Prospect writers Kevin Goldstein and Eric Longenhagen will generally have sufficient participant notes to compile a scouting submit. That is a type of dispatches, a set of ideas after one other weekend of faculty baseball, minor league spring coaching, and massive league motion. Bear in mind, prospect rankings could be discovered on The Board.
Chase Walter, RHP, San Diego Padres
Many of the groups that ended up signing a number of non-drafted free brokers for $20,000 bonuses final yr have been those with thinner farm methods, just like the Reds or Nationals. However the Padres inked a number of as effectively, and the primary one to pop up and appear like an actual steal, a minimum of for me, is Western Carolina signee Chase Walter. Walter sat 96-98 out of the bullpen in a minor league spring coaching recreation late final week. His breaking ball form various fairly considerably, trying like a lateral slider generally and an influence overhand curveball at others. No matter its form, Walter’s breaking ball bent in at 84-87, and those that had extra of a curveball look to them have been plus. He seems to be like a possible quick-moving aid piece.
Asa Lacy, LHP, Kansas Metropolis Royals
Lacy’s first profession professional outing towards hitters from one other org lasted two innings (the second of which was rolled), and was extra of a check-in to see the place he’s at relatively than a glance that ought to alter anybody’s opinion of him. I went into this look figuring out that some scouts had seen him throw a dwell BP a couple of week and a half earlier and that Lacy was fairly wild throughout that outing, which is completely fantastic contemplating he’s simply getting going for the yr. He was a bit wild in my look, too, and to my eye appeared to have a noticeably decrease arm slot whereas throwing a few of his sliders, even throughout warm-ups.
Lacy got here out sitting 94-96 in his first inning of labor after which was 95-98 within the second. He doesn’t must have exact fastball command as a result of his is the kind of fastball that has large carry and might compete for swings and misses within the zone. Possibly it’s due to the arm slot variation stuff, or as a result of it’s a developmental focus for him, or simply as a result of Lacy confronted so many right-handed batters, however he ended up throwing many extra changeups than anything throughout this outing. They have been typically within the 85-88 mph vary and a few of them have been fairly good, whereas others weren’t. He broke off a single plus curveball (his curves have been about 80-81) that froze a righty hitter and landed within the zone for a strike, whereas Lacy’s sliders (86-ish) typically missed effectively under the zone however nonetheless garnered some awkward swings.
As long as you’re keen to chalk the command points as much as it merely being early (I’m), Lacy seemed each bit just like the No. 2 total choose in a draft. He has elite left-handed velocity, two plus breaking balls, and a viable changeup that he has really feel for finding competitively. If his command points persist, he could merely be much like Blake Snell.
Cole Winn, RHP, Texas Rangers
To name what occurred with Rangers pitching prospects in and round 2019 a “rash” of accidents would undersell how unfortunate the org and its gamers have been. Lots of them wanted Tommy John, together with Winn, who was one of many extra polished highschool pitchers to come back out the final 5 years. He’s again and seemed implausible on Monday when he sat 93-95 whereas finding all 4 of his pitches. Most of his sliders have been under common however they play when situated. Other than that, all of Winn’s pitches have been above-average. He threw a number of right-on-right changeups, his fastball sat 94-95, and the heater performs very well together with his 12-to-6 snapdragon curveball, which flashed plus. Primarily based on how Winn seemed this week he’s nonetheless somebody who has expertise on par with a draft choose within the 10-to-15 vary. For example, I feel I’d take him over Ole Miss righty Gunnar Hoglund, who’ll in all probability be drafted in the midst of the primary spherical later this yr.
Brendan Beck, RHP, Stanford: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 8 Okay
The youthful brother of Giants prospect Tristan Beck, Brendan is a fourth-year junior (due to his additional yr of eligibility because of the pandemic) at Stanford who has amassed a 3.22 profession ERA towards largely Pac-12 hitters. This yr, he’s struck out 61 and walked simply 13 hitters in 48.2 innings as of publication, and I feel it’s instructive to readers to map his school efficiency to his stuff to allow them to get a really feel for what a kind of stuff produces numbers like that in an enormous convention. In my take a look at Beck on Friday night time towards Arizona State, he sat largely 91-92, touched 94 a handful of occasions, and commanded each his two- and four-seamers.
Beck has a four-pitch combine headlined by his curveball. It solely sits about 74-77 mph however has good depth and chew, commensurate with a mean large league curveball. It operates greatest as a first-pitch strike. The pitch Beck makes use of most frequently, although, is his low-80s slider. Purely on stuff I put a 30 on Beck’s slid piece, however he has such implausible glove-side command of it that it’s going to play higher than that. His plus command of the slider and his below-average, mid-80s changeup to his glove- and arm-side respectively are the explanation he’s carried out so effectively as a collegiate participant. He’s a late Day Two prospect who initiatives as rotation depth.
Max Ferguson, 2B, Tennessee Volunteers: 1-for-11, HR, 0 BB, 5 Okay
Ferguson entered the yr as a forty five+ FV on The Board, ranked within the prime 15. After his raucous begin to the shortened 2020 season and the way in which he seemed throughout Tennessee’s fall practices, groups had him in that vary. He has flopped this yr, hitting .238 total and worse than that towards SEC competitors. He seems to be passive on the plate and bodily weaker than he did a yr in the past. There’s nonetheless so much I like about Ferguson: he’s an athletic lefty stick and plus defender at second base. I feel he’s develop into an attention-grabbing draft day buy-low if groups assume they will really get him in a weight room and make him stronger, however it isn’t as if Tennessee lacks for a world class athletics facility for him to make use of already. His face plant has been irritating however I nonetheless assume I’d take him over among the flawed large convention nook bats who’re acting on paper, guys whose triple slash strains look good however whose Okay/BB charges are form of scary.
