10/17/17 – Royals at Giants – Scottsdale, AZ – Giants Complex at the Intersection of Hayden and Camelback
Glenn Sparkman (RHP) Kansas City Royals – Sparkman was my favorite arm of the day. His arsenal featured a sinking fastball that ranged from 92-95 and moved either glove side or armside. The cambio was his top offspeed option. To my eye, it looked like he could manipulate it to either drop 12 to 6 or to have fade and drop. The change was in the 83-85 velo band. His curve was high 70s and was a serviceable third option.
10/14/17 – Dodgers vs White Sox (shared complex) – Glendale, AZ – Camelback Ranch Backfields
Justin Bruihl (LHP) Los Angeles Dodgers – “Crafty lefty” is a hackneyed term, but they were the first words that came to my mind as I watched Bruihl. His stuff was not overpowering. The fastball sat 90-91, touching 93. The slider was 74-77. And the change was 80-84. I was impressed by Bruihl’s willingness to throw seemingly any pitch in any count and pitch backwards. I also like his smooth low three quarters delivery, which he repeated well. Despite the positives, this is still a command guy who will need to hit his spots and sequence to succeed. The good news is right now he appears capable of doing that effectively.
Dodgers at Reds – Goodyear, AZ – Reds Training Facility directly south of Goodyear Stadium
Anthony Desclafani made a rehab start. He missed the entire 2017 MLB Season due to an elbow injury. (http://m.mlb.com/news/article/246445274/reds-anthony-desclafani-has-elbow-tendinitis/ ) An MRI from early August revealed elbow tendinitis. Earlier reports suggested he was suffering from a sprained UCL, so the tendinitis diagnosis came as somewhat of a relief. It also meant Desclafani would be able to get reps this fall rather than being shut down for the year. I was encouraged by his outing today. The first two times through the order he threw fastballs (S91-T93) and sliders (86-87) exclusively. Later in the outing he began to mix in an upper 70s curveball. Desclafani had good control of all three pitches, locating them in and out of the zone at will. On the downside, his velocity was still below its 2016 average of 94 mph (Source BrooksBaseball).
Reds shortstop Miguel Hernandez raised scouts’ eyebrows. Defensively, the 18-year-old Venezuelan displayed soft hands and a strong arm. Although one throw was errant and flew wide of the first baseman. At the plate Hernandez made contact with surprising pop. Despite his slight frame (listed 6’0” 170 lb), he mashed a couple of baseballs: one for a double and another for a loud out to center field. There seems to be room for physical projection here. On the basepaths Hernandez was the lead man of a double steal. I also clocked him at 4.30 to first from the right side, which is average on the 20-80 scale. I think he’s an average to above average runner, as this didn’t appear to be a max effort time. I suspect this is a guy who will start appearing on prospect lists.
Reds outfielder Edwin Yon made hard contact in a couple of his plate appearances, including a double off of a 96 mph fastball from Confesor Inoa that he laced down the left field line. Yon has a quick right-handed swing and didn’t seem to have any trouble with velocity. I also overheard scouts saying he hit a bomb a day or two ago. The bat is intriguing, and I would like to see some more of it.
Speaking of Inoa, he had some of the best velocity of the day. The fastball ranged from 91-96. He seemed to be able to amp it up when he needed to. His secondary offering was a slider in the low 80s that had good late break. Inoa had poor command in this outing, but hitters were not squaring him up when he was able to find the zone. I think he could have two average or better pitches.
Dodgers OF Starling Heredia was perhaps the best player on the field today. He stuffed the stat sheet like a kid playing Madden on rookie mode, going 4/5 with two triples and a double. Even his out was a laser pulled directly at the left fielder. He also stole third base and is fast for his size (listed 6’0” 231 lbs). We appreciate the precision Dodgers! Heredia seemed to have a good approach and good bat speed, granted it can be hard to tell from a single viewing.
Coming into the day Heredia was on my radar because the Dodgers paid him $2.6 million coming out of the Dominican during the 2015 J2 period. This is a guy to keep tabs on. He could force his way onto 2019 top 100 lists if he repeats his 2017 level of performance in full season ball next year.