Saturday, April 18, 2015

Individual Notebooks: 4/18/15 (Stockton/Visalia)

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. 

Individual Notebook: 4/16/15 (Stockton/Visalia)

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

Individual notebooks: 4/8/15 (Stockton Exhibition)

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.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Backfield Notebook: Reports and notes (Part 1)

Revving themselves for upcoming and crucial campaigns en route to actualizing their potential and continuing upon their path of development, Oakland's contingent of farmhands competing for full season opportunities have already descended into the Athletics' new fangled facility relocated from Papago Park to half a mile directly south of the since vacated and now reinhabited HoHoKam stadium after Chicago abandoned ship westward over to their new complex at Sloan Park. With other international and short season pieces having yet to arrive and waiting until the opening of the extended spring in April, the A's have been playing host to minor league assets since February with the opening of mini camp with coaching and instructional minds forming the upcoming affiliate staffs throughout the country acclimating with their future squads and assisting in preparation for what shall service for some as pivotal seasons in reestablishing their objective wealth within the industry, beginning to actualize their toolsy abilities with an installment of baseball aptitude or just plain attempting to figure out how to play baseball continuously for five months without succumbing to fatigue and sloppiness. For arms such as Raul Alcantara, Tanner Peters, Chris Kohler and Dustin Driver, 2015 serves as a means to reacclimate after injury riddled campaigns and reaffirm their value after rehabilitation while draftees such as Daniel Gossett, Brett Graves, Branden Kelliher and Heath Fillmyer begin to finally log frames onto their arms through their first initial professional spring gauntlets at the academy. High profile bats such as Ryon Healy, Matt Olson and Renato Nuñez acquire a crucial development exam in Midland and a league riddled with probable adjustments with arms knowledgeable how to exploit potent holes within a swing while breakthrough international kiddos like Yairo Muñoz and Franklin Barreto seek to continue to actualize within a full season developmental rung including a means of adjustment for Barreto personally having to shift organizations and transition across the country. Providing a teeming scouting envirorerment with talent juxopppsed on dualing fields in-games and extensive daily preliminary workouts and drill work prior in the morning, the area provides significant insight into oncoming seasons and a means of checking-in on the progress of those whom strided forward during the Fall within the Instructional League and towards the conclusion of their own individual minor league stints the year before. Most notably, stock ballooning from short season pieces such as Dustin Driver and Yairo Muñoz served as an intriguing narrative heading into the spring as both prepare to tackle their initial full season assignments and the consequent adjustments laying ahead versus more advanced bats with better semblance of the zone and arms with a preliminary ability to sequence along with a more consistent stream of plus potential pitches to encounter. 


3B Yairo Muñoz (*Potential* 5 Hit, 6 Pop, 4 Run, 4+ Glove, 6+ Arm):

Positive potential: 

Muñoz continued to skyrocket after affiliated eyes got their initial peek at the Domimican within Vermont and has since seen a developmental spike in his production, flashing innate strength and present solid average speed accompanied with present plus raw pop and a well above average arm from the left side of the infield that have made the Caribbean signee a prized commodity and means of value within the Athletics developmental system. Muñoz has undergone a physiological change since the Instructional League, presenting positive and detrimental ramifications, having bulked up through the upper half with tangible shoulder mass added onto an already strong frame and a slightly thicker torso that have allowed Muñoz to tap into and actualize his strength even further, funneling it through a pair of strong and sturdy hands at the plate with easy above average bat speed and explosion into the zone with the lumber. Demonstrating an ability to generate loft and backspin while remaining in the zone for a lengthy stretch, Muñoz saw an incremental tick up with his natural strength from the previous Fall, able to routinely put on impressive BP displays if desired to pull and center without having to fully barrel up and getting underneath balls to flash raw pop that has the potential to increase more so as he begins to fully develop into his adult frame. Possessing a mature opposite field ability, Muñoz showcased an adept and more mature semblance of how to wait and catch stuff deep into the zone while remaining coordinated with a strong back side through contact and extension, flashing above average raw to RF consistently if required with an ability to adjust to pitches inside and deep routinely for power to the opposite side. Another means of improvement at the plate, Muñoz has since begun to track fastballs more consistently to the mitt, one of the lone within his caste showcasing an ability to do so at this stage and thus having witnessed an uptick with his recognition at the plate on plane and downhill of primary pitches from release. The trigger on his swing has flashed more consistency and a slight adjustment with patience, having since sought after his appropriate pitch as opposed to fishing for anything remotely within the proximity of the zone, also proving to keep his hands back and recognize arm speed on changeups more consistently while maintaining and adjusting his timing to the pitch. With his consistency to remain within the zone, the 20 year has also extended his zone coverage, consistenly getting bat-to-barrel and making loud contact, demonstrating a constant short stroke and intangibles with bat speed enough not to be frazzled of imtimidated by middle-in velocity. An improvement in two strike situations has also been noticeable, showing a more controlled trigger on spin while beginning to better diagnose break movement and keeping himself shorter to the ball with lessened elongation and fishing. Weilding a 60+ arm within the infield, Muñoz has insurance for his glove with a massive arm that has remained accurate when set, complementing a present average amount of footspeed from the right side on the basepaths that has given him some stolen base ability and quick times out of the box. With a mature approach, makeup and work ethic, Muñoz has made himself a favorite internally within the organization for his innate capabilities on the field and his maturity that has played up his age. 


