I’m going to do this in quick hit style because I think that’ll be most effective. I’ve got about 6 pages of scribbles and notes from each day I was at the ballpark. Only being there for 3 days, I’m dealing with a set of games where someone could have had a cold or just wasn’t performing at the time. These notes are simply my impressions: some of which confirmed what I already felt about players and others which dispelled previous beliefs.
Warning: There’s a bunch of pictures of players after the jump so be patient.
Good Grades For:
- Fernando Salas – Fastball at in low 90s touching 94mph. Good command. Breaking pitch was average but again featured good command and control. Has enough command to consistently throw strikes and enough stuff to not be perfect. Possibly a middle reliever in the bigs.
- Eduardo Sanchez – Fastball was a touch higher than Samuel’s on the stadium gun. An offspeed pitch showing up about 79mph that makes AA batters look silly. Command was hit or miss from pitch to pitch. Couldn’t pick up on anything that was messing with the command. Definitely has big league stuff to be a “closer”. Live arm that just needs more time to refine itself in the minors.
- Tyler Henley – Seeing him in person makes me feel even more comfortable with my opinion of him. Love the swing. Nice smooth stroke that will have gap power and 10 HRs a year. He’s got above average speed on the bases and looks very good in the outfield. I wish he’d play a little shallower in RF to start but for the most part his athleticism makes up for it. Arm would play in right but I think it’s a better fit for centerfield. Medium build. Low batting stance with legs wide. I’ve got 4 separate notes commenting on Henley’s speed including a diving catch on Saturday. Looks like a solid outfielder on a big league team with an outside chance to be an everyday player. Not a world beater but a good prospect.
- Scott Gorgen – By far the player that made the best impression on me the whole weekend. He had a fastball that sat 89-91 touching 93 with good sink and good location down in the zone. A slider that was very effective against same handed hitters at 83-84mph and a changeup that made several lefties look foolish. He falls in love with the offspeed pitch and it’ll get him in trouble. Would like to see him work from the fastball more rather than the cliche’d working “backwards” with his pitches. Solid pitcher’s build; looks like he could handle high innings count. Left with the impression that he’s a lesser version of Lance Lynn. Another backend starter but a legit shot at the majors.
- Troy Glaus – Makes everyone else on the team look like infants. Just a beast of a man.
- David Freese – I hope he isn’t our plan for 3B next year. I remain firmly off the Freese bandwagon. The power spike from last year continues to look aberrant when I watch him swing in person. His hitting doesn’t excite me and I worry he can’t pick it well enough to be anything more than a +1 player overall.
They Were There Too:
- Brandon Dickson – Fastball that sat in the 89-91 range and touched 93. Slider in the low 80s. Fastball has to be down in the zone due to lack of movement or velocity. Average pitch. Slider is usable but unimpressive. Got squeezed by the umpire in the lower half of the zone. Has a very thin build in stature. Doesn’t show a viable third pitch and command was iffy. Looks like a nice organizational player but not a major leaguer.
- Tyler Norrick – Fastball with good life to it clocking at 95 (the stadium gun was running hot the whole night). What looked like cut fastball or two seamer that he’d throw low in the zone around 90mph. His release point wasn’t consistent leading to some command issues. He’s lefthanded so being alive and breathing is enough to get you to the bigs. That said, he’s got a solid fastball but not much else.
- Francisco Samuel – Fastball sat 96-97 and a slider with great break in the upper 80s. No idea where the ball is headed once it’s out of his hand. Unless he gets around to figuring his command out he’s going to be an elusive talent in terms of production.
- Ryan Kulik – Lefthanded version of Brandon Dickson. Fastball that sits 88-90 touching 92. Slider in the low 80s. A viable changeup 74-76mph (unlike Dickson) but the command is average. Not someone I’d peg for the majors.
- Sam Freeman – Lefty with a high 80s fastball. Never saw it crack 90 on the stadium gun. Was hoping for more out of Freeman. I’d take Norrick over Freeman if you made me pick.
- Steven Hill – Power is obvious but so is the length of the swing. When he gets a hold of the ball it’ll go a LONG way. Servicable in the field but he’s an average LF at best.
- Jim Rapoport – Speedy. Fits well in CF. Bat looks iffy as does any chance at power.
- Tony Cruz – Came away underwhelmed. The steals with Dickson on the mound seemed like they were b/c of Cruz and not Dickson. Decent release with throws that are inaccurate and too high.
- Colt Sedbrook – Nice surprise especially on defense. Squares up nicely on grounders. Needs to make sure he isn’t getting caught on in between hops and either charge the ball or take a step back. Good runner — a bit above average. Doubts about the bat playing well enough to get to the bigs. The defense is there but the offense might be lacking.
- Pete Kozma – The defense on Friday and Sunday from Kozma was extremely disappointing. Not a premium defender at short. Range was ok. Wasn’t reading the ball off the bat well. Always seemed to be 2 steps away from where the ball was. He also seemed to be mentally out of the game trying to think ahead with where he was going to throw the ball before he had caught it. Led to several bobbled balls and missed plays or close plays that should have been routine outs. Arm looked good for SS. Swing was a slap hitters. Given the wiry frame and lack of any real loft in the swing, I don’t know how he hits for power ever. Pitch recognition wasn’t there yet missing on some breaking balls badly. Just looked very overmatched at the plate right now.
More of my horrible photography can be found here. And yes, a new camera is on my shortlist of things to buy.