Thursday, October 11, 2012

Some Venezuelan Winter League Scouting Reports (Aguilas de Zulia)

The Venezuelan Winter League season kicked off on Thursday night. Here are reports on 5 players from the team Aguilas de Zulia.

Jose Flores is a switch hitting infielder, with a not very pretty and almost bailout swing from the left side. He will run into a ball and show surprising power if you put it on the inside of the plate and it looks like he can run. He also plays a solid looking 3rd base. Statistically, the 24 year old has been pretty unimpressive, with a flash of success in A - (109 wOBA +), deceptive California League statistics, and a whole lot of mediocrity to bad hitting in between. He hits a ton of grounders (something that isn't surprising considering the swing), and doesn't walk or strikeout a lot. He has a utility/NL bench/AAAA player ceiling.

Justin Henry's swing isn't quick, as he is lefty that you can get inside on. The swing has a little bit of a chop in it too. He has a really tall build and at least had what looked like decent plate discipline. He has always been somewhat of an "empty average guy", with a minor league batting average of nearly .300 (with a decent walk rate) and a slugging percentage under his OBP. He spent the entire 2012 in AAA, where he had a 107 wRC + at age 27. He is not really a prospect, but probably more of an org. guy, as he can move around position wise and could be a utility player for the Tigers next year (there is a good chance he is better than Ryan Raburn, although his AAA numbers aren't as good).

Ender Inciarte is a small 21 year old left handed hitter that plays mainly centerfield. He has a little bit of a bailout swing and seems to have some kind of shoulder drag. It is not quite a hitch, but it works in that way. It was probably not the best platediscipline on display, but he will flick the ball the other way with relative ease. He has already been in the organization for 5 years and has a .714 career OPS and hasn't reached AA (he has played in the Midwest League for at least part of 3 seasons). However, his first shot in the California League was relatively successful, with a 104 wOBA +. He is a good contact guy with a mediocre but not terrible walk rate.His game relies on speed, as he had a 8.8 speed score in the California League, and 84 out of 100 speed rating by the Baseball Cube.

Jose Sanchez has a really effortless and repeatable delivery, but wasn't throwing hard. His release point did seem to suffer on fastballs and they stayed up a few times. Other than that, he had solid command. The former Met farmhand has spent the last two years in the Mexican League (after a terrible 2010 in Independent Ball). He has over 350 AA innings, but was mediocre at best, with a 4.57 ERA/6.4 K/9IP/3.2 BB/9IP. He threw just 17 innings in the Mexican League in 2012. Sanchez has a pretty slow curve along with what looks like a slider. The slider doesn't have exceptionally hard break and drifts to the glove side. Even with platoon advantage, he seems to work to that side.

Deivis Mavarez is right-handed sidearmer. He had a little bit of control problems and his landing point is a little messy. The ball moves like a change like many side-arming/submarine pitchers. He did a decent job of keeping the ball low overall.The 26 year old was originally signed by the Astros in 2005, but struggled in the Venezuala summer league and was released after 2 years. The Rays picked him up and watched him have success in the same league, with a ton of strikeouts and a good ERA. He was brought to the States, and had good numbers throughout, only to be let go after 2011 after never being promoted past A+. He really failed to be dominant against righties in 2011, with a high walk rate and a low strikeout rate. As far as I can tell, he didn't pitch anywhere in 2012.

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