location recognition, ok with run on like-handed arms with elevation; early release on fastballs able to be spotted. Ok reads on the basepaths, coordinated feet with fast twitch ability showing; some hesitance in trusting speed to second, learning mechanical tells and timing there still.
JP Sportman (CF) -
Showing continual holes on offspeed, hands jet backwards awkwardly with struggles to retain position on spin from armside opponents, fringy bat speed with some barrel troubles tonight on middle-away; trigger jittery more so than previously shown on elevated. Approach disolving a bit, noticeable frustration. Acclimating bat speed to change-of-pace a present struggle, mechanical revision offensively may be likely if organizational preference is necessary. Ok range in the outfield, reads little slow off the bat; showing a fringe arm a tick above previously seen in Arizona. Throws a little effort heavy and offline with late release from the outfield.
John Nogowski (1B) -
Choppy hands; shifty feet with limited range at first base. Body is a definite issue with excess weight through the midsection. Range fringe at best with some sluggishness off reads, though hand-eye coordination ok on picks and completions defensively in the infield. Can see plane and downhill well enough off faulty releases, shows ability to recognize depth at the plate and armside location appropriately. Fringe bat speed at best with limited natural pop, contact consistently shallow with difficulty catching stuff deep or at the doorstep of the zone. Barrel feel a bit off, hands loose through contact with a shorter stay within the zone; shoulders off-line and hips off-time with the front foot proving as an issue. Shows an ability with contact at the lower portions of the zone, plans inconsistent but some coverage at times. Well below average; non-prospect speed on the basepaths. Organizational type
Tyler Marincov (RF) -
Reads; range coming inwards a tad off within the outfield while showing a fringe arm with ok accuracy; not too much effort in throws, shown tick above to average beforehand. Sink through the zone; downhill plane proving a difficulty to recognize and track, immature tracking ability with struggles on late movement. Can be a little trigger happy deeper into counts. Some plate coverage at times with ok barrel control, though hips can come early with rotation and struggle to keep the hands back with mid-pitch adjustments. Able to catch stuff on the doorstep with fringe to average bat speed despite looser hands through extension today, shoulders a little off-line through swings with a bit of effort when considering a mistake pitch.
Branden Cogswell (2B) -
Hands continue to play as inconsistent in the infield; footwork and first step can be iffy with fringe range. Ok feel at the plate, with more downhill and armside location recognition, little less adept with middle-away command. Showing fringe bat speed with even plane, non-exsistent natural loft with hip rotation incompletion showing at times. Armside spin from the left proving to get the trigger a bit more antsy.
Beau Taylor (C) -
Improved release and transfer abilities behind the plate with better footwork to play up a fringy arm. Accuracy has shown improvement through the spring and into Stockton while benefitting off favorable batteries. Game calling solid, hands are ok enough to remain reliable behind the plate with better agility and decent range. Showing good rapports with the staff, miscommunications with the battery mates keep to a minimum. Fringy bat speed with an ability to recognize armside plane and depth from the left side. Middle-away location causes elongation at times, not consistently short. Trigger iffy with armside spin, struggles to catch up with middle-in with timing struggles off the hips. Slower with a hands, feel for the barrel flucuating.
Michael Soto (3B) -
Raw pop showing up to average out to opposite field, back half not terribly coordinated though hands strong with a bit of loft ability with a shorter stay within the zone. Fringy bat speed, ok with middle-away and plane. Struggles to keep hands back with spin and allow stuff to travel deep, barrel feel on middle location with a bit of mistake pitch ability for the level. Clunky at third, range showing subpar with an arm that can show fringe. Strong physical base and shoulders, shortness to the ball shifts often.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The following notes were gathered and include observations from Stockton's initial scrimmage against local San Joaquin-Delta College with the contingency of Oakland kiddos assigned to California for the season having played in their first contest in uniform, though technically unofficial in the respect that statistics were not acknowledged for their overall seasons. Individual game notebooks will occur after each contest attended, with a lone contest not enough to constitute an entire report while providing a mechanical glimpse and probable adjustments/improvements recognized and able to be referred to over the campaign:
Louie Trivino (RHP) -
High 3/4 slot with vacillating deception from the right side; large frame (6'4"/~220) with a thick trunk and long limbs additionally flashing a bit of unintentional shifting arm action, noticeably condensing on breaks with heavy pronation and elongating with longer motion for FB/CH; though would become askew at times and remained inconsistent througout the appearance. Some rock-and-fire in the delivery, heavy dependency on upper half; arm with less than desirable lower half incorporation. Disguised grip well to both sides, dropping ball behind back side with it initially appearing to batters out of his right shoulder when on, though repetition seesawed and momentum; path prior to stride would shift slightly providing looks to both sides through his outing. Showed six pitch mix, four-seam fastball had tendency to flatten and lack dimension at times with limited thump; explosion while demomstrating occasional fade and gloveside run. Release point vacillated on the pitch, struggling to command to either side; north-south fluctuated with shifting downhill ability. Lacked plane consistenly with difficulty spotting up to the armside. Gloveside command able to show occasionally, with some decent plane flashing and spotting inside to opposite handed competition while placing middle-away with some tail to armside bats. Two-seam/sink showed some ok plane, though would have tendency to overthrow; release point late often with the pitch scrapped early during his outing; difficulty spotting towards ower portions of the zone with deception lacking and failing to cross through the zone. Possesses both curve and slide variations; curve lacking deception with heavy pronation and slightly higher slot often adopting with arm slot showing both high 3/4 and slighter higher on the pitch; showed some shape and depth though heavily exaggerated and able to be timed to with fluctuating spike, tending to drift occasionally at times through zone. Could show some late bite with loopy 11-5 shape, though somewhat loose with some ability to be thrown for strikes; can generate sufficient snap despite depth and thump fluctuation, primarily utilized early within counts. Slider lacking tilt, more so drifting variation with some vertical, tumbling movement and steady fading action towards the armside; difficulty spotting for strikes, lacked miss bat ability with slightly lower slot and slowed action servicing as tells. Changeup lacked deceptive arm speed, often elevated with shifting release point serving as another offering lost early within the outing; some occasional armside though very much unreliable; uncomfortable acclimating to pitch at this stage. Muzzled with the cutter, though flashed couple with sharp inward, armside bite when utilized with ok plane and deception; figured as most alluring offering throughout repetiore within brief look.
