Sunday, June 21, 2015

Scouting Reports for 2015 Giants Part 3: Blackburn, Garcia, Tomlinson

     Welcome to part 3 of my scouting reports! This will now feature Clayton Blackburn, Aramis Garcia and Kelby Tomlinson. More paragraphs thanks to Mr. ogc's suggestion of separating paragraphs! Without further ado, let's start the ball rolling!

Clayton Blackburn  RHP  (AAA)
6'4" 225 lbs.  L/R  Video: Credits to Jeff Reese 

       Blackburn is a pretty unique guy when he was drafted in 2011 in the 16th round. He's not the prototypical skinny HS guy with tons of projection and having a plus fastball. Blackburn is a pitchability guy with little to no projection that relies more on polish, mixing his pitches and getting outs. With his height and weight (He's listed at 6'3" 230 lbs. on, he's a intimidating presence on the mound and a body that can handle 150++ innings down the road. 

      Blackburn got simple mechanics. He stands close to the 1st base side of the rubber and calmly positions himself and his leg kick is a sound one that reaches to his waist and his glove stays sound on his chest. He stays closed in his drive to the plate and I love how both his glove arm and his throwing arm stays relaxed in his drive. There's no inverted W in his delivery and shows good arm path. He also does a good job of staying closed once his left foot lands to the plate and keeps his ball inside his big body, adding some deception in his delivery. I noticed that his throwing arm and the grip is being exposed when he's starting to face towards the plate, causing hitters with really good pair of eyes to pick up the grip but he compensates it with his quick arm. He lands closed to the plate and releases the ball in a true 3/4 release point and his plus follow through allows him to be on a great fielding position. Mechanics is clean with no excessive moving parts and throws his pitches with little to effort.

       He got a four-pitch repertoire with a fastball that reaches up to 93 MPH but will settle on 88-92 MPH with good arm-side run and sink to it if he doesn't overthrow it. He's also confident on throwing it inside to lefties. His curveball is his best offspeed pitch in the low-70s that got an consistent above-average late break and can buckle hitters sometimes. His slider is an average offering. His changeup is a cicle-change at low-80s with above-average sinker-like movement but it's inconsistent. He never got plus velocity but he compensates it well with his advanced mental approach and throwing quality strikes. His command of his pitches is good due to his sound delivery and his overall feel and intelligence. He always post good FIPs and solid walk numbers even though it's the first time that he exceeds 3 BB/9. He may not surprise you with tons of strikeouts but he knows how to get batters out and he'll be a good, reliable guy for the Giants soon.

My Grades: FB 50 | CB 55 | SL 45+ | CH 50 | CMD 55

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter     Floor: #5 Starter/Long Reliever     ETA: Sept. 2015/2016

Aramis Garcia  C  (A)
6'2" 220 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to David Lee and

     Even though the Giants have a franchise player in Buster Posey and top prospect Andrew Susac behind the plate, they drafted Garcia, a successful hitting catcher in the 2nd round last year. He was lightly scouted in high school due to his lack of physicality at 195 lbs. but during his college career, he added 25 pounds of muscle in his body which adds more raw power in his body.

      In the batter's box, he got sound and easy hitting mechanics. He got good balanced thanks to his equally separated legs, making his torso located at the center of the body. His bat is sound with no excessive movement while waiting for the pitch. Once the pitcher starts to drive, he lifts his left leg slightly but very noticeable similar to Yoenis Cespedes, shifting all his weight to his back leg. You'll see his body raising during the mini leg kick then moving back to his original position and the bat position is where you want it with no funky movement in it, creating a good swing path with a two-handed follow through and mostly a line-drive approach. His sound hitting mechanics makes he conclude that he'll have a solid hit tool to utilize his above-average raw power and he's now starting to put the power numbers recently. Even though his average is subpar this season, I am pretty impressed by his patience and eye at the plate, generating a 116 point difference in his batting average and OBP (.220 vs .337)  and 1:2 BB/K ratio but I'm guessing that he's more of a guess hitter this year due to his pretty average wrists and bat speed. In the future, I'm going to say that he'll hit .250-.290 in the future. 