Already having been loudly questioned through his initial affiliate run and Instructional League, Muñoz' ability at shortstop has decreased furthermore heading into the spring and all but assuredly spells a positional shift heading forward thus diminishing the value of him and placing significantly more pressure upon the bat to elevate him with a migration to third base seemingly eminent. Flashing some occasionally promising spells during the Fall, Muñoz' first step and fast twitch abilities at the position have diminished noticeably with his increased weight and physical presence, additionally having seen a drop with his range to a fringe capacity at the position with a plunge in footspeed and quickness enough to field the post longterm. Already an incessant issue through the previous Summer and Fall, Muñoz' hands have seemingly become even more unreliable and choppy in the field which raise question marks for his ongoing projection and probable success with the leather at third base as well, continuously fumbling easy hops during drill work and in-game action at an alarmingly consistent pace while not often bodying fully behind balls to can get into position in front of prior to the play, leading to miscues with a lack of defensive fundamentals. Muñoz' footspeed is also unlikely to last as he matures and progresses upwards towards the cusp of the majors, with his developing mass already having shown signs of slowing the Dominican with less consistent home-to-first times compared to five months prior already and afforementioned handicapped range within the infield. At the plate, Muñoz still has significant means of adjustment remaining to actualize his hitting potential with pitch selection still a question mark despite some gradual improvement with a tendency to chase elevated stuff early in counts and occasional timing lapses on quality secondaries. Armside breaks have proven a difficulty to target early and keep his hands back on without triggering through the zone while fastballs with quality movement have proven trouble for him to barrel up on consistenly. Selecting his pitch has been an issue through his recent spring as well, opting for elevated outside stuff or whatever flat that happens to come within the vicinity of the zone rather than taking soft pitches outside or waiting for his appropriate pitch to pounce on. Will still often chase early in counts, reluctant to take pitches at times at this stage. Additionally, only a present short season résumé with numerous developmental hurdles waiting him before his raw abilities begin to materialize into major league adequate stuff. 


Despite the glove issues, impending move westward to third and having yet to dabble amongst official full season competition, Muñoz' bat has proven enough potential to remain at third and an adept aptitude for the game with humongous strides over the previous six months in beginning a route to actualize his intangibles. A budding tracking ability, extremely mature all fields approach with plus raw and capable in appearance adjustments at the plate and outstanding hands make Muñoz a tantilizing means of value for Oakland to shop as one of the best offensive upside bats within the organization with an assignment that could see him wind up in the California League with Stockton ahead of Franklin Barreto as the Athletics still evidently wish to seperate the duo and play both at shortstop for the time being with a greater present maturity at the plate having been unanimously shown by Muñoz within the Fitch camp facilities. With surprising pop from the right side,an ability to produce loft and backspin more than anyone else within the system and incremental increases having been shown within his hit tool development over the offseason, Muñoz' raw talent and maturity at the plate gives him a chance to overcome a fringy glove and potentially worrisome body for solid average impact at the major league level:

Role 5 ceiling (Everyday starter)

RHP Dustin Driver (*Potential* 7+ FB, 6 CH, 5+ SL, 5+ 2SFB, 5 Command):

Positive potential:

