Sunday, June 19, 2016

Scouting Reports for the 2016 Giants Part 2: Howard, Krook, Quinn + Something Extra

Good day to everyone and it's time for some scouting reports! This time, it will be the recent signees in the 2016 draft class for the Giants, shortstop prospect Ryan Howard, lefty pitcher Matt Krook and outfielder Heath Quinn. For those who don't know it, Howard is a 5th rounder from Missouri, Krook is a 4th rounder from Oregon but a Giants fan growing up and Quinn is the 3rd round pick from Samford. If you have missed it, I already did a rough scouting report on the three and other 2nd day selections here and I want to focus on the three because first, they have already agreed to a contract with the Giants and second, I think that they have a good shot to be valuable contributors for the big league club in the near future. Enough chatting, it's time for the scouting.

Ryan Howard  SS/2B/3B
6'2" 180 lbs.  R/R

Videos: Credits to QueenCityVideos 1 and 2 and 2080 Baseball

Ryan Howard is a lean baseball player but with a pretty mature frame that a lot of people sees a lot of projection remaining in the tank but for me, I think that he will add up just about ten pounds in his frame to add more strength. His lean body projects to have below average raw power in his offense. He also looks like an agile player with hidden athleticism.

He is a contact-oriented player in the batter's box. He got a semi-crouches stance in the box and his hands at the level of his head with no unnecessary actions. In the videos, he does a double toe tap to load while playing in Team USA but in fresher videos, he lifts his front leg slightly while leaning his torso forward. He does a good job of staying closed and not leaking out. His hands lowers a bit while it follows his torso. His body's momentum also shifts forward after the front leg landing. He only got an average bat speed slightly because of his two-handed swing but with a direct and fairly short stroke. His stroke got some loft but is more of a line-drive approach. There's a recent video that I saw where he flashed above-average bat speed when he does the one-handed finish. He got a very good understanding of the strike zone, good eye-hand coordination and feel for hitting. There's some improvements to be made in the swing to fully tap his fringe average raw power but he can serve well as a line-drive hitter.

His speed is below-average and he does not look like a base stealing threat and the speed and athleticism affects his defensive value too as he doesn't have a lot of range in shortstop which can result to a change in defensive position in the future. Nonetheless, his fielding fundamentals is sound with soft hands, smooth actions and with an above-average arm where he threw 90 MPH fastballs on the mound. 

With his relative lack of range defensively, I can see him play 3B in the long run due to his arm strength but he doesn't offer a lot of power in his swing but he understands hitting and he could hit his way to a spot in the Majors. 

Grades (Current): Hit 35 | Power 30 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 45
Grades (Ceiling): Hit 50 | Power 40 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Grades (Probable): Hit 45 | Power 35 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 50

Ceiling: Everyday player   Floor: Bench player   ETA: 2019

Matt Krook  LHP
6'3" 217 lbs.  L/L
Videos: Credits to GoDucks, Pac-12 Networks and Baseball America

Matt Krook is already a mature pitcher in terms of his physicality with a nice torso, big thighs although the lower leg is quite thin. The frame looks like a frame that can eat up a nice amount of innings in the future and he could still be bigger if he plans on to add extra muscle but it will not probably affect his stuff or his athleticism. He is agile and athletic enough for him to repeat his delivery fairly consistently but there are past medical issue with him going under the knife.

He stands on the 3rd base side of the rubber. He got an easy step back before he lifts his front leg up with his knees on the level of his waist while the glove is on face level. He actually moves his weight back and the leg lift shifts his balance to an angle which helps him gain downhill plane on his pitches but makes him a bit off balance. The shoulder is still tilted on his drive while his front leg drives and rotates, generating nice extension on his back leg but not a lot with his front that will also add to the downhill plane on his pitches. The arm action is smooth but isn't clean as he loads on his left elbow prematurely when he starts to rotate it which adds extra stress on the elbow and also affects his release point. He also has a tendency to show the ball to CF which also adds more stress on the left elbow. When his front foot lands, it actually opens up his hips but keeps his upper body closed and his hip-shoulder separation is tremendous because of his closed drive and his arm swing taking his left arm back a lot. He stiffens his front leg as he throws his pitches on a true 3/4 slot but has some problems with the consistency of the release point and his arm speed is a tick below plus and is explosive. He throws his pitches on a steep downhill plane due to the moves me made in his delivery and finishes his delivery well but there are tiny recoil sometimes. I am not concerned with the rotational tendencies that his delivery possess because I am more concerned with his arm swing and that should be cleaned up to have a safer and more consistent release point in his pitches.

