On Tuesday, 3 different minor league All-Star games. I watched 2 of them, the Southern League AA All-Star game and the A + All-Star game and have some notes on many of the players that played in them. I wrote about the Mariners’ prospects in the games here.
Southern All-Star Game
James Adduci had a good looking swing that gave him 2 hits, but he didn’t look very good in centerfield.
Pedro Baez of the Dodgers’ AA has a big violent swing with a sturdy build. He was fooled on a breaking ball in the zone and whiffed for a strikeout. He also smashed a hard line drive, but he doesn’t have plus speed.
Jared Mitchell in the White Sox organization has a good looking swing but he made a bad play in left field.
David Nick, a 2nd baseman in the Diamondbacks AA, hit a ball hard and can run a little bit. Ryan LaMarre of the Blue Wahoos, a CF, was blown away by Hultzen. Matt Davidson had a big whiff on a slider and had a 1 pitch GIDP after the previous hitters walked on 4 pitches. He didn’t have plus speed.
Kyeong Kang was the DH and is out of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. The size gives his bat potential but he was late on fastballs and had problems with breaking pitches. Marc Krauss of Mobile is also big and had big whiffs on the fastball. He struck out again, not showing much eye. Kyle Skipworth is a big lefty with not a great looking swing. He did hit a ball to the track but wasn’t much of a runner. Alfredo Marte bucked this trend by getting a hit on a curveball.
Didi Gregorious has a violent swing and seems to get a late start on it like he has a hitch in it. It seems that this would lead to him having to cheat on fastballs and struggle with breaking pitches. He can really run though. Omar Luna didn’t look very good at 2nd. Todd Cunningham will chase the breaking ball but he can hit it. The contact guy dropped a really easy ball in left field.
Tyler Skaggs is a left-handed pitcher in the Diamondbacks organization. He was throwing 92-94 MPH with a big looping breaking ball that created good speed differential on his fastball. He wasn’t getting it down though (until his last one) and was having problems with command. When he could command that curve it was really good, but most of them didn’t look good. The change also was plus looking and he got a whiff on it.
Matt Magill has a good looking fastball that was getting whiffs and was changing speeds with what looked like a slider and a change. He had command and control issues, but when he throws strikes with his fastball he is awesome looking.
Steve Ames, also in the Dodger organization like Magill, gave up a lot of fouls and his breaking ball wasn’t all that impressive. Ethan Martin, also a Dodger, had real average looking stuff.
Ryan Kussmaul of the White Sox AA has a 2-seamer that runs in on righties and also has what looks like a slider. He has sort of a low arm angle and i is pretty apparent what he wants to do. He likes to throw the 2-seamer in (to righties) and then the slider out (he does not, however, shake it all about). He looks less effective against lefties.
Kevin Rhoderick walked the first hitter on mainly low pitches and was pretty wild, hitting the next one. He does have a good breaking pitch and got out of it by getting an infield fly-ball and a GIDP. The breaking pitch is definitely his feature pitch and can get whiffs with it.
Red Patterson of the Dodgers had a long delivery where he brings his arm way back. His fastball looks below average but his breaking pitch looks pretty good. He gave up a couple of bad luck singles and then a GIDP.
Frank Batista of the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA) has a nice change and curve combo.
Evan Reed of the Marlins AA is a big guy with a big time fastball. He can spot it as well, but the breaking ball combination (a change and a curve) is underwhelming but it seems to work because of his fastball.
J.C. Sulbaran of Pensacola has a good looking “riding” fastball with a quality breaking ball that gets swings and misses.
Gary Moran in the Braves organization is huge at 6 foot 8 inches tall. He hung a breaking ball for a hit, but then ended up throwing some pretty good curveballs.Zeke Spruill is a pretty skinny pitcher that was pretty wild. He just missed giving up a homer on a foul ball. He got a strikeout on a breaking ball and broke a bat for a double play. David Hale absolutely fooled Scooter Gennett (who looked good defensively) on a moving fastball. The pitch tends to tail away, sometimes off the plate. He also has a 4-seamer with a curve.
