Sunday, March 25, 2012

Scouting Reports on Tarleton and West Texas A&M

On Sunday March 25th, I saw West Texas A&M play at Tarleton

Tarleton's starter was Kyle Supack, a 6-3 200 Junior right hander who went to Hill College. His fastball was probably (no radar gun) in the mid eighties with a breaking ball he didn't have a lot of feel for. A lot of them were in the dirt that weren't enticing at all. He seemed to be keeping the ball low, even when he missed, he usually missed low. He really seemed to lack swing and miss stuff. He was not throwing a lot of strikes but he had some awful luck and bad defense behind him. His pickoff move was not bad.

Kenneth Stockton was the first reliever, and he had a harder fastball but it wasn't overpowering. One of the fastballs down the middle got destroyed, and it was just getting tattooed no matter where he put the pitch. His delivery was very easy, but he didn't have much command and didn't have much stuff. He left his curve up the first time he threw it and he hit a batter with another curve.

Tanner Ross couldn't get his breaking ball over in warm-ups and had problems with it during the game, even though he threw one really good one. He was another sub 90 MPH fastball pitcher, and put it in the middle of the plate and was getting hit hard (even though he yielded softer contact later on).

David Diaz is just 5-10 180, and the junior had a deceptive delivery with a not exceptionally hard but not bad fastball. His breaking pitch wasn't awful but he seemed afraid to throw it. He didn't have a lot of command and his pickoff move is not very good.

Austin Coble was the last pitcher I saw for Tarleton. I actually saw the 5-9 175 junior hit and play in the infield last time. His fastball was probably in the low 80s and down the middle. The ball wasn't going where he wanted, and his breaking pitch was very unimpressive.

Some Tarleton Linuep Notes (these are just some scattered notes on things I didn't pickup on the first time I saw them play). Shortstop Evan Robinson doesn't have much range, Ryan Small played 2nd this time, and really is poor there. He hit a homer just over the 320 marker on a line drive but was really unimpressive in other at-bats. Jonathan Schmitz is a freshman who played catcher. He seems to have a pretty

The starter for West Texas A&M was Stephen Diaz, a 6-1 175 right handed sophomore. His first breaking pitch (his breaking pitch is a slow curve) went about 58 feet. He seemed to be throwing about 85 MPH on his fastball. He got a lot of grounders, but in reality he is facing a pretty weak lineup.

The starting shortstop for West Texas was Jordan Easom, a 6-1 205 senior. He had a walk and a weak grounder. He got 11 at-bats for Western Michigan in 2010. Jess Cooper is the big (6-2 220) 3rd baseman. He was not good, awful in fact, on defense, and as one would suspect, he didn't move well out there. He really has a 1st baseman build. There is some power though, as he crushed a pitch down the middle to the wall. He did chase a breaking ball and had a big hack and miss on a fastball. Nick Marquez is listed as an infielder,but the senior played DH. He has slow bat speed and chased breaking balls, but he pulled one down the line for a double. Kendall Boone is a senior who hit a ground-ball on a low 2-0 pitch and really wasn't doing well on the breaking ball. Parker Wood played 1st base and the junior has some power, but it doesn't appear he has the patience to compliment it. Justin Henderson played RF, and the 6-2 210 junior didn't have good timing in his first at-bat and does not have plus speed. He also swung and missed on a fastball in the zone. Eric Dorton is the senior center fielder. Offensively, he has a good eye and crushed a line drive. Jarvis Smith played in left, and doesn't have plus speed. He was having problems with the breaking ball, but he fouled off a couple in one at-bat that ended in a walk. He also had another walk, and hit a hard line drive in an at-bat that where he took a fastball down the middle. Patrick Ramirez runs well for a catcher, and the sophomore seems kind of small (he appears to be the only starter you can say that about) at 5-10 190, but his has a nice easy swing that generates some power. He chased a really ugly breaking pitch but did walk in that at-bat. He also had nice contact on a pitch down the middle.

Scouting Reports on Weatherford and Hill Colleges

On Saturday March 24th, we went and saw Hill College play at Weatherford College.

Cameron Cox was the starting pitcher for Weatherford College, and the Freshman (these are Junior Colleges, so they are all Sophomores and Freshman, and are all draft eligible) stands at 6-3 185. He seemed to be throwing pretty hard and had a 89-91 MPH fastball, that everybody seemed to be late on. He had decent speed differential on his breaking pitch, an 81 MPH slider. It had nice movement, and was just nasty at times. He can throw it for strikes, even though he had a couple really get away from him that didn't reach the plate. He hung the slider a little bit (he threw a couple pitches too much in the middle of the plate in the 3rd) for a homer, and his control left him in the 7th. However, he was getting ground-balls when he wasn't getting strikeouts, which he got a lot of. He has a nice pickoff move, and he picked someone off. He has a fluid arm motion, even if his delivery is a little tricky. He can also play in the infield and bat left handed, even though he is a righty.

Matt Daniels was the right handed sophomore starter for Hill. He threw mainly fastballs, even though it was just 84-85 MPH. It was probably telling that the scouts at the game all were paying close attention to Cox, but didn't even really have their radar guns out for Daniels (one ate skittles while he pitched). His fastball locations were pretty poor, and it was a very unimpressive pitch. He is a little shorter at 6-1, and had a successful pickoff but his move wasn't all that great. He had a 77 MPH slider and a 65-67 MPH slow curve. He was hanging the pitches (he gave up a homer on one hanger), although they weren't bad when he kept them low. He really wasn't sure where he was breaking pitches were going, and I don't know if they have enough break on them to consistently fool hitters. He did get quite a bit of swings and misses, and racked up the strikeouts, but he also walked 3 straight hitters in the 3rd. Defensively, he gets off the mound okay to field.

Justin Garcia for Weatherford is a 6-1 (or 6-0, the official roster and game program disagrees) freshman reliever. The righty had 100 strikeouts as a senior and 112 strikeouts as a junior at Rowlett High School. He has a long leg kick and throws a 2 seam 84 MPH fastball that has pretty solid movement. He throws a 73 MPH breaking ball, and then another almost screwball pitch at 76 MPH that I saw a couple of times. That is not a lot of velocity and not a lot of speed differential.

Albert Aranda is a Freshman right handed reliever for Hill. He is not very big at all, listed at 5-10. He was 85-86 MPH on his fastball with a 72-74 curve. He can throw the curve for strikes and its a decent pitch with plate to plate movement. He fields his position pretty well.

Daniel Milliman is a starting pitcher for Weatherford, with an 86 MPH fastball with movement (actually better movement than his breaking stuff). His breaking pitch was about 78 MPH and stayed high the first time, and then he threw 3 low ones for a walk. It really doesn't have much break, and he hung one to give up a single. He was really struggling to throw strikes early, and he was stiff off the mound. The 6-3 200 Right Handed Sophomore had a 2.24 ERA as a senior and 1.6 ERA as a junior in high school.

Offensively for Weatherford, Connor VanDaveer was the lead-off hitter and 2nd baseman. The 5-10 160 freshman runs pretty well, and had some long at-bats with a walk, but also swung and missed on a breaking pitch. Defensively, he didn't have much range. Cody Semier played in left field, even though the freshman is listed as a 2nd baseman/shortstop. He has very little plate discipline and had an awful chase on a breaking ball. Peter Cuomo was the starting shortstop, and was about 20 pounds heavier but the same height. He is not very fast, but showed some nice range but a not very good arm. With the bat, he had a crouched stance and chased a curveball in the dirt (he also flew out on a 3-1 breaking ball). Dean Redden played some catcher, and the freshman has a nice arm but a bad passed ball. The well sized catcher hit almost .500 last year at Llano High School. Brandon Vineyard started in right field, and showcased an extremely weak arm. The sophomore showed some power potential and did hit a ball hard, but he was fooled by breaking pitches. Cameron Allerheiligen played 3rd base, and it is listed that the big 6-3 215 pound freshman can play both the infield and the outfield. One hopes he plays those other positions better than he plays 3rd, as he was not a good glove out there for the most part and is a slow runner. He walked a couple times, batting 3rd in the lineup, but they also had him trying to bunt for some odd reason. Erik Garcia was the main catcher for Weatherford, and the 5-11 190 freshman didn't have a bad arm but it wasn't a plus arm. He wasn't a good pitch blocker, and he DH'ed in the 2nd game of the double header. Offensively, he hit a hanging breaking ball for a home run at least 380 feet. He got under a breaking ball for a decent fly-ball, made good contact on a fastball, chased a low fastball, and hit an infield fly-ball on a hanging curveball. Collin Zabasky plays 1st base, but DH'ed when we saw him. He had bad plate discipline and a poor swing and swung and missed at a high bad fastball. He is really slow, which is not surprising since he is 6-0 but 230 pounds. Tyler Ervine was the actual first baseman, and he is slow with not much range. He has a pretty good swing, and the 6-4 230 made some nice contact on breaking pitch (even though he got under another one). Colton Hall played center field, and the freshman runs okay but is not fast (and was picked of). He took some close pitches and walked, and he also fouled off some 2 strike breaking balls. He also had an ugly check swing.

