Weekend Prospect Update: July 19-21

roache

A handful of prospects shined this past weekend while a few did the opposite. Here’s one notable performance from every level this weekend.

Notable performances:

  • Johnny Hellweg (acquired via LAA in 2012) picked up the win for Nashville on Saturday night, throwing six complete inning of scoreless baseball on two hits, four walks and six punchouts. The outing generated a game score of 70, his second-highest this season and nearly twice the amount of his best with the big-league club, which was 36 against the Reds on July 10. With the solid outing, Hellweg now owns a  2.22 ERA over 13 night games this season in triple-A.

Capture

  • Victor Roache (first round, 2012) went 5-for-14 from the dish this weekend for the low-A Appleton club, blasting his 12th home run of the season while driving in three total runs and scoring twice. He’s swung a hot bat of late, posting a July slash line of .308/.345/.590. @BrewersPD noted last night that Roache’s last 10 games have been exceptionally productive.

Capture

  • Michael Ratterree (10th round, 2013) continued his hot-hitting since being drafted by Milwaukee earlier last month, going 6-for-13 from the plate this weekend for rookie-level Helena. He also drove in five runs and scored twice, tallying two doubles and his third home run of the season. The Rice University product now boasts a .357/.434/.633 slash line over his first 25 games in the system, and as the Helena Brewers’  official Twitter account appropriately noted, he now rides a 11-game hit streak to open up the work week.

Capture

  • Jason Rogers (32nd round, 2010) went stone-cold from the plate in June (.126/.236/.147), but this weekend gave the organization more reasons for a potential promotion to triple-A, going 6-for-12 from the plate. One of those games included a three-home run effort on Saturday, tying the record for the most home runs in a game in Huntsville’s team history. This month, Rogers stands at .333/.422/.667, in large part due to improved plate discipline (6 BB/10 K). The 25-year-old has plus raw power at the dish; if he can continue to improve his approach at the plate, a call-up to Nashville might be on the way.

Capture

  • Jed Bradley (first round, 2011), turned in arguably his best outing as a professional Friday night for high-A Brevard County. Though he took the loss, the Georgia Tech product worked five innings of two-hit baseball, putting just one man on base via walk while striking out two. He induced nine ground balls to four fly-balls, one of his best ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratios of the season. Since May 29, Bradley owns a 2.90 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, striking out 25 to walking 14 while holding opponents to a .230 average and .625 OPS.
  • Capture

Game Notes: Brooks Hall, July 19

spacecoastdaily.com

spacecoastdaily.com

Brooks Hall (2010, 4th round) made his ninth appearance — and sixth start — since being promoted to the double-A Southern League at the beginning of June. It’s been tough sledding for the 22-year-old with Huntsville thus far, posting a 6.23 ERA and 1.62 WHIP since making the often difficult jump from high-A ball, but his abbreviated Friday night outing impressed me on several fronts.

Here are a few scouting notes from his latest start.

Line: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, K.

Pitches Thrown: (59; 40 strikes)

Pitch Selection

Hard (fastball): 41 (70%)

  • In-play: 11 (26%)
  • Foul: 9 (22%)
  • Whiff: 0
  • Called-strike: 6 (15%)
  • Ball: 15 (37%)

Notes: Ran his fastball up to 93 but consistently sat at 91. Long limbs create steep angle at the point of release; works downhill and generates easy, effortless velocity. Pitch had decent, late-moving sink to it, and though he did not induce any swinging strikes with the offering, batters had a tough time squaring it up and a handful of ground-ball outs were the product of that fact. Kept the pitch down and worked both sides of the plate well; kept out of the middle of the zone in pitchers’ counts, showing improved pitchability and strike zone command. Grade — 45/50

Soft (slider/changeup): 18 (30%)

  • In-play: 3 (16%)
  • Foul: 1 (6%)
  • Whiff: 5 (28%)
  • Called-strike: 5 (28%)
  • Ball: 4 (22%)

Notes: Slider had tight-breaking 11/5 action and changeup showed signs of promise, but used neither extensively. Relied heavily on his fastball early in counts and in jams, so you can tell he’s still developing trust in his secondary offerings. Still, his slider generated a couple whiffs and his changeup another three swings-and-misses against lefties, so his deception was fairly impressive tonight. He’ll need to work on commanding both offerings, though, and that’s all part of the double-A learning curve so he’s right where he should be in the development process. Grades — Changeup: 40/45; Slider: 45/50

Scouting Report: Orlando Arcia

What does the future hold for Orlando Arcia? / postcrescent.com

What does the future hold for Orlando Arcia? / postcrescent.com

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to observe touted Milwaukee Brewers prospect Orlando Arcia over several games with the team’s low-A Midwest League affiliate in Appleton, Wisconsin. With several intriguing tools and no screaming weakness currently hampering his game, there’s a lot to like about the soon-to-be 19-year-old.