Possessing an athletic build and repeatable mechanics from the right side, Driver provides a strong frame with athleticism on the mound to play up a tantilizing raw repetiore following his rehabilitation completion after avoiding a surgerical procedure for his back issue last spring, showcasing a lively and loud fastball to rank as one of Oakland's best potential offerings from the high 3/4 slot with decent deception to opposite-handed eyes within the box, disguising his grip and presenting an average action to give batters less looks prior to striding towards the plate. Able to touch 97-98 MPH already early into contests or when required, the present 20 year old sits around 92-96 routinely able to reach back for more juice when required; able to generate armside wiggle to the pitch on occasion with late life and explosion towards the plate consistently and beginning to grasp his budding capability to produce plane and pitch downhill from his higher slot prior to his initial bout of full season competition. Mixing in a capable change-of-pace pitch, Driver sequences the four seam with an 86-90 MPH sinker that can create sharp downhill plate towards the plate and induce weak contact; often able to bore into right handed bats with armside movement and break bats consistently with the offering. Despite less than stellar amateur reviews on the secondary arsenal, Driver has been able to witness an uptick on the effectiveness of his changeup and flash above average to plus potential, improving his arm speed and thus deception on the pitch at 81-85 MPH with lively movement and boring action able to be achieved on the pitch; able to consistently induce more weak contact and swings-and-misses off the offering; effective in pinpointing on the inner quadrants of the zone to like-handed bats and peppering the outer edges to lefties; thrown for strikes at a projectable rate. When on, Driver's slider can show above average with appropriate tilt with some vertical shape and late drop that can miss bats; shown an ability to throw for strikes and when pitching backwards; more capable than shape showcased during the Instructional League; hand and wrist snap on the pitch has improved over his rehabilitation process as well, with it also showing off some curve 11-5 shape from time-to-time with solid downward thump. Flashes adequate command at times, can sequence well when in front or behind in counts and can hit his spots in bunches; wild stretches are often corralled rapidly and quelled before a contest could potentially get out of hand; rarely misses in the middle of the zone, still keeps command issues when risen difficult to hit. Durable frame, promising for able to log innings and pitch into contests despite limited résumé as a professional thus far. Relatively low floor, mature given minimal experience and lack of complex ball thus far with an arsenal able to play up in high leverage relief if necessary as he heads upwards through the minors. 


Driver's risk is already extreme with a mere 11 2/3 professional innings thus far and his most recent campaign entirely squandered by a back issue that required the righty to be relegated into the Instructional League for his first innings since the previous spring. Lack of professional experience means numerous hurdles left to conquer; has yet to demonstrate ability to adjust to opposing competition within a tangible sample size. Fastball can occasionally flatten out and lack downhill plane as the muscular righty  can periodically struggle with release point early and overthrow the sinker on occasion to service as a tell at this stage. Command on the pitch is presently inconsistent, has bouts of release point repetition difficulty from plate appearance to plate appearance with the movement on his fastball lacking at times and straightening out, often tending to remain elevated. Movement on the slider has been inconsistent through his previous Fall and this most recent spring, sometimes reverting to a more sweepy 76-81 MPH variation that can become susceptible over and within the zone; difficulties in staying on top of the pitch and snapping the wrist, though has improved most recently. Arm can drag occasionally on the break, can elevate slot slightly on the pitch. Arm has yet to be actually tested deep into outings or throughout the course of an entire season; physical durability and stamina externally is adequate though track record is non-existent. Changeup can often sit elevated within the zone and rarely shows sufficient downhill plane to it; arm speed still has bouts of inconsistently on the offering from time-to-time and requires refinement. Can overthrow on the sink and struggle with late release point, has yet to demonstrate a grasp of command on the offering and reliably hit spots in the lower portion of the zone. 


Numerous question marks still abound Driver heading into his initial full season professional run with innings having yet to be logged and sustained performance having yet to be evaluated with a preliminary issue having risen with back difficulty and command troubles at this stage. Overall, his cumulative repetiore and physical presence make Driver a rarity within the A's system even without the summer credentials at the moment, having shown up to #3 starter and mid-rotation potential throughout his most recent performances this past Instructional League and spring training, a ceiling that presently no other arm housed within the organization can attest to. With a lively fastball, mature change and slider having flashes tilt and depth improvement this spring, the righty has a mature weak contact and miss bat arsenal with budding sequencing and pitchability able to likely retain him within a rotation capacity and provide him a very much certain major league floor for someone of only short season experience. At worst, Driver's floor resides in that of a late inning bullpen asset where the fastball can play up in bursts coupled with some solid secondary offerings and command semblance. Adjustments shall be upcoming through his ascent into the upper minors, though has demonstrated an aptitude for improvement and revision over the offseason and amongst the Oakland complexes:

Role 6 ceiling (#2/#3 starter). Realistic projection: #3/#4 Starter. 

