Sunday, July 1, 2012

Texas League (AA) All Star Game Scouting Reports

I watched the AA Texas League All-Star game and took some notes on some players that played in the game. I didn't include players that I had already written about, and didn't write about everyone that played in the game.

Nolan Arenado good defender at 3rd with plenty of athleticism and glove skills. There are maybe some arm questions as a couple of throws left much to be desired, but it looks pretty average at least.
On offense, he rolled over on a pitch in his first at-bat. He was much more impressive later on, as he took some close pitches. Arenado has some good pop even though he doesn't really have a desirable swing as he reaches out for outside pitches. He seems more worried about contact than power in the at-bats I saw. The numbers also speak to this as well, with not many strikeouts (and a solid K/BB ratio) and not many line drives with more grounders than fly-balls.

Barret Loux has a big curveball, with a sinker, and does a pretty good job of keeping the ball low. One could see him getting a ton of ground-balls, and he has so far this year, getting them 47% of the time. I am not sure he has swing and miss stuff even though he has struck out 9.5 batters per 9 innings.

Josh Rutledge has a good looking eye with contact skills. The numbers don't really bear this out though, as his strikeout rate is about average and he walks less than average. He didn't appear to have much of an arm at shortstop. He was picked in the 3rd round in 2010 by the Rockies out of the University of Alabama. In Alabama, he had a pretty unimpressive .874 OPS.

Kolten Wong bit of a uppercut swing. However, the small 1st round pick of the Cardinals has hit more ground-balls than fly-balls in his minor league career. 

Dan Houston had a good looking fastball but had no real control over his breaking ball. He really didn't have much command though, which is a little weird, as he is usually a control pitcher with less than 3 walks per 9 innings. Since the start of 2011, he has struck out less than 6 batters per 9 innings.

Oscar Taveras may have been the most impressive player in the whole game. He displayed some fantastic contact skills, while playing center field. He can run a little bit and he absolutely cranked a ball that was up and in. He also showed that he could hit the ball the other way with some authority. Taveras was rated as the 74th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America before the year started.

Jacob Brigham brought a hard slider along with a curveball to the game. I didn't really get a good look at his fastball. His SIERA is 3.62 this year, and he gets plenty of strikeouts, with over 8 per 9 innings.

Jean Segura hit a ball hard, despite going 0-3 in the game. Seguera is a top prospect in the Angels organization but has a mediocre .803 OPS in his minor league career. He is hitting the ball much harder this year though with a 19.7 % LD rate, much higher than career norms.

Audry Perez showed off some good defensive skills behind the plate with a nice arm. With the bat, he is a guy who doesn't walk at all, just .6 % of the time this year! He doesn't hit for much power either with a .86 ISO.

Trevor Rosenthal has a hard 95-96 MPH fastball that gets him whiffs and also has good movement. He throws this along with a hard curve that he has decent control over and likes to throw it.

Lars Davis at catcher doesn't appear to have a great arm. Offensively, he had problems getting around on mediocre Murphy Smith fastballs despite having the platoon advantage. The big guy seems to have a decent eye though.

Nick Schmidt is a lefty with a soft fastball and a curveball. He was originally drafted in the first round by the Padres in 2007. Currently in the Rockies organization, he has a decent 3.58 FIP and 3.29 SIERA. As one would expect with that skill set, his best rating according to the Baseball Cube is Efficiency at 73.
Patrick Keating has a good curveball, but has a changeup that didn't look very good at all. His fastball is of the low sinking variety and has some decent velocity but not much control. He was picked in the 20th round by the Royals and has posted good SIERAs despite bad ERAs and FIPs, which may be because of all the ground-balls he gets with that fastball.

Nathan Freiman, a 1st baseman in the Padres' AA made a nice pick. Looks like he has some power and bat skills but his numbers aren't overly impressive.

Ross Seaton has a curve that he couldn't get down. His fastball looked very unimpressive, although he got some sink on some low ones. That was definitely his best pitch. He is definitely a contact guy with that sinker, with just 5.5 K/9IP in his minor league career. He was selected in the 3rd round in 2008 but hasn't gotten very good results at all. He is just 22, but I didn't really see anything in the righties stuff to suggest that he will really develop into anything.

AJ Schugel had a good looking fastball but not a very good looking breaking ball to go with it. He hasn't been very good this year with a 4.16 FIP and 4.56 SIERA. He was drafted in the 25th round by the Angels in 2010 and has split time as both a reliever and a starter. With the breaking ball I saw, I don't see how he could be a starter.

Ariel Pena pretty good fastball velocity but not a ton of command over it. Pena was originally in the Angels organization out of the Dominican Republic. He has already pitched in 107 professional games (99 starts) but is just 23 years old. This year he has a 3.91 FIP so far. If he ever can ever gain command of that fastball, and develop a breaking ball (which I didn't see), the fastball is good enough that he could become a decent reliever.

Jonathan Ortiz good breaking ball with a low arm angle. The breaking ball is his favorite pitch and it doesn't appear he has a very good fastball to go along with it. He is a little old at 26 years old and has just been okay this year with a 3.97 FIP and SIERA. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic and played for the Padres and Yankees organizations before joining the A's organization.

Keith Butler not a bad fastball and he can locate it. Also has a decent breaking ball. Butler was picked out of the 24th round out of a small college and has been extremely effective for the Cardinals organization. In 83 innings, he has a 2.44 FIP and 2.93 SIERA with a 10.84 K/9IP. In AA this year, he has still struck out over a batter an inning and is keeping his line drive rate under 17 %.

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