His repertoire consists of a plus fastball that sits in the low-90s but can reach has high as 96 MPH when he wants to. His fastball also got immense tailing movement in it and it can reach plus-plus if he adds more velocity but that's unlikely. With the tilt and the movement that he generates with it, it can swing plenty of bats in the next level. He can throw it better in his arm side than in his glove side but the tailing movement stays when thrown glove side. He got some feel on it. He also has a cutter that got late downward break but not much lateral break. It thrown in the high-80s that he throws on his glove side and will offset his power fastball.

His curveball is his best pitch that is a legit plus pitch right now and it can be better when thrown more consistently. The curveball comes in the high-70s with a massive, late 10:30-4:30 break when looking at the clock and just falls off the table. He can throw this pitch for strike or can throw it in the dirt but hitters don't have a lot of chance to make solid contact when he gets on top of it. His delivery is almost the same as his fastball and that's what make hitters fall for it.

His changeup got the makings of an average pitch or even more when thrown more. It got inconsistent break thrown in the mid-80s. His overall feel for it is below-average but there's some nice fade on the pitch when thrown right but he got a tendency to slow the delivery a bit to add velocity differential.

His overall feel for his pitches is below-average right now while he is recovering back to his Tommy John surgery so that's understandable but with the problems in his arm swing and his tendency to get under his pitches instead of on top of it, there are possible problems in his command in the future. I think the Giants will figure that one out and Krook could have average command of his pitches. If ever his command didn't pan out, there's a good chance he'll be a solid reliever in the big leagues because that fastball-curve combo will get Major Leaguers out but if he does improve on the command and improve on his changeup and cutter, we are looking at a potential long-term starter down the road.

Grades (Current): FB 50+ | CB 60 | CH 45 | CUT 45 | CMD 40+
Grades (Ceiling): FB 60 | CB 65 | CH 50 | CUT 50 | CMD 50+

Grades (probable): FB 60 | CB 65 | CH 45 | CUT 50 | CMD 45

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: #5 Starter/Set-up reliever   ETA: Late-2018/2019

Heath Quinn  RF 
6'3" 220 lbs.  R/R
Videos: Credits to Jake Mastorianni 1 and 2 and Rob Zeida

When you see Heath Quinn, the first thing that you will notice is he is a tank of a human being. The body is mature and the 220 lbs. in his body is muscle and he oozes plus raw power. He doesn't actually feel that he's all buffed up as his legs and arms are normal to fairly buffed in terms of proportion to his frame but his torso is very buffed. Also, he actually got better athleticism than other guys with the same frame as he is. 

He got one of the most unique swings that I have ever seen. His stance in the box is actually fairly common to most hitters with a wide base and a slightly crouched stance. He already closes his body at the start of his stance as his body is shading inside. At the same time, the center of balance is towards the back leg as he is already putting load in his back leg in his stance. His hands are quiet in the stance with no unnecessary movements. His leg kick is a fairly small one but what is does is push all of his weight back in his back side where his body itself moves slightly back while also loading his hands as well. He then moves all of that energy built forward as he moves his body slightly forward at the landing of the front foot. The swing itself is something else. When he swings, he collapses his front leg which I think he loses some of the weight there. The swing itself got some uppercut nature in it because he tends to lean his torso back, causing the bat to take an arched path. He also got a pretty weird finish in it where he wraps his bat in his torso. But there are great points in the swing. He keeps his hands back when he starts to rotate his hips and his hip rotation is average to above. He bat speed is above-average and can be plus but there are times where it's average. 