Franklin Barreto (SS) -
Easy + bat speed with lightning hands at the plate; no shifting variations over previous week from Mesa. Front foot slightly calmer than in Arizona however, exaggerated preliminary step engrained as a timing mechanism less distinct; attempting to prioritize lower half incorporation with slightly more noticeable horizontal slide step. Able to flash some opposite field ability while predominantly relying upon wrist adjustments to shorten the bat head, back half; shoulders still require more coordination to follow through to right field. Finding barrel on middle-away consistently, eyes ok on plane on armside portions though struggles still with spin on armside arms and horizontal tailing sweep/tilt. Showcased more raw early prior to entering zone with a fairly even plane in zone despite a shorter stay than usual, demonstrating shortness and appropriate extension with bat speed for a flyout ~395 to center field. Struggled to adjust bat speed and timing to inferior velocity, some continual difficulties at this stage with tracking and being comfortable allowing the ball to travel into the zone. Ability at shortstop still questionable; hands usually reliable and can show cognizance at the position; though some difficulty on hard hit reads and first step to his right that place ability in question; explosiveness with legs can fluctuate in field. More so constrained on the basepaths with less than desirable effort on contested grounders, seemed to be playing and half speed throughout the game.
Joel Seddon (RHP) -
Lengthy path prior towards stride with looks providing to left handed competition, slots vacillate from slightly lower than 3/4 and slightly higher than 3/4 with shortened and lengthier actions on both slots purposefully employed to layer deception into the repetiore. Fastball plays up at 88-92 MPH with some consistent downhill ability, able to spot up consistently towards the gloveside and lower portions of the zone with some run to both sides flashing and late jump on occasion with fairly reliable release point; some overthrows on fastball with late release showing at times; could sit a bit too loose within the zone, command flashed though wasn't entirely stalwart. CH utilized sparingly through the appearance, decent arm speed with slight elevation to the pitch; lacking some dimension and plane with some ok fade. Weilding both breaking variations, CB with some noticeable pronation on release compensated with flashing late thump/spike, able to be thrown for strikes with excellerated vertical movement over the plate, could occasionally vacillate in depth and struggle on location towards the gloveside through flashing 10-4/11-5 with some exaggerated shape. Slider tighter with drifting gloveside bottoming tumble, able to spot on the gloveside corners decently; lacked thump at times with lower slot; had tendency to periodically sweep. Effort through delivery with four pitch mix though decent repetition ability, situational capacity most likely ceiling. Flashing command ability off fastball with fairly consistent depth.
Tyler Marincov (LF) -
Can generate backspin towards pull while occasionally able to flash average bat speed. Shorter stay in zone required, though average raw showing with ability to recognize mistake fastballs lacking plate. Some swing-and-miss with occasional elongation on away and armside spin. Average run ability more detectable when switch is flipped on the basepaths, will vacillate from home-to-first. Can show decent hands with improved coordination through the back half to opposite field. Ok off reads in the outfield with fringy to average range and a fringy arm. No difficulties on middle-in against inferior velocity, torque through upper half in swing with some effort at times; can get the hips going late through swing, timing and coordination off front foot will require development.
Branden Cogswell (2B) -
Some ability to catch plane through the zone, can detect release point and tells upon the mound with legitamate ability to adjust in the midst of a plate appearance. Fringe to average bat speed with occasional passiveness at the plate, improving with aggressiveness lately with flat plane and predominant pull approach; lower hands, difficulty allowing the ball to travel. Spin, changes and produce difficulty with keeping the hands back while middle-in heat shows struggles to be caught up to. Gap raw with minimal time in the zone required to achieve result, lacks innate loft or backspin ability while struggling to locate barrel; control there fluctuates from time-to-time. Reactions laterally at second base are questionable, hands can show choppiness. In no way a shortstop.
Michael Soto (3B) -
Approach vacating through appearance, difficulty keeping hands back on sink/spin and early timing constantly haunting. Fringy bat speed with average raw; difficulty allowing stuff to travel within the zone. Can elongate on middle-away, able to showcase raw with 3-2 elevated away blooped out for a HR during appearance; predominantly hands through extension. Some strength through shoulders; torso though body could potentially become worrisome with a large frame and trunk already. Seemingly uncomfortable at 3B, movements and lateral range extremely questionable with decent hands and a fringe to average arm. Pure organizational type with some mistake fastball ability that could bring some success given the league.