For Hill College, Boone Weiss is a sophomore 3rd baseman with slow bat speed and slow actual speed. He was really struggling with the breaking ball, and he is not a good defender at all. Dustin Russell is maybe a little skinny for catcher, as he is not real big at all. He has a nice arm and made some good contact. He seems to be a passive hitter, as in one of his at-bats he had a long at-bat that ended in a ground-ball. He did chase a pretty bad looking pitch though. Kyle Kern has a pretty wild swing that resulted in a single up the middle, but he really chased breaking balls. The sophomore does not have a good arm in the outfield, which is surprising since he also pitches. Seth Harrison is a pitcher/outfielder with decent size, but he too had problems with the breaking ball. He also struck out looking on an outside fastball. He did get decent contact on a hanging breaking pitch. We also saw him pitch, and he was throwing a 85-87 MPH fastball, with an over the top delivery that makes it look like he is throwing harder than he actually is. He has a 74-77 MPH breaking pitch (that hit 79 MPH once) that he didn't have a real good feel for. He would much rather throw a fastball and doesn't have much control at all. Adonis Askew played some catcher, and the freshman has a good catcher body with a decent swing and contact. Dylan Inkman was a freshman outfielder who again struggled with breaking balls and struckout and hit a ground-ball. Keaton Miller is a freshman shortstop with a good swing, and even though he doesn't have plus speed, he stole a base. Keith Carney is not real fast for a freshman 3rd baseman, and he struckout swinging on 3 straight fastballs. Nick Marti is not a burner at 2nd base, but he made solid contact 3 times. He also walked, even though he chased some breaking balls. Tyler Creek is a big (and good big) 1st baseman who is listed as a pitcher/outfielder. He looked really ugly on breaking balls and doesn't have a good swing either. He hit a home run which looked like was on size alone. He made a nice stretch play on defense and seems to be pretty good defensively.

Thanks to My brother Daniel, as he did the Cameron Cox video.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Scouting Reports on Howard Payne, Schriener, and Southwestern Assemblies

On Wednesday March 21st 2012 I went and watched Southwestern Assemblies of God at Howard Payne University. On Friday March 23rd I saw Howard Payne play Schriener University.

Reed Klose was the starting pitcher for Howard Payne, and (as I arrived an inning after the start) he gave up 3 runs in the first inning. He had unimpressive velocity, movement, and location on his fastball. The 6-1 230 (he definitely looked big) Junior right hander should get plenty of ground-balls when he is on. I liked his curveball when I saw it in warm-ups, it almost knuckled a bit (he did throw one about 56 feet).
Ryan Klose is apparently his brother, and he is even bigger at 6-4 235 and he played some first base. He is slow of course, and his swing was slow and not good, but the ball did jump off his bat. Alan Sailors is a junior catcher with a good build but a poor swing and poor speed. He really wasn't recognizing pitches and didn't have good patience at the plate. He did pull a ball that was low and in for a hit. Defensively, he had an erratic arm.
Dustin Kelver is a freshman 6-2 180 freshman relief pitcher. He had a very violent over the top delivery with not great command (he did hit a batter). He wasn't throwing exceptionally hard, but did break out a nice breaking pitch (but he did hang it for a single). He gave up a pretty hard ground-ball that turned into a double play. Defensively, he was a nice fielder with a good throw over to first (you would be shocked at how many pitchers can't throw to first, I'm looking at you Cliff Lee).
Jordan Hammontree is an awful defender in right field. He doesn't have a real good swing, but he took some pitches for a walk (and had another walk as well). He struckout on the knuckleball, and had some big swing and misses. He did hit a sharp foul, and with Hammondtree, you do see some potential in his bat, but he doesn't recognize pitches. He did walk and steal a base, even though he doesn't have plus speed. The senior does possess decent size at 6-1 190. Kristopher Kloc is another senior outfielder who is smaller and slow, but he has a good arm. He struck out chasing out of the zone offensively. Dustin Cole had a hard time at 2nd base with an easy ground-ball, and is not a very good fielder even though he made one good defensive play. He doesn't run real well either and doesn't have much plate discipline. The 150 pound (but 5-11) sophomore had a long at-bat where he lined a fastball that was placed down the middle. Houston Holmes is a 3rd baseman who is listed at 5-8 160 but is much bigger and appears too big for 3rd. However, he was good with the bat, walking and hitting a home run in the first game I saw him. The second time was very unimpressive, as he had some really weak swings and hit 3 ground-balls. Tyler Payne is listed as both an infielder and a left handed pitcher, but all I saw him play was the infield. He must be a switch hitter as I saw him hit right handed. He is 6-4 and yet 190 as a freshman, so one can expect him to fill out. At first, he had an ugly drop and was taken out the next inning. Offensively, he had bad pitch recognition, missing a breaking ball and had a soft pop up. Sam Dollahite is the lead-off hitting shortstop. At 5-9 160, the junior hit a double, hit 3 soft ground-balls (one off the end of the bat on the first pitch), a harder ground-ball, and struck out on a breaking ball. He really wasn't fast, which is not good for his size, and didn't have much range defensively and booted a pretty easy ball.
Ben Butler played 1st base, and he chased a breaking ball for a strikeout twice and it was a consistent problem for him. At 6-0 240, the junior is listed as an infielder but there is no way he could play any other position in the infield. Colton Buzzard played centerfield and really covers some ground out there. He is a 5-9 165 junior who doesn't do anything impressive with his bat.

Garrett Sosa is a 5-9 190 relief right handed pitcher. He moved okay defensively, but didn't have an overwhelming pickoff move. He was throwing a little harder than the previous pitchers, with a little sink. This pitch was best when it was high and in. He had a nice curveball with a good break that drops off the plate. He could throw it for quality strikes, but lost control of it and struggled with control  as a whole, walking 4 batters. He tried a pitch out that nearly ended up being a strike. He did get a 1 pitch ground-ball after a mound visit.

For Southwestern, Dustin Jett played center field, but didn't show much range there. The senior singled off a hanging braking ball and seemed to make solid contact. Donavan Vess is a freshman second baseman who pulled a curve for a weak line drive single and then was promptly picked off. Mario Mendoza played DH and RF, and had good size and build at 5-11. He batted lead-off and ran pretty well. He had a pretty good eye with a walk, but also chased a 3-1 curveball. He drove a low curveball pretty well with some help from the wind as well. He is a senior, and he is also a pitcher according to their roster. Robert Elles is another pitcher/fielder and he played first base, even though he looked small for that position. One wonders if he can field elsewhere, even though he is a lefty. The freshman has a big cut, and hit a deep liner to the wall, a hard groundball, and an infield pop. On the basepaths, I thought he had pretty good instincts. Jared Denton is the sophomore catcher, who gave up a passed ball and had problems throwing back to the pitcher, but he threw out a runner easily. His bat was nothing worth writing about. Enrique Rodriquez is another freshman first baseman who is really slow but had a nice liner. Jacob Spivey is a 5-9 freshman shortstop who had an  awful fielding play. Zack Worrell is a pitcher/outfielder who I got to see play both. He is extremely small, but did draw a walk. The lefty sophomore started the 2nd game of the doubleheader for Southwestern. He has a short stop in his delivery, and was throwing pretty hard for his size. It wasn't without effort though, with some very loud grunts. He also seemed to be rattled and uncomfortable out on the mound. He had some command issues with his fastball, but when it was low it was solid. I liked the way he hides the ball, and the hitters seemed to have some trouble with it. His slow delivery to the plate allowed for some easy steals. He had a low breaking pitch that hitters kept getting under, and it was nice when he threw it. However, he was very fastball happy. Worrell missed bats, getting 3 strikeouts in a row. Taylor Froelich was another guy who played some catcher, and the sophomore seemed kind of small for the position (he is listed at 5-11). He also didn't run well and didn't have much of an arm. He hit a ground-ball in the at-bat I watched him.

Some other Pitchers:

Tyler Gaddis is a 6-4 215 junior pitcher with a Josh Collmenter type delivery:

The delivery really doesn't seem to take advantage of his size. He had huge control problems, as his first pitch was 8 feet high and then he threw 2 straight pitches 55 feet to the 2nd hitter. He induced a weak fly-ball to first base to the first batter he faced, and these weak fly-balls were a pattern for Gaddis. He wasn't throwing very hard and he wasn't getting any kind of help from his defense. His defense was pretty good, and he moved pretty well. He gave up a 4 pitch walk, but also threw a nice pitch on a low corner for a looking strikeout.

