|By Mike Craven||By 02-19-2009|
|1. By: ASUBoyd on 02-19-2009 12:09:49|
Awesome report, fun to read. Will be interesting to see how his stock plays out come June.
|2. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 12:12:51|
I'm glad to hear good responses to these pieces on the prep guys... we'll do some on the college guys, too, of course.
Mike is doing well in his first few pieces at Prospect Insider, too. Please help welcome him to PI.
|3. By: Pumpkin on 02-19-2009 12:18:19|
Thanks Jason, this was an awesome report. I love hearing about the high end prep prospects. Are you planning on doing reports on the top prep prospects like Matzek and Purke?
|4. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 12:29:09|
Absolutely. Neither Mike nor myself will see him in person, but I know some scouts who will.
I might see Matzek in person in April.
We'll also cover the prep position (not preposition) prospects such as Tate, Givens and my favorite, Luke Bailey.
|5. By: Slack on 02-19-2009 12:38:32|
Very interesting article. I think Mike is a keeper.
I like the comparison of Miller to Purke and Matzek. How does he compare to Jacob Turner?
|6. By: Pumpkin on 02-19-2009 12:46:53|
Just a quick question about Givens, what do you think his final position will be, I have heard he can hit 95-97 on the mound, but I have also heard he is a great hitter and fielder. i don't know very much about him, so where do you think he will end up? Also I remember hearing something about Tate having committed to a college for football is this true?
|7. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 13:30:23|
Tate is the son of former NFL'er Lars Tate, so there's reason to think football is a possibility, but it's awfully tough to imagine a kid passing up two million bucks.
As for Givens, I really don't know at this point. I haven't seen him and the discussions I have had about him with those who have is sketchy by memory.
Athletically, he can play anywhere. Arm, footspeed, instincts.
Jacob Turner isn't as projectable as Miller, Purke and Matzek.
We'll write up all these guys, though.
|8. By: 01v-dubs on 02-19-2009 13:33:37|
Reports are that Tate is not that impressive in football, abd is just useing his committment as leverage in negotiations. What I'm interested in is how does he compare to other HS outfielders who have been drafted recently like the Uptons, Maybin etc.
Mike, great piece on a guy who is not getting a lot of pub right now. I haven't heard a lot about Miller until now, but he sounds pretty exciting, the fact that he's throwing an 87mph slider as a 17-18 year old is pretty impressive.
|9. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 13:39:43|
Just eyeing it, Tate is every bit the athlete that Upton and Maybin were at the same stage. As is Givens. But bat speed, swing mechanics, pitch recognition, plate coverage... Both Uptons beat the daylights out of Tate from what I have seen.
But that's unfair. Both Uptons are stars, maybe even superstars pretty soon - I predicted on the radio in Tampa last week that BJ would win the AL MVP in 2009.
Tate is more of a premium athlete with a chance to be a star in baseball. He's just a lot riskier due to the unrefinement in comparison to Upton.
I'm not a Maybin fan and never really was.
|10. By: JD Kickastro on 02-19-2009 13:40:02|
Great Scouting Report, Mike.
This kid sounds very promising. I'm excited to see what he'll do this season.
JAC, what is your take on his repertoire?
Does he really need his change to sustain success at the pro level?
Since he is more projectable than the other top prep pitchers in the draft, do you think he'll move quicker in the minors?
|11. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 13:43:54|
I haven't actually seen Miller, so I can't say with a lot of certainty.
But yes, pitchers need a change-of-pace pitch to keep hitters off the hard stuff. And even if he keeps the true curve ball, it's unlikely that he'll throw both breaking balls regularly (tough to sustain consistency, and it's tough on the arm)... he'll need a third pitch.
I don't think projectability is related to moving quicker through the minors. It simply means there's more raw ability there. In Miller, a lot of that is physical.
|12. By: Gustafson on 02-19-2009 13:44:48|
Boy I hope a position player jumps up and makes a big move this college or high school season to justify the #2 pick. The Mariners are so thin on impact position players in the minors.
|13. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 13:50:39|
They have lots of early picks, even without the comp for Fields. Plenty of time to get players.
|14. By: slick on 02-19-2009 14:49:28|
Givens is kind of like Adam Jones smaller frame think 5'11 175.He was in the UA prep allstar game on FSN this summer. Most likely would be a center fielder, but could start as a shortstop similar to Jones. As for the number two pick unless White shows a lot I think the m's should go with Crow. Last year I lived Aventura FL so all i got to see was a little bit of ACC BIG East and some SEC games on TV. I have seen Crow on video once or twice he has a weird thing he does with his wrist during the windup I dont know if scouts think this could lead to arm trouble or not but he has a nice fastball cutter and slider combination if the scouts like the mechanics I think he is the best of the college pitchers.