Akil Baddoo, OF, Tigers: 0-for-7, 5 Ks
Baddoo was a wonderful story for the primary 10 days of the season, because the Rule 5 choose flirted with a 1.500 OPS, taking part in with an actual joie de vivre and hitting a house run in entrance of his household. It was among the finest highlights of the early going. Now the league has figured him out a bit, and in his final 4 video games, he’s gone 1-for-15 with 10 strikeouts. A 40% strikeout fee and a 159 wRC+ usually are not a sustainable mixture. Pitchers could be cussed with rookies, wanting to only throw them fastballs, however Baddoo can hit fastballs. Offspeed stuff, although? That’s one other story and that’s what Baddoo is all of a sudden getting served a gentle weight loss plan of. He stays an intriguing participant with plus energy, plus velocity, and method all wrapped round a extremely questionable hit device. Coming into the season, Baddoo was a profession .249 hitter within the minors with out having reached the higher ranges but. It was proper there in entrance of us. Gamers generally do change, generally spectacularly so, however for essentially the most half they spend years telling us what they’re. Often one of the best recommendation is to pay attention.
Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State: 5-for-11, 2B, 4 BB, Okay
Right here’s your small faculty helium man for 2021. A product of Canada who additionally excelled in hockey as a youth, Black was the Horizon Convention Freshman of the 12 months in 2019 whereas hitting .353/.495/.600, however a lowly .710 OPS in a drastically abbreviated 2020 sophomore marketing campaign left him a query mark coming into the spring. He’s answered in resounding trend, with a .365/.495/.694 line for the Raiders, shortly establishing himself as one of many extra attention-grabbing school bats within the 2021 class. He’s not an enormous instruments man, with common protection at second base and a mean run device, however he has an outstanding method on the plate, first rate contact expertise and flashes sneaky energy. There are some early whispers that he might go as excessive because the comp spherical come July, however that feels aggressive as the full package deal reminds a few of a extra bodily model of Tyler Frank, the Florida Atlantic product who was chosen within the second spherical of the 2018 draft by the Rays, and ranked No. 38 in a very deep Rays system coming into the yr.
Jazz Chisholm, SS, Marlins: 5-for-9, HR, 2 BB, 2 Okay
I had my issues about Chisholm coming into the yr. Sure, the instruments have been large, however boy was the swing-and-miss alarming. His final full season was at Double-A and featured a .220 batting common with a 32% strikeout fee, which spoke to actual potential troubles with the hit device. On the constructive facet of issues have been 21 house runs, 16 stolen bases in 20 makes an attempt, a strong stroll fee and plus protection. Quick ahead to 2021, and he’s been one of the vital electrifying gamers within the recreation this yr, with a lot of it revolving round an method that has gone from good to superb; his chase fee is down practically 25% from his 2020 debut. There are nonetheless issues right here, primarily an in-zone contact fee underneath the 80% mark (75.4%), however instruments and walks certain could make up for lots. I’m not able to admit I’m incorrect about Chisholm, however that day may be quick approaching.
Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State: 5-for-14, 2B, 5 BB, Okay, 3 SB
Cowser was one of many few hitters within the 2021 draft who was seen as a recognized amount coming into the season. He hit throughout his two school years, he hit for Group USA, and if there’s some form of untracked beer league he performed in throughout the pandemic, you possibly can wager he hit there as effectively. And hitting is precisely what he’s finished this yr, as with one other sturdy weekend, his season line sits at .351/.486/.730 in 31 video games for the Bearkats. Whereas Cowser’s energy took the weekend off, scouts the place inspired by the constant laborious contact he made after he’d scuffled with some early-season swing-and-miss attributable to what seemed like a little bit of rustiness.
Cowser’s main attraction comes from what he does from the left facet of the plate. He understands the strike zone effectively, has a downright fairly swing, and has seen his uncooked energy develop from common to plus throughout his school profession. Cowser’s different instruments aren’t exceptionally loud, however there’s nothing below-average to his recreation both. He has a strong arm and first rate wheels, and whereas he’s taking part in heart discipline as an novice and can seemingly be despatched on the market to start his professional profession, most see an eventual house in proper discipline. It is a protected first-round choose, a uncommon amount in 2021, who ought to land someplace within the teenagers, and may very well be the proper candidate for a workforce trying to save cash with an earlier choice as effectively.
Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 10 Okay
It’d sound a bit unusual, however that is the form of outing scouts wish to see to assist them of their analysis of Leiter. It’s laborious to stroll away from a no-hitter with something aside from, “Yeah, he’s superior.” Scouts wish to see what occurs when a pitcher struggles. How he adjusts when he’s lacking a part of his recreation. A mere high quality begin might be the worst we’re going to get this spring from Leiter, and scouts favored what they noticed. After coping with some visitors within the every of the primary three innings as he struggled together with his command towards Tennessee on Saturday, Leiter gave up back-to-back house runs within the fourth. Then he adopted that up by retiring the final seven hitters he confronted, 5 by strikeout. Scouts lastly acquired the possibility to see Leiter want to answer one thing, and he handed the take a look at with flying colours. The statistics on the yr stay nothing in need of astonishing, with simply 17 hits allowed over 55.1 innings and 94 strikeouts, however it’s an outing like this one, below-average by Leiter’s requirements, that in a bizarre manner helps to cement his standing as the highest prospect within the draft.