Sims, Kukuk And The Five Game Series
Red Sox prospect Cody Kukuk made the best start of his young career last night in Rome, holding the Braves to one earned run and three base runners in five innings of work. The left-hander worked quickly and attacked hitters with a fastball down in the zone. It was an impressive outing, although his heavy use of the heater forces me to question the utility of his off-speed pitches. Tomorrow, I hope to speak with him in Rome before scouting two top organizational prospects facing off in Red Sox Brian Johnson and Braves Mauricio Cabrera.
Speaking to him, and maybe pitching coach Paul Abbott, will influence the starter/reliever projection, so stay tuned. For now, add Kukuk to your deep dynasty league watch lists. Sox Prospects has him ranked as the 29th best prospect in the organization, but they are conservative. I’d rather have him over guys like Brandon Workman (14) and Blake Swihart (9)
Braves first rounder Lucas Sims entered the game in relief of a non-prospect starter and had his best professional outing too. Across three scoreless innings, Sims allowed a hit and two walks. I was behind home plate for two of those innings and didn’t see the velocity I was expecting. During the inning spent filming video of Sims’ open side, Bullpen Banter’s Chris Blessing had Sims touch the mid-90’s.
Sims’ breaking ball is a hammer, and changeup has potential. He’s also a premium athlete which do nothing but help. However, Sims is far from a finished product. After seeing him in person, Sims beginning the year out of the bullpen is understandable given the possibility of him having the same chance to make a start and throw five scoreless, or allow five earned runs in 1/3 of an inning. Exciting project, but definite boom or bust potential.
A pair of shortstops names Jose (Peraza and Vinicio) were stellar on defense and showed potential at the plate. Vinicio has always been a personal favorite, but Peraza’s all-around game grows on me with each viewing. He’s not flashy on defense or offense, but always seems to be in position to end an inning on defense or start one on offense.
After the game, Red Sox first round pick Brian Johnson gave a stellar interview and struck me as the definition of a mature, young player. Tomorrow, I look forward to scouting him on the mound. If Johnson’s stuff matches the makeup, he has a great change of surpassing any projection to be thrown at him.
By now, you probably know DBacks Archie Bradley has been promoted to Double-A Mobile. This is great news as Mobile travels to Chattanooga in a few days. The five game series guarantees a start from Bradley and I plan on being there. Every series in Minor League Baseball should be five games. Let scouts travel to one place and settle in.
For me personally, it takes guess work out of the equation. Also, I don’t have to worry about rain outs which might cause me to miss a pitcher by a day. Adopt a schedule with 10 home games followed by 10 away games throughout the season. 14 home series. 14 away series. Keep it simple and create a schedule which is a scout’s dream!
25 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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