Gustavo Cabrera OF
6'2" 190 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Roger Munter, David Lee and Jen Mac Ramos
The body: Mature and muscular build; very athletic; sloping shoulders; long arms; body doesn't have projection left; close to plus raw power.
The swing: As far back as possible in the box; very wide stance; hands at head level; legs a bit open; small but powerful leg kick to foot lift; hands load by lowering to chest level; body gets closed but front leg stays open; body doesn't need to be shift back fully because of hand load; body shifts forward; very good bat speed; slightly long swing; front foot sometimes stays closed, limiting his power; hips open fully but can leak; pretty raw approach and feel for bat but produces loud contact when he connects; will swing and miss; hit tool still a question; needs to improve pitch selection and recognition; above-average pull power potential; hit tool might pull it down to average game power numbers.
The other tools: A tick above average raw speed; could slow down as he ages; future average speed; pretty raw base running; strong arm; corner OF profile; should fit nicely in RF.
The bottom line: Gustavo has five potential above average tools before but given his hand injury, his hit tool will take longer to arrive, hurting his numbers but when he connects, he got massive power potential. The only question is whether his hit tool will ever reach average.
Grades (Current): Hit 25 | Power 45 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 45
Grades (Ceiling): Hit 40 | Power 60 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Grades (Probable): Hit 35 | Power 50+ | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 45
Ceiling: Everyday OF Floor: Organization Depth ETA: 2020
Victor Concepcion RHP
6'0" 170 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Daniel Fernandez Lopez
The body: Thin, skinny frame;athletic body; long arms and legs; mechanics will not be sustained by present frame for 100+ innings; adding at most 20 lbs of muscle will do wonders on his durability, stamina and velocity.
The mechanics: Max effort delivery; stands on 1st base side; slight leg lift; chest level gather; stays closed in his drive; drop and drive with shoulder tilt as his glove side is down while his arm side is high; cocks right elbow up after ; ball shown to 2nd base once front foot lands; very good hip-shoulder separation; over the top release point; shoulder will fly open sometimes; can get too rotational sometimes; falls off to the side when finishing with some recoil; has some problems repeating it; enough athleticism to repeat it slightly.
The stuff: Low-90s fastball; nice downhill plane when down the zone but flattens out when thrown high; straight movement to minimal run; might add velocity if he gains weight; flashes a cutter with some bite and two-seamer with some sink; curve flashes plus with 12-6 break and same arm speed as fastball; falls off the table and true swing and miss pitch; haven't seen a changeup; control over command; stuff plays down due to present control and command; control should be at most average in the future.
The bottom line: Concepcion got a good fastball and a dirty curveball but his control pulls his stuff down and his mechanics got enough red flags to say that his body will not hold up in a starting role. In a relief role however, his fastball-curve combo will play.
Grades (Current): FB 50 | CB 55 | CMD 30
Grades (Ceiling): FB 55 | CB 60 | CMD 45
Grades (Probable): FB 55 | CMD 55 | CMD 40
Ceiling: Set-up reliever Floor: Organizational Reliever ETA: 2020/2021
Jacob Heyward OF
6'3" 210 lbs.
Videos: Credits to FanGraphs, ACC Digital Network 1 and 2, and CanesAllAccess
The body: Strong frame; very athletic; needs little projection; above-average raw power.
The swing: Slightly open stance; back elbow already pre-loaded; hands on neck level; back side already has most of his body weight; pretty sketchy leg kick; front leg drags back as he closes his front side, drags front foot forward and pulls his hands back; can lose balance on leg kick; good bat speed and feel for barrel; line drive swing with loft; pretty compact swing; wraps bat sometimes; good hip rotation; pretty good approach at the plate but will swing and miss; raw power will translate in games but will probably be pull power.
The other tools: Tick above average speed; not a burner but no slouch; runs hard; good and accurate arm; glove fits well in LF.
The bottom line: Even though he's not as talented as his brother, Jacob is still intriguing with 5 soild tools at hand and a good hitting background. His leg kick throws me off and should be simplified in order to improve hitting for more power and better average. He has the instincts and bloodlines to think that he too can reach the Majors.