Michael Reeves was brought in to "close" the first game, but didn't last long. He was taken out after a walk and a wild pitch, as he had control and command issues. He threw a fastball down the middle of the plate for a hard line drive. His fastball seemed to have decent velocity, but it wasn't overwhelming. He had a high leg kick with a slight back turn, keeping his fastball low early on. The 6-1 sophomore had a poor pickoff throw for an error.

Daniel Reinhardt is a 6-1 sophomore who also plays 1st base. There is no listed weight, but it looks like he weighs at least 230 pounds. He had a weird arm action and was throwing a knuckleball with a slow curveball to compliment it. He also mixed in a fastball, and I found it interesting that he threw it in a 3-0 count, meaning he probably doesn't trust his knuckle. The ball was staying low most of the time, which is desirable, especially for a knuckler. He got 2 strikeouts, one on the knuckle and another on the curve. He had some problems with control, walking one and hitting a batter, and he gave up a hard liner and a ground-ball. He was pretty effective, especially since Howard Payne gifted him some free outs. Despite being big, he was a good enough fielder of his position.

Carlton Brown is listed as an outfielder, but I saw him play as a pitcher and a DH. has okay velocity and got a swing and miss on a fastball early. The pitch wasn't bad when it was low. His breaking ball tails away from righties and floats and flutters a little with consistent location. He wasn't real sure where his fastball was going, and when it was in the middle of the low part of the plate it got smoked. He didn't get off the mound to field his position, but did made a nice snag on a comebacker. With the bat, he had a decent line drive to left center, a nice liner to center, but he chased a 3-1 pitch for a ground-ball.

Corey Howie is a 6-0 155 sophomore who is listed as an infielder/shortstop. However, he is a starter for Howard Payne. In a game with a big strikezone, the small pitcher threw mainly fastballs to begin the game, and then threw mainly curveballs. He had an okay fastball that stayed way outside to start the game. It appeared he wanted to just pound the strikezone and overpower hitters with the fastball. He threw several down the middle, but also missed badly with some. His fastball is not good enough to be in the middle of the zone, but he did throw a couple pretty hard fastballs that were clearly harder than the majority of them. His curveball was a slow curve, and he couldn't get it over the first try. He was pretty wild, with poor pitch locations early on, even though they got a lot better later on. He threw some nice low strikes with the curve, but also hung it at times. The pitch had some break but he clearly gave away what pitch he was throwing with his delivery. When he was throwing a fastball, it looked like he was trying to throw it hard, but with his curve his delivery didn't seem as hard. He fields his position pretty well, and he picked a runner off.

Barrett Houser is a starting pitcher for Schreiner, who is a 6-0 175 junior. He tries to hide the ball behind his chest in the windup, and I didn't think it was that effective. Most everything, in fact basically everything, was down in the zone, but he really wasn't his spots at all. His fastball is not overpowering to say the least, but it has moving and sinking action (and stays low). He did throw one down the middle and got away with it, but I don't think he will be able to do that at a higher level. His breaking pitch looked like a slider with a slight break, tailing away from righties. It was basically never a strike (he was in trouble when it was), but it fooled hitters. His pickoff move wasn't bad.

Ethan Catalani was their reliever, and had nice size at 6-4 200, where one would think he would be able to get on top of the ball. The sophomore is also listed as an infielder, but with his size and the fact that he is left-handed, one has to assume he only plays 1st base. He has a 3/4ths delivery where he tosses his body around. He had some control problems and was very change-up happy. The pitch absolutely has to stay down, but he wasn't always keeping it low. It was a decent pitch but it didn't have a ton of break. If he can keep the ball low, it might make up for his apparent lack of velocity. His fastball was largely absent, and I mainly saw it in warm-ups and it was very unimpressive. In the game, he threw some very high "fastballs".

Reagan Reed is listed as a pitcher/infielder, but played DH when I saw him. In his first at-bat, he had a big whiff on a 2-0 breaking pitch, then hit a weak foul on another, then took a called strike 3 on a foul pitch. He also chased an inside fastball for some reason in another at-bat. He appeared short, but has decent build, as the freshman is listed at 6-0 170. He is pretty slow as well. Brad Thomas is listed as an outfielder, but played 1st. He is taller than Reed at 6-3, but he is not big (215 is not large for that height). I am pretty skeptical of his outfield abilities, as he showed some awful range at first. Offensively, he got jammed for a weak fly-ball to center on an inside fastball. He didn't really show a good swing, and wasn't hitting the ball hard. Curt Jaeger batted lead-off and played an awful left field. He is also listed as a pitcher, even though he is really small at 5-10 165. He hit a line drive the other way on a 3-2 count in his first at-bat. He also made nice contact on a low breaking pitch, but looked not great on low curves with some bad cuts and it looks like he is struggling with that pitch. Jesse Paredes played center, and has a poor arm and looked absolutely terrible out there. There was nothing really good to write about his at-bats either. Pete Trevino is a junior infielder who was chasing breaking pitches and late on the fastball (he had a good liner on another fastball right down the middle. Justin Martinez is an outfielder/pitcher, so it wasn't surprising that he had a nice arm out in right field. He is a slow senior with really little to no power but had a hard ground-ball. Eric Bukowski played 3rd base and is another pitcher/fielder hybrid. He had really poor range at 3rd base and is slow (things that don't always go hand in hand, but do many times). He had a really long at-bat before chasing a breaking ball to strikeout, and he really has a ground-ball swing. Ryan Pisseri is a freshman infielder/pitcher, who played a very range-less 2nd base. He struck-out looking on a breaking ball and also chased a 59 feet breaking ball. Chris Whitehad is the junior catcher who doesn't have a good arm. He had a decent line drive after 2 very forgettable at-bats. Freshman Caleb Veteto pinch hit, and didn't swing, striking out looking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scouting Reports on Texas Wesleyan and Texas College

On Saturday March 17th 2012, I saw Texas Wesleyan play against Texas College at Legrave Field.

Derek Vaughn started for Texas Wesleyan. The junior right hander is not real big at 6-0 190, and was drafted by the Rays in the 47th round last year. He spent his freshman year at Arkansas-Fort Smith, where he struck out 10.71 batters per 9 innings and had an ERA of 2.87. He then went to Oklahoma where he was redshirted and never played. He seemed to have a pretty hard fastball and it was about 89-90 MPH (although I have read reports where he has thrown 93-94 MPH). He worked his fast-ball both inside and outside, mostly middle height (although he threw a very nice low fastball, but I really only counted one). The pitch was a nice pitch when it was on the high outside corner. He really seemed very happy for the most part, like he wanted to be a power pitcher. He did show a 73 MPH breaking pitch, but for the most part it was staying too high. He hung the pitch for a hard liner, and really seemed to be having problems with it. He threw a nice harder breaking pitch, most likely a slider, for a swinging strikeout. He showcased this pitch a little, but it wasn't a pitch he had much control or feel for it seemed. His best breaking pitches actually seemed to come in warm-ups. Overall, he had no location on his breaking pitches, and really lacked control overall. In the 2nd he had a walk and a hit by pitch back to back. He ended up throwing 114 pitches overall, and was really laboring from the 5th on it seemed.

The starter for Texas College was Chris Blackmon who ended up throwing a complete game. Even though the fences were way in at Legrave Field compared to other college stadiums, there was only one home run in the 11 innings I saw (it was a double-header and I watched the first game and the first two innings of the second game) and it was Alex Padilla homering off Blackmon off of a hanging breaking ball. Blackmon is a 6'4" senior, but threw a very soft fastball at about 81-82. However, he threw more breaking pitches than fastballs, showcasing mainly a 71 MPH looping curveball (he threw a 64 MPH breaking ball once, but it seemed to be just an even slower curve) that he was throwing both inside and outside. His location really isn't as precise as it needs to be for such a finesse pitcher, as his curveball was really staying high in the 5th on. He really lost effectiveness in the middle of the game and the manager kept him out there. If nothing else, the hitters were falling for that breaking ball and were having all kinds of problems with timing. It seemed that it says more about the hitters than the pitcher. He really seemed to be a right-handed Barry Zito (the Giants version of course), as I saw Zito pitch a few days before with a 70 MPH curveball that was staying up and an 83-85 MPH fastball. We have seen how many problems Zito has had the past few years.