Here, I offer my own scouting report on the youngster.

Measurables: 6’0″, 165 lbs.

DOB: 8/4/1994

Position: Shortstop

Bats/Throws: R/R

Acquired: Signed as undrafted free-agent on Oct. 22, 2010

Brief: Physically raw frame with above-average athleticism; room for muscular development in lower half and torso. Wise beyond years at the plate; good pitch recognition skills and above-average knowledge of the strike zone. Plus-plus defensive range at shortstop; soft hands and strong arm help turn double plays with ease. Makes hard-hit choppers up the middle look easy.

Body: Smallish, lean, skinny frame. Room to realistically pack on around 15-20 more pounds of muscle, especially to lower half. Will need to become stronger in the wrists/forearms to help the bat. Above-average natural athleticism; good jumping ability in the field and decent acceleration on the bases.

Bat: Still a long way from reaching physical maturity, Arcia’s isn’t able to tap into much power yet. Once he becomes stronger in the wrists and forearms he should be able to generate more bat speed — fringe-average right now — through the zone and at the point of contact and easily hit double-digit home runs at the next level. He isn’t there yet, though, and probably won’t be there for a few more years, so he’s essentially a gap-type hitter right now.

Approach/Plate Discipline: As I mentioned earlier, Arcia is clearly wise beyond his years at the plate with respect to plate discipline. He has an advanced knowledge of the strike zone, consistently seeing the ball to each side of the plate wait to see the first strike go by. Like many his age, he hasn’t been exposed enough to legitimate breaking and offspeed offerings and he’ll need to work on laying off those pitches when located out of the zone. ‘Patient’ and ‘selective’ are both adjectives I’d use to best describe Arcia’s approach.

Arcia Mechanics

Swing analysis: Simple pre-swing mechanics. Feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, upright torso, hands high and in ideal position to promote short-to-the-ball swing. Sets up deep in the box and begins with subtle front-leg load; sometimes adds extra a toe-tap on offspeed pitches. Would like to see him get his front foot down a tad sooner to promote more explosive firing up hips and lower-body, as right now he’s lunging at the ball more than you’d ideally like, which limits his power and ability to adjust/lay off offspeed stuff. Upper and lower body are in tune, overall, though with room for improvement. One thing I do like is the pre-swing load with his hands; they drift away from the starting position but return to ideal position near his right-ear to further promote a compact swing, which helps him adjust to hard stuff that may catch him by surprise. He has good barrel control through the zone, as well, and fluid wrists that help generate a smooth stroke. Considering his advanced approach, growing frame and quick, to-the-ball bat path, Arcia’s hit tool has a ton of projection left on it and he should be able to hit for an average around the .270 mark.

Field/Arm: Arcia’s best and most intriguing tool when he joined the system as a 16-year-old was his glove. That hasn’t changed. Good natural instincts and plus range allow him to make up-the-middle and through the shortstop/third base hole ground balls with ease. Soft hands and a ridiculously versatile arm allow him to turn double plays with ease; adjusts to sliding base-runners at an advanced level. Overall, his glove grades out as plus-average right now with little room for improvement other than working further on fundamentals, which he already has a good grasp of.

Run: Natural athleticism helps him get out of the box fairly quick and make good turns from first to second base. Doesn’t possess plus-speed when trying to steal bases but should be considered major-league average right now. Improving his reads off the bat on the bases will help his speed play up in the future. Will probably steal around 20-25 bases per season at the next level.

Grades (Present/Future)

Hit: 30/50

Power: 30/40

Field: 60/65

Run: 45/50

Throw: 55/60

Player comp: Everth Cabrera

MLB ETA: Should challenge for up-the-middle infield spot by 2017

System Prospect Notes: July 18, 2013

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Kentrail Davis has impressed since his promotion to the triple-A Pacific Coast League. / al.com

A few things to take note of from Thursday around the system.

Triple-A Nashville (35-65): Won, 3-1

  • Robinzon Diaz led the way for Nashville with 2 RBI on a 2-for-5 performance at the plate, extending his current hit streak to four games. He’s now batting .395/.409/.512 in his first 13 games with the Sounds since being promoted from double-A earlier in the season.
  • Kentrail Davis went 1-for-3 out of the No. 6 hole in the lineup. He’s now hit safely in each of his first five games with the club since his promotion a few days ago 
  • R.J. Seidel turned in 5.2 innings of one-run baseball, allowing just four hits while walking none and striking out seven, lowering his season ERA to 5.52.

