Friday, September 17, 2010

Deadline Moves: Salty, McGuiness, Mendez, Roark, Tatusko

Due to some Blogspot bugginess, this draft failed to post. So here it is now. It is dated but contains relevant profiles and notes on incoming/outgoing prospects around the trade deadline. Enjoy.

BA Draft Note on McGuiness
13th/#408 Chris McGuiness 1B The Citadel S.C. $100,000
First baseman Chris McGuiness has a much more polished approach at the plate and better tools. He has decent bat speed and a fluid swing, and he knows the strike zone as well as any college hitter. His 65 walks led the nation entering super regional play, and he ranked 12th in the country in on-base percentage. McGuiness has arm strength (he pitched as a freshman) and is a solid defender at first base. He's a below-average runner who probably can't move to the outfield. Both Bulldogs could go in the seventh- to 10th-round range.

Interview with McGuiness (July 09).
Since arriving in Lowell, you’ve basically batted cleanup everyday while playing first base defensively. How are you adjusting to life up here as a professional, in terms of minimal off days and increased competition?

It’s tough, but I think the most important part is rest. Being from a military school, I was definitely never a big party guy. That whole mindset helped train me to the point I’m at now. After games, there are a lot of players who want to go out, but that’s not even a question for me.

I’m going back to my room, eating, taking a shower, and going straight to bed. Then in the morning, I’ll get up early to eat some breakfast and head right to the park. Sleep is definitely a huge part of being ready on game days. It’s the best way to recover from wear and tear.

Mayo on McGuiness and Mendez:
McGuiness was taken by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft out of The Citadel. He came out with a reputation as being a polished college hitter with an advanced approach at the plate, and he's more or less lived up to that billing. The 22-year-old has spent the entire 2010 season with Class A Greenville in the South Atlantic League. Not surprisingly, he's third in the league in on-base percentage (.416) and fourth in slugging (.504), giving him the fourth-highest OPS (.920) in the SAL. None of his individual tools stand out, but he's a solid all-around player with on-base ability and some hitting talent.
Mendez, who turned 20 on Juy 25, has a ton of upside, having been clocked as high as 99 mph on the radar gun. Right now, he's got the chance to have two above-average to plus pitches with his fastball and slider. He started the year in the South Atlantic League but got moved down because of command issues and has been pitching in the short-season New York-Penn League. Some still project him to be a starter, while others think he'll be a reliever with an outstanding two-pitch power arsenal. Either way, he's a high-ceiling arm who might take a long time to move up the ladder.

Rizzo on Roark and Tatusko:
"They needed an infielder with Kinsler going down," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We have two good young Double-A prospects that will help our inventory -- two starting candidates. It's a trade -- veteran player for prospects."

SoxProspects profile on McGuiness (July 2010):
The View: An effortless worker and player who lives baseball, McGuiness puts a lot of time into his craft to hone his skills. Hitting with an open stance from the left side of the plate, he uncoils with more an upper cut swing, but has shown the ability to square the ball up consistently at the lower levels of the Red Sox organization. His main strength offensively is an extremely patient approach with a keen understanding of the strike zone. Starting last season with Lowell, McGuiness demonstrated that he was committed to selecting his pitch to drive during at-bats, and that has continued into his 2010 season with Greenville, as he often grinds out at-bats until he finds an offering that he can work on. Projecting for average-power, he could stand to create more lift with his swing and drive through balls better to create back spin. This would be an improvement over the top spin that he generates at times with his line drives, and would enhance his power potential as a corner infielder. Another area of need stems from his handling of off-speed pitches. A polished hitter coming out of college, McGuiness most likely won’t be challenged with secondary offerings until he reaches Double-A. While showing a knack for being able to lay off balls that break sharply into the dirt, he struggles some with squaring up balls of the bigger breaking variety. McGuiness keeps his hands and weight back very well, which bodes well for him making a quicker adjustment as he experiences better off-speed pitches. Solid around the bag at first base, he’s especially adept at picking throws out of the dirt, and shows good reactions to both sides. He has the makings of a more-than-adequate defender and works hard at getting better. It’s not surprising to see McGuiness hit well in A-ball, as his bat was more advanced coming into the system and he has a little more experience coming out of college last year, but he’s proven he can handle the competition and is getting close to being ready to move up the chain by finishing off another consistent stretch.