Patrick Stanley was the only reliever I saw pitch, and he is a right handed side armer. He was throwing 82-85 MPH with not a ton of movement and not much low. In warm-ups, everything was on the right side of the plate, but his first pitch was inside to a right hander. In other words, it appears he can work both sides of the plate. When he threw the ball in the middle of the plate low, it turned into a line drive single, and the ball was staying in the middle of the plate too much. He also sailed a pickoff throw, but had a very nice 9th with a ground-ball, infield foul fly-out, and a strikeout looking.

In the 2nd game, the starter for Texas Wesleyan was Dillon Wilson, a 6-7 225 lefty. The senior clearly has much bigger size than you see in most lefties, and he was throwing about 88-90 MPH (he hit 91 MPH, and I am told this is a little bit harder than he usually throws). He got two nice looking strikeouts with the fastball on the outside corner (he tended to like to throw the ball in the dirt). He also broke out a 71 MPH curve on the 3rd batter, and it was a pretty solid pitch (with definite speed differential). 

David Kipp was the starter for Texas College in the second game. He is not real big at 6 feet even 205 pounds. He was throwing about 84-86 MPH on his fastball with a 74 MPH breaking pitch. The breaking ball wasn't all that impressive, and ended up getting creamed by Justin Barnes.

Texas Wesleyan's lineup:

Brian White was the starting catcher, and the Junior had a nice arm behind the plate. However, the rather small catcher didn't look good at the plate, falling for breaking balls, and striking out looking in his final at-bat in the first game. Christian Soberanes started at shortstop and the senior didn't have very good pitch recognition, and swung at the first breaking ball he saw for an infield pop-up. He did pull a nice double, but didn't have much range at shortstop. Taylor Jockers was the senior center-fielder, who had a nice arm. Offensively, he showed a little power potential, and had a long at-bat. However, he also struck out swinging on a high fastball.Alex Padilla played 3rd base, even though the junior is listed as a catcher. I mentioned his homer earlier, but he also hit a ground-ball on a breaking pitch that was hung in the strike zone that I thought he should have really hit hard. Joseph Lassiter played 2nd base, although it is listed he can play in the outfield. He didn't show much range out in the field, but he hit a low breaking ball pretty nicely. Jake Howeth played in right field, and the freshman has a nice arm and gunned a runner down at the plate. He also hit a fastball to the wall. Vincent Winter made a nice play in left field, and the junior struck out swinging on a fastball and fell for a breaking pitch for an infield pop-up. Stephen Niedwiecki DH'ed and was really slow and didn't look his listed size of 6-2 200. Andrew Coleman came in the game as a pinch-runner.
Justin Barners played 1st base (he is listed as a 1B/OF, but I can't imagine him playing in the outfield with his 6-3 240 build), and definitely has power potential. He isn't slow, but he is an awful base-runner and doesn't move that well in the infield. The senior has to recognize breaking balls better, and with his age, he should be more advanced than he is.

For Texas College, Agustin Enriquez played shortstop. He looked good in the field, and at the plate he went the other way on a breaking ball for a hit. He also chased another breaking ball. D.J. Fisher played DH as a freshman, and is a real bad body type at 5-11 220. To add that, he is slow on the base paths. Offensively, he cut late on a fastball, and while he looked like he may have some power but I didn't see it. Corey Heidebrecht started at second base, and the sophomore showed some pop and drove a breaking ball pretty well. Jose Hernandez had a nice arm out in left-field (he is listed as a center-field), but the freshman is just 5-8 155. With the bat, he wasn't ready for the fastball. Tristen Neal played in center-field and the senior had all kinds of problems with the bat. He was late and having problems with the fastball, and he chased breaking pitches. He did have a long at-bat in which he grounded out to pitcher. Matthew McEuen played a good 3rd base, and the small junior didn't show an impressive bat (seemed to be a ground-ball hitter) but did hit a hard liner. Jared Seal started in right field as a sophomore, and walked but didn't have any hard contact in the game. He had a couple swing and misses on outside fastballs. He is a pretty slow runner. Jose Serna is the super slow junior catcher. I think there was something wrong with his arm as he wouldn't throw the ball.

Kasey Vogel started at first and the 6-0 200 junior hit a hard line drive on a hanger:

He did have an ugly hack though, even though he walked twice.

Blaine Shackelford made a nice play at catcher, even though he is listed as a pitcher. Tanner Shaffer was brought in as a pinch hitter to bunt. Cody Stifle was the courtesy runner for the catcher, and he is a nice baserunner. Artie Lopez pinch hit, and the listed 1st baseman looked like a bad build (6-1 230) power hitter. The junior is the only switch hitter on the team but wasn't starting, and I can only speculate that he isn't a good defender.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scouting Reports on Rockwall-Heath and Lake Highlands

On Wednesday, March 14th I went and saw Rockwall-Heath play Lake Highlands at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Jake Baxter started for Rockwall-Heath (who I will refer to as Heath from now on). Baxter is relatively tall and lanky, and there seemed to be some effort in his delivery. For the most part, he was throwing really soft, and away to righties (although most of it was for strikes), with a high unimpressive heat. He changed speeds with breaking balls, really fooling hitters at this level. He hung the breaking ball for a ground-ball hit, but when he located it, which was most of the time, it was a pretty good pitch. He got a lot of grounders through out the game, with some weak contact. At first I thought it might have just been because of a weak line-up (they didn't seem to have a good eye or bat speed) , but they got some hard contact off the other Heath a pitcher (who I will profile in a moment). He was getting swings and misses off both pitches, he did have the ball hit hard in the 4th I believe (there was no scoreboard and I wasn't keeping close track of the score or innings or anything because it didn't matter for this post).

Heath's other pitcher was Christian Sanders, who wasn't real tall, but was big. He did have some velocity on his fastball, with a hard breaking ball. He got two quick strikes to the first hitter and then hit him with a pitch. He gave up hard contact, with a walk then 2 ground-balls (on consecutive pitches, one being hard and one being soft). He then gave up a hard line drive on a long at-bat.

Lake Highland's starter was Salvador Sanchez, who possessed a weird arm action and was extremely wild in warm-ups. However, he was throwing strikes early and keeping everything low. Overall, he didn't have a good idea where the ball was going and lost control, and ended up hanging some in the strike zone. He was basically all deception and breaking stuff with no real velocity. He had some plate to plate movement and there were a lot of balls in the dirt. He occasionally zipped a fastball that was not fast but worked as a reverse change-up, and I really would like to see him throw that pitch more so hitters can't just focus on his breaking stuff. He wasn't hitting the corners like he wanted to and seemed to be tipping his pitches with his arm action.

The first reliever Lake Highland used was Jeris Medina, who was very large. He had a kind of low arm action and was basically all off speed pitches. He was pretty wild but got decent movement. He hit a batter with the first pitch he threw. He later played first, and he looked awful out there in warm-ups before the game, but had a decent pick during the game. With the bat, he swung at a low pitch but he ended up driving it pretty well (below is video of him pitching to Jake Bledsoe)

Gregg Calvin came in with a high leg kick and his arm cocked way back. He seemed somewhat deceptive as hitters couldn't pull the trigger. He faced a lot of backups it seemed, and gave up a lot of fly-balls. He was very curveball heavy, it seems like this team has a lot of junk ballers. He had control problems, and when he faced some regulars a few batters in, his pitches started getting hit hard.

Brandon Cook was skipping pitches well short in warm-ups, but during actual game time he was keeping the ball low and it translated to ground-balls. He was throwing mostly fastballs, and while it wasn't real hard, it wasn't soft either. With his breaking ball, he had nice speed differential, but he was staying in the middle of the plate. He isn't real tall, and he had some control issues where he was just missing with pitches, getting a walk and a HBP.

Now for the lineups:

For Heath, the pitcher Jake Baxter got a walk, but doesn't have an impressive swing and it doesn't look like he has power. He did run decent though. Jovan Hernandez has a short stout frame, but was fooled on the breaking ball. He did have power potential and drew a walk. Jake Thompson played 1st Base, and is a TCU commit and the top prospect in the game. He has good size, and the ball just jumps off his bat. However, he had some swings and misses and he is not a good base runner. He doesn't seem to have the greatest eye or patience at the plate, but did draw a walk and smoked a line drive in the gap. Bret Boswell played shortstop, and hit a ball to the left field wall and showed nice range defensively. Jake Bledsoe was the bulky catcher that showed off a decent arm. He also crushed a ball to the wall and walked and showed that he was pretty decent behind the plate. Grayson Lewis played in left field, and is small but made some decent contact and had a walk. Blake Brown played 2nd and is also small. He chased some pitches and looked totally fooled at the plate. Cade Flory made some good contact on a low pitch.