LHP Chris Lamb (*Potential* 6+ FB, 6 Split, 5+ CH, 5+ SL, 5+/6 Command):

Positive potential: 

Demonstrating easier, looser arm action comparatively to a more funkier interpretation shown off within Stockton the summer prior; able to repeat mechanics more reliably out of the stretch and thus hit spots more frequently with runners aboard. Fastball able to comfortably sit 91-94 MPH with frantic armside wiggle and periodical cutting action from the left side; fastball hops and dips while able to generate consistent plane on the pitch while touching up to 96 MPH, difficult for opposing bats to square up the pitch and put bat-to-barrel. Offering has some late movement and life with consistent plane, rarely loses grip or release point that results in an elevated pitch. Splitfinger works with solid arm speed and crisp downward sinking action at 87-90 MPH, pitch cuts through zone with spike and can induce swings-and-misses with missed bats alike; consistent on offering shape, command and movement. Comfortable with split in front of or behind in counts when pitching backwards. Shows slider at 79-84 MPH, generates gloveside break able to be utilized effectively to both handed sorts of bats; when achieving appropriate snap, pitch services as a decent miss bat pitch with dart through the zone; depth on the offering improved over the offseason based upon what was shown in the spring, can often get the pitch to finish in the zone and throw it for strikes at a fairly consistent clip. Changeup shows at 80-82 MPH, mostly consistent arm speed with solid wiggle; emulates fastball in producing cut and hopping late movement to miss barrels sufficiently, able to corral the pitch towards the lower portions of the zone and hit spots, shows plane and downhill on the offering, can repeat from equal release point and maintain arm action on it. Already with more experience than the majority of Oakland depth upon the mound, having completed a California League stint and poised for his initial Texas League bout this spring. Has demonstrated appropriate command on arsenal through an extensive sample size, able to work with slightly more deflated fastball at 89-92 MPH predominantly for Stockton with a presently mature command profile; able to generate armside movement from the left side and play up some lessened deception through delievery with lively wiggle consistently dispersed througout repetiore. No injury history to be spoken of as a professional, body with an average build and minimal potential physical issues. 


Shows off grip to both handed sorts of competition, some rock-and-fire initially to produce momentum and preliminary looks to be targeted and pounced upon more frequently by upcoming advanced bats. Fastball can flatten out on occasion, placement predominantly reliable though can lack some movement from time-to-time if he loses grip and placement; occasionally shown tendency to do so. Slider can drift periodically and lack appropriate tilt and thump, shown more inadequate means with lessened shape and depth through his time within Stockton. Difficulty command the slide for often than any other offering within his repetiore. Changeup with some detectable arm speed at times and early release point to see it occasionally elevated; can lose a little depth and plane on the pitch while lacking some wiggle as outliers that pop up sometimes through an outing. Fastball unlikely to remain as crisp as season progresses, ought to dip more comfortably into 90-93 range with more innings and can lose some movement occasionally at times during innings. Limited experience versus upper minors bats, has yet to demonstrate adjustments within the elevated reaches of developmental ball. Lacks a true standout pitch, nothing at a plus-plus potential clip with a consistent yet underwhelming ceiling on the secondary arsenal. 


Despite a lack of a prominent definitive punch housed amongst Lamb's arsenal, a consistent sprinkling of above average or higher pitches and an above average command profile with present grasp on pitchability and sequencing, the southpaw figures strongly veered towards major league upside with #4 rotation potential with the floor being a versitile and effective swingman should his command versus more advanced bats begin to falter or his stuff starts lose the bite and movement shown throughout his most recent affiliate and spring stints. With the present profile having been shown by Lamb however, a backend rotation seems fairly certain as a feasible projection with a greater present command semblance than anyone else within the Oakland system and sharp wiggle througout his repetiore to produce consistent weak contact. With a demomstrated ability to sustain velocity and life on the fastball into the depths of a season, a borderline mid-rotation role could be achieved as well with his quieter mechanics and action coupled with crisp late burst on the fastball shown this spring along with a consistently solid secondary kit showing good results for the breakthrough arm this month and heading onward:

High Role 5 ceiling (#3/#4 starter). Realistic projection: #4 Starter

LHP Dillon Overton (*Potential* 5/5+ FB, 6+ CH, 5 CB, 5 Command):

Positive potential:

Loose arm action with a thin yet sustainable, athletic frame from the left side; generating sufficient armside wiggle when the fastball ticks on while able to tail the pitch away towards the outer quadrants of the zone to righties and bore inside towards like-handed bats. Can flash an ability to showcase downhill plane on the pitch and achieve some sinking action while working it to both sides of the plate; deceptive mechanics play up the offering as it first appears to batters out of Overton's shoulder, no initial looks prior to extending towards the plate. Changeup figures as one of the lone plus potential secondary offerings to be found within Oakland's system with the potentiality to arrive at well above average status; pitch maintains sufficient arm speed with crisp funneling and tumbling action at 76-79 MPH. Consistently arrives at lower corners of the zone; able to be commanded off the fastball and comfortable pitching backwards with the pitch with late fading bite that can induce missed bats and weak contact alike. Semblance on the pitch is mature, can depend on it regardless of situation. Curveball thrown in at 72-76 MPH, possesses 1-7 shape from the right side; gets sufficient snap and some downward spike to the offering; able to be thrown for strikes and difficult to barrel with shifting means of depth. Mature repetiore relative to his developmental status, some present command semblance on secondary arsenal and comfortable utilizing all pitches in ranging counts. Just acquired initial professional experience and entirely recuperated from his Tommy John procedure; repeatable mechanics and consistently projected arsenal throughout. 


Fastball lacking thump from collegiate tenure; unlikely to ever acquire 92-95 MPH velocity showcased on the amateur circuit. Despite overrated dependency on velocity readings in amateur evaluation, Overton presently sits 86-89 while touching 90 on rare occasions and is likely to service as his thump heading forward throughout his professional career. Fastball command can become extremely loose, lost spots in spurts and ability to utilize pitch reliably shaky presently; lessened velocity will magnify impending developmental and future struggles on pitch when they arise. Occasionally losing ability to hit spots and command fastball, telegraphing pitch with earlier release and slightly elevated arm slot from the slightly higher than 3/4; difficulty consistently generating plane on the primary offering with some flattening out and lifelessness on occasion with wiggle and run coming and going through his spring. Can additionally overthrow pitch as well, later release compromises movement and contributes to missing location to the gloveside. Curve with some exaggerated shape; can lack a bit of thump on the pitch from time-to-time thus resulting in probable ability for advanced bats to time to it; some periods of drifting rather than thumping through zone. Can telegraph offering some with heavier pronation on pitch and a slightly shorter arm action; can be spotted more elevated in the zone. Already with a major surgerical procedure on the résumé that increases the risk in the investment in Overton; lacking full season experience with only a short season pedigree to speak of at the moment. Has yet to combat professional lineups through second or third rotation and grapple with in-game counter-adjustments. Limited ceiling overall with significant development remaining; risk present. 


Even with a reduced projected role with some velocity decrease and life sapped off the fastball, Overton still possesses a tangible major league ceiling and ought to provide value at the highest level after the upcoming couple seasons with a lively, crisp changeup boosted through deceptive mechanics and a mature semblance of secondary command with pitchability. A favorable frame and left handedness also assist the Tommy John survivor with some armside and plane flashing on the fastball and with more polished, consistent command upon the pitch ought to service as a perfectly adequate primary pitch once approaching his ceiling; the pitch must be able to showcase more consistent plane and reliable release point with elevation and lack thereof to pinpoint spots serving as a present developmental hurdle and means to address as he encounters his initial full season assignment. With some control ability, mature secondary grasp and easier effort to the plate, Overton present polish relative to his competition is noticeable and figures to carry him towards a backend rotation role and begin to contribute to some major league value fairly soon for someone with only a short season track record, though mid-rotation probability seems somewhat farfetched presently with lessened fastball thump and periodical waves of looseness within the zone set to exacerbate struggles more prominently:

Role 5 ceiling: #4 Starter

RHP/RP Bobby Wahl (*Potential* 7 FB, 6+ SL, 5 CB, 4 Command)

Positive potential:

Extremely loud and firm fastball; flashing 80 grade, ranging 97-99 MPH in spring with occasional wiggle to the armside and late burst towards the plate. Very firm, able to create plane and locate within the zone effectively and consistently than what was previously displayed throughout the Instructional League. Increased muscle mass within upper body, specifically the shoulders over the offseason. Can ease in plus-plus velocity, naturally freakish arm with fastball assistance in short bursts out of the bullpen since relocation the previous summer from a since abandoned rotation berth. Able to set fastball around middle-in fairly consistently to like-handed competition, easily overpowered middle minors caliber bats with inferior bat speed; more consistent release point than showcased in 2014; softer landing on front foot when striding towards the plate. Slider flashing plus and even some above, showcasing tilt through the zone and more closer to being thrown for consistent strikes than pure chase ability demonstrated the previous Fall, sharp bite and vertical drop; able to miss bats to right handed competition, used behind and in front in counts. More consistent release point and hand position from last season, little better arm speed. Curve inherited last Instructional League showing decent average promise, thrown for strikes with solid vertical 11-5 thump, can miss both handed sorts of bats and features as another missed bat offerings and secondary to utilize off of primary slider. Intangibles and stuff enough for high leverage and late innings relief role, potentially closing duties with refined command ability. Best pure stuff fastball within the organization, potential for two well above average or greater pitches out of the bullpen. 