SoxProspects on Mendez(2010):
Scouting Report: Young Dominican righty signed during initial international signing period in 2007. Front-of-the-rotation starter or high-leverage reliever potential. Has been filling out his frame, with some room to add a little bit more. His fastball sits between 94-96 mph and tops out at 99 mph with late hop, but comes in relatively straight with minimal horizontal movement and not much deception. May need to develop a cutter or a 2-seam fastball as he rises up the ranks. Also has a tight-breaking 82-85 mph slider with plus potential. Can be a wipeout pitch. Needs to be more consistent with finishing slider out of his delivery. 88-91 changeup is currently below-average, but has been developing feel. Separation from his fastball can improve. Good command, but can overthrow on occasion. Mature, focused, and poised on the mound. Fluid and balanced delivery, but can short-arm the ball now and again. Throws from a high 3/4 arm slot.

SoxProspects on Mendez(2009):
Position: Starting Pitcher
2008 Team: Dominican Summer Red Sox
2009 Projected Team: Lowell Spinners

2009 Outlook: After spending his first season of professional baseball in the DSL, Mendez has a strong chance of bypassing the GCL and starting the 2009 season with the Lowell Spinners. This hard throwing right-handed starting pitcher sits 92-94 MPH and can dial it up to 96 MPH when he reaches back with his fastball. The pitch has shown good life and projects as an above-average pitch for him down the line. Mendez struck out close to a batter an inning in 2008 while also limiting hard contact. Standing at 6’2’’ and 180 pounds, he has some room on his frame to fill out and possibly add some more zip to his fastball. Because he is on the light side, he will need to put on weight to be able to hold up over the course of a full season’s workload. Look for Mendez to work on the command of his fastball in 2009. Like a lot of young pitchers, he’ll face the same adjustments moving up the ranks in regards to keeping the ball down and pitching to spots rather than trying to just throw balls by batters. Another main area to watch for is the development of his secondary offerings, which he didn’t feature all that much in 2008. Turning nineteen years old in July of this season, Mendez is a young and raw arm looking to begin his transition to the United States. He has a lot of upside, but also a lot of development in front of him. This season should prove to challenge him, and he will be working towards making a full-season roster in 2010.

Frank Piliere on Mendez:
Considering the limited trade value they figured Saltalamacchia had, the Rangers have to be thrilled with landing Mendez. I had the chance to scout and highly recommend Mendez in my time with Texas last season, and despite his struggles this season, the hard-throwing 20-year-old is a very worthy project. He's known to reach triple digits at times with the fastball, and I had him sitting 93-98 mph last season.

Aside from the good heater, he flashed what appeared to be a split-changeup at 82-86 mph with diving action. It's still an inconsistent pitch, but it showed signs of being a plus offering down the road. His 76-80 mph curveball was even more unreliable, but he mixed in a few that flashed above-average. If he can gain some consistency with his secondary pitches, Texas will have a pitcher with frontline starter or closer potential in Mendez.

SoxProspects McGuiness home page (interviews, features)
SoxProspects Mendez home page (interviews, features)

Daniels on Salty:
* Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said a change of scenery might be good for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "I don't know if it was the combination of the injuries, the expectations from the trade, he was pushed aggressively in Atlanta and then by us," Daniels said. "He's still very talented and works his butt off and I'm sure he'll have success for the Red Sox." More on Saltalamacchia in a post on this blog tomorrow morning.

WEII blog on Mendez:
He was sent to extended spring training and then reassigned to the Lowell Spinners, for whom he is 2-3 with a 4.36 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 19 walks in 33 innings.

Salty Quote from durrett

Daniels on Salty and Prospects


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