Best of the Scouting Reports: 5/23/2014
We offer a plethora of material at ROTOscouting, but our lifeblood is the constant stream of scouting reports. Our authors travel to games and use their baseball knowledge and experience to project these top prospects into the future. We evaluate their tools and their level of refinement to produce grades along with our prose. This week brought scouting reports on a number of under the radar prospects, including a certain Cuban that was just promoted to the major leagues.
Scouting Reports From the Past Week:
Erisbel is a bigger-bodied shortstop in the mold of an Ian Desmond. […] An impressive athlete, his footwork is more soccer player than baseball player. The Cienfuegos product is quick to either side. Exceptional footwork and instincts allows the rangy shortstop to make difficult chances routine, much like Braves gold glover Andrelton Simmons. […] While he lacks Simmons’ powerful arm, a gymnast-like body control lends itself to strong and accurate throws from anywhere on the diamond. […] The right-handed hitting shortstop has bat speed galore. Unfortunately, Arruebarrena’s swing is a mess. A pronounced hitch in his load negatively affects his ability to read pitches. This forces him to guess. […] Arruebarrena locks his pull arm, causing him to lead with the front shoulder when swinging the bat. Instead of short and compact, the back of his swing becomes long and loopy. This leaves Arruebarrena as a shoulder swinger. Shoulder swingers generate power from their upper body, not their base. It also ties up his hands. […] Erisbel Arruebarrena’s wizardry with the glove more than offsets the offensive profile even if the bat fails to develop
For the 5-foot-11, 186 pound Abiatal Avelino, memories of scouting Jean Segura (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) in Double-A have been impossible to shake. From his strong, compact frame to explosive baseball movements, the Yankees prospect is an impressive physical specimen in the mold of the Milwaukee Brewers shortstop. […] In an abbreviated batting practice look, Abiatal Avelino immediately stood out for his bat speed and hard, barrel contact. […] As for power, Abiatal Avelino earns a 20 grade for now. […] However, the shortstop projects to grow into more power with experience due to the ability to throw the bat head at inside pitches. It’s a flat plane swing geared for line drives, but high contact rates and the ability to make hard contact often result in the power tool playing up. […] On defense, Abiatal Avelino made the plays and throws. It wasn’t exactly pretty as his movements at shortstop present as raw and uncontrolled. His arm strength is above average and Avelino showed impressive range up the middle, albeit with a late jump. […] From the three game sample, Avelino’s speed is plus.
He has clean mechanics with an easy motion, low-3/4 arm slot and solid-average arm speed. His fastball velocity grades out as average, but he doesn’t demonstrate much effort to get there. With excellent body awareness, he repeats his delivery nicely. […] Of Herrera’s 102 pitches, 63 were fastballs. Its velocity sat in the 89-91 mph range (89.4 mph average) and touched 93 once. The four-seamer has some moderate tailing action […] When he subtracts from his velocity a bit, it sinks and with cutting action. […] Though it was inconsistent in its break and tightness, Herrera has the makings of an impressive curveball. It ranged from 71-74 mph (73.1 mph average). […] Herrera threw just 13 change-ups, which came in at 81-82 mph (81.7 mph average). He sells it well and it works arm-side in the same way as his two-seam fastball. He was able to induce a few grounders […] But he also left it flat and prone to damage at times […] There’s nothing electric in Ronald Herrera’s repertoire, but the entire package plays up due to his advanced control/command and willingness to paint the corners and change speeds. […] With added consistency on his offspeed pitches, he projects as a dependable innings eater who could fill a nice role as a No. 4-5 starter with a contender.
Listed a 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Nelson’s frame screams workhorse starting pitcher. His body has matured too as the right-hander’s mid-section has slimmed […] Nelson appeared to be playing catch with the mitt at 92-94 MPH. Instead of attempting to overpower opposing hitters, he utilized natural tail and a touch of sink to miss barrels, snapping the slider off for strikeouts as the opportunity presented itself. […] Nelson’s 84-85 MPH slider featured 11/3 break and is still considered an out pitch for the right-hander. […] Sharp, late break will create its share of ground ball outs and swings-and-misses at the Major League level. […] The most surprising aspect of Nelson’s start was his reliance on a change-up as a third pitch. At 85 MPH, the pitch was 7-9 MPH slower than the fastball. Admittedly, his change-up is flat, but featured identical arm action to the fastball. It’s peak projection is fringe average […] Pitching in the Brewers organization, Jimmy Nelson is overlooked compared to other top pitching prospects. […] Patience will be rewarded as Nelson projects as a solid third starter for a playoff contender.
And now, let’s revisit a scouting report from weeks past:
Crawford is a capable athlete with the raw ability to handle shortstop from a physical standpoint. He possesses quick feet and reaction times, tools needed to play a strong shortstop. […] He showed excellent instincts and ran well, which played as 60 speed. […] He should become a 60 fielder with 60 arm strength. […] Crawford shows excellent bat speed, which is at least plus. While his swing mechanics varied throughout the game, he showed an ability to alter the swing to make contact with pitches on both the inner and outer halves of the plate. He struggled at times (like many young hitters) with a tendency to try and pull the ball, but nothing about his performance left the impression it could not be corrected. The potential is there for Crawford to become a solid-average (55) hitter. […] JP Crawford’s mechanics include a leg-kick, and he set his foot down early which sapped his power. […] Despite the lack of power, he should be able to hit enough to provide significant value with the bat.
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23 May 2014 / Jeff Reese /
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