Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Minor Notes, Deux

Eric Hurley
Hurley made his first rehab start since getting his skull cracked by a line drive back in his first AAA start. Bad luck follows this kid. Anyways, he looked pretty good and pitched 4 innings, longer than I thought he would go. His FB command vs RHH was very good while he couldn't locate well vs LHH. He got a few SS on his slider and one on a nasty change vs a LHH but not many on his FB. His velo sat in the high 80's much like it did in ST, 87-91, sitting around 88-90. His slider was in the 81-83 range and that nasty change was at 82.

Hopefully over the next 30 days of his rehab we'll see his velo range increase, though I wouldn't expect too much as his previous pattern was to throw sit 88-90 the first few innings, while pitching 90-93 as the game progresses. He may or may not find his old velo due to his shoulder surgery, so this is not a given. One thing he did show in spring training is that he has progressed as a pitcher, showing much improved command of his arsenal in ST, and wielding the best changeup in his career which seems like it could already be a solid average pitch.

Maybe his ceiling is a #5 now, whereas before I though it was a #4 when he still had a fringy changeup and gave up a lot of HR and his velo was only average. If he proves to be more of a pitchability guy, with an average FB, a solid average change, and a solid average, possible above average slider, all three of which he can command better than average, that should be considered a success story given his injuries. We can also dream that his velo will flash 92-95 in brief stints, like it did during his AFL stint last year.

Spokane Notes
Richard Alvarez had a rough 2011 debut but did show his advanced secondary stuff. The strikeouts that I was able to note were as follows: Nasty CU SOS; CB CSO; High FB SOS; High CB SOS. The only velo note was 89 in the first. A fringy FB with inconsistent command will be what RA has to work on for now; his secs seem just fine.

Jose Monegro was very impressive in relief. It he may have busted out 4 pitches during his 3.2IP. He was 90-93 with strikeouts on the following pitches: CB CSO; CB CSO; CU SOS. One pitch was called as a slider. He's a little old for this level and should end up in Hickory by season's end.

After a disastrous debut, Chris Hanna pitched a scoreless inning with his lone strikeout coming on a nasty CU. Just a couple of other notes: Ruben Sierra still takes violent hacks; Guillermo Pimentel still needs to work on his routes in CF but has one of the best arms in the system. He's an org guy in my book.

Frisco: Velo Notes
Adalberto Flores: 89, 91 SOS; 77 Slurve; 82 CU



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Major Notes

APRIL
16-11/.593/140r/114ra/+26
First 10: 9-1/.900/55r/26ra/+29
Next 17: 7-10/.418/85r/88ra/-3

MAY
13-15/.464/116r/112ra/+4

JUNE
10-9/.526/88r/92ra/-4
Projected Junes Totals
14-13/.526/125/131/-6

Totals: April 12- June 20
30-34/.469/289r/292ra/-3



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Minor Notes

Webb Notes:
Evan Grant once again puts too much stock in Webb, as he has since his signing. He still hasn't learned to ignore what Webb says about himself. I watched Webb's terrible outing in its entirety and he was indeed terrible. It was Webb himself who said that he felt great and that he think he hit, "oh, I don't, know, 87, or 85..", on the gun. He didn't sniff 87 and sat 83 with no command of any of his pitches. Anyways here is Grant drinking some of the Webb cool aid:

Though right-hander Brandon Webb didn’t last a full inning for Frisco in his start Sunday, reports suggest his outing wasn’t nearly as ugly as his line. He was charged with six hits and four runs in a 36-pitch inning, two-out start, but club officials said reports suggested he had solid movement on his pitches and touched 87 mph on the radar gun. The majority of his fastballs were in the 82- to 86-mph range, but they did have more life than in previous outings. Nonetheless, Webb’s return to the majors remains an uncertainty.

Spokane:
Spokane starter Victor Payano battled out of jams in the first and second innings and settled down for an effective outing.
“He got behind a few hitters and lost it for a little bit, but then he found it again,” Hulett said. Closer Matt West was impressive in the ninth, getting the Volcanoes (1-1) in order. Of his 11 pitches, 10 were 93 mph or faster. He reached 97 on his second pitch. “I think he was a little stiff tonight,” Hulett said, grinning. “Wait until he gets warm.”

“It seems like when there’s nobody on base our offensive game plan gets a little fuzzy,” said Hulett of the whiffs. “As a team we’re very young,” said Nicholas. “So it’s going to take some getting used to the crowd. A lot of these guys haven’t played in a stadium (before).”