     Even though he's listed at 220 lbs. and being a catcher, he got underrated speed and athleticism as a catcher but will still not going to be a consistent baserunning threat. Scouts said that his defense is way back from his offense but this season, he's been better defensively based on the fielding numbers. He also gun down 40% of all the base stealers this season with his 1.9 second pop time (1.75 is considered elite) and easy carry on his arm (From David Lee's tweet). He can still improve on his defense (7 PB could still be lower) but his bat will be his calling card in the future and he's got a chance to be a full-time catcher in the Majors.

My Grades: Hit 50 | Power 50+ | Run 35 | Arm 50 | Glove 50

Ceiling: Everyday Catcher     Floor: Backup catcher     ETA: 2017

Kelby Tomlinson  2B  (AA)
6'3" 180 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to and Mike Rosenbaum

      You might not expect that Kelby's going to be on my top 10 prospect list because he's old and there's not much ceiling for him but in my opinion, he's been going really good this season to pop up some eyes. He reduced his K% to a career low 13%, doubled his ISO (isolated power from .055 to .103), raised his OPS by most than 150 points, and hit more flyballs this year than last year (1.33 GO/AO vs 1.73 last year) among many more positives. He's making more solid contact while maintaining his walk numbers and also his speedy nature. Does something clicked to Kelby that he's slowly becoming a guy that we should place our eyes on? 

     His frame is lean and athletic but it's better if he doesn't put on more weight because his specialty is to use his legs. His body will not make him generate home run power but his nature is more on gap power anyway. In his batting mechanics, there's a difference from last year and this year regarding where the bat is placed. If you noticed on Rosenbaum's video which is last year, he's holding the bat almost vertical and far away from his body while his hands is on chest level. He then pulls the bat back close to his body then loads it up. On the MiLB video this year, the bat starts while rested on his right shoulder, hands positioned a bit higher but more importantly, it's much closer to his body then he loads up. For me, it's a matter of simplification of his pre-load is the difference on last year and this year. His swing is a bit weird because he pulls his bat as far back as he could when he's going to swing and he swings like he's playing cricket or putting but he makes it work to his favor. His swing path is flat but he got really quick-twitch wrists, really quick bat speed even and he relies on that to deliver gap-power, base hits and contact overall because when he gets good contact, he can run really good. He also got a good eye to draw 24 walks while having 35 Ks this season and to hit the baseball where he relies on hand-eye coordination the most. 

     His main calling card though is his speed. Plus speed that he used to stole 49 bases last year and 15 this year. He's going to be a basestealing threat in the future with close to 20+ bases in the minimum. His defensive instincts is good and his defensive range is average but accurate arm though will make him a mainstay at second base. His work ethic and his hustle will not make him a true superstar player but he's solid and going to be a regular player and a possible leadoff hitter that may exceed his ceiling. I'm betting on this guy.

My Grades: Hit 45+ | Power 30 | Speed 60 | Arm 50 | Glove 45+

Ceiling: Everyday 2B     Floor: Bench player     ETA: Sept. 2015/2016

      Here's my scouting reports on the three guys. I hope you find all of my scouting reports informative and pretty fun to read. There's more to come! Cheers!


  1. Tomlinson just continues to do what he does.Hit,and use his speed.Perfect bench guy right now.

    When we first drafted Garcia.I wasn't too excited.Since then.All the reports by David Lee have been great.And,he made the All-Star team.

  2. You are dead on accurate on Tomlinson besides one point you made which I think is what keeps him doing wahat he does and that is his work ethic and hustle. Nobody has giving this kid any love, its his mental toughness and willingness to work that has him just now getting on peoples radar.

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