Spencer Howard, Colton Eastman, Kevin Gowdy, Ben Brown, Damon Jones, Francisco Morales
Roansy Contreras, Matt Sauer, Frank German, Juan Then, Jefry Valdez
Julian Smith, LHP - Dodgers
Age: 21 (6/6/97)
Lanky, long legs. Extremely easy delivery with loose arm. Not a frame that will support a ton of weight but room for some. FB 93-95 with life, often to glove side. CB 76-79 flashed plus with 1 to 7 shape and depth. CHG 83-86 could get firm. Impressive out of nowhere guy, scouts not even knowing who he was.
It’s quite possible that Ralph Liftshitz (@prospectjesus) inception’d this idea into my mind last night when I was sleeping. But it’s a good idea, so fuck it, let’s roll with it! The collective pace of fall baseball in Arizona would aptly be described as frenetic. Prospects here, prospects there, prospects everywhere. From the start of instructs to date, I’ve seen 13 of the top 40 MLB Draft picks from 2018 (only counted game action). Having seen 2 previously, that makes 15 total. I love lists. You love lists. Your Gradma loves lists, so does her dog. Before this turns into the worst haiku of all time, let’s rank the top 10 draftees I have seen in person.
Kristian Robinson, OF - Diamondbacks VIDEO
Age: 17 (12/11/00)
Strong as hell, can’t believe he’s 17. Prototype body, will only get bigger; elite athlete. Thick thighs. Slightly open base stance with hands near head. Short stride forward. Limited lower body use, relies on upper body strength which is prolific. Hit massive HR to L/CF. Below average OF arm in morning drills. Possible LF future but the bat should carry the profile even if there is a move down the defensive spectrum.
Brice Turang, SS Brewers - 1st Round VIDEO
Smooth at short, solid hands, IF actions, and reactions. Quick first step and nice range to get to ball off Sugilio’s bat. Plus arm. Patient hitter; took 11 pitches:zero swings in first two ABs. Wide base stance, kept weight back and bat path was linear, maybe a slight uppercut in his one swing in his third AB.
The body is phenomenal and Whitley had me reconsidering “what is the ideal frame for a pitcher?” As I jotted my notes, per usual, I found myself writing prototype pitcher frame. Is it though? Conventional wisdom says a prototype body for a pitcher is something like 6’3” 220 lbs. Whitley stands at 6’7”, warranting the LOL shorthand in my notes (lots of legs).
Independent League Baseball – If you haven’t seen an indy ball game, do yourself a favor and get on that. You won’t truly have an appreciation for the professional baseball landscape as a whole until you do. Off the top of my head there are EIGHT LEAGUES OF GUYS just trying to get an opportunity in the minors, and that is mind-boggling.
2B/SS Adam Hall- Solid defender with good first-step quickness, but looks like more of a 2B than a SS. Made nice play to his right with Jeter-esq jump throw to second for a force out. Upright stance and stays upright through swing. Mostly hands and little lower half. Linear bat path. Will take outside pitches to opposite field. VIDEO
Steven Jennings, RHP, 19 years old Video
2017 2nd round pick. Thin frame w/ projection. FB 86-88 T90, mostly straight. Changes speed on Curveball(CV), ranging 76-80 mph. Flashed a true hammer with tight spin. Also throws a SL 82-83. Inconsistent shape.
Zach Kirtley, 1B Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals) Video
Surprisingly advanced understanding of the zone. This is the third time I've seen him this season, 20 percent strikeout rate to 9 percent walk rate that will improve with reps.
Don't know if I see much power projection, line-drive hitter, gap power at best without plan adjustments. - Swing is compact, little bit of an exaggerated wrap up that if cleaned up, should shorten swing and improve approach even more.
Don't know what future is, but he's not mentioned enough in Cardinals prospect circles.