Chih-Fang Pan (DH) -
Struggled to acclimate to plane and dimension and shifting offspeed stuff. Demonstrates popular "step in the bucket" front foot with exaggerated, committal stride serving for difficulty allowing the hands to remain back and adjust on offspeed. Bat head dragged through the zone, hands somewhat inconsistent with lower placement, hips firing early throughout appearances with minimal time in the zone despite ok shortness. Gap raw with avg run from the left side.
Jose Brizuela (3B) -
Fringy to average arm at third base, throws can occasionally drift when feet aren't set or charging inward. Fringe bat speed with thick torso, struggling to adjust hands to lesser velocity with inconsistent eyes on gloveside spin/sinking action. Fringe raw with a shorter time in the zone, hands can get a little stiff; short path into the zone. Barrel control fluctuates with struggles to adjust wrists and allow the ball to travel. Fringe range at third, first step movements off contact can be iffy.
JP Sportman (CF) -
Ranges can fluctuate in CF, limited towards corner with average footspeed; range and a below average arm. Average, muscluar frame with more compact dimensions; shows knack for the barrel on outer stuff with fringe bat speed and strong hands, able to funnel raw pop into game situations with decent mistake recognition ability. Lower hand placement, abrupt hitch backwards prior to initiating and committing towards the pitch that services for some impending struggles acclimating towards offspeed within an appearance. Average footspeed from the right side; tenacious on the basepaths with some consistent shortness and barrel control allowing the ball to get in play on fastballs. Armside spin with consistent release can cause troubles, quality changeups can fluster. Organizational piece with some potential upper minors floating ability.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
A positional deficiency present within the A's organization, backstops have been at a premium recently with limited potentiality and overall ceiling abounding the system behind the plate. Having experienced a mild uptick with breakthrough campaigns by Seong-Min Kim and Chago Chavez predominantly within short season affiliates, the recent draftee in Max Kuhn converting towards the position during a controlled six weeks at the Papago complex during the Instructional League and bonus baby catching acquisitions in Jorge Gordon and Jose Rivas as the lone six figure additions during the ongoing present amateur signing period with a minimal pool and slot trading spree placing a leash on Oakland's ability to splurge overseas during the third to last period before an International Draft is expected to be implemented. Still, the position has yet to be replenished through the upper portions of the organization with a mere three represented upon the top ten listing having had full season experience and three additionally having played the position exclusively for less than a season with significant risk and minimal upside dotting those represented throughout, though of course not intentional with drafting not organized by positional preference but rather talent available when selecting and opposing organizations being extraordinary protective of catching prowess as chips in trades (For good reason).
Prospect: (OFP Ceiling/Realistic probability of ceiling achievement and risk associated with prospect)
1. Bruce Maxwell (45/Medium-High)
Oakland's current leading representative within a positionally depleted catching crop, Bruce Maxwell serves as the most realistic bet upon the listing to achieve a major league ceiling with plus makeup and significant tweaks to his defensive minutiae such as arm accuracy, receiving and footwork with the mitt despite raw offensive intangibles that have failed to actualize and develop to draft expectations thus far as a professional. Initially prescribed plus-plus raw pop ceiling by some amateur evaluators, Maxwell's raw power has failed to demonstrate up to collegiate expectations with his bat possessing above average 5 o' clock stuff on occasion and when warranted with an insufficient barreling ability during in-game situations that has sapped his capability to materialize his tool and presents a realistic projection of fringe with absolute average ceiling as loose hands, periodical swing elongation, in-game immaturity at the plate with frustration easily and at times viscerally being showcased by Maxwell and inconsistent extension and follow through to complete contact through the zone that had diminished his offensive potency within Stockton and has boded less than desirable statistical outputs despite ingredients still present to amass to something of major league worth. Demonstrating decent recognition abilities, Maxwell has showcased consistent tendencies to lay off middle-in breaks and stuff with elevated release with quick hands when committing to a pitch and flashing a tick above average bat speed at times with vacillating bat path that can flash an less than desirable pronounced uppercut at times with a frame that's thick through the lower half and has seen improvement as a professional after his weight had fluctuated previously with him trimming excess weight off of his midsection and thus assisting his agility behind the plate during his most recent campaign through Stockton and Midland. Maxwell's difficulty with the lumber was heavily exposed within Texas and periodically for Stockton with armside slides from the left side, outer velocity, gloveside tailing stuff from righties and middle-in plus stuff frazzling Maxwell with a nagging quality surfacing with chasing tailing spin down and away and bat speed not elite enough with his timing to catch velocity consistently towards the inner portions of the plate resulting in visible bouts of irritability and immaturity/poor body language regularly. Zone command has additionally served as a present means of development and adjustment as stuff commanded through the zone has stunted the thickly built backstop with issues catching to stuff not true or fluky appropriately spotted while sometimes forgeting to maintain shortness into the zone that has exacerbated his addressed flaw. Maxwell has made strides defensively with physical regimen boosting his quickness at catcher with improved catch and release skills and arm accuracy to capitalize upon a consistently solid average arm that can flash above average at times. Establishing a rapport with pitching staffs and receiving recognition as a backstop arms within the organization have prefered throwing to and creating batteries with, the German born bat has made an internal reputation as a quality glove with a positive clubhouse presence despite immaturity during contests that can pose a negative impact. Cumulatively, Maxwell's potential defensive attributes and stock increase behind the plate has kept his profile and major league potentiality treading water with an exploitable swing requiring significant refinement and instruction having yet to be overtly demonstrated and an insufficient barreling ability with inconsistency regarding his shortness into the zone depleting probable materialized pop impact with the stick, concluding with 40/45 (Hit), 45 (Power/55 Raw), 20 (Run), 50 (Glove) and 50/55 (Arm) potential grades that point towards a probable backup position at the majors with his initial full upper minors campaign upon the horizon during 2015. Rule 5 eligible following the conclusion of the approach season, Maxwell's offensive success and ability to acclimate to upper minors arms shall undoubtedly determine as to whether or not the Alabama product shall secure a 40 man position or rather be stashed upon the Nashville roster to avoid AA/AAA portion plucking. Showcasing a somewhat pull intensive approach with difficulty allowing the ball the travel deep into the zone and dropping the back shoulder while maintaining hand position and barreling up through extension, Maxwell's copious flaws with his hitting capability have placed a present cap upon his hit tool until an ability to counter adjust can be shown with adequate recognition ability being negated by nagging tendencies on gloveside break and spin and middle-in command/velocity that shall have to be addressed and corrected prior to arriving within the majors and being exposed to genuine advanced scouting with his hitting instruction ultimately determining his upcoming probability to sustain a major league opportunity.