Grades (Current): Hit 35 | Power 45 | Speed 55 | Arm 55 | Glove 45
Grades (Ceiling): Hit 45 | Power 55+ | Speed 55 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Grades (Probable): Hit 45 | Power 50 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Ceiling: Everyday OF Floor: 4th OF/AAAA player ETA: 2019
Ryan Howard SS/2B
6'2" 180 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and QueenCityVideos
The body: Lean but strong frame; doesn't look like he will add more to the frame; below average raw power.
The swing: Textbook swing; wide stance; slightly crouched; high hands set up; lifts leg slightly, moving his body forward but pulls his hands and back side back; swings on front foot; line drive swing; compact stroke; good feel for barrel; good contact skills; strong wrists; good bat speed; future average hit tool; more doubles power in the future; should hit close to 10 home runs with hit tool.
The other tools: Average speed at best; runs hard on the bases; not a base stealing threat; above average defensive fundamentals; makes routine plays consistently; good agility; strong arm; should stay at short but will probably move to 2nd base.
The bottom line: Howard got average tools but can play above with his baseball instincts and he could have more power numbers than I thought if he plans to add more loft in the swing.
Grades (Current): Hit 35 | Power 30 | Speed 45 | Arm 50+ | Glove 45
Grades (Ceiling): Hit 45+ | Power 45 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Grades (Probable): Hit 45 | Power 40 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 50
Ceiling: Everyday INF Floor: Bench player/AAAA player ETA: 2018/2019
Matt Krook LHP
6'4" 195 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Roger Munter and Jen Mac Ramos
The body: Filled body; more towards 210 lbs. than 195 lbs. listed; strong legs; flexible pelvic region; long arms and sloping shoulders; pretty thick torso; good overall athleticism.
The mechanics: Stands at 3rd base side of rubber; steps to the side; pretty deliberate leg kick; leg kick closes his lower half entirely while his upper half not that closed; right foot pointing at center field at peak of leg kick; front leg straightens out at glove-ball separation; stays closed as he starts to drift towards third base in his drive; very long arm action; reaches really back on his back side; left elbow just below shoulder line once front foot drops; front leg is closed even though hips already exposed; very good hip-shoulder separation; slings the ball from 3/4 release point with some effort; repeats arm slot well; good arm speed; north-south release path; follows through his release well; little swingback after the finish; okay fielding position; solid feel for mechanics overall.
The stuff: Above average fastball high-80s, topping 93 MPH; tons of tail with some sink on the pitch; would jump to plus if he throws it more consistently in low-90s; high-80s cutter with late, slider-like break; potential above-average cutter if he gets on top of it consistently; plus high-70s curveball with 11-5 break; looks like fastball out of the hand then breaks sharply; hard changeup at mid to high-80s; looks more like a sinker with more sink; future average pitch; not afraid to throw it on lefties; control over command overall; flashes good control but is very inconsistent in terms of command; future average or tick below average command.
The bottom line: Krook got nasty stuff in his left arm but mechanics got more effort than usual that should be toned down, maybe shortening the arm action might work, and the command must improve. If all else fails however, his curveball might be enough to carve a spot in the Majors as a reliever but no reason to give him all the chance to start in pro ball and reach the Majors as a starter. He looks like a project however so be patient with him.
Grades (Current): FB 50+ | CUT 45 | CB 60 | CH 35 | CMD 30
Grades (Ceiling): FB 60 | CUT 55 | CB 65 | CH 45 | CMD 50
Grades (Probable): FB 55 | CUT 55 | CB 65 | CH 40+ | CMD 45
Ceiling: #3-4 Starter Floor: #5 Starter/Set-up reliever ETA: 2018/2019
Patrick Ruotolo RHP
5'10" 218 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Jheremy Brown and UConn Huskies
The body: Compact body; looks lighter than listed weight; thick torso and legs; long arms; mature frame; no projection left; pretty intimidating presence; athletic.