Frank De Los Santos is a lefty with some quick 3/4 arm action. All 3 hitters he faced hit balls that didn’t leave the infield.
In the California League versus the Carolina League All-Star Game
Billy Hamilton was the show that everyone wanted to see. It also gave me the chance to see him with the bat and the glove. He bunted towards 1st and was easily safe in his 1st at-bat. He was timed at just 3.41 seconds to 1st base. He then stole 2nd easily, and then stole 3rd base despite long pauses by the pitcher and a good throw by the catcher (the California League was quickly 5 for 5 on steals versus catcher David Freitas). In the 2nd at-bat, he hit a routine grounder to shortstop and almost beat it out. He whiffed on a breaking ball in the 3rd at-bat and a bad call on a fastball was the 2nd strike. He then he struck out on a low change. He had a couple whiffs in his next at-bat before chasing a pitch way out of the zone for a strikeout. Defensively, he didn’t block a ball he should have.
C.J. Retherford was pull crazy as a righty in the home run derby. He hit 6 homers and showed off some real power. In the game, he was chasing breaking balls out of the zone and had a weak fly-ball. He also flailed on a high fastball. Chris Owens also participated in the home run derby and DH’ed in the game. In the game he had some really mixed results in the derby with a few homers but had some weak hit balls. In the game he hit a chopper hard in the 1st at-bat, but chased and whiffed in his 2nd at-bat and hit a weak ground-ball. Brady Shoemaker had a wild swing but showed off serious power when he centred the ball and won the derby. In the game, he made weak contact in 3 times in a row. This was after he ripped a liner in his first at-bat. His 2nd was not very good as it dropped in for a hit. Another bat at-bat with a whiff ended in a weak ground-ball.
George Springer, one of the top prospects in the Astros organization had a big whiff on a curve and hit a weak ground-ball. He has a very unpolished approach but stole 2nd and has very good speed and knows how to run the bases. Miles Head is certainly not a jeans model, but he runs okay. He hit an infield fly-ball his first at-bat and has a weird swing. There are real bat speed questions, which makes his hitting statistics weird. We will see how he adapts in AA. He is not a real good fielder either.
Rico Noel made an amazing catch in CF and has very good speed (he stole a base easily). He batted 9th in the game and whiffed on a breaking ball, but he also walked. Jackie Bradley JR. in the Red Sox organization drilled the first pitch he saw but also had a weak comebacker. He also stole a base. Michael Earley looked overwhelmed at the plate until late in the game when he hit a ball to the centerfield wall. Of course, the next batter hit a ball to the wall as well. Ty Kelley really ripped a ball but chased off speed pitches and had some really ugly swings. He hit a ball of the wall but didn’t look good at 3rd base. Frietas drew a walk but is really slow which is not that surprising considering his size and position. It looks like he can hit though, and it looks like he will have to in order to make up for his apparent lack of other tools.
Jeremy Tice hit the ball pretty hard. It looks like he is going to be an all bat guy with his size. He had a long at-bat where he struck out. Travis Shaw had a home run derby like blast during the game. It was a serious display of power on a high inside fastball that he pulled.
I don’t have much notes on pitchers in this game, but Cody Buckel was showing off very plus breaking balls, a slider and a change, that he could throw for strikes. He mixed this with a plus fastball with movement (it wasn’t flat) that was getting him whiffs. He did walk a batter though. Yordano Ventura has a very raw change-up (but he got a strikeout with it) but was hitting in the mid-upper 90s. He control wasn’t all that good but he got no solid contact.
Dylan Bundy’s first fastball was outside and blew away Springer. He then made him whiff on a change and then another fastball for a 3 pitch strikeout. Those are obviously plus pitches. He blew away Miles Head with fastballs and got Brad Miller to swing and miss on the first pitch. Miller actually made contact on a fastball and fouled it twice. Bundy ended up walking him. He then gave up some fouls but got a ground-ball.