Friday, July 10, 2015
Scouting Reports For 2015 Giants Part 7-ish: Eddy Julio Martinez (Maybe) + Something Extra
Ahh, Cuba. Formerly the home of the Communism in Central America, filled with their aspirations to be equal and guns and Fidel Castro, not to mention the missiles (much, much dangerous than Aroldis Chapman) and the failed Bay Of Pigs mission. Now, Castro's dead and it is now the home of the ever-famous Cuban cigars and the Cubano sandwiches. But maybe the best thing that has ever come from Cuba nowadays is high-quality baseball talents. It is now probably as powerful in delivering baseball talent than an old enemy of the United States, Japan. I consider Japan is the best exporter of international pitchers while Cuba is the best exporter of international hitters (let's give some exception to Jose Fernandez, the pitcher). Thanks to Obama, relations of the United States and Cuba has eased and the hitters can now experience easier and better opportunities to get a chance to play in baseball's biggest stage.
July 2 is the biggest stage in terms of signing guys away from the places not covered by the Rule 4 Draft. This year is no different, with guys that are projected in the top of the class are possible future franchise changers and pillars like Vladdy Junior, Jhalyn Ortiz, Wander Javier, etc. At the peak of the deep mountain is Eddy Julio Martinez, a Cuban outfielder who's ranked at #1 by MLB.com and #2 by Kiley McDaniel (there's no ranking from BA because they probably don't rank the Cuban prospects the same way). MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez wrote yesterday in this article that the Dodgers and the Giants are the favorites to sign the Cuban defector and he's going to have more workouts scheduled for both teams this week. Kiley McDaniel on FanGraphs wrote in his Sortable July 2 Board that Eddy Julio will be projected to sign in the ballpark of $11,000,000, which is almost double of what Lucius Fox and his pretty deep eyes that almost scared me. Below is my scouting report for him.
Eddy Julio Martinez OF
Martinez looks really physical and athletic in my eyes and what I'll call a prototypical athletic body that's really meant for baseball. He got good big muscles in arms, broad shoulders, and good torso and I don't really see a need to fill up his body even more. As Kiley said in his thoughts for him, he's cleaned up his frame a bit since leaving Cuba and also added more power and speed. He got the frame that I can say that will generate close to 20 homers a season in the Majors.
He stands pretty tall in the batters box and his feet are separated almost as long as one and one-half of the length of his shoulders while his hands are quiet at the same level as his head. He got a more conventional swing than Lucius Fox in terms of his back leg which is straight while Fox is more crooked in his back leg. In my opinion, that allows Eddy Julio to load onto his back leg more and generate the most power that he can. He loads into his back leg well thanks to his pretty big leg kick. His hands also load well, getting into a nice position to swing that it's pretty far back from his body. What I love about Eddy Julio is that he gets to a nice crouched position that allows him to get to a really good center of gravity when he starts his swing, causing a good explosion of his potential energy to be converted to kinetic energy to his bat. Several legitimate sluggers do this too like Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. His swing path is good and is pretty compact that's more of a line-drive swing than a homer-or-nothing swing as Kiley said that he's more contact-oriented approach that the Giants truly love in the recent years. His bat speed is good thanks to his superb athleticism and he can translate his raw power into loud contact pretty well. He got a stiff front foot in his swing with a one-handed finish. Eddy Julio's batting stance is quite similar to Alex Rodriguez when he's still young.
He is a plus runner in the bases and will always be a threat to steal bases whenever he's on (probably 30+ bases in the Majors) and that will translate range well in his defensive range. His arm is good for CF and he's still got an adequate arm to play in the corner OF slots when he's needed to do so pair that with his plus defensive potential thanks to his speed and instincts. The Andruw Jones comparisons for me are pretty overblown but his superb athleticism and hard-nosed attitude plus the five-tool potential earns a lot of high remarks for me. The Dodgers are going to be the main problem for us, but stealing this type of talent him away from them is gonna be so, so sweet.
My Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 50+ | Speed 65 | Arm 55+ | Glove 60
Ceiling: Possible All-Star OF Floor: 4th OF bat/defense ETA: Late 2017/2018
I will list below why I really love the guy if we ever grab him:
- First, Eddy Julio's got the experience playing in good competition like Lucius Fox experienced in America. Eddy played for Cuba's junior national team and even played in Serie Nacional, Cuba's equivalent of MLB for two years. Cuba's been the deep well of tremendous prospects like Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes and more and the pedigree that Eddy Julio experienced and the competition there shows some good flashes of what he can do on America.
- Second, he's 20 years old and he is not just an ordinary 16 year old Dominican that got full of doubts. He's got the experience at a pretty good competition, and given that there's still prevailing doubts upon him because he never faced American experience like almost all of the international prospects available (look at Yoan Moncada this year), I'm pretty confident that he'll make the transition pretty well and the Giants love previous work experience and success. The window time in the Minors that I'll expect from him is 2 years.
- Third, he is a full pledged outfielder unlike Lucius Fox that will be probably converted to the outfield someday although Kiley wrote that he's got some experience on the mound and on first base due to give way to more experienced defenders. We all know the possible problems of our future outfield given the age of the current outfielders now on the wrong side of 30. Eddy Julio and Lucius will infuse our outfield with the type of athleticism, speed and youth that I have never seen in the past 5 to 10 years if they developed nicely.