Express:
"It's all behind me," he said. "You can't help but think about it (the injury). When something like that happens, I don't care what anybody says, you're going to think about it when you get out there. That's the last thing you want to happen again is get in the head."

Frisco:
The RoughRiders have a nice game notes blog that I have pinned in the sidebar but just in case you haven't checked it out, it is here: Chatter from the Pressbox

Pelicans:
"It was a tough road trip but we have to put it behind us," Myrtle Beach center fielder Ryan Strausborger, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, said before the game. "We can't wait around for help. We have to take care of business ourselves."

In their first half-season as the Texas Rangers Advanced-A minor league affiliate, the Pelicans are postseason bound.

Dads:
“I’ve never seen a group of guys over the last two-and-a-half or three weeks with bigger drive and a will to win,” said Crawdads’ manager Bill Richardson to his assembled team gathered outside the clubhouse after the Grasshoppers’ loss. “You’ve earned it! This is your night! Enjoy!”

The first couple of innings everything was working,” said Buckel, who turns 19 on Saturday. “Everything I was throwing I was throwing for a strike and I was getting ahead early and putting guys away when I needed to.

I was pretty pumped about that,” said Jackson in appreciation of his coaches. “I was struggling and they stuck with me and I was able to get out of it with the help of my defense.”

“It’s a lot of card playing.” said Roof. “And during those card playing there’s a lot of stories about all of the family members having all kinds of stories to tell us about when they were growing up and playing and the stories of who the guys they were playing with and all that.”

We know we are young, but this is a talent contest,” said Skole. “It doesn’t matter if there’s a 23-year-old on the mound… He’s not going to do anything different to you because you are 18.”



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Monday, June 20, 2011

AZL Roster

Jason Cole has gotten hold of a copy of the roster for the AZL club. I have updated the M&M roster. There are only a few things of note:

1. Justin Jamison is back. The 6ft 8inch super raw HS draftee from 2009, who signed for around 100k was suspended for some reason for the 2010 season. Missing a year of development probably limits his ceiling but he was a longshot anyways.
2. Sardinas and Robinson are on the roster. Not sure if they are really on the roster or are still DL'd. Robinson is way to advanced for the league and I would say the same thing about Sardinas, so we'll see if they play. If they are healthy they won't be there for long.
3. Luis Mendez. Diminutive Dominican SS sign (75k) from 2009 makes his stateside debut.
4. Blackwell, Rijo and Mavare repeat, which is a bit of a surprise. They all did well there last year so I would not expect them to stick around long. Could be the victims of a fecund system, waiting for space to open up on a more advanced club.
5. Kevin Johnson demoted due to his struggles in Hickory.
6. Faulkner, Matthews, Devore still not listed on the roster though all have signed.



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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Minor Notes

Velo Notes
Hunter: 92, 93
Pimentel: 93
Lamb: 92, struck out side, threw all 3 pitches (tex2044)
Santo Perez: 93, lots of ground balls (shroom)
Wieland: "mostly" 88-90+91, 74-78, 82 SL (Lucas)
Jackson: 92-95 (93), 78-81, 84 (one) (Lucas)
David Perez: 92-96 early, 89-92 late (tex2044)
Bell: 91-93 (Lucas)
Gomez: 88-93 (Lucas)

Webb
Looked terrible. Left meatballs high in the zone and got whacked. Failed to get out of the first. Was supposed to go 4 or 65 pitches, but got only 2 outs on about 35. Couldn't throw a strike with any of his pitches. Sat 83, touched 84 and 85 once each.

Scheppers
CB Looked great. FB command was great in 1st inning, everything low in zone, missing high more in 2nd inning of work. 94-96, mostly 95-96.

IST INNING
1. (vs LH)
FB SS 96, FB SS 95, CB B OSC 83, FB SOS 95
2. (RH)
CB SS 84, FB LOW, FB SS UP & IN 96, CB F, CB GO SHORT
3. (LH)
FB CS 96, CB BOUNCES 80, FB F, FB F, CB SOS FT
2ND INNING
1. (LH)
CB CS, BB (SLIDER OR FLAT CB) LOW, FB F, CB F, CB CSO
2. (LH)
FB SS 95, FB HIGH OS, FB SS, FB WAY HIGH, CB FT (BARELY), FB AO SHALLOW LF
3.
FB HIGH 95, FB HIGH, FB CS 94, FB F, CB CSO


Joe Wieland
"His fastball is his predominant pitch and his curveball is a putaway option. But now he has a slider he can throw for strikes whenever he wants. The sllider is above the changeup now. He can throw it for strikes and create action on it with tilt and depth. It tends to find the bottom of the bat. His changeup, it's a useable pitch, but it isn't consistent." (Brad Holman)

Julio Borbon
Missed cut off man...