Double-A Huntsville (40-54): Won, 1-0

  • Drew Gagnon tossed a gem of an outing, lasting 6.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing eight hits, two walks while striking out three. It was his first truly impressive outing since making the jump from high-A ball a few weeks back. I took some scouting notes on his outing last night.
  • Chadwin Stang made a few nice plays in center field last night and went 1-for-4 at the plate, scoring the game’s only run in the top of the first. He’s batting .281/.344/.316 since his promotion from high-A Brevard County earlier this seaosn.

High-A Brevard County (51-41): Won, 3-2

  • D’Vontrey Richardson recorded his first multi-hit game at the high-A level this season since re-entering the system a few weeks back, going 2-for-4 with an RBI from the leadoff spot in the order.
  • Nick Ramirez extended his reached-base-safely streak to a relatively impressive nine games, going 1-for-4 with an RBI, walk and two strikeouts from the No. 3 spot in the lineup. His season slash line now stands at .260/.328/.488.
  • Skipping around from high-A to double-A frequently this season, Mark Williams threw two scoreless innings of relief. He’s held opponents to a .553 OPS over his last seven appearances. 

Low-A Wisconsin (40-51): Lost, 5-6

  • Michael Reed went 1-for-5 with a double out of the No. 2 spot in Matt Erickson’s lineup after going hitless (0-for-4) from the plate on Wednesday. Over his last 19 games, he’s batted .342/.457/.474 with a .397 BABIP and six extra-base hits.
  • Victor Roache’s 3-for-4 performance included his 11th home run of the season, extending his current hit streak to five games. He’s produced exceptional numbers since the start of July, posting a slash line of .297/.343/.594 with nine extra-base hits in 16 games. His BABIP over that span is .349.

Rookie-level Helena (15-12): Lost, 6-17

  • 2013 10th-round pick Michael Ratterree went 3-for-4 with his second home run in as many consecutive games, extending his hit streak to nine games and meanwhile improving his brief season line to .341/.412/.600. The 22-year-old has already tallied 23 RBI, 20 R and 51 total bases over 22 games.
  • Right-handed starter Anthony Banda recorded one of the strangest lines you’ll ever see, allowijng six unearned runs to cross home over just 0.2 total innings. His season ERA dipped to 4.39 with the outing.
  • Adam Giacalone has now gone 8-for-15 (.533) with his 1-for-4 Thursday performance after being demoted from low-A ball a few days back.

AZL Brewers (8-15): Won, 5-0

  • Tucker Neuhaus went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, extending his current hit streak to four games and raising his season line to .225/.296/.315. Plate discipline has been a problem thus far for the 2013 second-round pick, striking out 23 times over 22 games with just nine walks.
  • RHP Gian Rizzo lowered his season ERA to 2.45 thanks to 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. He’s held opponents to a .200/.218/.282 slash line since his promotion from the Dominican Summer League back on June 22.

DSL Brewers (10-27): 1-1, suspended game

  • Miguel Diaz, 18, threw seven complete innings of scoreless ball, striking out five, walking two and allowing just three hits. Over his last four starts, he owns a 2.70 ERA, striking out 20 batters and allowing just 17 hits over 23.1 innings.

Game Notes: Drew Gagnon, July 18

Gagnon pitching earlier this season with high-A Brevard County / MiLB.com

Gagnon pitching earlier this season with high-A Brevard County / MiLB.com

Drew Gagnon made his eighth start of the season with double-A Huntsville Thursday since his promotion from high-A on June 24. The Long Beach State product was in need of a solid outing against an advanced Southern League lineup — owning a 1.87 WHIP and 7.43 ERA over his last five starts coming into his matchup against Pensacola this evening — and he delivered with one of his better outings as a blossoming professional.

Here are a few scouting notes on his latest outing.

Line: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 0 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 3 K.

Pitches Thrown (98; 58 strikes):

Hard (fastball/cutter): 54% (74)

  • In-play: 29% (21)
  • Foul: 12% (9)
  • Whiff: 12% (9)
  • Called-strike: 12% (9)
  • Ball: 35% (26)

Notes: Sat comfortably at 90 MPH with this fastball; mixed in his cutter well and generated a good number of swings-and-misses with the pitch and produced a fair number of ground-balls with it. Command of his two-seam is still spotty at best and will need to work on keeping it down in the zone in the future. Overall, though, his cutter can be easily considered a major league-average offering; will be one of his clear strengths moving forward.

Soft (slider/changeup): 46% (24)

  • In-play: 17% (4)
  • Foul: 13% (3)
  • Whiff: 4% (1)
  • Called-strike: 8% (2)
  • Ball: 58% (14)

Notes: Didn’t show signs of being too dependent on his hard stuff, with 46 percent of his offerings coming as either sliders or changeups. Changeup showed good deception and drop to it. Slider has fringe-average break to it, but will need to be more consistent both in and out of the zone with the offering.