For Lake Highlands, the first two hitters, Alex Irion and Sean Guion showed good eyes at the plate. Irion had a short ground-ball type swing and simaltonously had some big whiffs. Both Irion and Guion were short in stature. Bo Vaughn played shortstop, and was also short but hit a ball hard. Michael Ketchmark had solid to okay contact, while Colton Bradley was the right fielder who was slightly bigger than many of his teammates. Richie Laurin was the catcher, and he had all kinds of problems with the wild breaking pitches. He had an ugly swing with no real eye or pitch recognition. Hayden Huey played in the outfield and didn't show any kind of bat. Trevor Curtis started at first and had an ugly drop. Hudson Taylor took over at first later on, and while he was little for a first baseman, he hit a ground-ball single on a hanging breaking pitch. Alan Boss had a nice swing and contact, even with a weird stance. He didn't have much speed though. Chris Dyer, who is a sophomore, had a nice line drive.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scouting Reports on Dallas Baptist and Oklahoma

On Tuesday, March 13th, I went and watched Oklahoma play at Dallas Baptist

Andrew Elkins was the starter for Dallas Baptist:

Elkins had a violent, jerky delivery with a slight pause. It was extremely effort filled, and he was grunting pretty loudly with each pitch. The delivery is really complicated and one could imagine him having problems repeating it, and one would think it would wear him down faster than a normal delivery (making him perhaps a bullpen prospect, which would diminish his value greatly). He has to vary the delivery with runners on (with a big leg kick), and it seemed to hurt his command (making him a candidate to consistently have a low left on base percentage). Elkins is a pretty small junior, listed at 5-10, perhaps creating the need for such a delivery. He threw a lot of strikes early, but also threw a breaking ball that went 58 feet. His breaking ball was decent when he could make it low and away though. There was no radar gun, but it appeared he was throwing decently hard. He had some swing and miss stuff, with some success on a wild breaking ball which made his fastball look better. In the first, he gave up mostly soft contact, with a line drive on an outside pitch being the exception. He gave up a monster home run on a pitch that I didn't think was that bad, but also had another one hit really hard in the 3rd, and another warning track shot in the 5th. He lost command late, and end up hitting a batter and throwing 56-58 feet breaking balls in the 5th. He didn't really seem to move well defensively

Jacob Rhame was the starter for Oklahoma, and the right handed freshman had a reach back over the top delivery with a mediocre pick off move:

Rhame was throwing really soft in warmups and wasn't throwing really hard in the game either. He struggled to throw strikes early and hit a batter, but he was for the most part keeping it away from both sides, and got a swing and miss on an otherwise pedestrian fastball this way. He did walk the #9 hitter, and the runner end up scoring on a homer. He got 2 strikeouts early looking on a corner breaking pitch, and even though his breaking pitch wasn't exactly aesthetically pleasing, he was getting a ton of strikes and fooling hitters. The breaking pitch was getting some huge swings and misses and it was clearly the pitch he was most comfortable with. He fielded his position well, and while it was impressive to see this breaking pitch on a freshman, it is not like he is going to add much velocity. It is hard to imagine that this soft tossing righty can have consistent success in higher levels. He gave up some solid contact in the 2nd, but DBU helped him by bunting into outs. He wasn't able to make it out of the the 3rd.

Some notes on Dallas Baptist's lineup (I have already written about DBU here before, so this will just be some scattered notes rather than looking at each hitter):
First, it is clear that the Oklahoma starter was better than the Corpus starter I saw this lineup destroy last time, so even with the run friendly environment of Patriot Field, it gives us a better look at the hitters (it is worthy to note that the umpire had a rather large strike zone)

Austin Elkins (evidently a brother of the starting pitcher) didn't play the last time I saw DBU, but started in this one. He had extremely slow bat speed, struggled with pitch recognition, and had a hole in his swing. He did have okay speed, as Baseball Cube rates it as a 80 out of 100. That is his best attribute, but has decent contact, power, and patience ratings. He had a big time freshman year at DBU, with a .985 OPS, but fell back to earth as a sophomore with a .741 OPS. The Elkins I saw looked closer to the later than the former. Boomer Collins was more impressive this time (and I said some good things about him last time), as he made some sparkling defensive plays. He is a very good defender in right field, with 2 nice diving grabs. Offensively, he took some pitches I thought were balls but were called strikes, and then had a good eye walk in a later at-bat. He also lined a home run, and at the very least has line drive gap power.

Dustin McAlpine was far less impressive this time, and I am extremely pessimistic at his ability to stay at catcher. Here is him throwing:

He wasn't able to block a throw from right field, and then couldn't block the breaking ball basically through out. His size sure doesn't help him. He also displayed some major contact and bat speed problems, and hacked hard and missed on the low breaking ball (which gives you pause, because if his eye isn't there, then its all over). I was disappointed and puzzled that Ronnie Mitchell didn't play, but K.J. Alexander did DH again (which makes me toss out the idea that he can play catcher, because if he is not good enough for the coach to want him to play catcher over McAlpine, then there are some serious deficiencies with his catching or the manager's brain). Ryan Behmanesh played first again, and did have a nice knock down of a ball, but really struggled defensively again. Offensively, he was better than last time, showcasing a nice cut, really a line drive swing, and shortened his strike with 2 strikes. However, his eye fooled him several times on breaking balls.

Oklahoma's lineup:

Eric Ross lead off, and he had some speed, but wasn't a "burner" (Baseball Cube disagrees and lists it at 98). He had a nice other cut on a ball that was high and away, but really had a lot of swing and misses for a lead-off hitter. He is also pretty small, at 5-8 157. He has yet to show a whole lot as a hitter, with a .659 OPS in 2010-2011. He has walked almost as much as he has struck out with a contact rating of 82, but that doesn't seem to be the hitter I saw. Perhaps he has made some kind of adjustment in his swing to generate some power (just a 3 ranking!), or perhaps I just saw him on a bad night, we will see as the season plays out.

Caleb Bushyhead, while having a fun name to type, is a 5-11 185 senior infielder. He had a long at-bat his first time around buy looked a little overwhelmed at the plate (he was really fooled by the breaking ball, swinging and missing on it and also getting under it). He did make some decent contact. His best rating according to Baseball Cube is his speed which is just 66. He has a career OPS of .808 at Oklahoma. Max White is listed as both an outfielder and an infielder, and the good sized (6-1 203) junior had a weak swing in his first at-bat. He did get a double of the wall in his second at-bat, but really struggled with the breaking pitch. Last season, White struck out almost 17 % of the time, and walked just 4.2% of the time. His patience rating is just a 10, with 86 power.  It is hard to imagine he will see the ball well enough and hit the ball enough to really bring out his power potential. Jack Mayfield can pitch, but he can also play the infield, and that is where I saw him. He had a long at-bat with a lot of fouls, and then hit a home run on a decent pitch in his next at-bat (he actually bunted in his first at-bat). The homer was just the 2nd of his career, and he is not big, at 5-10 170. The junior makes phenomenal contact, with a 98 rating but none of the rest of his ratings are really any good. While there is some potential with his approach, he is going to have to hit more, with just a .681 career OPS. Pitching may be his real calling, as he has a 2.88 career ERA with about twice as many strikeouts as walks.

Evan Mistich is a senior outfielder with not much bat speed, and not much real speed either (he is listed at 210 pounds). However, it looked like there was some power potential there, even though he had an ISO of just .103 last year. Baseball Cube ranks patience as his best attribute at 79, while his power sits at 53. He did make a nice play in left field though. Garrett Carey is a junior who played 3rd base, and had really poor pitch recognition. In the field, he couldn't handle a hard grounder. Tanner Toal is a rather hefty looking catcher, with a solid arm (he gunned down a runner on a nice throw). He has a big cut (he hit one ball to the wall), but also has the ability to totally whiff on pitches. The senior showed flashes of brilliance in a limited number of at-bats last year, but looks like a guy who may walk some and hit some balls hard, but also swing and miss a lot. Cody Reine has not what you would call a normal outfielders build at 5-11 220, but he showcased a decent arm out there. He also can run decently well (ranking of 54 may be a little low), but wasn't an intelligent base runner. He really wasn't hitting he ball real hard, which is disappointing for a big outfielder, and while he has a 88 power ranking, his OPS was just .754 last year (after a really nice freshman year).

Ty Talor is listed as a pitcher, but came in as a pinch hitter and couldn't get a bunt down. Chase Simpson pinch hit as well, and the sophomore hit a line drive the other way on the first pitch he saw. He was then pinch run for by Dylan Raper, a 150 pound outfielder.