2. Seong-Min Kim (45/Extremely High)
Instructional League report:
"Serving as the backstop for the hefty majority of the arms for Oakland during his short season and Instructional League campaigns, Seong-Min Kim burst forth to prominence his loud tools behind the plate and with the lumber that vault the thickly proportioned backstop into the upper echelon of the Athletics developmental system. Boasting a massive 6'2"/250 pound frame, though with the weight fairly well distributed and not centralized within any one lone region, Kim announces his presence instantaneously upon stepping footy onto the diamond with the extremely thick Korean bonus baby inking for $510,000 during the 2011 offseason additionally weilding plus to plus-plus raw power potentiality to accompany his heavy build. Incorporating a pronounced uppercut through his bat path, Kim utilizes his average bat speed and strong frame to make loud contact upon tracking and recognizing a pitch appropriately, an aspect the rare Pacific Rim catcher must greatly continue to improve upon. Kim often commits towards fastballs, with an exaggerated side step and foot raise that shall cost the Korean as he ascends to grapple with full season arms as sliders tailing outside and 12-6 breaks consistently trip Kim and diminish his capability to demonstrate his plus potential power projection with a swing often loopy and a tendency to sometimes be forgetful to remain short into the zone. Kim's mobility behind the plate additionally presents an issue as the gigantic backstop struggles to appropriately get behind balls and get into glove position while still amending his defensive negatives with an ability to call contests and a rapid release. Kim's arm strength boasts another awe inspring attribute with an easy plus grade stamped upon the 21 year old's cannon with a capability to generate pop times from 1.82 to 1.91 with lackluster footwork which presents more significant incremental subtractions upon sharpening his quickness as Kim likely presents the most superior catching arm throughout the Oakland organization. With a nelegable tool within that of his blatantly subpar speed upon the basepaths, Kim concludes with 40 (Hit). 60+ (Raw Power), 20 (Run), 60+ (Arm), 40-55 (Glove) grades with significant developmental instruction still for the collegiate draftee age catcher following two consecutive campaigns in which Oakland refrained from utilizing Kim within significant in-game situations prior towards his AZL breakthrough versus underwhelming rookie league repetiores. Essentially a pure fastball dependent bat the moment with pull tendencies and an inherent difficultly to recognize and track breaking offerings, Kim still requires copious seasoning and assistance through his gradual ascent upwards through Oakland's affiliates as one of the Athletics' more toolsy and upside based positional prospects with his probable potentiality to eventually acquire a major league opportunity definitively hinging upon the ability of Kim to greater recognize secondary offerings and ultimately prioritize his hitting development. Still certainly an unaccustomed and loud flag to plant within the often untapped amateur Pacific Rim market, Seong-Min Kim shall service as a pivotal representative for the Oakland development staff as a posterchild for future Asain recruiting endeavors even if Kim's ultimate offensive ceiling may have an extraordinarily slight chance of actualizing"
The heaviest tool oriented name on the listing, Kim's easy plus arm with soft hands and rapid release and plus raw pop, though predominantly 5 o' clock at the moment, provide some dreaming off of the rarely seen high dollar Pacific Rim amateur signing. With the frame a probable issue, already 250+ pounds with footwork, blocking and mobility issues with the mitt though fairly evenly distributed, Kim shall have to prioritize physical condition and attempt to develop his hit tool and recognition ability to an extent where his pop can be utilized consistently during game situations. Showcasing an exaggerated slide step and often selling out on fastballs, leading to continuously getting poached off the front foot by fringe secondaries, Kim's recognition ability, aggressiveness, occasional tendency to collapse the inner elbow and elongate the swing and short duration within the zone due to a pronounced uppercut while often selling out for power shall have to be modified with miticulous instruction with fringe bat speed and middle-in holes dotting his swing at the moment preventing the Korean addition from consistently flashing stuff as he was able to demonstrate during this most recent AZL stint, proving an ability to capitalize off of mistakes and true stuff with discipline refinement that gradually dissipated through Vermont and the Instructional League.
