Saturday, December 18, 2004

Tyrell Godwin Report

Tyrell Godwin, OF, Washington Nationals
Drafted 91st Overall (3rd Rd), 2001 Draft, U of North Carolina
Bats L/Thros R
25 YO, 6'0", 200 lbs

Godwin is a poor man's Joey Gathright. He has speed and marginal plate discipline, and no power whatsoever. He's destined to be a 5th outfielder, pinch running and coming in as a late innings defensive replacement. He hit .253/.355/.326 with 21 doubles, 7 triples, 6 home runs, 52 walks, and 110 K's in 521 at bats for New Hampshire. He stole 42 bases while being caught 12 times. Defensively, he's a flycatcher with a lot of range and a good idea of how to play out there. He's nothing I'm going to get excited about. He's more Peter Bergeron than Bobby Abreau.

ETA: Opening Day
1 1/2 Stars

Friday, December 17, 2004

Andy Sisco Report

Andy Sisco, LHP, Kansas City Royals
Drafted 46th Overall (2nd Rd), 2001 Draft, HS, Sammamish, WA
Bats L/Throws L
21 YO, 6'9", 250 lbs

Sisco was taken second overall in the Rule 5 Draft on Monday. Unlike Angel Guzman, Sisco has an extensive professional record that you can draw on for evaluative efforts. He was looking like a really nice prospect coming into 2003, with an electric fastball and a strong season in the Midwest League under his belt. This year was a terrible one for him though, as he lost velocity and command. He put up a 4.21 ERA with an unacceptable 65 walks in 126 innings. He obviously needs to tighten the control. He did however log 134 strikeouts and only 118 hits allowed. And that was with scouts being disappointed with his stuff.

The goal for the Royals is pretty obvious. If you can decrease his walk rate by even a third, he's capable of providing some good innings out of the bullpen straight out of HiA ball. If you can't, then he's another big thrower with no idea where it's going. They stuck with Mike MacDougal for an entire season as a closer, so I think Sisco's chances of sticking on the roster for the whole season are pretty good.

ETA: Opening Day
3 Stars

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Angel Garcia Report

Angel Garcia, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Drafted 107th Overall (4th Rd), 2001 Draft, HS, Toa Alta, Puerto Rico
Bats R/Throws R
21 YO, 6'6", 200 lbs

Today I'm going to start profiling some of the players who were selected in monday's Rule 5 Draft. Garcia is a nice place to start because he was selected #1 in the Rule 5. The Rays evidently love the kid. They love him enough to pay the Diamondbacks $100,000 to select Garcia for them, and pay the $50,000 fee that the Twins get for losing him in the draft.

Garcia's pro career has been pretty unremarkable. His best season was 2003, when he posted a 2.89 ERA with 44 K's and 18 walks in 37 1/3 innings for Elizabethton of the Appalachian League at age 19. Towards the end of that year, he had Tommy John surgery and only pitched 18 innings in 2004. He's impressed everybody thus far in the Puerto Rican Winter League, showing a good fastball and a developing change. His control is still a bit rough as he's getting used to his new elbow. But that usually comes back. I honestly have no idea whether he'll be any good. I'm almost certain that he's not ready to be a major leaguer. He's only pitched 10 innings in a full season league, and that was in the Midwest League.

ETA: Opening Day
2 Stars

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Colter Bean Report

Colter Bean, RHP, New York Yankees
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2000, Auburn
Bats R/Throws R
27 YO, 6'6", 255 lbs

Colter Bean is pretty much Steve Schmoll all grow'd up. He's a big, sidearming guy who doesn't light up the radar, but kills righty hitters. He's also done well against left handed hitters in the minor leagues, but sidearmers and submariners usually get typecasted as ROOGy's or LOOGy's, coming in to mow down the other team's best power hitter and then going back to the anonymity of the bench.

This year in Columbus, Bean recorded a 2.29 ERA with 109 K's and 23 walks in 82 2/3 innings. He only allowed 61 hits all season, and only 3 of those were home runs.

He should be fully capable of being a good reliever in the majors. He's old for a prospect. And anybody who cares about a player's "ceiling" is going to turn up his nose. But he's useful, especially to a team that has had as many problems in the bullpen as the Yankees have recently.