The mechanics: Can pitch on windup and set; steps to the side; pretty massive leg kick; tilts his body on his leg kick; back facing left-handed batter's box slightly; loads his back leg well; reaches as far back as possible in drive; stiff front leg collapses on drive; entire back side faces the left-handed batter's box; ball faces the hitter but mechanics quick enough to not be picked up well by hitter; lower half stays closed at foot drop; right arm on ready position; big hip-shoulder separation; great torque; over the top release point; plus arm speed; stays on top of the ball; good finish but with a little recoil; falls to the side often; mechanics can get too rotational; very deceptive; might reach back too much often; arm lags sometimes; there's inconsistency but got enough athleticism to repeat it regularly.
The stuff: Low to mid-90s fastball, reaches 96; good tailing movement; heavy downhill plane but plane reduces when high; maintains tail high in the zone; throws a low-90s cutter with good, sharp cut; potential plus-plus 12-6 curveball with late, sharp break that flashes plus but inconsistent; shows feel for improvement; true swing and miss pitch; present control over command especially his fastball but shows feel for his stuff to improve.
The bottom line: Ruotolo got a good hard fastball and a potential wipeout breaking ball. The mechanics is very deceptive but can be tough to repeat consistently and that might limit his command but he got enough feel for his mechanics to see a good future for him as a reliever.
Grades (Current): FB 50+ | CB 55 | CUT 40 | CMD 30
Grades (Ceiling): FB 60 | CB 65 | CUT 50 | CMD 45
Grades (Probable): FB 55 | CB 60 | CUT 50 | CMD 40
Ceiling: Set-up Reliever Floor: Organizational Reliever ETA: 2018/2019
Garrett Williams LHP
6'1" 205 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Eric Longenhagen and MLB.com
The body: Strong, muscular frame; thick legs; solid torso; pretty big arms; sloping shoulders; pretty athletic; no projection.
The mechanics: Strong, straightforward mechanics; strong leg kick; glove at neck level in leg kick; some tilt in body in drive; drop and drive; slow but smooth and clean arm action; driving straightforward to the plate; drives using the back leg well; hides the ball on righties; slow drive, can upset timing; 3/4 release point; good arm speed; good hip torque; nice finish when finishes right; ends in solid fielding position; very inconsistent back half of delivery; fails to repeat release point often; inconsistent tempo; not sure if body coordination problem or mechanics problem.
The stuff: Potential plus fastball, can touch 96 MPH; fastball jumps out of his hand; hovers in the low-90s often; got good tailing action in it; potential plus curveball in high-70s; knuckle-curve shape and bite; breaks late and sharp; draws swing and miss when thrown right; hard changeup and slider rounds out his repertoire; stuff plays down due to poor command of repertoire; poor fastball command; got average control now; flashes signs of good command; will probably be below-average command in the future.
The bottom line: Williams got everything that you want from a lefty starter, from great stuff to solid body and mechanics, except that he has poor command. If he doesn't figure out his control and command issues, his fastball-curve combo might be enough to carve him a spot in the Majors. If he figures out his issues however, the sky is the limit for him.
Grades (Current): FB 50+ | CB 55 | CH 40 | SL 40 | CMD 25+
Grades (Ceiling): FB 60 | CB 60 | CH 50 | SL 50 | CMD 45
Grades (Probable): FB 60 | CB 60 | CH 40+ | SL 40 | CMD 40
Ceiling: #4 Starter Floor: Organizational Player/Lefty RP ETA: 2019
There are other prospects that I like to dig in a bit in the AZL as well as in Salem-Keizer like Nick Hill (converted P that plays OF now with some power and speed), Brandon van Horn (good defensive player but hit tool still a big question), Reagan Bazar (high-90s fastball but doesn't know where it's going), Sidney Duprey (young LHP with good FB-CB combo) and Cameron Avila-Leeper (lefty pitcher with good feel for pitching) but they do not appeal a lot on me right now but they are getting my interest. I need more sample size and more videos to dig in.
That's all for my scouting reports for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. You probably expected something like a Heath Quinn report but there are pretty good prospects that are left in the roster even after the heavy hitters have been promoted. Next up will be the scouting reports for the Augusta GreenJackets. I hope you enjoy this one though!