Saturday, June 16, 2012

Scouting Reports on the Midland Rockhounds and Frisco Roughriders

I went and saw the Frisco Roughriders (Rangers AA) play against the Midland Rockhounds (Athletics AA) play on Tuesday June 12th. It was a fun 14 inning game, on to the scouting reports:


Connor Crumbliss was the lead-off hitter for Midland and the small 5'8 170 player was what you want in your basic lead-off hitter. He had long at-bats. He was fooled on a 2-1 slider and fouled it in his first at-bat. He ended up walking though, laying off a high fastball. He had another long at-bat, where he struck out chasing a breaker. The 3rd time he worked a full count before fouling off a low 95 MPH fastball and then walked. He also had another walk. The patience is great, but he is so small that he certainly doesn't project to hit for much power, which is a problem if he is a corner outfielder. Anthony Aliotti chased a curve in the dirt to strikeout the first time, and then took 2 fastballs for strikes in his 2nd at-bat before meekly grounding out. Michael Choice is a big man with a big hack. He got jammed for an infield fly-ball in his first plate appearances. He also drove a ball in the gap and had another line drive for a single. He looks like a guy who will hit for a ton of power but swing and miss a lot. Jeremy Barfield (i.e. Baseclogger on Twitter) hit the ball pretty hard too, as he hit a fastball to reasonably deep left field after being late on 2. He hit another one hard to center field. In left field, he made a horrible read, but he has a good arm and can run too. I really like him, especially if his exploits out in the field are usually better than what I saw. Josh Horton had some mixed results out in 2nd before being taken out early for some reason.

Murphy Smith was the starter for Midland and he had weirdly inconsistent velocity. He was sitting 88-89 MPH at times, and then 92-93 MPH at other times. Obviously, he is much more interesting with the latter velocity. At first, I thought he just had a 2 seamer to go along with the 4-seamer, but it didn't look like there was any difference in the movement. He was really lacking in command of the pitch too, with a lot of balls. He also had a rare 86 MPH slider. That is not much speed differential. He was really fastball heavy, but he also threw a 79-81 MPH changeup. Both of his breaking pitches have some dip, but it doesn't seem like he can throw them for strikes. He was getting a lot of grounders, including one that was smoked for a run. He had a dominant 1-2-3 inning to the top of the order in the 3rd where he got 2 foul infield outs along with a comebacker. That was followed by a rough 4th inning with some bad luck and bad defense (some of it by himself).
James Simmons came in as a reliever and was throwing 89-91 MPH with a wild 78 MPH breaking ball. Paul Smyth immediately gave up a line drive shot by Mike Olt, but it was turned into an out. He was throwing 91 MPH with a 83 MPH slider. He walked 2 in a row and has sort of a low arm slot.
Arnold Leon wasn't showing much command but was 95-96 MPH on his fastball. Mike Olt was late 3 times in a row on it. He then struck out Profar on a slow curve, followed by another strikeout and another strikeout. He was downright dominant. He had a 82 MPH breaking pitch that was pretty wild. He has big league stuff, it is pretty obvious.

Carlos Hernandez had a 77 MPH pitch that moved like a 2-seamer, was probably a change. He once hit 84 MPH on a pitch that was straight, but the change looking pitch was his feature pitch, and it has some movement and deception and reached 80 MPH. He also showed a 69-71 MPH curve.

Roy Oswalt pitched, and you can find my analysis of him here. I will also have something on Frisco's Justin Grimm on

Fabio Castillo came out of the bullpen and started out wild at 91-92 MPH. He then got up to 93-94 MPH and got a weak grounder which he made a play on. He then reached 95 MPH with good movement but not much control. He finally broke out a breaking pitch, an 84 MPH slider with decent movement. He blew away Aliotti with a 93 MPH fastball and then got a swinging strike for a strikeout on a slider. He got a nasty strikeout on a swinging strike on a moving 92 MPH fastball down and in. He along with Midland's Leon has big league stuff if he can ever harness it.

For Frisco's lineup, Leury Garcia showed off some nice range at 2nd base. He was pitched inside in his first at-bat, and stole a base after reaching. He had a 1 pitch infield out in his 2nd at-bat. Jurickson Profar is the real super prospect on Frisco, so I didn't feel the need to write a lot about him. In his first at-bat, he got ahead 3-1 before a big whiff on a moving fastball. He ended up walking on an outside pitch. The next at-bat started with a couple of fouls to get him behind 0-2. He took 2 breaking pitches before fouling back to the catcher on a high fastball. He then had a long at-bat where he battled back from 0-2 to get to a full count and he ended up hitting a deep fly-ball. Defensively, he booted the only ball hit hard to him. He also did 1st baseman type splits on a ball thrown to him by the pitcher but he couldn't come up with a low throw.
Mike Olt hit a hard ground-ball for a double play. In the 4th, he got to a 2-2 count and chased a slider but fouled it off. He ended up hitting a hard ground-ball up the middle. He hit another really hard grounder. Defensively, he is exceptional at 3rd base. The talk is moving him to third because of Adrian Beltre anchoring down 3rd. That would be a real shame. He also runs okay. Chris McGuinness played 1st and made a really brutal play defensively. However, he absolutely smoked 2 balls offensively.
Engel Beltre was a guy that I was interested in seeing. He has always been really toolsy but hasn't matched it with success at the plate. In his first at-bat, he took outside/middle for strike 1 on a fastball. He fouled off the next pitch, an inside fastball was taken before he fouled off a breaking pitch. He then chased one in the dirt for a strikeout. In at-bat 2, he took a low fastball, fouled off one the other way that was in the zone before popping up another fastball to the pitcher in foul territory. The next at-bat ended quickly, he grounded into a fielder's choice. The next time, he got up 2-0 before taking a strike and then grounding out. In his final at-bat, he fouled a bunt off before grounding out to first.
Defensively, he took a really poor route but used his speed to get to a ball. He used his speed to get to another ball that an average speed player probably wouldn't have caught. He also flashed off a good arm, but had weird mechanics, making him inaccurate at times. He fell down as he threw a ball to home. His arm in the game didn't seem to be as good as it was in between innings, as weird as that sounds.

Wilfredo Boscan was wild. He walked the first hitter and was 89-92 MPH. He got a strikeout on a fastball and also showed a 76-79 MPH slider looking pitch. He fooled Choice with it to get a whiff. It is slow, but it doesn't look like a curve at all. It does provide some good speed differential. He got 2 double plays.

Joseph Ortiz is short, but it doesn't really matter. He throws 91-92 MPH with an 84-85 MPH slider with some good movements. He got a couple swings and misses and got Aliotti to strikeout swinging
Ryan Rodebaugh had a 88-91 MPH fastball with a 79-80 MPH breaker that he could throw for strikes. He had a lead-off walk but got Choice to chase in the dirt for a strikeout. He also mixed in a 73 MPH pitch to get a strikeout of Crumbliss. He got another strikeout on it on a check swing. Barfield had a long at-bat after taking 2 fastballs down the middle. He really earned that single. He got Luke Hughes to swing through for a strikeout. As he had to keep pitching, his velocity dipped and he gave up a lot of fouls, but his breaking stuff was still good.
Carlos Pimentel was an almost sneaky 91-92 MPH, touching 93. He walked Crumbliss, but also had a 81-82 MPH slider with some decent drop and late break. He couldn't throw strikes with it really, but he got some chases and whiffs with it. He had a lot of control issues, especially in his 2nd inning.

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