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Friday, June 17, 2011

Draft Notes

Kevin Matthews and Zach Cone officially signed for slot, 936k and 873k respectively.



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Clark Murphy

I wondered what happened to Clark Murphy. Apparently he was in extended when his brother was involved in a near-fatal car crash on April 23. Texas put him on a plane and he was back home within 5 hours of the accident. They told him he could take the year off if necessary. His brother is now out of a coma, but has severe head trauma and other injuries that will last a lifetime.

Here are a couple of stories that I dug up:

April 23
May 31



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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Draft notes

BA has noted the signing bonuses for the following 3 players:

8th round, Kyle Hendricks, 125k
9th round, Rashard Harlin, 100k
10 round, Joe Maloney, 90k

Various sources note that 2nd rounder Will Lamb has signed for slot, 430,200.

UPDATE:
14th round HS LHP Andrew Faulkner has signed per TR Sullivan. Given his ceiling, I would bet that he signed for late second to early third round money, let's say 325k.

UPDATE:
It will be Santo Perez and not Carlos Melo filling out the Spokane rotation, per the Spokesman. This is actually really good news as it indicates that Texas believes in SP as an SP. In 2008, according to multiples sources, his FB sat in the 88-91 area, touching 92. Jason Cole noted recently that he is now 90-93, bumping 94 and 95 (in spring training I believe). The reports on his secondary stuff in 2008 were not unanimous, but his curveball was his second pitch. So, well see in 5 days or less how the guy looks.



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Monday, June 13, 2011

AZL/Spokane

Victor Payano and Santo Perez (85k, 2010) assigned to the AZL club.

Scott Lucas got an advanced copy of the Spokane roster and both Payano and Perez are on it. I guess the transfer of both of the guys to the AZL club was just a paperwork issue...

Whatever the case, the M&M roster has been updated.

There are a few mild surprises. Hanser Alberto, Rougned Odor and Victor Payano might have been expected to debut in AZ but given their impressive performances in extended (per Jason Cole) it seems the Texas staff felt that they could handle the challenging assignment. Victor Payano's velo increased from the 87-89 range to touching the low 90's. Given Payano's skinny frame, this was a bit of a surprise, as one would think that an increase might not come along until he put on some weight in a year or two, but, well, there it is. Both Alberto and Odor continue to impress with their hit tools. Hiro Onaka also hit well in extended per Cole.

The starting roto will be: David Perez, Richard Alvarez, John Kukuruda, Carlos Melo, Victor Payano. I'm not a big fan of Alvarez, a high 80's smallish righthander with good secs- seems like a #5 type - but Jason Parks loves the guy, so we'll see how he does. The biggest challenge he'll face will be higher up in the minors with that fringy FB, but you would expect him to put up some good #s in the low minors given his secs, as long as his FB command is above average. He had some injury problems in 2010 so he didn't get a good look.

The biggest thing about the pitching staff to take note of here is that there could be as many as 5 other guys guys there who project as starters, and 2 more who might be on the reserve squad (waiting for a promotion to lowA, or who could be injured): Juan Grullon, Chris Hanna, Lobo, Hendricks, Santo Perez (and Zike Rijo, Shawn Blackwell). Now most of these likely have back roto ceilings but a #5 is a #5, even though fans vastly underestimate the value of back roto arms; there were only about 130 decent starters in the bigs last year so there is great value there. David Perez, Victor Payano, and Carlos Melo are the high ceiling guys here. Melo is still young but he does need to show some consistency if not put up some dominant #s in his second year in Spokane. His ceiling might have taken a bit of a knock, as his velo dropped a tick last year (90-93) but it will be a couple of years before we can say where he will sit, with the progression of his secs being the most important factor one would think. Remember that Texas pushes their youngest high ceiling guys hard, including their Latin kids, so repeating a level does not carry the same warning signs for them as it might for a US kid. Furthermore, Texas will stick with their kids as starters until they prove incapable of starting, so Melo will stick in the roto for a few more years at least.

I would think that Will Lamb would be added to the roster when he signs, and, one would hope that he has a starter's ceiling, though they could be thinking of him as a lefty closer. He really has only pitched during his Jr year (23ip) so he'll have his innings carefully managed at whatever level he makes his debut. Both Cone, Lamb and Matthews are rumored to have already signed so expect Cone to be added to the roster as soon as opening day.