Now relievers:

Steven Bruce is a 5-11 sophomore right hander:

Bruce starts his hands high, but I can't really figure out why, he just ends up slowly bringing them back down and then starts his windup. He had a nice pickoff move, and his first pitch was a GIDP. He wasn't throwing real hard, and gave up a warning track flyball to Joel Hutter. His breaking ball was unimpressive, although hitters were clearly getting under it. The pitch was slow and mostly for strikes, and got mashed when it did stay up. His fastball was high in the zone at times, and was lined hard. He throws a lot of strikes, and actually got another double play. He started bouncing the breaking pitch in the fifth inning, and it was more effective this way. He pitched in 6 games last year, and even though he struck out less than 6 batters per 9 innings, his ERA was just 2.93.

I had already seen Jordan Staples pitch before, but I had problems with video that day and didn't have one on him, so here is Staples:

His fastball was really staying up, and he didn't have any put away stuff (there were a lot of fouls). He gave up a lot of fly-balls, and his breaking ball was really wild this time (even in warm-ups). I really don't think his delivery takes advantage of his size.

Michael Smith is not a big pitcher at 6-0 187, but his leg kick gives him a pretty long stride:

He had an unimpressive fastball that was definitely his secondary pitch. He did have a really good breaking pitch that he kept low (even though it occasionally went just 55 feet), and he got 2 big time whiffs on it. He really is a long reliever, as he pitched over 3 innings, and hitters starting figuring him out and started to hit him pretty hard. They clearly left him out there too long. Smith in 22 games as a reliever last season and averaged over 2 innings an outing, earning a 4.87 ERA and 1.77 WHIP.

Dillon Overton is a 6-2 160 lefty sophomore who was drafted in the 26th round out of high school:

Overton threw a high breaking ball that got a looking strike, but there is no way he can do that consistently. He was getting some swing and misses, with a nice strikeout looking on a low and away breaking pitch to a lefty. But he wasn't just a platoon lefty, as hitters on both sides of the plate were way late on his fastball (even though I didn't think his fastball was all that impressive). Overton threw 74.1 innings last year as a freshman, and while his control rating was low, he got some strikeouts and was good against power hitters.

Steven Okert is a 6-2 219 junior lefty, who was another not just platoon lefty for the Sooners:

He slings the ball ball with a 3/4ths delivery with a nice breaking ball that had batters chasing and off balance. He also had a pretty deceptive pick off move. He got 3 strikeouts and 2 ground-balls.

Jordan John is another lefty with a nice breaking ball. Although he has a short arm motion, he throws harder than either Okert or Overton.

John was drafted by the Astros in the 28th round in 2011 as a junior but came back to pitch his senior year. Last year, he was really nice with a 7.92 K/9IP and 2.64 BB/9IP. All 4 of his ratings are in the 70-79 range.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scouting Reports on TCU and Baylor

On Tuesday March 6th, I watched Baylor play at TCU.

Brandon Finnegan started the game for TCU, and he had a goofy delivery in which he turned his back to the hitter (although not drastically):

He was throwing decently hard it seemed, and the radar guy agreed with a 88-89 MPH fastball (he touched 90 MPH a few times and hit it in the fifth a few times). He also threw a moving fastball (really a back door cutter to righties) at 85-86 MPH, with a 75-78 MPH breaking ball. He had very little to no control, especially in the 3rd when it got away from to an amazing proportion. How bad did it get? He end up hitting 6 batters (3 on breaking balls, 2 on fastballs, and I didn't write down which was the first one) before he was taken out (in all, there were 13 hit by pitches, which turned out to be an NCAA record). When things were going good, he had a nice breaking ball that was outside to lefties and in on righties (in which he got a nice strikeout looking). He got some help from Baylor, as the lefty got to face lefties as the 2 and 3 hole hitters, but he really didn't have much swing and miss (he did get one strike out swinging). He gave up 1 walk, with 2 ground-balls, an infield pop fly, 2 fly-balls, and a line drive. One positive was that he could field his position pretty well. He is just a freshman (I was disappointed neither starter is draft eligible), and while his short (5-11) stature is annoying, if he can ever find control he may be valuable in the future (especially if he figures out how to add a couple MPH to his fastball).

Dillon Newman started for Baylor, and you can see the 6-2 sophomore right hander throw here:

In a game with a big strikezone, Newman's pitches were everywhere and he was struggling to throw strikes (especially early on). He wasn't throwing real hard at 88 MPH with a 79-80 MPH breaking pitch. He brought his arm back in a way you wouldn't really expect with his delivery, and his plan was to throw outside to righties. He gave up a walk, a line drive, and 2 ground-balls to start the game, and had a great fielding play with an okay pickoff move. His breaking pitch was unimpressive (he got a strikeout with it but it was off Davy Wright, who as you will see later, looked awful at the plate). He really seemed to lack a put away pitch. He was getting hit pretty hard in the 3rd inning. Newman was definitely a contact pitcher as a freshman, pitching in 13 games and walking less than 2 per 9 innings and striking out less than 6 per 9 innings.

Josh Elander is the big prospect in TCU's lineup. However, and it's just my luck, he was injured in the first (not expected to be anything serious) and was taken out of the game (Kyle Von Tungeln, a junior outfielder was diagnosed with a mild concussion the day of the game and obviously didn't play). Braden Mattson, a freshman, replaced him at catcher. Defensively, he was very poor, missing a ball he should have had and having a bad arm. Offensively, he didn't display much patience, chasing a low and outside pitch, then chasing a breaking ball to strikeout. When he did make contact (even on a pitch out of the zone), it was for hard line drives. He is very unpolished like you would expect from a college freshman. Jason Coats is a senior outfielder with a 954 career OPS. He has been drafted in the 12th round (2011), and in the game he set the record for doubles at TCU. He has power rated at 80 by Baseball Cube with 62 speed and 51 patience. I saw him as a guy with value tied entirely to his bat (Jim Callis of Baseball America believes I am basically right and that his stock has really slipped). He is not a good athlete and misjudged a ball out in left field. He has a power swing if he can control it, and worked long at-bats, but I didn't see him as a patient hitter (which is confirmed above). TCU had him bunting for some reason, and he hit a couple ground-balls. Derek Odell was TCU's lead-off hitter despite being just a freshman. He had decent patience, working 2 walks, and the 6-0 infielder could make nice contact with a big swing (it produced a double). Davy Wright is a red-shirt junior, and he started at 3rd base. He did not look good at the plate, fooled terribly on the breaking ball twice. He did have a fly-ball to center in a 1 pitch at-bat, but he also made a bad throw on defense. Wright has been downright awful at TCU with an OBP of just .185 in 38 games (58 at-bats). Josh Gonzales is a junior who is listed as an infielder but played DH (despite being small at 5-9 185). He had a long-AB that turned into a walk, along with a strikeout looking where he didn't swing during the at-bat. So it is safe to say he is a passive hitter. Brett Johnson played first, and like a prototypical first-baseman, he was slow (although he weighs just 180). Defensively, he had a nice pick and then missed a ball I thought he should have picked. The Sophomore showed some promise as a Freshman, with a .812 OPS with 73 Power. His Baseball Cube contact rating of 18 showed big time in the game though, as he had a big whiff and then a strikeout looking later on. Freshman Michael Resnick came in as a pinch hitter, and he had a big whiff but did earn a walk. He is 6-0 205, pretty big size. Zac Jordan is the rare 5th year senior type, and the outfielder was pitched outside for the most part. He end up chasing a breaking ball for a strikeout, and also reached for a weak ground-ball. He did show some power potential though, just missing a home run. Power is his best attribute, but it is just rated at 58. As one would expect from a player that has been in college for 5 years, he is really just kind of average with a career OPS of .803. Keaton Jones is another freshman, but he started at shortstop, and he did have a walk and a ground-ball. Lastly, freshman Jerrick Sulter was built like a safety at 6-4 235, and played CF. That is the kind of athlete you want, or so you would think. He was actually pretty slow, and really too big to play center anyway you would think. He hit a line drive off a pitch down the middle, but fell for a breaking ball and rolled over on it.

Baylor played its share of freshman too, such as right fielder Logan Brown. The relatively small player had a nice arm and gunned down a runner at home. He had a walk and a strikeout looking. Michael Howard played left field, and this freshman (who can also pitch), was awful at the plate. He struck out on a check swing, chased a breaking ball (even though he ended up walking in the at-bat), and had a hard time catching up to a 90 MPH fastball. Logan Vick, a junior, played center field, and had a nice arm but threw it to the wrong base once, allowing a runner to take an extra base. Offensively, he didn't have any patience, swinging at first pitches and low pitches out of the zone. There is some potential in that bat, as he hit a ball hard, had another fly-ball eaten up by the wind, and drove a fly-ball to center. It appears I caught Vick on a bad day though, as patience is his best attribute, walking a stunning 18 percent of the time in his first two years at Baylor. He had a huge +1.000 OPS year as a freshman but was awful his sophomore year, with an OPS barely above .600. The Vick I saw was the later, but this is why you should pay attention to both what you see with your eyes (and you should watch as many games as possible) and statistics.

