MLB Futures Game 2014: US Team Recap
The MLB Futures Game 2014 is approaching and rosters were released yesterday. Fortunately, ROTOscouting has recent scouting reports on four, World Team prospects in the game. In addition to those reports, we have notes and scouting information from our writers featured on other sites including Bullpen Banter and FanGraphs. Overall, the rosters boast an impressive collection of talent. From Rangers Joey Gallo to Cubs Javier Baez, all 30 MLB organizations are well represented. Full scouting reports were left as links. Blurbs where players were mentioned have been pulled as quotes.
MLB Futures Game 2014: US Team Scouting Reports
Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs – Chris Blessing
J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies – Spencer Schneier
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers – Spencer Schneier
Lucas Giolito, SP, Washington Nationals – Mike Rosenbaum
Braden Shipley, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks – Bob Usselman
In addition to recent reports, check out what ROTOscouting has to say about a number of other prospects on the US team pulled from game notes and other features.
Josh Bell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates – Mike Newman
My view of Pirates phenom Josh Bell was incomplete because he did not bat right-handed. Additionally, he wasn’t tested in the outfield. I did have the opportunity to interview him though, and it seems an injury plagued season has taught him about the rigors of baseball and how to pace himself to stay healthy. From watching five at bats, Bell will need to tighten his strike zone up quite a bit. I know .254/.301/.441 isn’t overly impressive, but he’s a prime buy low candidate right now in deep leagues. Bell has the frame to mature physically like Jason Heyward did.
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers – Mike Newman
In batting practice, he launched missile-after-missile, assaulting the fences at State Mutual Stadium. In the plate appearances I did see, Gallo was athletic and attempted to adjust to pitches without success. With such a long swing and big frame, it’s difficult to envision him cutting down the strikeouts drastically. Plus, I don’t think he’s long for third base. Somebody will bite on the power in a dynasty league.
Micah Johnson, 2B, Chicago White Sox – Mike Newman
Micah Johnson leads all of minor league baseball with 60, but was caught twice the night I was in attendance. On paper, his three hit performance was impressive. In person, he was a master of the dink and dunk. I like the way he stayed inside the baseball, but Johnson pulled his head off of a few pitches.
Some players are easy scouts. Others are hard. I’d consider Johnson to be a moderately hard scout considering his advanced age, compact build and so-so defense at second base. He’s a guy I don’t have a really strong read on. Regardless, Johnson is a steal as a ninth round pick even if he never reaches Chicago.
Pete O’Brien, UT, New York Yankees – Mike Newman
The best position prospect on the field was Pete O’Brien. At 22, he’s old for the league. Plus, his 2.15 home-to-second times between innings were subpar. However, his bat is strong for the catcher position and may be enough to carry him.
In batting practice, he worked primarily to right field. This carried over to the game as he belted a home run to right-center field. He’s far too advanced for the South Atlantic League. We’ll learn more about his bat once he’s playing against more appropriate competition. I’m not a big fan of owning catching prospects, but he’d be one to speculate on. O’Brien seems like a guy who will be more valuable as a fantasy player than in reality.
Kevin Plawecki, C, New York Mets – Chris Blessing
Kevin Plawecki presents an attractive combination at catcher — a solid average contact hitter with defensive skills which are continuing to develop. Scouting Plawecki multiple times last season, his bat proved impressive. Utilizing a repeatable, compact swing that generated above average bat speed, Plawecki barreled every pitch he made contact with.
Kevin Plawecki, a Mets 2012 first rounder was behind the plate and impressed with the bat. He struck out twice, but I liked Plawecki’s bat speed and swing plane enough to recommend you add the right-handed hitter in deep and N.L. only leagues where 150-200 prospects are owned. Plus, he looked good enough behind the plate for me to believe he can stick.
MLB Futures Game 2014: Even More US Team Links
Mookie Betts, 2B/CF, Boston Red Sox – Mike Newman @ FanGraphs
Betts has the combination of tools and athleticism I covet in a prospect. For Lowell, Betts presented with the range of a shortstop, but multiple throwing errors made including him on this list an easy decision. I know a .307 slugging percentage is uninspiring, but Betts flashed gap power in game action in addition to above average plate discipline. Combine this with the defensive tools of at least an above average second baseman, and the 19-year old is primed to shoot up the Red Sox prospect ranks with a strong 2013 in Greenville.
Justin O’Conner, C, Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Blessing @ Bullpen Banter
I liked O’Connor much more as a hitter in person than watching him on video. In person, I was impressed with his opposite field gap approach. Watching the video, I feel he was late on fastballs, and that the ball found his barrel as opposed to the other way around. He lacks a triggering mechanism that would help him increase his bat speed to get around better on a fastball.
Henry Owens, P, Boston Red Sox – Mike Newman @ FanGraphs
Kevin Plawecki, C, New York Mets – Mike Newman @ FanGraphs
The MLB Futures Game 2014 is a great day for baseball prospects and baseball in general. What better way to expose minor league baseball players to a national audience! Hopefully, ROTOscouting’s primers help readers gear up for the game.
25 Jun 2014 / Mike Newman /
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