3. Santiago "Chago" Chavez (40-45/High)
Instructional League report:
"Flanking his International backstop companions, Santiago Chavez flashed admirable maturity throughout his stateside debut following two consecutive campaigns amongst within the La Victoria Dominican academy and a 2011 acquisition for $200.000 from the Saltillo region in Mexico. The thickly built 19 year old boasting a 5'11"/190 pound frame possesses minimal offensive upside with subpar bat speed and thus a lessened ability to square plus velocity unless having guessed on pitch location, which Chavez did ultimately guess correctly in instances through his Instructional League stay on velocity ranging from 91-95 MPH with a decent ability to recognize exaggerated breaks, though frazzled by any secondaries flashing average with a low minors caliber pitch recognition, thus encountering difficulty upon confronting changeups and average to above average curves and sliders. A product of lackluster bat speed, Chavez' power potentiality bodes an extraordinarily low ceiling given the tradional catching offensive profile though could potentially increase to a marginal extent as he becomes more in touch and coordinated with his physical frame and develops more strength. Routinely generating 4.8-4.9 times out of the box, Chavez also presents subpar speed upon the basepaths, though an aspect not relevant for a backstop given his profile and potential projection. Chavez' redeeming components amongst his skill set lie within that of his defensive capabilities, capable enough to lift the teenage Latin American catching prospect towards the cusp of the majors with pinpoint and outstanding blocking, arm accuracy,release, footwork, receiving and game calling tendencies accumulating to potential plus-plus defensive grades while already demonstatring an above average defensive package at the moment just weeks following his 19th birthday while flashing extreme maturity given his youth as well. Chavez' arm strength routinely generated 50-55 grades with consistent release and mechanics behind the plate which permits the Carribean youngster to play up his average arm considerably as Chavez was able to successfully gun 13 of 18 attempted basestealers within Vermont and 7 of 8 including a pair of pickoffs at first and third base during a four game duration amongst his fellow Instructional League competition in Arizona with superb accuracy off his throws laced directly in front of bag continuously. Chavez' extraordinarily polished defensive intangibles provide a probable major league projection for the stocky backstop, though his offensive tools lag significantly behind his glove not weilding a stick boding even average potentiality with a definitive permanent 9th position within a probable lineup having to feast and ultimately capitalize upon being a mistake bat. Regardless, Chavez' glove at the very least vaults him to a capable backup post with a floor residing in that of an organizational asset that shall provide instruction and guidance to upcoming pitching and catching farmhands throughout the system. Concluding with 35 (Hit), 25 (Power), 30 (Run), 65 (Glove) and 55 (Arm) projections, Santiago Chavez still shall become a useable cog to some extent for Oakland as he gradually ascends and embarks upon a 2015 campaign in which the Mexican catching prospect shall remain 19 until August and possibly vacillate between affiliates as he experienced through his stateside debut"
With pronounced maturity with the leather, Chavez at the very worst services as an organizational piece that can service as an impromptu coach for imcoming batteries throughout the system. With outstanding arm accuracy, release and footwork despite some occasional misjudgements on pitch movement, Chavez has established himself as a mitt pitchers within the organization have enjoyed and prefered throwing to with helium enough on the glove and polish probable to actualize on a backup ceiling despite underwhelming bat speed, recognition, strength and periodical mechanical inconsistency that diminish his likely ability to capitalize with the bat against upper caliber competition.
4. Max Kuhn (40-45/High)
Instructional League report:
"Forming the battery with Kyle Finnegan during his mechanical tweak was Max Kuhn, the previous utility cog at Vermont following his 13th round selection by Oakland after being plucked for the second consecutive instance by the Athletics after his preparatory selection out of high school in 2011. A blatantly offensively oriented prospect, Kuhn provides value through a thunderous bat with 60 grade raw power which, while likely shall not actualize to its full potential, has been flashed in instances including an appearance within the NYPL clearing a batter's eye at 420 feet to CF and making some of the most visceral contact at the Instructional camp injuring tagging a fastball middle of the zone at Papago well out of the ballpark to pull center keeping the bat head steady through the zone with a solid follow through with strong, quick wrists that resulted in a monsterous blast out of the facility that highlighted the power oriented contingent of the cast this Fall coupled with Sandber Pimentel, who tagged one on a line 400 feet to opposite center in Scottsdale, and Seong-Min Kim. Kuhn additionally possesses a swing intensive approach, with a projection having a rely upon average and power percentages to ascend through the organization with an ability to recognize and square slightly below average to slightly above average fastball velocity and make contact consistently off offspeed offerings, with the most susceptible being to changeups. Despite decent yet lacking awe inspring projection upon the offensive edge, Kuhn's defensive capabilities could easily stunt his offensive arsenal as the Kentucky alumni struggled mightily primarily stationed at third base collegiately for the Wildcats before bouncing from 1B, 2B, 3B, LF and DH duties between the AZL complex and Vermont throughout his initial Oakland professional debut. In an attempt to have Kuhn definitively latch onto a defensive post, the organization opted to audition the newly found catcher behind the plate as the 23 year old would be prevented from debuting within a game situation until the latter portion of camp. Despite never acquiring an opportunity to recordi a pop time through his appearances, Kuhn surprisingly demonstated sufficient receiving abilities with some blocking and footwork startlingly registering with just a below average grade for someone having immediately shifted to one of the more demanding defensive posts within the sport. Having demonstrated a 45-50 grade arm within left field previously during the October schedule, one could deduct Kuhn's potentiality gunning baserunners had he acquired an opportunity as Kuhn would routinely amass ~2.10 times inbetween innings when properly receiving the ball. The aspiring Snapper shall have an opportunity to greatly improve defensively upon acclimating towards the position during the offseason and March while currently settling with 40 (Hit), 55 (Power), 35 (Run), 40 (Glove), 45 (Arm) projections at the moment."
