Archive for Fall League Daily Notes 2016

Fall League Daily Notes: October 21

Eric Longenhagen is publishing brief, informal notes from his looks at the prospects of the Arizona Fall League and, for the moment, the Fall Instructional League. Find all editions here.

Braves 2B Travis Demeritte has looked tremendous at second base this fall. Not only has he made several acrobatic plays but he’s handled some bad hops and sucked up errant throws on steal attempts as well. While his hands remain somewhat rough, Demeritte’s range and athleticism have forced me to reckon with the idea of plus-plus defense at second base — as well as to remember if I’ve ever put a 7 on a second baseman’s glove before. I don’t think I have, and I suppose it’s worth asking if such a thing even exists, as one might wonder why a 70 or 80 glove at second base couldn’t play shortstop in some capacity. I think the right concoction of skills (chiefly, great range and actions but a poor arm) can churn out a plus-plus defender there. I’d cite Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips and Dustin Pedroia, and Chase Utley as examples from the last eight or 10 years. It’d be aggressive to put a future 7 on Demeritte’s glove right now because his hands and arm accuracy are too inconsistent, but those are things that could be polished up with time.

Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull was up to 94 and mixed in five different pitches last night. Nothing was plus and Turnbull doesn’t have especially good command but I liked how he and Brewers C Jake Nottingham sequenced hitters and how to and that Turnbull was willing to pitch backwards and give hitters different looks each at-bat. He and Rays RHP Brent Honeywell have the deepest repertoires I’ve seen so far in Fall League.

Giants righty Chris Stratton sat 89-92 last night with an average mid-80s slider that is good enough to miss bats if he locates it, and last night he did. I think the changeup is average, as well, while Stratton’s curveball is a tick below but a useful change of pace early in counts. He looks like a back-end starter.

Quite a few defenders got to air it out last night. Here are some grades I put on guys’ arms:

Dawel Lugo, 3B, ARI: 6

Miguel Andujar, 3B, NYY: 6

Pat Valaika, INF, COL: 5

Gavin Cecchini, INF, NYM: 45

Christin Stewart, OF, DET: 4

Angels CF Michael Hermosillo, who was committed to Illinois to play running back before signing with Anaheim after the 2013 draft, displayed tremendous range in center field last night. He looks erratic at the plate but he hit well at Burlington and Inland Empire this year and is an obvious late-bloomer follow as a two-sport prospect from a cold weather state.


Fall League Daily Notes: October 19

Eric Longenhagen is publishing brief, informal notes from his looks at the prospects of the Arizona Fall League and, for the moment, the Fall Instructional League. Find all editions here.

Yankees RHP James Kaprielian sat mostly 92-93 mph and touched 96 one start after sitting 94-97 in his first appearance since an elbow flexor strain. His velocity is worth monitoring, not only because he’s returning from injury but because the 94-plus we saw before his injury and in his first AFL start was not the kind of velo was saw from Kaprielian at UCLA and we’re still trying to figure out exactly what this guy is.

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Fall League Superlatives for Last Week

Eric Longenhagen is publishing brief, informal notes from his looks at the prospects of the Arizona Fall League and, for the moment, the Fall Instructional League. Find all editions here.

For this edition of the Fall League notes, here’s a brief collection of superlatives from last week’s action.

Hardest Fastball
Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies (101 mph on team gun)

Best Breaking Ball
Riley Pint’s 85-mph slider at the 5:45 mark of this video

Best Offspeed
James Kaprielian, RHP, New York Yankees (changeup) (Video)

Best At-Bats
Pat Valaika, SS, Colorado Rockies

Loudest Contact
Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros (Video)

Fastest Home-to-First time
Yefri Perez, CF, Miami Marlins (4.01 (R))

Other Notes from the Past Week
Yoan Moncada’s footwork at third base looks far more polished and effortless than I anticipated… White Sox LHP Louie Lechich, a converted outfielder, has only been pitching in games since July 28th and is already flashing a plus changeup… The quality of defense, especially amongĀ Fall League catchers, has been quite poor.


Fall League Daily Notes: October 14

Eric Longenhagen is publishing brief, informal notes from his looks at the prospects of the Arizona Fall League and, for the moment, the Fall Instructional League. Find all editions here.

As Fall Instructional League winds down here in Arizona, teams have begun playing their games earlier in the day, allowing scouts to double and triple up should they so choose, catching instrux at 9 or 10 am before moving on to the afternoon and night Fall League games. For me yesterday, that meant seeing the Brewers’ and Diamondbacks’ instructional-league teams in the early morning. Of note from that game, the Brewers lined up second-round pick Lucas Erceg at shortstop and shifted Gilbert Lara over to third. Lara’s destiny likely lies at a position other than his usual shortstop — and so, too, does Erceg’s (despite a 70-grade arm) — and this was probably more of a fun experiment or opportunity to let Lara move around than it is earnest developmental news for Erceg, who has looked great throughout instrux but can’t play shortstop.

Luis Alejandro Basabe homered the opposite way during the game. He has more power than his incredibly small frame would otherwise indicate. His double-play partner, Jasrado (Jazz) Chisholm, showed off his precocious defensive ability at shortstop, ranging to his left behind the bag, corralling an odd hop while he simultaneously made contact with second base and then making a strong, mostly accurate throw to first base from an awkward platform. It wasn’t especially pretty but an impressive play nonetheless.

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Fall League Daily Notes: October 13

Over the coming weeks, Eric Longenhagen will publish brief, informal notes from his looks at the prospects of the Arizona Fall League and, until mid-October, Fall Instructional League. Find previous editions here.

I was in Mesa for the afternoon Fall League game and was walking through the parking lot to the stadium when I saw Chicago RHP Dylan Cease warming up for the Cubs and Angels’ combined advanced-instructional-league team for their game against the Reds. I stayed for Cease’s first inning during which he sat 96-plus and touched 99 three times. His breaking ball was the best I’ve seen it, flashing plus once or twice while always having shape and depth, though its bite was inconsistent. He struck out the side, including T.J. Friedl and Phillip Ervin of Cincinnati.

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