The swing itself can be cleaned out in the future but he has shown a good feel to hit for average as well as plate discipline and pitch recognition to assess his hit tool to be average. The swing looks like reducing the energy he generates but he has shown to hit the ball very hard whenever he makes contact. He could be a 20 home run guy with better utilization of his impressive raw power. He moves well for his size and actually runs hard in the bases. He might not steal bases in the future but he has shown that he got good speed when he gets going. His arm is a fit for right field but there's still some defensive fundamentals to be ironed out for him there as he can misjudge and react late to fly balls. 

Quinn is a powerful baseball player. many people doesn't like his swing or find it weird but I think it's a solid swing even if the coaches let it be but I can see unnecessary movements that can be ironed out to fully utilize his impressive raw power in his frame. Couple that with his solid patience and discipline, the Giants can be looking at a potential force in right field in the future if he reaches his ceiling.

Grades (Current): Hit 35 | Power 50 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 40
Grades (Ceiling): Hit 50 | Power 60 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Grades (Probable): Hit 45 | Power 60 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 45

Ceiling: Above-average regular   Floor: 4th outfielder   ETA: 2018

The Giants have selected potential big leaguers in Krook, Quinn and Howard. For Quinn, he just needs some adjustments to his swing for him to tap his full raw power in games and really fits in the RF profile. I can see him replacing Pence in the future if he reaches his ceiling and if not, he can be a valuable bat with some defense but I don't see any reason for him to not be productive at the big league level. 

For Krook, his fastball and curveball can play right now and get Major League hitters out but I know that he is not drafted to be just a two-pitch pitcher out of the pen. He is built like a starter but there are mechanics issues for him that some might tell that he can't start but he can start and if the Giants work on his mechanics, he will be a starter without a doubt. If not, he can be a great reliever with closer ceiling.

For Howard, there are some feel that he will be a story similar to Matt Duffy and C.J. Hinojosa this year. I think that with coaching by the Giants, he'll tap more in his power and have his bat speed to be faster and since he can catch up to premium velocity, I think that he can be better than what I have graded him. His speed and range might take him out of SS but he can be a good player for the Giants.

Something Extra

For the first Something Extra for 2016, I'm going to talk about here about a few players and their respective thoughts that I have for them.

- First is the San Jose back-end duo of Reyes Moronta and Rodolfo Martinez. Both got premium stuff and big bodies. For Moronta, his fastball is plus-plus in the mid-90s with tailing movement and what's great with it is that his mechanics allows him to hide the baseball in his big belly and the low 3/4 to almost sidearm release point adds to the deception greatly. His slider meanwhile is average for me as it doesn't have a lot of sharp break and can really have zero to minimal break at all which can be a problem if left in the zone. The velocity differential is enough to fool the Cal League hitters but I'm not sure if he can fool better hitters in the next level. For Martinez, his fastball is a true 80 as it can reach triple digits with relative ease in his delivery but it can get straight and be less effective. I actually love his changeup more than his slider due to his insane sink that he can generate in his changeup. Does he have some Fernando Rodney in his pocket? He could be but it should be interesting.

- Second is Adalberto Mejia. He's up to Sacramento now and he has stayed to be a dominant force in the Giants system, pitching 7 shutout innings of quality baseball. I have been a big believer of Mejia because of his feel for pitching plus a solid repertoire and he has been soaring to the lists where right now, I can comfortably put him inside the top 7 prospects of the organization. His future could possibly be a reliever in the Giants but he can really earn a spot start in the future now that Cain's been out again and to give some of the rotation a bit of rest. 

That ends my scouting reports on the Giants draft picks Ryan Howard, Matt Krook and Heath Quinn. First impressions of them are good to great. I hope that second impressions when they play in the Arizona League or in Salem-Keizer. I hope you enjoy my Something Extra too that features three pitchers with heavier looks than their listed weights. 

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