2012 Futures Game Notes: Hitters

August 2, 2012

Jurickson Profar SS (TEX) -  Special talent. Defensively he is very good:  athletic, good footwork, soft hands, and above average arm strength.  He is a natural at SS.  Gifted hitter.  He has good bat speed, a good approach, and has surprising power for a slightly built kid.  I have to remind myself that this kid is still a teenager.  To go with the exceptional physical gifts, he has baseball smarts and outstanding instincts.  Best all-around player on the field.  Multiple All-star games in his future.

Oscar Taveras OF (STL) -  Special hitter.   He took the most impressive BP of all the players.  Ball explodes off of his bat.  His swing is violent, but showed that he could barrel the ball up consistently in the game off of elite level pitching.  Defensively he is just average.  He can play CF in a pinch, but is better suited for LF.  Arm is average.  His bat is his ticket.

Wil Myers OF (KC) -  With all the pressure on this kid to perform in front of his future home crowd, Myers did not disappoint going 2-4 with 3 RBI.  He has easy power.  The swing isn’t picture perfect, but the ball jumps off of his barrel.  He knows how to drive in runs.  Not a center-fielder.  Took some questionable routes to some fly balls.  His bat is big league ready.

Mike Olt 3B (TEX) -  Strong, strong man.  Swing gets longs at times, but he has above average power to all fields.  Tends to get pull happy. He is best when he stays to the middle of the field.  Polished defensively.  Strong throwing arm with good hands and feet.  He just looked like a big-leaguer. 

Nick Castellanos 3B (DET) -  Not the prettiest swing, but he has a knack for barreling up the baseball.  Elite hit tool.  Peppers line drives all over the field.  The home run he hit to CF just kept carrying.  Homerun total will increase with added strength, but will not be a big homerun guy.  A bit stiff and rigid defensively.  Below average defender.  Value is in his bat.

Anthony Gose CF (TOR) -  He makes this list simply because he made one of the best defensive plays I have ever seen.  On a ball hit over his left shoulder, he made a spectacular diving catch to rob Oscar Taveras of extra bases.  The best part of the play is what happened next.  Gose popped up off the ground, in deep center-field, and threw a one hop missile to first-base, nearly doubling off Jurickson Profar.  Gose has a plus-plus throwing arm to go with plus speed, giving him a chance to be an elite level defender.  His big concern is if he can hit enough.  He has above average raw power, but his swing is forced and has contact issues.

Billy Hamilton SS (CIN)-  Hamilton surprised no one with his elite speed (80 on the scouting scale), as he ran a 3.94 from the left side and 4.0 from the right side  .At the plate, his lack of strength raises questions on how much he will hit at the big league level.  He is weak, with little to no power from the left side of the plate.  Right-handed he has a little more power, but it is way below average.  Defensively I did not see a shortstop.  He is plenty athletic to play short, but the arm doesn’t play there.  I could see Hamilton moving to centerfield in the near future.  Hamilton’s ridiculous stolen base numbers really overshadows his glaring weaknesses.

Jonathon Singleton 1B (HOU)-  Singleton had an outstanding game, three hits, a walk, and an rbi, but he didn’t show me enough to believe he can become anything more than an average big league first-baseman.   His lack of power is the biggest concern.  He’s going to have to hit and walk a ton to have an impact at the next level. 

Christian Bethancourt C (ATL)-  Bethancourt has an elite throwing arm behind the plate, and he showed it off with a 1.9 pop time to second-base (not his best but still pretty good).  His issues are not behind the plate, but in the batter’s box.  Poor pitch recognition to go along with swing and miss issues hurt his chances of being anything more than a platoon type catcher.

Francisco Lindor SS (CLE)-  Smooth athletic SS.  Makes the game look very easy.  He just needs to add strength.

Rymer Liriano OF (SD)-  Showed big time power in BP.  Swing gets a little long, but there is some thunder in that stick.

Manny Machado SS (BAL)- Everything he does is smooth.  He has some serious bat speed.  Just missed hitting a 101 mph fastball out to CF.  Big time arm strength at short. 

Xander Bogaerts SS (BOS)-  Showed some good raw power in BP.  Very good power potential.  Needs better pitch recognition.  Not a SS long-term.  Better suited for 3B.

Jae-Hoon Ha OF (CHC)-  Showed some pop with an opposite field homerun.  Short stroke.  Athletic body.  Solid player.