Also a question for Jason, last year a lot of people were talking about prep player by the name of Chris Jenkins from NJ he was getting compared to Aumont a lot 6'7 230 RHP with a real hard fastball. Any thing you have heard lately of this prep player? seems hype has died down a little but at 6'7 and a 93-97mph on his fastball
|15. By: usabaseballfan on 02-19-2009 15:41:47|
I'm loving the scoop on these prep kids--can't find this kind of analysis anywhere else. It seems like there is a bigger drop-off between the #1 rated prospect and the rest of the field than in almost any other year. What are the chances that Strassburg doesn't get taken #1? Is there any chance that we could see a Mauer-Prior in talent go #1 and #2? Or is it more likely to be a David Price-Moustakas type drop-off?
|16. By: 01v-dubs on 02-19-2009 16:08:39|
The guy I'm really curious about is Bobby Borchering 1b/3b, prep switch hitter with big time power from both sides. He could be a nice late first round pick
|17. By: ThePaul on 02-19-2009 17:31:17|
Awesome stuff Jason. This stuff is the precursor for your work with Keith Law during the draft right?
|18. By: DRWheelock on 02-19-2009 17:46:13|
Jason, I read a report this morning on MLBTradeRumor that Seattle's interested in Fukudome. Have you heard anything?
Johjima, Washburn, and Bedard's names were listed as possible candidates.NO WAY is bedard in any Fukudome deal, but a combo Joh/Washburn is really interesting...that total's $34.3M in salary from Seattle...with $38M from Cubs Fukudome.
That would solve the C issue making sure Clements bat is in the lineup, then our backup C would be either Burke, Rob J, or Adam Moore. I think Adam Moore wouldn't be up until a September callup, or 2010 though.
Thoughts on this article?!
|19. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 17:46:48|
Givens is sturdily built, moreso than Jones. Similar weight, but stronger at the same stage, for sure.
RE: Slick -- haven't heard about Jenkins other than his name. I'll ask around.
And yeah, Crow has that backside hook in his delivery, which could present problems for him, but it also creates deception.
The drop-off, usabaseballfan, is quite large as we sit here right now. But the Nats, they aren't the best-run org in, well, not even in D.C., so anything can happen.
I contend that Strasburg and Boras may attempt to price themselves out of Washington to get to Seattle or SD at 2 or 3. Stras is a west coast guy.
Remind me about Borchering, cool?
Thanks, and yeah. Starting tomorrow, ESPNinsider and at times ESPN non-insider, will get the Law-Churchill coverage on the draft at least five days a week.
|20. By: 01v-dubs on 02-19-2009 18:27:32|
Jason, Bobby Borchering is a prep 1b/3b switch hitter with what I've read to be plus power from both sides, although I don't know much about his overall hitting ability. He's already good size at 6'3 180. From what I can tell his draft stock largly depends on if scouts think he can stay at 3b long term. Here's what BA had to say about him in a chat.
Josh from Seattle asks:
Can you tell me a little about Bobby Borchering? Where do you see him falling in the draft?
A: John Manuel: If he shows he can play 3B, at least for a short time as a pro, he'll be drafted pretty high. It's a thin draft for hitters, and he can hit and hit for power. He's not fast and not really quick, either, so there are some doubts as to whether or not he can play 3B. It sounds like the longer you watch him, the more you think he can do it. Early to know where he'll fall, but that will be determined as much by his glove as by his bat, because the consensus seems to be that he's one of the best power hitters in this class.
|21. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 18:56:13|
Actually, I meant remind me... like in a week or two. Make sure I ask about him.
|22. By: 01v-dubs on 02-19-2009 18:56:48|
oh, ha ok Jason no problem
|23. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 19:07:24|
Honestly, I'm not a Manuel fan, either. Not that he's wrong, but I'll trust the scouting people I talk to before those he talks to.
|24. By: mykillmagnum on 02-19-2009 19:26:05|
what do you think about andy marte? he was dfa today. do you think the mariners will take a chance on him? i know he was once a super prospect, but hasnt really panned out. i think its worth a shot. one thing i dont get though, are his options. lets say the mariners signed him, would he be able to be sent to the minors? or would he be out of opitons if he signed to play here?
|25. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 19:40:07|
I asked two scout types today about Marte and these were the two responses I got.
1. "I don't know what to make of Marte."
2. "Dude's not a player."
|26. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 20:04:30|
If the Mariners claimed Marte, he'd have to be on their 40-man just as he was on Cleveland's.
If he clears waivers, the Tribe can assign him to Triple-A as a non-40-man roster member.
If they choose to release him, he does become a free agent. At that point, if he signed a minor league deal with someone, the options start over.
|27. By: stickball on 02-19-2009 21:21:15|
If Marte clears waivers, he could refuse assignment to the minors and become a free agent.
|28. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 21:37:07|
You're right, he can. The two-time minimum is for being outrighted, not DFA'd.
|29. By: Lonnie on 02-19-2009 22:27:28|
Mike Craven seems like a real keeper, his work so far has been top-notch! PI is growing nicely!
Some quick questions:
1) Miller seems interesting, but during a rebuilding time such as the Mariners are in, is it better to go with the more polished college players in the draft who may help the team sooner, or do you stay the course and go with the best available talent?
2) Is there less of a chance of injury throwing the breaking stuff when a kid has the physical build that Miller has? It sure seems like he has pretty much filled out his frame already.
