Spring Catch Up: Notes from Brewers Camp

Brice Turang (SS) – Narrower base stance relative to last fall. Leg kick looks bigger, geared for power. Alters height of leg kick swing to swing, difficult to tell whether he is tinkering with the size of the leg kick or if this is a calculated move, i.e. leg kick varies based on type of pitch he is facing. Can confidently say swing changes are geared for generating more power. The hands are starting higher and Turang tilts back slightly; it is noticeable if you compare current swing to his high school swing. Overall, his new swing takes longer but should also generate more power. Very patient approach at the plate with good strikezone awareness. Turang is still a plus runner, 4.12 to first from the left. Looks like a defense-first profile; needs to prove it with the bat. Notable: when the Brewers put on big shifts, they left Turang on the left side of the infield rather than the third baseman. Full VIDEO

Tristen Lutz (OF) – Swing from 2018 spring training looks identical to 2019 spring training swing. Fairly wide base and short stride forward; wideness of base makes sense considering physique/strength of player. Quiet pre-slot hands, little wasted motion in swing. Swing is short to the ball. Generally linear plane to slight uppercut. 55-60 bat speed, but there is some effort to the swing. Keeps his weight back for added reaction time, but can also swing from his heels at times. Patient hitter, will see a lot of pitches. Moves well for his size in the field. I still believe in Lutz and think many in fantasy baseball circles are premature in jumping off his bandwagon.

Braden Webb (RHP) - Starter arsenal: Chance for three 55s or better. Four seam 92-95, two-seam 89-92 with quality sink and fade. Hammer CB with 12-6 shape and big depth in the low 70s, pitch flashed comfortably plus. CHG 81-85 also flashed plus, quality fade and deception. Mechanics: throwback, old school delivery. Strong torque & momentum, moves to home burst and plus arm speed. Below average balance & posture, difficult to repeat mechanics with head whack at foot strike, which hinders command. Control over command right now, may force him to pen role.

Pablo Abreu (OF) – Interesting skill set – good range and jumps in CF, poor read on one fly ball 3/20 but more of an exception. Also made a couple standout catches in my looks; a chance to stick at the position. At the plate sees spin well. 60 bat speed. Simple swing mechanics: hands quietly raise to slot, short/easy stride forward, relies on his hands. Looks stronger/heavier than listed 6’0” 170 lbs. Need to see him more. Not sure what he is, but intrigued by the tools. VIDEO

Nash Walters (RHP) – Some of his first action since going down with TJ in 2018, had not pitched a professional inning since 2016. Love the body, an innings eater frame. Not much effort in the delivery, clean arm action, strong balance and posture, stable head. Body is under control and delivery looks easy to repeat. Early in outing FB 92-94 T95, 96 with sink. Inconsistent feel for CB 79-80 with 11 to 5 shape. Also threw a cutter 87-91. Adept at changing eye levels with FB. Pitch did not maintain velo into outing, dipped to low 90s. Reasonable to attribute this to his lengthy absence from pitching; he missed all of 2017 and 2018. It may be less of an issue as Walters gets re-established this year.  A former third-round pick, I was encouraged by this look, but he will need to prove himself over a full season.

Drew Rasmussen (RHP) – Former first round pick, drafted by Rays in 2017 who did not sign him after seeing the MRI of his elbow; he ultimately had a second TJ surgery in September of 2017. The Brewers took him in the sixth in 2018 and Rasmussen missed the entire 2018 season. Rasmussen has fairly thick legs and a strong frame. He is a flamethrower who sat 95-98 and touched 99. The fastball is relatively straight and was not well-commanded in this outing; he served up a couple of fat ones. Still, touching 99 is a skill few guys have. Flashed a SL 88-90 with an inconsistent shape, was more cuttery at times and at other times more like a traditional slider with quality tilt. Thought he had decent deception, striding forward with his back to the hitter. At times over-rotated and missed glove side. Overall he flashed two plus pitches but looked rusty. Not hard to see him as a high-leverage weapon out of the pen.

Adam Hill (RHP) – Tall, relatively thin college draftee. Loose, easy arm – clean back swing and low stress. Good extension, partially due to size and partially due to mechanics, releases ball out front. Below average finish/landing on front leg. FB-heavy mix with four-seam and sinker, mostly 90-93 in this outing. Decent sink and run. Sinker pairs well with low 80s slider. Poor command of slider in this outing, inconsistent shape. When good it features moderate, mostly vertical drop. Liked it better in previous viewing which was last February at South Carolina. Thought pitch could be above average from the amateur look. Shot to be a back-end starter, but more likely an up and down guy. VIDEO

David Fry (3B/C) – Interesting bat, did not like defensively at third. Upright base with sizable leg kick, draws front knee in, moderate stride forward. Little hand movement pre-slot; short to the ball. 55 bat speed. Professional two-strike takes, laying off close balls. Played third in second viewing, looked below average there. Below average range. Scout chatter: Fry played catcher in 2018 and looked pretty good there. Fry performed well in 2018 PIO but was 1.4 years over the average age. In 2019 Wisconsin will be a big test. Consider him added to my watch list with moderate interest. VIDEO

Logan Gillaspie (RHP) – Converted catcher signed out of the United Shores League (USPBL). Somewhat thick frame, big thighs/upper legs. Good arm speed but arm action can get a bit whippy. Occasional off-balance finish/landing, especially when a fastball is thrown - head whack at foot strike when this happens. Slower to home than he was in the USPBL, mechanics otherwise the same. Slow to home with below-average momentum; may allow for more strikes and better command in zone. Mid 90s fastball with some sink. Threw several changeups in 82-84 range, pitch with above average depth and decent fade – it danced, command of the pitch was below average: missed target glove side a few times. Did not use slider or curve that he had in USPBL. Since he is fairly new to pitching he may have a bit more projection than he otherwise would at age 22. Has a shot at middle relief, not a bad outcome for an Indy Ball signee.

Cam Roegner (LHP) – Tall lefty. 2016 twenty-second round pick. Easy delivery with little lower half use/explosion, somewhat of a short strider. Slow to home with below average momentum. Some head movement at foot strike. High three-quarters arm slot, works with big plane. FB 88-91. CB the best secondary, low 70s with 12 to 6 shape and good depth, flashed plus but was not there consistently. SL 83-85 below average. A CHG at 81. Probably org depth, but could see as a seventh starter type who comes up when there are several simultaneous injuries. VIDEO

Antonio Pinero (SS) – OK defender at short, made impressive play to left with pirouette and throw. Does not look twitchy or special for the position, however. At the plate, around average bat speed, toe tap (at times) moving parts in swing make it difficult to time. Also stayed very upright through most swings, could be susceptible low in zone. Often on front foot early. Offensive success could be an uphill battle. VIDEO

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