Friday, September 17, 2010

Scouting the Lakewood Blueclaws

Sorry the blog has been on a hiatus of late. I'm back at school and busy. I had a chance to see a lot of high quality video from one of Lakewood's recent playoff games and finally can assess a few of their guys. Here's my take:

Jon Singleton- Singleton was being talked about constantly during the first couple months of the year when he hit over .400 with a slugging percentage near .700. Of course, those type of numbers are unsustainable and his performance has since come back down to Earth. Singleton is physically well-developed already at 6-foot-2 and a listed weight of 215 -- although I'd guess he's a little bigger than that -- and only turns 19 tomorrow. He has a nice swing with fast hands and excellent hip rotation which is a tell tale sign of future power. He tends to hit a little too much off his front foot -- he can end up with his weight completely off his back side, especially on changeups -- but he gets great extension through the zone.
While it is apparent the physical tools are there, Singleton didn't yield good results when I saw him. My guess is he's tired from the rigors of his first season of pro baseball after playing in high school schedules and exhaustion has set in. Evidence of this was his tendecy to be late on crappy, high 80s fastballs that I expected him to crush and his struggle to adjust to anything offspeed.

Brody Colvin- A classic example of a young, high-upside arm, Colvin has big velocity with below average command and control. Colvin's fastball ranges from 91-95 and loses about 2 mph when he works from the stretch. His delivery is fairly deceptive. He was more confident in his 83-84 mph changeup, which had a lot of late downward action, than his 77-79 mph slider, which had some tilt but was less consistent and occasionally flattened out. Colvin cuts himself off in his delivery and didn't command anything as well to his glove side as he did to his arm side. The raw material is there for a No. 2 starter who brings two or three above-average pitches, and at the very least he'll end up being a nice bullpen weapon.

Julio Rodriguez-Who? I had no idea who this guy was until I saw him and now I want to see more. The fact he hasn't been on my radar is inexcusable. He struck out 90 men this year for the Blueclaws in 55 innings (that's not a typo). Rodriguez didn't show a real knockout pitch and his fastball only touches 91, sitting mostly 86-89 irange. He mixes four pitches very effectively, showing good two-plane break on a slow curve and hard tilt on a slider, with a changeup that just lets hitters know he has one and is not a real weapon. Rodriguez's arm action is loose and easy, and he works quickly, keeping hitters off balance. If he can hold that velocity as a starter, he has the body and repertoire to become a legitimate, innings eating starter prospect, even though I think the crazy strikeout rate this year wasn't indicative of his raw stuff.

Anthony Hewitt- Now in right field after being drafted as a shortstop and then being moved to third base where he was terrible, Hewitt is a lost cause. Breaking balls, fastballs up, changeups -- he can swing and miss with the best of them.

Sebastian Valle- struck out three times in four ABs with a walk, although his at bats were mostly sound and he had a few good takes and showed he could foul off a lot of pitches he couldn't hit fairly below the zone. His stride at the plate is very short, but he's got good hands and uses his lower half well, which is why he's showing power already even though he's still pretty slight. He's a work in progress behind the plate but has arm strength and showed soft enough hands that he projects well defensively.

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