Josh Ludy was the catcher for Baylor, and the senior had a plus arm. Here is him batting:

He had some nice long at-bats, one with fouls, but the results weren't always good. He did have an ugly check swing strike-out though. None of his attributes are rated very high, and he didn't really get regular playing time until he was a junior, and that wasn't really impressive. He has just a .785 career OPS, but I do see some potential in his bat and patience and I like him being the plate.

Jake Miller played shortstop for Baylor, and the junior had nice size at 6-3 200. Defensively he missed an easy ground-ball, and looked bad out there. Offensively, he was very hack happy, but did hit a line drive, a good fly-ball, and a long at-bat with a hard foul ball (before being pegged by the pitch). It is not shocking that his contact rating is just 6, with a 42 patience rating. He does have 82 power though and that is hard to find in middle infielders. He has to get better defensively though. Max Muncy played 1st base, and was pretty unimpressive with a big ugly swing and miss on a big swing and a ground-ball. Muncy has 80 power though according to Baseball Cube, and was listed as a catcher last year. His career OPS is fringy for MLB prospects at .907, and is basically worthless if he can only play first. Nathan Orf played DH, but is also listed as a catcher. He seems really small to play catcher, at 5-9 180. The junior batted lead-off for the Bears, but I am not a big fan of his swing. He had a line drive to center and a hard ground-ball. He did have decent speed with a stolen base. Cal Towey played 3rd, but can evidently play outfield as well. The Junior was absolutely fooled at the plate.

Out of the bullpen, Trae Davis was the first reliever for Baylor. The sophomore was short at 5-11, but had some weight and a violent jerk back delivery that allowed him to hit 90 MPH (he hit 91 MPH once for a strikeout looking) a lot. Overall, he was about 87-88 MPH with a 77-78 hanging breaking ball (he threw one about 55 feet). He did get a strikeout swinging, but he was getting fouled and hit hard, giving up a fly-ball. He then really lost control, getting a HBP and a walk. He was drafted in the 29th round by the Rangers out of high school, but really struggled as a freshman, walking as many as he struck out for a WHIP of almost 2.

For Nick Frey, I thought I would do something a little different and catalog his pitches. I just used approximate estimates, and it didn't quite come out like I wanted, but I think it is helpful nonetheless. The donut circles are fastballs (he was throwing 89-90 MPH on his fastball), while the arcs are breaking balls (he was throwing his breaking ball for 76 MPH). Blue is just the standard color, meaning nothing of note happened, while yellow means either HBP, wild pitch, or that he missed his intended spot big time. The dark orangeish color is swinging strikes, green is ground-balls, and red is fly-balls.

Frey appeared in 10 games last year, and had a WHIP of 1.26 and 5.65 K/9IP.

Joe Kirkland was probably the most effective reliever and pitcher overall in the game. Like the majority of the pitchers in the game, he was throwing about 89-90 MPH on his fastball, but his fastball had some kind of sink and nasty movement. He struck out Jason Coats on a really long at-bat, which you can see here:

His breaking ball was around 77-79 MPH, and he got 3 strikeouts on it, including one looking outside to a lefty (Kirkland is right handed) that was just nasty. He was certainly making hitters swing and miss, and he is just a freshman! He was keeping the ball outside to righties, it was when he started losing control and it drifted to the middle he was hit hard. He balked, and also lost control in the bottom of the 7th and had back to back walks before he was finally taken out.

Justin Scharf broke the trend of cookie cutter pitchers with cookie cutter fastballs by being a submariner who was throwing anywhere from 70-81 MPH in warmups:
It appeared he could live in the middle of the plate against righties but he did vary locations. You could see how he could have serious control problems on a bad day but be a ground-ball machine on a good day. He was brought in to face a lefty and was successful, it doesn't appear that he is just a platoon righty. He gave up 3 ground-balls and a hard liner to Logan Vick, who he couldn't put away despite dominating early in the count. Both inherited runners ended up scoring, and he also hit a batter. Scharf previously pitched at Paris Junior College, and had quite a bit of success, with an ERA under 3.

Kevin Allen is a big (6-1 210 seemed a little conservative I thought) junior right hander who was throwing 89-90 MPH with an 80 MPH breaking ball. His breaking ball was getting some really nice swing and misses, as he got 3 strikeouts swinging on it. He also hit a batter (it seemed like everyone did), and was really reaching back in his delivery. He spent the previous 2 seasons at Weatherford College, where he posted good ERAs with almost a strikeout an inning over just over 100 innings.

Doug Ashby was another sidearmer who didn't get even close to 80 MPH in warmups. He did get a swing and a miss, but it is really hard to imagine this stuff is going to work on a higher level, especially against righties (who were the first 3 batters he faced). He gave up a hard hit liner and a walk.

The last pitcher I saw was Kolt Browder:

Browder had a herky jerky delivery with a strange "pull-back" arm motion. He had control issues early on and walked the first hitter. He was throwing about 97 MPH, and evidently pitched terrible. I left after he pitched to the first batter (the game had already lasted 3 hours, it was getting late and I had everything I needed), and Baylor was winning at the time but ended up losing by a few runs.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scouting Reports on Dallas Baptist and Texas A&M Corpus Christi

On Thursday March 1st 2012, I went and watched Dallas Baptist and Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Cy Sneed started for Dallas Baptist, and you can see the 6-4 Freshman throw here:

Scouting reports I have seen say Sneed throws about 87-89 MPH on his fastball, and it definitely looked like he had good velocity. His delivery was effort filled, so it does raise questions about whether he can add velocity and whether he will have injury problems later in his career. He hit two batters early, and liked to keep the fastball high and tight to right handers. In the first real at-bat, he got 3 swing and misses, striking him out on a breaking ball in the dirt. That hard breaking ball also got another strikeout in the dirt and another one swinging that wasn't in the dirt. His breaking pitches went in 3 different places, one was too much in the zone, one was perfect and one went 58 feet (which wasn't fooling anyone). He got 5 strikeouts swinging on the fastball (one was a check swing). He threw a ton of pretty pitches. He did have some control issues (a wild pitch) other than the hit by pitches, although his only real walk was on pitches in good locations. Despite giving up more fly-balls than ground-balls, he really pitched better than his 5 runs allowed in 6 innings. More capable Corpus hitters made more contact the 2nd and 3rd time around. With runners on he had a lot of pickoffs and had a balk. Defensively, I thought he moved well despite his size.

Adam Hoelscher pitched for Texas A&M Corpus, and you can see the 6-3 Junior throwing here:

As a Freshman, Hoelscher had a 4.47 ERA, and then took a step back in 2011 with a 7.15 ERA. He wasn't throwing hard, and the ball was staying up which is a bad combo. He kept the ball away from lefties, and at his best he put breaking balls down low and away. However, there were not many flashes of good. I didn't like the arm action as it seems to be an elbow killer and took away velocity. He had no swing and miss stuff and even pitches out of the zone were getting hit hard. He gave up 3 weak fly-balls to start before giving up a line drive homer. He end up giving 4 homers and 8 runs, and just stood no chance. It was really hard to evaluate the Dallas Baptist hitters because of how terrible he was throwing. He also had a wild pitch.

Texas A&M Corpus was clearly an inferior team, which is kind of hard to believe considering all the high school baseball talent contained in Corpus Christi.

Bobby Buckner, the son of the infamous Bill Buckner, was one of their better hitters (sorry so many of the videos have so many blurry moments, I blame that on the lights):
The senior Buckner was originally a Texas Longhorn but left after he was transfered. Buckner appeared to be one of the team's better hitters but has been pretty unimpressive the last couple of seasons, with an OPS of .777. In the game he had a 5 pitch walk, a 7 pitch walk, and two medium fly-balls.