Kuhn's adequate pitch recognition, tick below average bat speed and mistake recognition coupled with extreme raw pop from the right side with strong and quick hands make him an intriguing bat first prospect with his defensive intangibles behind the plate probable to see him shift back to corner outfield or right infield duties despite some progress made with receiving ability and overall adjustment to the high glove profile position during his brief Instructional League tenure.
5. Lana Akau (45/Extremely High)
Yet another Instructional League participant within Papago to close out the tenure of the long accustomed Oakland minor league facility, Iolana Akau played sparingly similarly to his sophomore campaign within the AZL as the Hawaiian overslot acquisition continued to encounter difficulty with professional acclimation as Oakland, similarly to Seong-Min Kim, has opted to retain Akau outside of excessive game situations for controlled and concentrated development preference with Akau not providing enough of a sample to provide a tangible and definite scouting report. Showcasing a moderate, stout frame behind the plate with minimal physical projection remaining as the 19 year old has essentially filled out to the entirety of his adult stature with an average build and thick backside, Akau has been under watchful observance and been treated with kid gloves after losing a developmental campaign prior to his drafting after missing his senior high school campaign with a fractured thumb. With a lone campaign of AZL eligibility remaining, Akau is expected to ascend towards an incorporated affiliate momentarily after serving as a reserve backstop within Beloit breifly during the previous spring with his advertised defensive maturity as an amateur still flashing in stretches. Akau's offensive upside remains restrained however, with moderate bat speed sapped through continuously loose hands and an elongated stroke while having reoccurring difficulties with pitch recognition, often getting caught off on the front foot when combating and encountering a rare quality complex level changeup with armside wiggle and tailing breaks towards the outer portion of the zone, plus velocity and crisp 11-5/12-6 curves through the zone figuring difficult for Akau to track from release and lay off of. Often extending his inner elbow, Akau's barreling ability has been extremely minimal despite flashing quick hands and adequate bat speed at times with strength still needing to be prioritized for the still exceedingly raw farmhand with well below average raw pop not bailing out Akau and thus having to remain dependent upon his hitting development to carry him offensively. Flashing solid defensive intangibles behind the plate with consistently mature receiving and blocking ability, Akau pertains to less polish than fellow glove based backstop, Chago Chavez, presently with arm accuracy inconsistency with a presently fringe cannon that can eventually play to average thus having to play up on a rapid release, above average footwork and accurate ropes, all attributes still underdeveloped for the Hawaiian product with agility and mobility at the dish still clunky at times while demonstrating periodically choppy hands and tense movements at times as Akau visbilibly remains uncomfortable in game situations occasionally. Still showcasing attributes that can accumulate to an average mitt, Akau's development shall remain gradual and steady with his potential ceiling remaining extremely lofty at the moment with his status within the organization only for that of the patient. With potential grades amassing to that of 40 (Hit), 30 (Power), 30 (Run), 50+ (Glove) and 50 (Arm), Akau's ultimately ideal scenario lies in that of a leather oriented reserve backstop with some potential hit tool ability with recognition refinement and instruction to retain a shortness into the zone with proper hand placement. Only permitted to participate for a minimal amount of time within the AZL and Instrcutional League, reevaluation shall be available for Akau as he begins to progress through the system and reaches physical maturity.
6. Jose Rivas (45/Extremely High)
"Rivas is a very good athlete. Soft hands, good transfer, flashes a present average arm. Some raw power, solid contact, good bat speed"
The presently youngest player in the Athletics organization, the 16 year old Venezuelan product celebrates his 17th birthday on August 5th while already possessing a mature 6'1"/175 pound build behind the plate with tantilizing raw instincts and tools that have made the Julio Franco signee the present and ultimately likely 2014-2015 signing period bonus baby at $220,000 joining Jesus Lopez ($950K/2013), Luis Barrera ($450K/2012), Seong-Min Kim ($510K/2011), Renato Nuñez ($2.2M/2010), Wilfredo Solano ($750K/2009) and Michael Ynoa ($4.25M/2008) from previous years past. Despite minimal excessive information on the acquisition with limited international tournament exposure, the right handed bat showcases average raw pop presently that can project to above average with solid bat speed, contact rates, and a supposedly notable arm behind the plate with decent blocking ability and agility as Rivas honed his arm strength as a member of the 15U Venezuelan national javelin team. With a notable DSL debut campaign amongst fellow Caribbean signees within La Victoria this summer, the youthful backstop could head stateside as early as the impending 2015 Instructional League which would serve as the youngest Arizona Instructs participant since 2013 with Jesus Zambrano and the then 16 year old Jesus Lopez. With the potentiality to see his prospect ascend rapidly with more eyes gazing upon him and in a depleted positional sect, Rivas addresses himself as a possible breakthrough name with upcoming physical development and maturity upcoming over the next couple seasons.
