The Visiting Asheville Tourists

So the Legends had to play someone, right? Of course they did. While I was there, I caught two other teams, and the first I’ll talk about is the Asheville Tourists. On to the prospecty goodness.

Prospects to Watch

Eddie Butler, SP – Eddie Butler has quite the arm on an ideal pitcher’s frame. He sat 94-96 all night with a fastball that had some sink to it, and he kept the ball on the ground with a 9/2 GO/AO ratio in this one. Butler added a power slider in the 86-88 mph range with good vertical movement, and the Legends were no match for it. He did add a probably too firm change-up thrown in the same range as the slider that had some sink and tail, but he only threw it a few times. When he got ahead in the count, the Legends didn’t stand a chance. Getting ahead proved difficult at times, however, and the description “effectively wild” fit Butler well this night. His delivery isn’t troublesome, but it has some complexities that may not help his command. As Butler turns to a high leg kick, he almost turns his back to home plate, and then he “drops-and-drives” to the plate. This helps generate the arm speed and velocity, but they can affect a pitcher’s vision of his target. It’s not something that can’t be overcome, but it’s something to note. The fastball/slider combo would be good enough to make Butler a weapon in the back of a bullpen, but he could be a 2/3 starter in the majors if he can improve his below-average control and change-up. Butler’s definitely a guy to keep an eye on.

Rosell Herrera, SS – The switch-hitting Herrera is another guy I came to love. Herrera’s actions were smooth at short, and he showed off a strong arm on a few throws. His defense, however, needs some refinement as he did boot a routine groundball, and he had some indecision on a few in-between plays in which he should have just gone to first. He’s 19, so he can be forgiven. At the plate Herrera showed the ability to barrel velocity and a few breaking balls, and he sent a hanger deep into the night to right-center. Herrera even showed the ability to work the count and foul pitches off, much better than his counterpart Mondesi. From the left side he employs a high-leg kick that can and did affect his timing on off-speed pitches, but he was able to hold the bat back long enough to foul some of those pitches away. From the right side he looks like a cross between Gary Sheffield’s ferocious bat waggle and Paul O’Neill’s obscenely high leg kick, and it could probably use some taming. But as I said, he’s 19, and he has a projectable frame at 6’3/180 that could give him 15+ homer power if he fills out a bit. There’s a lot to like here.

Possible Role Players

Tom Murphy, C – I only got a small look at him as he only played one game. He hit a home run in the game, and he has a good frame for catching. But his defensive skills didn’t look great, and his arm didn’t look very strong – Legends were 2/2 on SB.

Julian Yan, RF – The very skinny Yan looked lost at the plate, and he was picked off 1st by a LHP and caught stealing second the night prior. He did make some adjustments and show some pop, though, and he has an absolute cannon in right.

Matt Wessinger, UTL – Wessinger played 2B, SS, and 3B, but he looked most comfortable at second. He showed a knack for barreling the ball and had some speed. I don’t see him being a big-league regular, but there might be something there.

Kyle von Tungeln, CF – In a similar mold to Wessinger, von Tungeln didn’t do anything spectacularly, but he’s fast, can defend in center, and he showed some offensive ability. Again, he’s nothing to write home about, but there might be a 4th outfielder in there.

Rayan Gonzalez, RHR – His fastball sat 92-94 and touched 95 a couple times, but it was straight as an arrow and got hit fairly hard. Gonzalez added a slurvy breaking ball at 80-82 that got a few swings-and-misses but could use some tightening. He could be a middle reliever because of the arm strength, but the fastball could use some deception or movement.

Raul Fernandez, RHR – The closer for the Tourists, Fernandez is thicker than his 180 listed weight, but he used it to throw a fastball that sat 94-95 and jammed two of the three hitters he faced. He struck out the other with an 86-87 mph slider that he threw twice – one hung but the other was vicious. His delivery was odd in that it had an odd, jutting leg movement when he lifted it, and he never could find a consistent landing spot, leading to below-average command although he didn’t walk a batter. There’s late-inning stuff here if it can be harnessed.




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7 Responses to “The Visiting Asheville Tourists”

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  1. TomahawkChopper says:

    What is this article and who are these players?

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  2. Big z says:

    Watch out for Francisco Sosa as well

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    • Mark Smith says:

      I wasn’t terribly impressed by him. He didn’t look good in left, and I didn’t see enough offensively to think he’d really make an impact there. Plus, he’s 23 in Low-A.

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  3. DogsWithHats says:

    Man, I love watching Herrera do anything.

    Wessinger to me feels like the ideal minor league roster filler, and while it’s not his dream probably, it’s fun to watch

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  4. rustyspatula says:

    Interesting! I’d been misled by Butler’s stats from his stint in the rookie league last year — 7.3 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 led me to believe he was more ‘crafty groundball guy’ than ‘effectively wild’…

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