On Monday night, my top scout (aka my daughter) and I, loaded up our rented scouting station (mini-van), and headed out to LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida to check out some Florida State League action. LECOM Park is actually the corporate name of McKechnie Field, often called the Fenway Park of Spring Training. Funny, I didn’t feel like my seat was designed for a garden gnome, but hey, everything is bigger in Florida right? Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Any the Arsenio Hall, my daughter and I headed out to go scout, and I use that term loosely, some of Bradenton and Clearwater’s top players. Bradenton is the Pirates Class Advanced A affiliate, and Clearwater is the Phillies. While my daughter and I munched on pretzels, hot dogs, and other assorted ballpark foods, I was reminded of why I love the minor leagues. Where else can you see potential future stars mere feet away, chat with coaches about breaking balls, and shoot some sweet scouting video without an usher booting you out of the stadium? Where am I going with all this? Be patient and I’ll tell you. Why are you so hasty bro? Well, I had an idea while shooting some scouting videos of Will Craig, and Cornelius Randolph. What if we had an army of amateur scouts throughout the country sharing their first hand video accounts?
Why not have my readers, and listeners, shoot scouting videos at the minor league games they attend throughout the year? From there, we’ll take your raw footage, edit it, and post it on Razzball’s YouTube channel. It’s crowdsourced scouting, and with smart phones more common than smart people what could be easier. So if you’re taking in a minor league game at anytime this season, whip out your phone and shoot some videos of top prospects you see. Once you do shoot them over to me via email at [email protected]
- Yo Halp! How bout that Cody Bellinger? The Tasmanian Devil of the boom-boom stick went long dong silver twice last night, and continues to look like he’s ready to make an impact in the majors. Too bad guessing his ETA is nearly impossible.
- Often forgotten Red Sox 3rd base prospect Michael “Pass The” Chavis, hit three bombs last night for Class A Advanced Salem, capped by a 2 run walk off job. Chavis has always displayed power, but has tended to struggle with contact. He’s shown an advancement in approach so far this season. If he can corral his K’s and continue to be more selective, he could make a serious jump in mid-season lists.
- Prospect on the cusp alert! Sound the alarm Lewis Brinson is en fuego! Since returning from injury 7 games ago, the Brewers top farmhand is slashing .355/.412/.645 with 2 homers and a steal. With Keon Broxton currently struggling, and Ryan Braun rumors swirling, Brinson might be up sooner than we think. Could be as early as Mid-May, or as late as early July, but he’s coming. Could be the most valuable rookie in redraft that’s still in the minors.
- Another gem of a performance by Dylan Cease on Wednesday, as he went 6 no-hit innings, walking 3, and striking out 7 in the process. He looks about ready for a promotion to me, and should see some time at AA before the season is through.
- Josh Hader had some what of a rebound on Sunday, tossing 6 innings of 1 run ball, with 5 strikeouts, and 5 baserunners. The downside is he still allowed 4 walks, so far the control has been an issue, and it is a bit of a worry, but the 1 hit shows his stuff remains nasty.
- While we’re discussing any and all Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 2016 prospect ranking faller Brett Phillips cranked two homers last night. One of which was a grand slam, on his way to driving in 6. It’s really early, but so far Phillips is rebounding nicely, slashing .318/.375/.568 with 3 homers, and 12 RBIs. Phillips, rediscovering his contact and power is a great sign for his owners, as he’s a true 5 tool prospect.
- Yoan Moncada continues his one man wrecking crew, as he homered vs the Pawsox yesterday. The prodigal Cuban switch-hitter is now slashing .292/.382/.500 with 3 homers and 2 steals. He’s coming like Nas, Yo!
- Despite some struggles recently the Orioles Top catching prospect Chance Sisco continues to impress, slashing .278/.381/.389, and got on base three times last night, driving in 4 in the process. Sisco’ power is more of the doubles variety at the moment but he may still grow into more.
- After being roughed up for 6 runs his last time out, Giants top prospect Tyler Beede righted the ship last night. Going 6 2/3rds scoreless innings, and holding Salt Lake to just 3 hits, while striking out 4. The offense in the game was provided by former first round pick Christian Arroyo who connected for his third jack of the season, while he leads all of AAA with a .479 batting average. My guess is we see Arroyo at some time this summer, and he’s just the kind of boring unassuming talent to be become a star in San Francisco. I mean they specialize in boring hitters amirite?
- Don’t look now, but the one, the only, the infamous Jelly Donut of Swat was back at it last night. That’s right Dan Vogelbach, broke out his power slump, and clubbed his first homer of the season. With Danny Valencia struggling mightily, and as far as I know still acting like a douche bag, Vogie the White Titan might be on his way before you know it.
- Yankees middle infield prospect Tyler Wade is having a strong season with AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre thus far, slashing . 386/.417/.409 with a perfect 6 for 6 record on the bases. I’ve always viewed him as a future utility guy, but there are others that think he can carve out an everyday role. Should an opportunity open in the Yanks infield some time this season, he’s worth a flier for some sweet, sweet SAGNOF.
- Former Mariners first round pick Alex Jackson is enjoying a serious resurgence with Atlanta’s Class A Advanced affiliate Florida. He currently leads the FSL in homers while slashing a robust .308/.333/.577. He’s only a few years removed from being a top 10 pick, and is a worthy buy at the moment. Me thinks, John Coppolella knew what he was doing, buying low on Jackson.
- Dodgers power-hitting outfield prospect Carlos Rincon, is putting up very solid numbers for Class A Great Lakes of the Midwest League. So far this season he’s connected for 5 homers in 10 games while slashing .324/.419/.811. He’s big bodied at 6’3 190, at only 19 years old, but still struggles with the whiffs (20 in 43 plate appearances). Yeah that’s a 46.5% K rate.
- It’s a minor league update, so that means San Francisco Giants prospect Bryan Reynolds had a three-hit night on Tuesday. He’s absolutely raking this season, with a slashline of .375/.457/.475. Looks like the Vandy product is enjoying life in the Cal League.
- Happy 4-20 everyone, I hope you left out milk and cookies for Snoop Dogg.