7. Beau Taylor (40>/Medium)
Having continuously struggled to acclimate towards Texas League competition with difficulty adjusting to secondary command with fringy bat speed, inconsistent hands and breaking recognition issues, Taylor has been teetering upon non-prospect status for Oakland following a successful statistical romp through Stockton in 2012 and standout run following his 2014 demotion with recognition ability enough to diagnose and capitalize off of mistakes with average raw pop and condensed stroke despite bat path vacillation and inconsistency with barreling on stuff towards the inner portions of the zone. With an iffy defensive skill set possessing a fringe arm with clunky release and stiff movements and footwork, Taylor's bat likely doesn't last within the upper regions of the minors and ultimately seems destined to float throughout middle minors opportunities with some mistake hitting ability and decent semblance of the zone allowing him to tread water within amongst AA competition as a reserve component. Essentially already actualized to the extent of which his raw intangibles have shown, Taylor possesses minimal risk as an upper minors flier and filler though unlikely to achieve a major league ceiling with a potential cup of coffee possible with successful swing experimentation and a slough of injuries as Bruce Maxwell, his Texas League postseason companion, shall undoubtedly take prospect precedence and surpass the former collegiate bat.
8. Robert Mullen (40-45/Extremely High)
The Panamanian backstop now flanking fellow recent signee from the region in Jorge Gordon, Mullen's $225,000 acquisition ushered him into the La Victoria complex where the stout and average built catcher had been housed for the previous couple campaigns prior to his stateside Instructional League debut and consequential Dominican Instructs stint afterwards alongside fellow La Victoria graduate, Sandber Pimentel, with only sparingly seen participation during game situations, similarly to Lana Akau, to work within a controlled developmental environment with personal coaching from Sam Geaney inbetween appearances before San Diego's swiping the Oakland's former International scouting director to oversee their farm across the valley in Peoria. Though limited in opportunities, Mullen demomstrated a solid average arm with above average stuff flashing, though erratic and often inaccurate, with consistent 1.90-1.96 pop times behind the plate with some clunky footwork and a rapid trigger on the release to compensate with decent receiving and blocking abilities that can be further refined. Still learning how to orchestrate contests and refine his game calling abilities, Mullen showcased adequate hands with some decent agility and blocking though still somewhat underdeveloped that seemingly point towards an ultimately average ceiling with the leather and thus allowing Mullen to profile and remain at the position defensively. Flashing inconsistency with the lumber within limited offensive chances within Arizona, Mullen often demonstrated loose hands and a less than desirable bat path, remaining loopy and remaining a short time within the zone, with an aggressive, slightly early trigger and showing off inadequate recognition on armside breaks, guessing on flashing fringe changes and cuts and struggling to get around on firm, boring velocity with authority. However, Mullen's offensive raw intangibles were more visibly present while participating within Panama's Probeis ALBP league for the Industriales de Herrera with consistent, quick hands and a compact, short stroke and barreling ability that permitted his average raw pop to be showcased during in-game situation versus more immature and inferior repetiores that presents a more promising potential ceiling and means for reevaluation upon returning towards Mesa for an assured extended spring training and AZL stint this upcoming season. Visibly uncomfortable with unfavorable body language at times during his stateside appearances, acclimating towards the new nation could've potentially had a psychological affect on the teenage product, not to mention having to combat an uptick of arm effectiveness. Ultimately flashing intangibles to provide a fringe offensive résumé with a 40/45 hit tool ceiling and 45 (50 Raw Pop) power grades showcased with 30 (Run), 45/50 (Glove) and 55 (Arm) grades that could eventually amass to a consistent reserve profile despite pitch recognition difficulties, fringe bat speed and an unrefined, significant development remaining on tracking and timing to more advanced arms and velocity with a tangible and excessive sample against stateside and mature pitching not having been witnessed thus far that make his ceiling achievement unlikely to be actualized at the moment until more sufficient developmental strides are proven to be taken.
