One of the best parts of my job is getting to talk to scouts on a regular basis. I'm nowhere near a scout myself, so their evaluations help me complete the picture of what I'm seeing on the field. I can read radar guns and work a stopwatch (though I don't actually bring one to games with me), but that's about it. Recently, I sat down with one scout who covers the Yankees to get his opinions on the three affiliates he's seen so far. He's what he had to say about a few of the players on the Tampa Yankees.
Really, really big arm. He throws hard. Real
aggressive, a little across his body. Good breaking ball. I like him. I think
he’s going to pitch in the big leagues. He’s not real big, but he gets on top
of his fastball. I think he was 92 to 96 with his fastball, he was really
getting it up there. You’ll see him here. I like him. I think he’s got a really
good shot. I’d like to see him more as a reliever than a starter.
It’s the effort. As soon as you see him, you’re like ‘Jeez,
is he really going to be able to start?’ It’s just effort, everything hard. But
the stuff’s good. It’s an average major league slider, so it’ll play. He’s got
a lot of guts. He’s aggressive and he’s not afraid. Real competitive.
Shane Greene, every time I see him he pitches good.
Every time I see him. The kid’s got good stuff. He’s another aggressive kid. I
like him a lot too. Him and Black are the two arms that stuck out for me on
Sanchez is good. He’s getting more mature. He’s
catching better. I saw him catch four games – no balls got to the screen. He’s
moving good, he’s receiving better. His arm’s great. I saw him hit a bomb home
run to left field and he can go to right-center – he’s good.
I think he’s just as good a hitter as Montero and he’s a
better defender. Ask me who I’d rather have, I’d rather have Sanchez. I think
he can hang right with his bat – Montero’s got a good bat. He hasn’t done it
yet, but I think it (still) will by the way. I’d give Sanchez a little edge and
Sanchez is a way better defender.
I think he’s a solid-average defender. I think he’s a 55
defender. Not now, but when he matures. I see him getting better and better and
better each year I see him. He was a 40 going to a 50 originally. I thought he
would be athletic enough to do it. Now he’s probably a 45 going to a 55.
All the kid does is hit. He’s got a short swing. It’s
a line-drive stroke. He uses all the fields. He’s got surprising power. Here’s
the thing that concerns me with him: He’s not a real good defender. He’s just a
little bit mechanical. He doesn’t have great instincts and great range. He’ll
get the job done at second, but there’s no way he can move to shortstop – there’s
no way, so he’s going to have to hit his way to the big leagues.
I don’t know if he’ll have the juice to be a
middle-of-the-order guy; I think he’s more of a gap guy for the line drive stroke
that will hit an occasional home run. You can make a case for a super utility
guy that will play a little second maybe can fill in at third maybe spot him in
left field, but it’s the bat that gets you excited. He’ll take his walks, he
goes deep in counts, he’s hard to strike out.
He’s a good baserunner – he’s got good instincts, but you’re
not going to be like ‘Holy shit he can run.” It’s not that.
He was just really bad for four games. Pulling off
everything. Just weak groundball contact to short and then trot down the line –
commonplace. Little flares to left field that were either caught or dropped in.
Didn’t drive anything in four games. Just pulling off everything really bad.
Stepping in the bucket really bad.
I was talking to (another) scout and he was like ‘Mason
Williams is hitting like Ichiro.’ He’s taking a step toward first. I didn’t see
him drive one ball, not one. He can really play center still. He can run. He throws
good, but I’m concerned with the off-field makeup. He didn’t run anything out.
He trots down the line almost every at-bat. Every groundball, you look (at your
stop watch), and you’re like ‘I can’t get a good time off this because he doesn’t