The first month of pro baseball in Florida has almost come to a conclusion. Here are some fresh notes and video from early on.
Travis Swaggerty, OF (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Although he isn’t the most physical dude at listed at 5’11” 180, he has good strength in his legs and core. Aggressive hitter at the plate, often jumping on first pitches. Swing is a thing of beauty when he stays on it and drives it to the center of the field. Plus bat speed. Needs to consistently stay on the ball. Often tends to pull off and roll over. Can visualize being a 20-25 HR bat. Swing and finish reminiscent of Brett Gardner. Gets out the box quickly, with quick acceleration to get to his plus speed. Looks natural defensively in center, ranging to track down balls in every direction. Good first step quickness. VIDEO
Clarke Schmidt (RHP) New York Yankees
Average size for pitcher. Has pitched very sparingly coming in to 2019 while rehabbing from Tommy John. Very strong first impression. FB sat 92-95 T96 with heavy bore on righties. CB 81-83 plus, staying on the same plane as the heater before breaking sharply. Prompted many chases on pitches in the dirt. CH was firm at 87-88 flashing plus with good fade. Two potential out pitches. Gets good balance and above-average extension. Delivery is a bit stiff. Misses were mostly arm side which leads me to believe it can be refined as he continues to get more innings in pro ball under his belt. Potential three starter with flashes of a two. VIDEO
Deivi Garcia (RHP) New York Yankees
As expected, Garcia was once again an artist in my look. The 19-year-old has unbelievable mound presence for a guy that’s listed at 5’9” 190. Bulldog competitor. He sat mostly 92-94 with the fastball, locating it in and out. The CB, which often flashes some 70 grades, had great 11-6 shape. Throws breaker with confidence in any count. We all knew about the FB and CB, but it looks like the CH will be another weapon of mass destruction in 2019. Heard a couple Yankees coaches talking about how he was going to focus on the CH this outing. And as you can see below, it was, um, pretty good. VIDEO
Cal Mitchell (OF) Pittsburgh Pirates
20-year-old with the tools to be a first division regular. Mature approach at the plate. Has some serious strength in his upper legs where he generates his power from. Makes consistent hard contact that will evolve into power. As noted by JP, the swing on the home run below looks like a half-effort BP swing. Quiet lower half. Would like to see more rotational force in his hips. Can visualize days of 30-HR power. VIDEO
Casey Mize (RHP) Detroit Tigers
This guy is nasty, no matter how you put it. Was he facing inferior competition in High-A? Yes. Do I think Double-A hitters would have been able to do much else with it? Nope. Good pitcher’s body with strength throughout. Unconventional arm action. Had command of entire arsenal. FB sat 94-95 T96 with arm side run. Uses to run in and break bats righties and to front door lefties. SL was plus 85-88 with tight spin and bite. His newly-added slurve flashed plus was 83-85 with two-plane movement. The difference maker, however, is the splitter which should grade out to be a double-plus pitch. It stays on plane, looking to end up low in the zone before darting into the dirt. One of the best pitchers I’ve seen in five years of scouting the FSL. The movement on all pitches and sequencing make me dream of Mize carving up batters for years in a Kluber-esque way. The only concern at this point is the durability, as he has dealt with a couple of arm flare ups prior to being drafted. If I were to nitpick, he does land stiffly and slightly upright after release, which does look to put some stress on the shoulder. If these question marks are checked off, look to see Mize in Detroit early 2020. VIDEO
Aaron Shortridge (RHP) Pittsburgh Pirates
2018 fourth rounder. Ideal pitcher’s body. Repeatable delivery with medium leg lift. Launches off front leg and doesn’t get much out of lower half. FB worked 88-91, staying relatively flat. Showed CB at 75-79 with inconsistent spin, showing average at times. Worked both CH and SL in low 80s. Both are below-average present. Control over command. Most likely organizational depth.
Johan Quezada (RHP) Minnesota Twins
Physical monster. Listed at 6’9” 225. FB 97-98 in short look. Explodes out of hand. Looks effortless. Slider showed sharp two-plane break. As expected from a human so large, the delivery is not athletic or fluid. Doesn’t utilize his legs the way he could. Would like to see open face. Has been hampered by shoulder injuries for much of career. Potential high-leverage pen piece.
Adrian Valerio (SS) Pittsburgh Pirates
Wiry, acrobatic fielder. Saw make multiple highlight reel plays in the span of three games. Ranged to both sides. Light on feet with good actions. Showed plus arm, throwing across body in the hole. Glove is major-league ready. Medium base with medium leg lift at the plate. Average bat speed. Didn’t get any run times, but speed looks to be above-average. If the bat develops even a little, his defense will get him on a major league roster. VIDEO
Tanner Myatt (RHP) New York Yankees
Unheralded 11th rounder in 2018. Long and lanky, listed at 6’7” 220. High waist and extra-long levers. Gets good extension as a given due to long legs. Could get even more. Moderately high leg kick with long arm action. 3/4 arm slot. Inverted-W. FB had some nasty cutting life at 94-97 T99. CB with SL action inconsistent but flashed plus at 80-83 with good sweep. Was control over command. Most misses were arm side. Myatt is one to watch as he continues to develop and really could put pop on to everyone’s radar in 2019.
Luis Medina (RHP) New York Yankees
Surprise, surprise. Another Yankees farmhand chucking high-90s. Medina struggled immensely with control during this look. Opened front shoulder early and that led to constant misses to glove side. Liked the tempo during delivery but ends stiff and awkward. Would like to see more drive and acceleration off back leg. Was unhittable when in the zone. Over powered batters with sheer velocity at 95-97 T99. CB is a true hammer at 80-83 showing plus and flashing double-plus. CH was firm at 88-90 with fade at times. FB was relatively straight. Will not be able to get past advanced hitters until control is refined.
Randy Dobnak (RHP) Minnesota Twins
Undrafted free agent that went from small DII school to Independent league. Stocky build. Up-tempo, repeatable delivery. Throws from 3/4 slot, in an unconventional, almost shotput like release. Gets plus extension to get most out of his size. FB sat 92-94 T95 with good arm side run. Used SPL at 84-86 to run in and jam batters. Both pitches generated constant groundballs. Pitches to contact. Showed slider that showed average at times. Always had a plan on the mound. Potential back-end starter piece. VIDEO
Frank German (RHP) New York Yankees
Medium pitchers build. Long and whippy arm action. Above-average extension. Delivery looks pretty tough on the arm. Showed command of FB at 94-96 T98. Throws a hard CB at 82-85 with tight spin that induced many chases in the dirt. Pitch has SL action at times. Should be at least an above-average pitch at maturity. CH worked 87-88, flashing plus. Very interesting three-pitch mix. Had a velo jump post-draft. Already developing in a system that specializes in developing young flamethrowers. Eye will be keen on German this year for sure.