ETA: Any time now
2 1/2 Stars

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Adam Loewen Report

Adam Loewen, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
Drafted 4th Overall, 2002 Draft, Chipola Junior College, FL
Bats L/Throws L
20 YO, 6'6", 220 lbs

In a single season, Loewen suffered the twin fates young pitchers dread. Not only did he lose his command and walk 58 batters in 85 1/3 innings in Delmarva, but late in the season he was diagnosed with a partially torn labrum. It was decided that he wouldn't have surgery, but would instead go through a strict rehab and strength training program. In the meantime, his future is up in the air as labrum tears are the ultimate in bad news.

Last year at about this time, I was decrying Loewen as being the most overrated prospect in the game because of the fact that he had a total of 23 1/3 pro innings under his belt and was somehow regarded as one of the top 15 prospects in the game. That just doesn't compute as far as I'm concerned. Still, it is shame that he had the disastrous year he did. I hope that he doesn't become the next Ryan Anderson, riding the health roller coaster all the way off the 40 man roster and into obscurity. It's not his fault that some prospect mavens get a little more excited about a scouting report than is wise. And I feel a bit remorseful. I was harder on him than he deserved. I wish him the best.

ETA: 2008 at the earliest
2 Stars

Monday, December 13, 2004

Tom Mastny Report

Tom Mastny, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Drafted 320th overall (11th Rd), 2003 Draft, Furman
Bats R/Throws R
23 YO, 6'5", 220 lbs

Mastny put up great numbers in the Sally League this year with fastball that usually sits at around 90 MPH and breaking stuff that doesn't get a lot of attention. He got those numbers by throwing strikes and using a very smart approach. There are a number of guys like this that just keep hitters off balance by changing speeds mixing their off speed stuff with their fastball. Right now the righties of the type are almost always compared to Greg Maddux and the lefties are compared to either Tom Glavine or Jamie Moyer. They walk a tightrope because if they make a mistake, it's like batting practice. They don't have the out-pitch that a Clemens has in his fastball or a Zito in his curve. They'll always have doubters and they'll always have to earn their way into a promotion.

Still, these kinds of pitchers CAN succeed because of the battle for control of the strike zone. Hitters always want to get in hitter's counts, and pitchers always want to get in pitcher's counts. Hitters will always be on the defensive if they're 0-2, no matter whether the guy is throwing 90, or 97.

Mastny's stats in Charleston this year were very good. He posted a 2.17 ERA with 141 K's, 41 walks, and only 4 home runs allowed in 149 innings. The indicators are good, and he could move quickly if he starts 2005 pitching like he did all this year. He was 23 all season and was in Lo-A ball.

ETA: Late 2007
3 Stars

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Russ Adams/Aaron Hill Report

Russ Adams, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
Drafted 14th Overall, 2002 Draft, U. of North Carolina
Bats L/Throws R
24 YO, 6'1", 178 lbs

Aaron Hill, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
Drafted 13th Overall, 2003 Draft, LSU
Bats R/Throws R
22 YO, 5'11", 195 lbs

The Jays drafted college shortstops in the first round in consecutive years and ended up with a couple of good prospects. I have a hard time remembering which is which, just as with Aybar and Callaspo. So here's the review.

Hill is the better prospect. He's younger. He has better plate discipline. He's a better defensive shortstop. Adams has already made his major league debut though. And he performed very well in his september audition.

Adams hit .288/.351/.408 with 37 doubles, 5 home runs, 45 walks, and 62 strikeouts in 483 International League at bats. Then he hit .306/.349/.528 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs, 5 walks, and 5 K's in 72 at bats. The plate discipline is suboptimal, and there's not a lot of power. But projecting out to the majors, he's league average for either a shortstop or a second baseman. He's the favorite to open 2005 as the starting shortstop for the Jays.

Hill hit .279/.368/.410 with 26 doubles, 11 home runs, 63 walks, and 61 K's in 480 Eastern League at bats. The plate discipline is quite good. The power is mediocre, but at least it's there. While Adams profiles as a 7/8/9 hitter, Hill looks like a leadoff or number 2 hitter. He doesn't steal many bases, but that isn't much of a concern with a SABR-friendly organization like Toronto.

With these two and Orlando Hudson, the Blue Jay infield will start getting crowded. Hill is the best long term answer at short. Hudson looks like a better player than Adams is likely to become, but has been surrounded by trade rumors for 2 seasons now. If they keep all three, then Adams could theoretically become a utility infielder, or Hudson could be moved to third base, though that would be a waste of a good second baseman.

Adams: ETA: 2005
3 Stars

Hill: ETA Late 2005
3 1/2 Stars

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