Thursday, February 21, 2013

University of Florida Scouting Report

The University of Florida had what I believed was the most interesting team in 2012. This year, especially with the injury to Karsten Whitson, they are less interesting, but it is still a good program. I watched them play on TV against Georgia Southern in an extra inning game (Georgia Southern scouting report will come soon)

The starting pitcher for Florida was Justin Shafer. The right-hander seems to come 3/4ths in his delivery and was throwing 87-89 MPH on his fastball. Everything has a little movement to it, both arm-side and glove side. It looks like he is throwing a lot of 2 seamers (coach and announcer called them sinkers) that break slightly arm side. His change looks very mediocre, while the slider breaks down almost exclusively (with a little bit of tilt glove side), at least it was early on, but as the game went along, he threw some really good ones that had some two way break. It doesn't have great overall movement, but it does break rather suddenly when thrown down. He threw it a lot to righties and seemed to stay away a lot. Shafer's command was mostly poor but not awful (he had a lot of problems with the changeup, as it would stay high and in to righties, meaning arm side) in the sense that he didn't hit the glove real often and he was sort of all over the place, but he wasn't hitting and walking many guys and he could throw some strikes.

Overall, if he becomes a professional pitcher, he seems to be a sinker/slider guy without a lot of strikeout potential in the minors. He does move the ball around the zone though and throws nothing straight. If he can gain better command (he will need to have advanced command for his age/level, which will be difficult) and keep the ball low, he does have chance for some success, especially in a relief role, but he doesn't have a high ceiling.

As a hitter, I think it is more apparent how skinny he is. He has good height though, so that may help him projection wide. Shafer seems to have good bat speed/contact skills. His swing contains a little bit of a chop, other way approach, so he probably hits a lot of grounders without a lot of power. Obviously he has solid athleticism, which should help him on the mound, both defensively, and in delivery repetition. Even though he pulled a homer in the game, I like him more as a pitcher (especially since he struggled at the plate last year) unless he is just an elite defender, which I don't think he is. The problem is that, partly because Florida was so loaded, that he threw just 6 innings last year, almost amounting to a lost season. Especially since he needs to have refined control, this is concerning.

Harrison Bader is a freshman lead-off hitter, that has some room to fill out, but it looks like he has some upper body strength. He is clearly at the top of the order because he has good to plus speed. He struggled defensively in left field.

Richie Martin is a shortstop with good size, and well built. There may be questions, just based on size, as to whether he would stick there long term.  He ran a decent 3.85 on a bunt and is very much a slash and dash type hitter, as evidenced by his approach, which was aggressive, with a lot of bunt attempts, and an other way type swing. Defensively, his actions and range were a little rigid and not really ideal. However, his arm was really strong.

Vickash Ramjit is a lanky player with not a real desirable swing. It is sort of a pull swing that is long in the zone. It is flat, and I think it is quick, but not really a good flat. It is really hard to describe because it is pretty unorthodox, but he showed some decent bat control and contact.

Zach Powers is a big story early on thanks to some home runs on opening weekend. His frame could possibly add some more size and weight onto it, and could possibly lead to more power. Powers has a definite uppercut swing, and looks like he is cheating for power with a shoulder dip. The shoulder injury that cost him 2012 is a concern, and it is hard to get excited about a 1st base prospect that has a good short power stretch, at least not yet anyway.

Josh Tobias' swing looks really slow and long and he also chased out of the zone a lot. Somewhat of a short and pudgy player, Tobias didn't seem to be a great defender and struggled, not so much with range, but just making the play. He ran about a 4.12 to 1st, very nice for a right-handed hitter.

Cody Dent ran a 4.27 to first as a left-handed hitter. He's got pretty smooth swing mechanics (other than a slight down cut on the ball, causing a lot of grounders), but not great bat speed or anything.

Taylor Gushue has had a lot of problems behind the plate so far this year (and was having receiving problems in the game and eventually left with a leg injury), and just doesn't have great zip or velocity on throws, at least from what I saw. At the plate, he has good size, and the ability to make contact on really difficult pitches. He is a little pull happy, pulling a pitch on the outside corner, but has a little bit of power. His swing is relatively fluid overall other than a slight hip dip.

Casey Turgeon seems to have a lot going to his swing as far as body motions etc., but he has a nice flat swing and had a lot of success at the plate. He was drafted in the 22nd round out of high school last year, and though he didn't hit for much power in 2012, he walked more than he struck out.

Eric Hanhold is a lanky right-handed freshman that should fill out. He has good height and gets on top of the ball well for a good downward plane. His leg kick helps him do this as he moves it up high and out pretty well and he throws anywhere from 91-94 MPH on his fastball. Hanhold seems to throw a seperate 4-seamer and 2-seamer (or some of the fastballs really ran in arm side). I obviously like his extension plus ability to keep the ball low, along with already throwing pretty hard. Since it was a pretty short outing, I didn't really see the breaking ball. His control was also not ideal, mainly missing arm side or low.

Danny Young is left-handed freshman throwing about 90 MPH on his fastball. It seems like he has a little bit of arm drag in his delivery, as it doesn't come along with his body fluidly.

Mike Vinson, a 6-4 right-handed freshman, has an arm angle that comes pretty far out after bringing the arm behind his body. His delivery is quick and complicated, he seemed to have some command of it, but it broke down early and he had significant control issues. The 88-92 MPH fastball looks pretty straight, with a separate 2-seamer that breaks arm side.

Aaron Rhodes is a freshman right-handed sidearmer. His arm goes down, but the body doesn't go down that much (from what I have read, he is fairly new to being a sidearmer). Obviously not throwing hard (~85 MPH), but Rhodes threw a nice Frisbee type slider that slid away from the plate. The fastball breaks back in quite a bit like a two seamer that you see from many sidearm pitchers.

Johnny Magliozzi is a right-hander that was a 35th round pick by the Rays out of high school and had a bad ERA but good K/BB in 2012. He does not have real ideal size, but reportedly gets up to 94, and sits closer to 90-91 MPH. His over the top curve that didn't look great and he had problems locating it. Magliozzi was pitching backwards, starting with curve, then go fastball (which he preferred to get high whiffs with, but would get some low called strikes as well).

Corey Stump is a sophomore lefty (rarely used as a freshman) with good looking height. He might get even better plane on the ball if his arm angle was a little higher. It isn't quite sidearm though and is hard to call 3/4ths, at least for me. He throws in the high 80s, with decent movement, and is hard for lefties to pick up.

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