9. Argenis Raga (40>/High)
Instructional League report:
"One of Oakland's numerous international backstops showcased during the Fall within Arizona, Argenis Raga flashed improved defensive ability behind the plate with his blocking revisions glowing as the most notable with the glove. Having manned post throughout the entirety of the infield previously amongst Oakland's Dominican academy, Raga has definitively settled into a permanent catching post domestically with a fringy bat enough to carry him towards the California League with bat speed and offensive consistency not likely enough to vault him forth into the Texas League caliber fray. Having inked amongst Oakland's 2010 Caribbean splurge behind Renato Nuñez and Vicmal De La Cruz, Raga split opportunities between third, shortstop and second base while only demonstrating a legitimate capability to remain at second base throughout his dual campaigns in La Victoria prior towards a 2013 AZL debut manning primarily third base before his shift towards backstop during the most recent summer and now corresponding Instructional League. Demonstrating decent receiving ability with game calling intangibles, Raga shined for his blocking attributes and consistent capability to body behind errand breaks and hops and prevent offerings from heading towards the backstop despite a fringe average arm at best, poping within a 2.01-2.07 range throughout his Instructional League, with some inconsistent release mechanics that degrade his cumulative defensive attributes behind the plate. Still somewhat acclimating towards the position following a professional résumé predominantly consistenting of infield work, Raga could aspire to enough of a defensive package to possesss the fringe amount of potential glove to stay at the post without presenting a significant quantity of defensive production. Raga's offensive capability leans heavily upon an adept all fields oriented slap hitting approach, often not short into the zone and having to guess upon plus velocity to compensate for mediocre bat speed with some inconsistent hand placement and bat paths that shall have to be more so refined should he wish to progress forward into full season competition, though does weild a pitch recognition and tracking capability vastly superior to complex league competition while being consistently able to acknowledge fastballs upon release and secondary offerings up to fringe average potential. Raga boasted gap power potential as well, despite having to compensate with a slide step, as he consistently punched up to above average velocity to all fields for average rates at times with some deceptive might housed within a somewhat underwhelming frame as he was able to often turn upon fastballs within the upper reaches of the zone. Boding a 35 (Hit), 40 (Power), 35 (Run), 40 (Glove), 45 (Arm) résumé, Raga likely doesn't possess the qualifications to ultimately aspire towards a major league ceiling with offensive mechanical inconsistency and a definitively fringy package behind the plate that was able enough to tread water within Arizona based upon his opposite field prowess and game calling ability though shall be heavily exploited upon assimilating amongst incorporated affiliates without a significant developmental undertaking. Likely to ascend to Vermont regardless given a statistical breakthrough during the AZL campaign and Instructional League in which Raga was able to flash maturity wholeheartedly deserving of another opportunity past Papago, the positionally versitile Venezuelan shall likely spend the remainder of his contractual period with Oakland bouncing through Vermont and Beloit."
10. Jorge Gordon (40/Extremely High)
"He's doing well. Remember that he used to be a third baseman and he's only been catching since October 2014 in the DR Instructional league. You know, that isn't easy for young kid. I like him, flashing good stuff like flexibility behind dish, soft glove. Poor range now, but will come. Soft 4/5 Arm with consistent transfer. Most instructions come from dugout at this level, bat needs to be more focused and attack his pitch while not missing it. Young guy that should improve with development. Bat will have to carry him to the major league level. Chance to be a backup catcher in the majors."
The offspring of an affluent dentist in Panama and additionally linguistically sound in Mandarin Chinese, Gordon is a representative the organizational, and often universal industry preference, revering that of international makeup with the foundation to develop into a quality human being and sound baseball player having been laid for the now 17 year old converted Panamanian backstop. Having already participated through Oakland's Dominican academy Instructional League where the Panama City native initially shifted permanently to catcher, Gordon arrived as Oakland's initially substantially notable International acquisition from this ongoing signing period, inking for $100,000 week past July 2nd following the immediate addition of Jesus Lage from Venezuela. Already gone through an excessive catching gauntlet through his Dominican debut and continual opportunities within the Panamaian Fedébeis juvenile league, Gordon receiving abilities have become more visibly polished despite some sluggishness and lack thereof of consistent agility and footwork behind the plate thus far, showcasing a present below average arm with average ceiling and a reliable release. Despite a muzzle placed upon his projected raw pop with some occasional barreling difficulty and lack of overt upper body strength at the moment, Gordon demonstrates quick hands and consistent shortness into the zone with potential average bat speed that signify his hitting capability shall have to be leaned upon in order to ascend through affiliates as a professional with decent preliminary recognition abilities and some occasional adjustment and timing struggles additionally accompanying the compact, fundamentally sound stroke. Keeping his bat in zone long, Gordon pertains to a present hard contact, line drive oriented approach with some budding opposite field ability having been shown that can blossom into gap potential with below average pop as the sturdy, 5'8" backstop develops and eventually matures while thick through the lower half already with a moderate build through the torso that can withstand muscular and strength development through the shoulders and chest. Expected rudimentary game calling abilities shall have to be harnessed as he matures and attempts to head stateside as a couple Dominican campaigns shall be likely prior to Gordon acquiring an opportunity to head towards the Fitch Park facility within Mesa with potential 45 (Hit), 40 (Power), 35 (Run), 45 (Glove) and 50 (Arm) grades spell a potential reserve position should Gordon mature sufficiently and begin to actualize with a significant amount of risk associated with the undersized and recently converted backstop possessing moderate tool upside. To eventually arrive at a major league plateau, Gordon all but certainly shall have to incorporate the lower body, currently adopting an upper body intensive and exclusive torque oriented swing, and develop shoulder/wrist strength to accompany his mechanics and exceed his hit tool ceiling with his defensive intangibles and raw pop likely not distinguished enough to compete for a prolonged major league position.
Nick Rickles (Surgery/Rehab)
Phil Pohl (Stockton/Beloit/NP)
Andy Paz (Short season/NP)
Kyle Wheeler (Short season)
Ryan Gorton (Middle minors)
Barry Hernandez (Complex)
Jesus Monserratt (Complex)
Ryan Ortiz (Organizational/NP)
Ryan Lipkin (Organizational/NP)
Luke Carlin (MiLB signee/AAA-Coffee)
Carson Blair (MiLB signee/AA-AAA)