Effort presently within delievery to notch up into elite velocity, can occasionally disrupt mechanics and frequently release point because of it. Front foot softer on landing, though still troublesome enough to cause disfunction in delievery. Can sacrifice movement to blow up radar guns, fastball occasionally straightened out and lacking some plane; downhill ability. Placement and command still rudimentary, difficulty with release point repetition and reliability in hitting spots; can often hang somewhat flat in zone with the fastball enough where major leaguers could easily pounce upon it. Slider can become more sweepy at times, positive thump and shape demonstrated within the spring though some difficulty with wrist and hand snap shown within the Instructional League to consistently achieve appropriate shape. Difficulty throwing the slide for strikes or getting it through the zone, figures more as a present chase pitch with some difficulty getting repetition on it. Curve can flatten out, lack some depth at times and be spotted elevated in the zone. Higher release point on breaks to service as a tell. Pure bullpen capacity at the moment diminishing rotation value once thought of the previous spring, only minimal experience outside of the Midwest League with few frames within Stockton. Non-surgerical shoulder issue that cost Wahl 2+ months the previous summer and figures as a worrisome mark heading forward in injury history and intensifying some risk. 


Though bullpen prospects remain somewhat of an enigma, Wahl's pure stuff housed within his repetiore is tantilizing enough for potential late inning and high leverage situational duty at the major league level with a potentially elite fastball that ticked up some this spring and one of the better projected secondaries amongst Oakland arms at the moment with an easy miss bat slide that can flash well above average when on with tilt through the zone. Though the righty may eventually have to ease the effort demonstrated to bump into the triple digits territory in order to more appropriately prioritize fastball movement and hitting placement with consistent release point more often than what has been shown over the previous six months. Able to more reliably hit within the zone and spot general middle-in to the armside, there have been some strides taken by Wahl on the control aspect of his approach with the upcoming step able to pinpoint spots as opposed to sitting loose to future capable competition. More so just flashing above average secondary thump with shape at the moment, Wahl's consistency harnessing his breaks additionally figures as an upcoming point of development with a three finger change featuring vacillating arm speed and inconsistent movement with release struggles having all but been disbanded in favor of dualing breakers. Likely to tear through middle minors bats riding on pure raw stuff alone, adjustments shall more so begin to become more prevalent  within Nashville and the corresponding major league transition where plus-plus to elite raw velocity is no longer an oddity and movement alongside command ability shall take greater precedence. With raw stuff in bursts louder than most anything else in the organization, Wahl does pertain to present value even within an exclusive relief capacity:

Role 5 ceiling (Late innings relief/Closer ability) 

SS/CF Franklin Barreto (*Potential* 6 Hit, 4/4+ Pop, 7 Run, 5 Glove, 5+ Arm)

Positive potential:

Lightning hands; explosive into the zone with fluidity and strength able enough to produce plus bat speed and result in hard hit contact through extension at the plate. Decent hand position, able to retain enough for some projected adjustment ability at the plate. Raw intangibles very much noticeable, athletic frame with some room left to fill out through lower half and in shoulders despite mature build with present plus-plus speed ability; 4.08 at best from home-to-first from the right side, ranging 4.10-4.20 predominantly. Very quick out of the box, can unlock pure speed fluently from standstill without issue, explosive fast twitch triggers. Able to catch stuff deep in the zone with appropriate timing when flashing, showing some spray ability to all fields at times during BP sessions, can spot armside and inside movement for like-handed arms. Hands fairly reliable in the field on simplistic and exaggerated hops, arm strength above average and accurate when feet are set; first step flashing well at shortstop and getting decent reads off contact at the position. Footwork quick, coordinated and aware around the bag; doesn't show rushing on throws and fairly able to slow the game down in the field, very cerebral on caught stealing batteries. Able to diagnose a little bit of plane presently at the plate, can recognize release point and some depth off fastballs at the moment; lower half and hips able to be in tune with upper half mechanics at a mature rate for his age. Can stay in the zone for awhile, can get flat plane and barrel fastballs for line drive authority presently; makes loud, special contact when barreling up pitches. Has raw tools and athletic intangibles enough for insurance should a shift from shortstop occur with a probable failsafe in center field with footspeed and arm strength able enough to handle the position, though not veered towards that route at the moment and has zero professional outfield experience. Still potential to retain pressure off the bat when achieving ceiling and remain at the premium defensive position regardless. Maturity flashing in certain aspects despite age, solid baseball aptitude and acumen with a possible skipped developmental level likely able to be handled without being overwhelmed. 


