Scout's Notes on Tampa and Trenton
On Slade Heathcott: "Oh man, he can flat-out play. He's taking the fastball, he's turning on the fastball and going with it to left field. I saw him hit a 96 mile per hour fastball off the right-center field wall. He's got bat speed, he's got good rhythm to his swing, he plays hard. He plays a good center field -- he can stay in center. There's a lot to like."
Given a choice for the Yankees CF of the future, Williams or Heathcott: That's a great question, because they're both really good, but I'd take (Heathcott), and I like Williams. I think it's because of a couple of things: He's more disciplined than Williams at the plate, that's important. I think he's going to move quicker than Williams.
Gun to my head, I think they're both going to play in the big leagues and they're both going to good big league players, but if you're asking me which one I'd rather have, I think I'm taking Slade.
On Nik Turley: I like Turley. He's getting better and better every time I see him. He's starting to command his stuff much better, and I've seen him maybe four outings now over the last two years, and every time I see him he gets better. The breaking ball is nasty. Sometimes he doesn't get it, sometimes it doesn't click, but when it clicks, it's a 60 pitch, a plus breaking ball. If he can just learn to command that a little bit more, he's good.
He touched 94 twice. He pitches at 91, 92. It's a good arm and he has a feel for a change. He knows what he's doing. There's a lot to like there. He's really grown on me. The last two times, he's gotten better and better.
I thought originally that he was just going to be a lefty out of the pen, a reliever, but I think he has enough to start. Don't get me wrong. I don't think he's a No. 1, 2 or 3, but I think he could be a rotation guy.
On Matt Tracy: Tracy's not as talented as Turley, but he's got a chance. It'll be interesting to see how he does, because he doesn't have the stuff that Turley has.
On Tyler Austin: He's inconsistent for me. I think he's going to play in the big leagues, but I don't think he's an everyday guy.
On Gary Sanchez: He struggled a little bit the first game or two I was there, but then he hit a long home run to right-center field and you're like 'OK, that's what I want to see." You take that opposite-field power for granted.
On Branden Pinder: Pinder's an interesting guy, because he's big and strong and throws hard. He's inconsistent. He doesn't have a really good breaking pitch. It's inconsistent but it's OK. He's a fringe guy for me, but he's big and strong and he throws hard. He's got a shot.
On Tommy Kahnle: He's getting better. He's got a good arm. There's some hope there for a relief spot. He's got a big arm. He's getting better (command-wise). He's closing in.
On David Adams: He didn't have a great series when I was here last time. I like the strength to his swing. I'm a little bit concerned about the complication of his set-up and load. It's a little busy for me. He's not always on time. When he's on time, it's got some juice. He can barrel it and hit it far. I want to see more consistency before I really am sold on it.
I liked his hands at second. I think he's got good hands, so I don't think he can't play third. Third's a good spot for him, given what the Yanks have at second.
On Addison Maruszak: I know he's having a great year, but he's not a shortstop. He can't play shortstop, so that means he's got to move to the corner, but he's not going to hit. God bless the kid and congratulations on the great year, but I don't think he's a big leaguer.
On Jose Pirela: I'm not a Pirela guy. I see some of the skills. I see the bat speed. He can run a little bit. He can't play short, I think he proved that last year. Now he's playing second and he's going to have to hit more, but I'm not sold on the discipline and the pitch recognition. I'm concerned. He's an early-often guy, and sometimes the curveball gives him trouble. I think as he moves up it's going to be an issue.
On Zoilo Almonte: Until he shows me that he can be a better discipline guy, until he shows me that he can go deeper in counts and take walks and not get himself out, I think he's still an extra outfielder. If he could ever make that jump to having good plate discipline, then we're talking and now I'm starting to get really interested.
I like him, and he's got juice in that bat, but big league pitchers are going to carve him up. I like the juice and ball explodes off his bat, it's good stuff. You can come here some nights and he'll go 0 for 4 and look bad because he's chasing and the discipline's bad and he's swinging too early in the count.