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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

State of the System - Charleston


Prospect 1: Mason Williams, CF - .306/.362/.471, 16 doubles, four home runs, 16 stolen bases

A center fielder who can hit, run, throw and play defense, Williams is arguably the system’s best prospect. There are questions about whether he’ll hit for power, and he spent nearly the entire offseason at the Yankees’ minor league complex working to add muscle and pop to his bat.

He’s hurt himself diving a couple of times this season, and one scout dinged his makeup a little bit, noting that he got pulled from more than one game at Staten Island last year for failing to hustle. A second scout agreed, but didn’t see it as a major issue down the line.

Another scout compared Williams to current A’s center fielder Coco Crisp, a guy who can really play the position but doesn’t necessarily wow with the bat. He saw gap power in Williams’ future, something on the order of 10 to 15 home runs annually.

Scout’s View: “He’s swung the bat real well all year. He can really run, and he can play center field. He’s kind of a Devon White-looking player. If I were to do comparisons, that’s kind of who he reminds me of, a true center fielder who can hit at the top of the lineup. He hasn’t shown power, but I think he will have power.”

“He’s got some of what I’d call greediness to him. I think when he gets two or three hits, he’s looking to get four or five. He doesn’t seem to be satisfied with that. The only negative is that he probably puts a little bit too much on himself, but I think he’s got real good makeup.”

Prospect 2: Gary Sanchez, C - .298/.345/.507, 18 doubles, nine home runs, 10 stolen bases
If Williams is one half of the argument about who the best prospect in the system is, Sanchez is the other half.

Still just 19 years old, Sanchez is tearing up the South Atlantic League in his return trip to Charleston. That was expected. What’s come as a bit of a surprise are the positive reviews he’s drawn behind the dish, especially for someone who allowed 26 passed balls in just 60 games behind the plate in 2011.

“He’s an absolute front-line catcher with plus power. I’d take him in my system,” one scout said, adding that Sanchez is more advanced defensively than Jesus Montero was when he was 19. Sanchez’s bat, however, is behind Montero’s.

Where the questions lie, however, are with Sanchez’s maturity and makeup. There were reports last year that he refused to call breaking pitches for fear of letting them go to the backstop. He also skipped a team trip to Yankee Stadium while the RiverDogs were in nearby New Jersey last April to play the BlueClaws.  At one point, he was sent back to the Yankees minor league complex for disciplinary purposes.

“I think with Gary it’s more maturity. It really doesn’t have to do with makeup. He’s a young guy and away from home and away from his home country for the first time in his life,” one scout posited. “He’s out on his own in Charleston, whereas in Tampa they’re guarded a little bit more, so he’s a little bit out on his own.”

Scout's View: "Oh yeah. I think he'll be a catcher. I don't think there's any question. A lot of people had questions about Montero. I didn't, but there's no question this kid, for me, will be able to catch. He can really throw. He can really get rid of the ball. Although Montero had arm strength, he didn't get rid of the ball as well as this kid gets rid of the ball."

Prospect 3: Bryan Mitchell, SP – 4-5, 3.75 ERA, 57 2/3 IP, 62 SO, 31 BB

Mitchell possesses a hard fastball and a nasty 12-6 curveball that looks similar to the one Phil Hughes throws. The only question right now is his control and command. If he gets that in order, he's going to be an absolute monster. 

Scout’s View: “He probably has the best stuff in the organization. The fastball’s 95 to 97 with a real good hook, good change-up. It’s just a matter of him getting the hang of it. He’s coming off an injury where I think he was out a year and a half. He probably has the best overall stuff. 

Prospect 4: Tyler Austin, RF -- .329/.404/.653, 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 50 RBIs

The scary part is: It could have been better for Austin, who endured a slump at the beginning of May and missed time this month with a bruise on his foot. Still, he's been the unquestioned offensive star in the system over the first half, and should find his way to Florida in a few days. 

Scout's View: "I personally think he's going to be an everyday right fielder. He reminds me of Jay Buhner at the same age. To me, he wasn't a sleeper. The moment I saw him, I thought he could have been a first- or second-round pick. He can run, he can throw, he can play defense -- even though he's never played in the outfield, he's picked it up very quickly. He can hit. He's got power. I think he might be their best offensive prospect."

Scout's View: "You're buying the bat with him. For me, he's a backup outfielder, not an everyday guy. He's got raw power, but not as much as Sanchez." 

Prospect 5: Dante Bichette, 3B - .261/.340/.321, 9 doubles, 1 home run, 23 RBIs

The Yankees' first-rounder from 2011, Bichette started the season very slowly and hasn't showed much pop over the season's first half. People still believe in the bat, and there's plenty of time for him to develop. The Yankees won't really have a vacancy at the hot corner for quite a while, anyway. 

Scout's View: "He's got plus power. I see him hitting 25-plus home runs a year. He's got quickness and plays better than average defense. I would keep him at third long-term." 

Scout's View: This is really his first rodeo under the lights, playing in what I'd call a 'real minor league situation,' and not the Gulf Coast League. I anticipate he'll have a much better second half. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing on Angelo Gumbs, i'd love to hear what they say about him.

June 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM 
Blogger Peter Lacock said...

Most see great potential here, which is encouraging.
Always have to keep in mind, most of them won't reach their potential.

June 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM 

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