-Fourth, since we just broke the bank for Lucius Fox that will penalize us for the next two years, why not we broke it altogether with the signing of Eddy Julio. Besides, the Dodgers spent $16,000,000 for Yadier Alvarez. We spent $6 million on Lucius and the possibility of nabbing Eddy Julio for the price tag of $11,000,000 will make us spend $17,000,000. We just spent $17,000,000 on two possible impact bats while the Dodgers spent $16 on a possible impact arm. That's two for the price of one (well, we'll be a $1,000,000 more than them but they have spend a whole lot more for the other Dominicans like Starling Heredia which is like the cost of all the other J2 that we signed) and that for me is a bargain. Besides, what's best than swooping another prospect away from the Dodgers.
-Fifth and possibly the best, our farm system will be really injected of future impact guys not just in the pitching standpoint but in the hitting standpoint. The Giants will say a big in your face to all of the prospect gurus that always said that our farm system is the Chernobyl of baseball but we kept on putting up guys that perform way better than their scouting reports like Panik, Duffy, Crawford, etc. Our future will be much better if we have Eddy Julio on our side in the OF. I can now see the Eddy Julio, Lucius, and Mac Williamson outfield trio in the future.
As you can see, the reasons that I spew out are pretty similar reasons that I said for Lucius Fox. That's because I can see similar kind of impact from the two players and I really hope the Giants will swoop him in, develop him nicely, and maybe we'll see some Cubanos in the Bay Area and in the AT&T concession stands by the time he has arrived, beside the Lucius Fox cutout picture stands and possibly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox himself.
- Aside from the Lucius Fox and Ricardo Genoves, the Giants officially announced 13 other guys that they have signed (15 total courtesy of Grant Brisbee's article) and two of them have videos and they are Wascar De Leon (switch-hitter with a pretty intense leg kick on the right side and no leg kick at all on the left side with a long swing and some power and a 4.13 home to first time but not the best time that he can do) and Miguel Figueroa (highly projectable body at 6'3" 175 lbs at got a power T in his motion ala Jacob DeGrom and it looks like a good low-90s MPH FB in my eyes with a CH and a SL(?)) that trained in Banana Baseball Academy. I hope the Minions will not attack that facility and I'm hoping the other 13 that I have no idea about before will have a future impact for us.
- Martin Agosta hurled possibly his best outing of his career, going 8 innings with 3 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts. Joe Ritzo tweeted that he was ranging from 86-93 MPH on his fastball which is pretty pedestrian. A known flyball pitcher, he got a 4-4 GO/AO ratio in this start which is something I'll commend on him. I wrote up on him in my previous article about his high BABIP and his homer-happy pitching but his K/9 and BB/9 numbers are really, really crazy like he's the Noah Syndergaard of the Cal League. My breakout guy for next year is him if he continues this thing until the end of the season.
- Logan Webb made his best start of this year also, twirling 6 innings of 5-hit ball with no walks and 4 Ks. His fastball is good with a good zip on it, ranging from 89-94 MPH in is previous starts and I think that the Giants did a great job keeping his arm fresh due to him being thrown into the fire often in his HS days, making scouts puke with his mid-80s heater when he's overworked (he once threw two days after he threw 140+ pitches if I'm not mistaken). He's so young (just 18!) and have a good impact potential for us. I'll touch him up in future Scouting Reports series.
- On other Salem-Keizer news, Miguel Gomez is also flashing a hot bat so far, batting .351 in the NWL with 4 2B, 3 HRs. A three-year employee in the DSL, he's about the same age as a college senior and I would love to see him play in the higher levels pretty soon. Mac Marshall made his S-K debut, allowing a 3-run dinger in 3 innings of work with 5 Ks. Yes. 5 Ks. Pretty good outing for me. Wrote my thoughts about him here.
- 2nd rounder last year Aramis Garcia hasn't quite liven up to his draft choice expectations this year but he's playing pretty well this season so far in my opinion with a good chance to stick at catching thanks to his good pop time and better receiving so far (only 7 passed balls in double the games that he played this year compared to last year). His batting average seems to be pretty down (.244) but his .423 SLG is what caught my eye because he got good power numbers even though his average is not good. Let's see if he finishes the season in Augusta or he'll play in a better hitting environment in the Cal.
-Michael Santos finally returned after almost 3 months when he got pulled out of his Augusta debut due to a shoulder injury. He came back strong, pitched one inning with a walk and a K. I personally think that this is just going to be a rehab duties for him and he'll be thrown into the Sally again after a couple of weeks or three starts. Glad to see that his FB velo is up to 94 MPH and I'm glad to just see him pitch. I'm just happy to believe in him all again and he's all healthy. Projection!
That's the end of the part 7 of my scouting reports series about the maybes and the what ifs of the Giants pouncing on Eddy Julio Martinez or not. Let's just hope that he'll consider the opportunity that we bring to the table and his possible defection from Chavez Ravine. Please get him signed up Bobby and Sabes. I'll check on the Cape in the future to see if there will be some future Giants next year playing there. I hope you enjoy this one. Cheers!