Significant adjustments awaiting at the plate, severe difficulty with recognizing and diagnosing tailing spin and break depth. Innate optical ability to decipher pitch movement somewhat fuzzy, difficulty with keeping hands back and adjusting to offspeed offerings if recognized. Unsure how to modify bat speed, trigger often early due to it and not in tune with swing enough to adjust to stuff with juice taken off or commanded within the outer portion of the zone. Swing can elongate at times on spin tailing to the gloveside, predominantly short though trouble with patience on breaks. Aggressive early in counts, pitch selection and general patience at the plate requires refinement; trouble indentifying his own individual pitch to hit. Raw pop not loud at the present in his current state, gap power with shorter stay within the zone required to achieve it. Lessened incorporation within the lower half through initiated mechanics, attributable to preliminary exaggerated front foot prior to pitch release that is part of his individual timing mechanism though makes swing intensive and dependent on upper half exclusively. Hip rotation not always concluded through extension thus sapping raw pop further. Some physical and strength development remaining within the shoulders and lower half, though presently mature and increased bulk with the potential to then consequently compromise projected speed. Ability to remain at shortstop still questionable; hands, recognition off contact, first step, footwork all adequate within short bursts, though not enough of a sample size to see sufficient range on contact. Not at coordinated with shoulders through swing, opposite field ability minimal with dependent strength off contact present residing through the hands and wrists. Awkward sequencing in attempting to drop back shoulder and catch stuff with authority deep in the zone. Ability and potential is present, though struggles to allow stuff to travel in-game. Limited professional experience and résumé, still numerous campaigns of development remaining until hit tool refinement can assimilate into major league value with components at the plate raw and having yet to properly congeal. 


An athletic specimen oozing physical potential and attributes, Barreto's tantilizing defensive profile regardless of shortstop migration or not coupled with loud bat speed and rapid hands at the plate have the Venezuelan still showcasing tremendous major league potential and protection despite a present fragmented approach that shall have to undergo development over the upcoming few seasons. Some of the better bat speed throughout dueling with fellow countryman, Renato Nuñez, and tremendous hands at the plate give Barreto enough of an offensive foundation to build off of with some prelimary professional short season success and consistent line drive ability to pull and center having been already shown as a teenager with defensive insurance in his potential positioning. Plus-plus pure run likely to be sustained with a muscular, lean athletic frame and an above average arm with fairly reliable hands at the very least make for a consistent package with upcoming major league value likely to be arrived at eventually despite some recognition struggles off spin that may very well haunt Barreto thoughout his career and contribute to some swing-and-miss with the attribute potentially neurologically engrained and only able to be mended to a certain extent. A knack for fastball contact and some budding feel for the barrel at the very least allow Barreto's speed to play up with instantaneous fast twitch through the lower half that can produce near elite times from the right side with potential mechanical experimentation at the plate possible to better incorporate the lower half and unlock raw while further maturing and learning how to adjust bat speed and maintain hands on offspeed and change-of-pace pitches. Toolsy and with some baseball instincts, Barreto still makes for a premiere positional farmhand and rarity within the Oakland system despite tedious adjustments set to be pinpointed at the plate as he settles in with his new organization:

High Role 5 ceiling (Everyday Starter)

LHP Chris Kohler (*Potential* 5+ FB, 4+ CH, 5 CB, 4+ Command):

Positive potential:

Loose action from the left side, can generate armside wiggle on occasion and be aggressive on the inner portions of the zone to fellow southpaws. Fastball hangs around 89-91 MPH while topping up to 92 able to produce downhill plane at times and capitalize off of a 6'3" frame with a slightly higher than 3/4 slot. Athletic build, still room to mature some through the torso and shoulders with very few potential physical worries to be concerned of. Fastball able to be spotted to both edges and rarely hangs too loose within the zone, can generate some sinking action and work it to the gloveside as well. Change showing some promise with fairly consistent arm speed at 80-83 MPH with armside wiggle, movement noticeable and can bore into left handed bats. Curve showing 1-7 shape and some periodical spike, able to harness it enough to be thrown for strikes and features adequate depth with some easy spin and snap achieved on an exaggerated loop at 71-73 MPH. Consistent shape and release point on the breaking secondary and fairly comfortable utilizing it early in counts and spotting it in the zone. Can flash decent command ability in bursts and shows adept pitching ability, able to sequence appropriately in various counts and comfortable with pitching backwards with the changeup. Mechanics able to be repeated at a fairly consistent clip. Mature given age prior to sidelining injury, potentially set for a full season assignment to commence his initial healthy full professional season. No inherently glaring flaws througout repetiore, consistently sprinkled throughout despite lack of a definitive plus potential pitch. 