3) I haven't read of a prep pitcher working with a 4 seamer vs a 2 seamer. All I ever read is "fastball". Do they even differentiate between the two during their HS years?
|30. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-19-2009 23:07:08|
1) No, it's imperative to stay on the course of the best players available, regardless of position or level. So, the latter of your inquiry is the way to go.
2) I wouldn't say that, no. Some believe that, I do not. I think it's about mechanics. A bigger, stronger pitcher is more projectable in terms of adding velocity and potentially building the kind of endurance it takes to pitch deep into games consistently, but I don't believe there is any injury protection in being simply bigger.
3)Some do, yes. It's not prevalent, typically, until the bigs or high minors takes a bite out of someone's fastball or secondary stuff and they need another way to get outs.
To be clear, this is very different than pitchers trying to get good downward plane and creating sink on their fastballs. Two-seamers, by design, move vertically and/or horizontally, but aren't always of the sinking versions.
This goes for the cutter, too. Danks in Chicago is a good example. His slider was inconsistent, his change, too, so the Sox taight him the cutter, which has equalized his work versus RHBs and made him a frontline arm.
But that, too, took place in the big leagues or late in the minors for Danks.
Detroit's Rick Porcello uses a sinking two-seamer. Former M's right-hander Clint Nageotte did, too.
Felix's moves down and horizontally quite a bit at times.
|31. By: Lonnie on 02-20-2009 00:03:50|
Thanks Jason, that's good intel.
|32. By: 01v-dubs on 02-20-2009 12:36:33|
Nice work at ESPN Jason, that's pretty cool that you have a gig there now.
|33. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-20-2009 13:26:18|
Thanks, dubs, the coverage will get better, it was just a preview day, really.
I'll be able to add more in-depth stuff as we go, though most of that is definitely going to come from Keith, since he's the trained eye.
|34. By: 01v-dubs on 02-20-2009 15:26:54|
Law's top 32 is pretty interesting. First time I've seen Oliver above Matzek and Purke. He also seems to think highly enough of Green to put him at 3. Also Brian Pearl at 25 is pretty surprising considering his lack of expieriance pitching.
|35. By: Gustafson on 02-20-2009 15:39:31|
Alex White had an interesting day today for UNC in his season debut. He got the win and was striking out guys left and right, but according to the moderator on the UNC Scout.com site, he wasn't terribly sharp. Here was his line:
5 ip 8 h 3 er 1 BB 9k (87 pitches)
He had 6 Ks through 2 and 8 though 3. Not sure if he tired after that or what...
I didn't see it - just passing along what I saw on UNC's scout.com site...
|36. By: ThePaul on 02-20-2009 15:44:49|
There seems to be a lot of quality LHP in both the prep and college ranks. Oliver and Minor heading the college class and Purke, Matzek, and Skaggs for prep arms. Everything I've read is that prior to the season they all project as first rounders.
|37. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-20-2009 16:40:35|
Law liked Pearl last year, too. Great arm.
Oliver-Matzek-Purke... Oliver is a safer pick, similar upside.
He ran into a tough inning and hit his pitch count after five.
|38. By: ThePaul on 02-20-2009 17:19:51|
He's coached by Brett Anderson's dad right?
|39. By: bikozu on 02-20-2009 21:42:54|
Hey Jason, who are some players you personally would like the Mariners to be looking at for the 27th and 33rd picks?
|40. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-20-2009 21:47:22|
Nobody in particular right now.
|41. By: slick on 02-20-2009 23:29:40|
USC Junior pitcher Boxberger's line
6IP 11K 1H 0ER VS Long Beach State
Most publications have him anywhere from pick 27-70
|42. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-21-2009 00:27:42|
Boxberger also walked six. He's got a lot to prove as a starter.
|43. By: StandinPat on 02-21-2009 12:38:24|
What's your thoughts on Marte? Would it be too difficult for him to be atleast passable at 1B this year and be the RH half of the platoon there? Seems like he'd be a great buy low candidate and could be great Beltre insurance. Do you know if he's out of options?
|44. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-21-2009 12:42:34|
I can't see any reason why anyone believes he can play everyday.
He hasn't had a good year since 2005.
Marte is out of options, but right now Tui>Marte.
Neither is a legit defender at third, though Tui has a chance to prove me wrong still. Insurance for Beltre?
He's playing second right now. There's your insurance.
None of the above is a long-term replacement for Beltre.
|45. By: StandinPat on 02-21-2009 14:06:13|
I agree that right now Lopez is the most likely replacement for Beltre at 3rd, but until he shows some major improvements in the OBP department, I don't really see Jose as a long-term option anywhere.
Speaking of Tui, his bat really seems to have come a long, long way over the past couple of years. What do you see as his eta for being MLB ready with the bat and the glove? Seems like the bat might be ready before the end of the year, but the glove might be two years off.
|46. By: Jason A. Churchill on 02-21-2009 14:17:42|
Lopez's overall evaluation is a completely different subject.
I'm not sure Tui can play third. I'd move him to right field (I would have done this last year) and go from there.
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