Brad Porras played 1st-base, and stands at 6-5 220. He fell for a breaking ball, and just had a horrible eye and a bad swing for a first baseman. Defensively, he just seemed goofy and awkward. Kyle Danford is a big freshman outfielder. He looked bad and couldn't lay off the breaking ball. He also had an ugly check swing strikeout, and has a hole in his swing. He does run decently well though. Jonathan Gonzalez is listed as a first baseman and right handed pitcher but played DH in the game. He also couldn't handle the breaking ball and had a less than impressive swing. He did hit a home run though, and is 6-0 245 (and really slow). Santiago Ruiz was the senior catcher who had a nice eye with a great walk. He is little for a catcher, but he had a nice arm. He was pinch run for. Last year, Ruiz had a .711 OPS. Omar Garcia was the replacement catcher, and was not great at blocking pitches. He did have two walks, but he was extremely slow and was thrown off of first. The senior has an OPS of just .736 in his career, with very little walks and a patience rating of just 8 by Baseball Cube. Dan Sciantarelli batted 9th and struck out twice and was only able to foul off pitches early in the count. He is listed at 5-11 195, but he seemed smaller than that. Jeramie Marek lead off for Corpus, but he wasn't the traditional fast lead-off guy. He also had a big time cut, but it was a slow swing. He had a lot of swing and misses and had a gigantic hole in his swing. He could foul off pitches with 2 strikes but did strike out looking. He had a nice long at-bat for a soft line drive. Marek is a senior and had a .764 OPS last year. Eric Weiss can play both outfield and catcher, and the junior banged one double off the wall. He doesn't have a very good arm, but he had a nice long at bat that end up being a strikeout. He also had a nice line drive. Weston Montgomery can pitch, but I only saw hit hit and field. Hit may be a strong word, as he looked lost at the plate with some wild hacks on a 4 pitch strikeout. It really was ugly. Drew Vest pinch hit and had a 5 pitch walk (in which nothing was in the strike zone). He is quick on his feet and had another long at-bat where he struck out on check swing. He is not a good hitter with a .688 OPS in 2011. Jordan Lee is a freshman who came in to pinch run. He was quick, but we never really saw him turn on the jets. He had a weak arm and was bad defensively with a drop. He did have a decent swing though.

There was very little wind, but the DBU field is slightly smaller compared to many other college fields I have been to. Dallas Baptist really had a all or nothing philosophy when it came to swinging the bat and it showed.

R.J. Talamantes lead off and played 2nd base. He is a decent runner, but is really little at 5-5 155. The sophomore did have great contact quality for his size for the most part, and hit a home run. He was also pretty patient, not swinging at balls and made good contact up the middle on a 2 strike count. He also had a shallow fly-out.

Landon Anderson is a senior outfielder that has hit pretty well at DBU with a 972 career OPS. The lefty had a long walk, another walk, with a weak fly-ball and fooled on a check swing that he put in play. He ran okay but not great, his speed is rated at 76 on Baseball Cube. I was disappointed I didn't get to see his 88 rated power.

Nash Knight played 3rd base and had a really nice play on defense. He had a slow big cut that led to K. He also loved the low breaking ball, but he hit the ball pretty hard (he hit a decent fly-ball on a pitch that was out of the zone and in the dirt) and is just a freshman. 

Duncan McAlphine is a junior catcher and right handed pitcher. At the game I attended he caught, and had a nice arm gunning down a runner. He wasn't the greatest pitch blocker though and isn't real big at 5-10 200. With the bat, he had a huge cut with a possible hole in it. He struck out, but also had a deep fly-ball, and this home run:

McAlpine had a huge freshman year, but regressed in his sophomore year. He still has a career .950 OPS, and I like his bat (97 power according to Baseball Cube) if your willing to put up with a ton a strikeouts. It will be interesting to see whether he can stick at catcher.

Joel Hutter played shortstop and made a nice play defensively. He wasn't a great runner though, and had very questionable bat speed. He hit a relatively weak fly-ball, a hard grounder, and struck out. It is possible I saw the senior on a bad day though, as he has 81 contact and 91 power to go with 81 patience. He slugged .500 in 2011.

Boomer Collins is sort of a stocky redshirt junior outfielder who made a bad throw. Offensively, he chased two breaking balls out of the zone and looked awful doing so. However, he did demonstrate some patience in some other at-bats, and had a ground-ball, and a walk. He was way late on a fast-ball down the middle, but hit a 2 run homer in a later at-bat. He is a good base-runner and is not a "burner", but runs well enough and had a nice steal.
Ryan Behmanesh was the first baseman, and he wasn't a very good one defensively. He runs decently, and when he had the bat in his hand, he was dangerous. He just missed a home run off Dorris, and then pulled a homer off Danton. He has a .916 career OPS so far, so you want to see that number go up, but he has good ratings on all his batting tools.

Ronnie Mitchell is an outfielder who can also pitch (but I just saw him as an outfielder). He had an open stance that is Texiera or Bonds like, and the deficiency of that stance showed when he hit a pitch on the outside corner off the end of his bat for a medium ground-ball. He also wanted to swing at breaking stuff that wasn't really hittable. It was apparent he had some power though, as after he couldn't get a bunt down, he popped a homer. He has an under cut type swing, and the positives of his stance showed whenever he hit a hard ground-ball off a lefty side-armer.

K.J. Alexander is listed as a catcher, but played DH in the game I saw (so that raises some questions about his defense). He did have some power though, as he banged a homer off the foul poll. He did walk, but overall he didn't have much patience, as he wasn't waiting on the breaking ball. In one at-bat, he took two out of the zone only to check swing one in play up in the count. He also had a hard grounder up the middle.

Now for relief pitchers:

Matt Danton had a slow delivery with a high leg kick and wasn't very impressive to look at in warm ups. Early on, he was working in the low part of the zone but his control got away from him and he gave up a line drive homer. He got a lot of swing and misses (with two strikeout swingings, one on a fastball up), but when he gave up contact it was usually hard. Although he got a few swing and misses in the zone, I really question whether he can consistently live there. He is just a freshman, and he is 6-3, so he could add some velocity with his already good looking breaking stuff.

Chance Bragg had a reach back delivery and was throwing harder than the previous two Corpus pitchers. He stayed in the middle of the plate, while his fast-ball some times got high. He was certainly a fly-ball pitcher, giving up a homer, a deep fly-ball, and a line drive in his first 3 hitters. He gave up a lot of foul balls and his breaking stuff was very unimpressive getting some swings but no real misses. He did get some grounders but most of them were hard, and he had some walk problems. He did get a strikeout on a high fastball swinging.

Alex Jack was a side-armed soft tosser who really projects to a lefty specialist. I don't see how he could get righties out consistently. He got a hard grounder from a lefty and walked a righty. He simply wasn't putting the ball where he wanted to, and hit a lefty with a pitch. Jack pitched in 11.2 innings last year and had a WHIP of almost 2.

Jacob Doris was a right handed side-armer, but his delivery was harder and he was throwing harder. He was getting very weak contact and fielded his position well. The freshman had a looping slow breaking ball that led to good speed differential from his fastball. His pickoff move wasn't very good and neither were his pickoff throws. When he could control it, he had good swing and miss breaking stuff and could get grounders as well.

Tyler Wilhem hides the ball well with an exploding fastball with nice pop. One of the worst hitters was way late on his fastball, but he didn't get many swing and misses and gave up lots of fouls. He had a low hard breaking ball with not much speed differential and he didn't have much control of his pitches. He seemed bigger than his listed 190 pounds and he gave up a medium fly-ball, and a GIDP.

Kenny Hatcher was listed just as an infielder but came in as a reliever. He didn't pitch last year, but played 3rd base and wasn't a very impressive hitter with a .760 OPS. He is a contact hitter with mediocre power and patience. As a pitcher, he had a similar delivery to Tyler Wilhem and seemed to be throwing reasonably hard with nice speed differential. His breaking pitch low got swings and misses, and he kept everything low to the first hitter and walked him. He then threw his fastball down the middle, then on the outside corner and got a ground-ball on a low pitch. He then walked another batter, and while he started getting the ball in the middle height-wise, he couldn't find the strike zone. He was able to get some jam action though. He had a decent pickoff move but not a great throw over.

Blake Webster was throwing soft and gave up a homer to the only hitter he faced. The junior is listed at 6-1 205.

Jordan Staples has nice size (6-4 210) but not intimidating velocity. He was a little wild and gave up a walk, but he had a nasty low pitch. He also had a beautiful looking strikeout on a fastball on the low and away corner. However, he also gave up hard contact. In 2011, he gave up over a hit an inning and walked more batters than he struck out.

Tim Beard hides the ball almost like we see in Southeast Asia (although he doesn't have the pause):

He got Ronnie Mitchell to strikeout swinging on a breaking ball in the zone, his breaking ball struck out K.J. Alexander, and got Dustin McAlpine to strikeout swinging on a fastball. His breaking ball is very soft, while he has decent velocity with good placement on his fastball. He also gave up a soft fly-ball and a HBP. Beard is a jr. who went to Western Nebraska and had a 1.95 ERA with 7.11 K/9IP as a freshman, but struggled his sophomore year with a smaller sample size (although he elevated his strikeout total).