AFL Scouting: Day 2

November 16, 2011
Christian Colon 2012 AFL John Antonoff

Rising Stars Game / Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Championship Game


There aren't as many intriguing talents at the fall league this year as years past, though they are still big names. Yesterday wasn't bad. I caught Surprise at Phoenix. It's easy to see why Surprise has been the team to beat this fall, even with Wil Myers  and Christian Bethancourt out of the lineup.

Chistian Colon

A confident, capable second baseman, Colon has good body control and will be able to play average to above-average defense in the big leagues. He has excellent barrel awareness and enough bat speed to spray the ball down the lines.

Colon has a small, muscular frame that's already just about maxed out. Though his level, compact swing leads to a lot of contact, he doesn't sit back and wait for pitches he can drive. He is willing to expand the strike zone and he's not a very patient hitter. For the aforementioned reasons, I don't see him hitting for much power in the big leagues.

Given his defensive value, I'd be willing to rank Colon aggressively if I saw a more projectable frame or a plate approach that I thought would translate well to the big leagues. He's a high floor talent, but his upside is limited, even as an instinctive second baseman who brings a lot to the table with his glove.

Anthony Gose

Gose has game-changing speed, a very strong arm and impressive power, especially given how thin he is. He plays a good center field and should be able to keep that up through his twenties. Along with quick-twitch ability and strong wrists, he generates power by taking a big swing, which is going to be an ongoing weakness.

Yesterday, pitchers were able to silence his bat by pitching him hard inside. Gose will cheat on pitches; sometimes starting his swing before he has recognized what's coming his way. Through over 130 AFL plate appearances, he has struck out over 30-percent of the time.

Gose will continue to gain a better understanding of the strike zone, chase fewer pitches and learn when to let it fly and when not to. But he's never going to be a good contact hitter. Even though he makes pitchers nervous when he reaches base, he's probably going to be a streaky offensive threat in the big leagues. Gose will almost certainly be a big leaguer and perhaps an above-average one, but his swing-and-miss tendencies just make it a bit of a leap of faith to bank on him turing into a star.

Matt Dominguez

It's clear why Dominguez hasn't generated a ton of buzz in the scouting community. He's not a fun hitter to watch. Nothing about him is flashy or dynamic. Hitting from an upright stance, he watched a lot of pitches yesterday and didn't take any hacks where it looked like he was prepared to do damage. Were it not for his smooth, sure-handed defense at third, I wouldn't be surprised if people wrote him up as lazy and apathetic.

Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook, who turns 22 in two weeks, doesn't have a good feel for the strikes zone. He'll take some bent-arm swings, breaking down and relying on natural strength over efficient mechanics. Not the most patient hitter, he also will expand the strike zone. He did hit a ball out of the park yesterday, it was a gift right down the pipe, but credit to him for capitalizing on a mistake. He wasn't tested much in the outfield -- he played left yesterday -- but he did just fine with the balls that were hit to him.

I can see why people get excited about Mahtook. He's athletic with a frame that will accommodate additional lean muscle, though his natural athletic ability shines brighter than his learned baseball skills. While there is room to get excited about what kind of talent Mahtook could turn into, it's a player profile that I have trouble getting excited about at this stage of his development.

Grant Green

Green's athleticism fits better in the outfield than the infield. He gets solid reads and confidently drifts to the ball. Though he could be passable in center field, he doesn't have the first-step quickness to be an asset there. His best defensive position could be right field.

Not a patient hitter, Green has the strength to drive the ball with some authority, but he's not a guy who's oozing with bat speed. Similar to Mahtook, he hit a ball out that came right down the middle yesterday -- my eyes lit up watching it come to the plate. Still, there are plenty of hitters who would have fouled that pitch straight back and prayed to get another like it.

I see Green as a outfield/infield utility man in the big leagues. If he could play a strong defensive shortstop, his bat would be enough, but it's wishful to place that kind of defensive value on him.


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