Jalen Miller 2B
5'11" 175 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Roger Munter and minorleagueball 1 and 2
The body: Compact frame; athletic; pretty wiry but well built muscles; strong wrists; there's room to add more weight but I can't see him adding a lot on his body; average raw power.
The swing: Slightly open stance with his hands at shoulder level; fairly crouched in the box while having some rocking motion with his bat; lifts front foot slightly while crouching his body and moving his bat almost perpendicular to the ground to load his hands; opens his front leg to possibly catch up to inside half pitches; smooth and compact swing; wrists does the work; will catch up to premium velocity; improved his power stroke but he's still more of a gap to gap hitter with potential to produce double digit homers; will tend to pull pitches due to his open front side during swing; average pull power but questionable the other way; pitch recognition still pretty raw and will need to improve to succeed; average hit tool ceiling.
The other tools: Above average raw speed; good base stealer with 20 stolen base potential; more of an agile runner than true speedster; can still go back to shortstop if needed but his agility and his arm suits him well in second base where he can be an above-average fielder there.
The bottom line: Miller's 2016 season is pretty similar to his 2015 campaign but there are notable adjustments that he made in his swing but the pitch recognition still needs work in order to take the next step. The pitcher-friendly Sally League is not a good place to work as a hitter either but once he does take the next step, we'll see him take off. Besides, he's still 20 years old.
Caleb Smith LHP
6'2" 205 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Caleb Smith
The body: Lean, mature body; not ripped but has athletic actions; long legs with broad shoulders; doesn't project for more in the frame.
The mechanics: Slightly open set in the mound; stands pretty much at the middle of the rubber with his glove at belt level; raises his hands and his front leg at the same time; hands far from his body at neck level; very wide arm swing; closes his body in his drive; loads on his back side well; raises his glove hand high; hitter has a chance to see the ball in the middle of his drive; doesn't really exhibit the inverted W but wide arm swing can cause shoulder injuries; explosive hip rotation after front foot strike; very big hip-shoulder separation due to wide arm swing; quick torso rotation and great arm speed; high 3/4 release that is almost at the same level as his glove during his drive; hitters might be tipped by the same angle of his release point and his glove during drive but his arm speed can compensate; finishes his pitches well but it leaves him to poor fielding position; has some feel for his mechanics and he repeats it well but flies open sometimes; has tendencies to lower his arm slot as well as stiff arming his finish.
The stuff: Haven't seen or watched a radar reading but he got the looks of a low to mid-90s fastball; fastball is straight but it has life and can blow by hitters; downhill plane benefits it as well; potentially a plus pitch; slider when thrown right has good bite to it, flashing above-average but it is very inconsistent; have watched some weak sliders that he's thrown; more of a control pitcher now with some feel for his fastball; can get wild but has the knack of getting out of trouble; can rely too much on his fastball.
The bottom line: Smith has the fastball to blow by hitters but his slider has been inconsistent and his command of his two-pitch repertoire needs to improve to succeed in high Minors and refine his slider to get outs in the Majors. Nonetheless, he got the strikeout potential from the left side to be a potential reliever in the Majors if he harness his stuff better.
Grades (Current): FB 45 | SL 30 | CMD 30+
Quick Hits on other prospects in the Augusta roster:
Quite honestly, the whole roster of the Augusta is so gutted there are not a lot of guys that I see as top or good prospects to report on but I will write up on other prospects that took my interest.
Kelvin Beltre - He got the same case as Jalen Miller: raw pitch recognition but is athletic in the infield and has some ceiling to tap on.
Tyler Brown - Young kid out of CSN (Phil Bickford's teammate) packs some speed and some bat. I say give this kid a chance to play to see what he's got.
Johneshwy Fargas - Went back to Augusta after an awful San Jose campaign this year and he looked just as good in Augusta last year. The question now is is this his ceiling or is it just jitters? Can he handle SJ the second time? He got some athletic moves and crazy speed but he's a do or die base stealer leading to pretty bad steal % for a kid that fast and his hitting tool is a big question mark. He can still move on the mound with that cannon of an arm.
Grant Watson - Looked okay this year but I think his ceiling has been tapped.
Logan Webb - He underwent TJ surgery and he should be back next year. Good arm, great player.
Cesar Yanez - I am almost going to write this guy a scouting report but here's what I can tell you right now. He's tall and he's a bit bigger than the 175 lbs. that he is listed. He's armed with a low to mid-90s heater and a chance to add on velocity if he fills out his frame with some feel on it. If he taps on his command of it and develop a nice secondary pitch, he has the potential to be something good in the bullpen next season.
This is the end of the Augusta scouting reports. Pretty short but just as exciting. It's nice to be finally back! I hope you enjoy reading this one!