Command comes in waves and a presently inconsistent ability to hit spots, often missing elevated and on the armside edges to righties. Fastball has a tendency to remain flat and lack plane, downhill ability is somewhat inconsistent at the moment. Fastball lacks constant wiggle and can sit flattened often with inconsistent armside ability off of the pitch. Can throw with some effort at times, occasionally overthrow on the fastball and miss to the gloveside while nibbling around the zone; no egregious misses or irresponsible offerings though struggles elevated and gloveside in consistently and dependently hitting required spots. Route prior to release somewhat lengthy, gives righties clear and lengthy look at grip early while lacking movement and thump enough on offerings to compensate despite advantage from the left side. Curve can drift and lack thump on occasion, can be sat on with some visible pronation in grip and release point that could potentially result in being punished. Change arm speed still requires development, detectable to advanced eyes and often flattens out; some armside on the pitch through often lack downhill and struggles to get enough plane on the pitch. Surgerical procedure already notched on the shoulder with minimal professional experience to speak of, lacking full season repetition with extreme risk in investment at this stage. Lacking extremist reward, limited backend ceiling with numerous developmental adjustments still remaining. Lacks definitive out pitch, weak contact arm having to rely upon command ability to carry him through the developmental system. Fastball potential for plus ability with loose arm and favorable frame boding probable velocity increases, though presently questionable to lack a true plus potential and projected offering with plane and movement inconsistency. Still numerous seasons remaining before potentially contributing major league value with upside at this stage limited. 


Kohler carries a sufficient amount of risk already preparing for his initial bout of full season adjustments with minimal probable reward at this stage possessing three probable at least fringe pitches with the break and fastball up to at least average while lacking a truly certain potential plus offering throughout the repetiore outside of the fastball that shows enough for above average. Flashing downhill ability and command in bursts from the left side, Kohler's mature sequencing at this present stage gives him an advantage that can carry into affiliate competition with a favorable frame and loose action that could potentially allow him to overachieve on his primary pitch, though excessive value for Kohler is unlikely to be present until he matures some and actualizes within the upper minors in a couple years time. Able to show three pitches without a blatantly glaring flaw outside of occasional command and plane troubles accompanied with a lengthy path that gives righties looks prior to striding towards the plate, Kohler presents some potential rotation ability within a backend capacity with more stuff consistency and slightly more tightened sequencing required as points of development prior to materializing into 4/5 starter material:

High Role 4 ceiling (#4/#5 Starter/Swingman)

2B Jesus Lopez (*Potential* 5+ Hit, 4+ Pop, 4 Run, 5 Glove, 4+ Arm)

Positive potential: 

Quick, strong hands with fluid and tangible bat speed; able to generate consistent bat-to-barrel contact during BP sessions and on in-game fastballs. Knack for the barrel, strong through extension with hands and able to utilize back side through extension to flash opposite field ability at immature age. Flat plane ability through the zone, flashing ability to generate some loft from even plane and spray line drive ability to all fields. Good hand placement, recipe in place to adjust hands on offspeed and acclimate deep within the zone. Can get stuff deep, consistent average to above average bat speed from both sides of the plate fluently. More polished from the right side, hands more consistent and recognition; trigger more composed versus spin; in general more confident and able to diagnose in-game spin more appropriately than what was previously displayed within the Instructional League. Timing polished with hips and front foot triggers through swing, very coordinated mechanically at the plate. Showing off present warning track pop to both pull and opposite center with some average raw potential ability with stronger shoulders and consistent hands/wrists. Grown since the Fall, slightly taller and leaner through torso and hips; more muscluar within the shoulders and thighs. Defensively, more coordinated with footwork within the middle infield despite no potential projection at shortstop; showing an ability to consistently field hops within his range on inbetween bounces; more sure with hands and demonstrating better softness since the offseason. Fundamentally sound at second, bodying consistently behind balls within an accurate arm showing fringe strength negligable for second base projection; better first step and reactionary ability off contact. Very mature and polished given his present age, shown nice makeup and work ethic with physical improvement visable with developmental hurdles and adjustments likely not to overwhelm the Nicaraguan. Projection optimistic despite significant development remaining prior to actualizing, raw ability flashing more reliably than others within his age caste with potential for some major league value despite lacking loud raw tools; has potential to move rapidly within the upcoming seasons...