The biggest omissions were Luis Sardinas, Drew Robinson, and Jordan Akins. Luis Sardinas is still rehabbing from off-season surgery (~Oct) for a shoulder separation while Drew Robinson is recovering from a broken finger. Cole has noted that Robinson was hitting really well in extended at the time of his injury and that he likely has been moved to 3b for now. It is a little surprising that Sardinas is not healthy by now; maybe we;ll see him debut as a DH shortly after the season starts. And I love Drew Robinson as a hitter; he is the opposite of the typical Rangers' draft pick, more like a Robbie Erlin, or a Codie Buckel than a Jordan Akins - advanced hitting tools, limited ceiling, high floor. Akins appears to need more seasoning, which isn't good news, but not unexpected. He's a great athlete, but it isn't yet clear that he's good at baseball.

It wouldn't surprise me to see a few guys left off of the roster to be promoted to A-ball when the AZL schedule begins, with other promotions coming throughout the system as a result.

Wildcard of note: Santo Angel Perez. Formerly known as 16yo Santo Franco in 2008, who signed with the Cards for 570k before being suspended for age/identity fraud for the 2009 season. Now known as 22yo Santo Angel Perez, who signed with TX in May of 2010 for 85k as a 21yo. He made 11 starts in the DSL last year and pitched pretty well:
12g/11gs -2.59/ 59/47/ 0/9/ 41/2.27g_a/.210baa

Given his age, he might only be a bullpen arm at this point. Here are some reports from 2008, where he was originally listed at 6.7/190 and now at 6.5/200, so he's a big kid but that is as big as he'll likely get given his age. He would've been ~19.4yo at the time these reports were written:
Franco has potential to be a top of the rotation starter someday in the big leagues and very few pitchers have his combination of size, stuff, and pitchability at such a young age," said Juan Mercado, Scouting Supervisor for Latin America.


Franco pitched two innings in the game at our complex in the DR. The first pitch out of his hand was 90 but he was mostly 88 to 89. Our local scouts have seen him many times and have recorded him up to 92. He is an impressive guy physically. Tall, loose and lean - a great profile for a Dominican pitcher. He wasn't trying to strike everybody out... he wanted to make his pitches and get outs. Our DSL players mostly put the ball in play but didn't hit anything hard, and there were a few swing and miss pitches - one on a change up and one on a breaking ball. He let a few go well outside the zone, but that happens with these young pitchers that are still working on grips and trying different pitches. With proper instruction, he has the potential to have three plus pitches and be durable. He does profile as a starter.”

Franco's velocity has grown from 88-89 mph to 90-91 mph, touching 92 with good sink and armside run. His present velocity and long, lanky frame scream projection on his fastball, which should be a plus pitch in the future if not even plus-plus.
However, Franco is almost completely projection right now, as the rest of his game is still raw. He has flashed a solid-average breaking ball, but mostly the pitch is inconsistent and his changeup is non-existent. One scout said that Franco might be asking for $1 million, but that it would take an overzealous team to match that price. "We liked him," said another international scouting director. "He had a good arm, but he doesn't have a breaking ball. It's not really a good pitch—he's more suited for a slider with his arm action because he's long in the back. He's the prototypical projection guy with a big arm."

Franco has a great build for a pitcher (6-5, 175). His fastball (88-90 mph) has yet to reach its potential, but he has shown good command of his changeup and curve. He has looked better in real games than in exhibitions.


DRAFT NOTE:
BA notes that 12th round bullpen arm Greg Williams signed for 125k. Slot after the 5th round is flexible, but defined by MLB as not more than 140k as the slot for the last pick of the 5th round is about 145k.



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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Updates

I've got projected rosters up for the short season clubs, including likely (and desired) signs. I would expect 4-5 UDFA signs to help stock the AZL rosters as they will be a bit thin, given the lack of Seniors taken in the draft, and given that the other players who are especially intriguing likely won't sign (if at all) until the deadline: Pentecost, Fisher, Costen, Fish. I also have a new summary worksheet up for this year's draft in the "Draft/J2" workbook in the sidebar.

Just a note on the anticipated stateside debuts coming from our DSL pipeline:
Franky Lugo, AZL
Rougned Odor, AZL
Hanser Alberto (likely AZL, possibly Spokane)
Jorge Alfaro, A-
Carlos Oropeza, AZL
Luis Parra, AZL
Abel de los Santos, AZL
David Perez, (possible A-)
Victor Payano (possibly A-)
Santo Angel Perez (possibly A-)

Other US debuts:
Leonys Martin (in progress, AA)
Guy Edmonds, AZL
Nick Urbanus, AZL
Hiro Onaka, A- (and on to A if he rakes)


One Draft Note:

Count 7th round draft pick catcher Max Pentecost as a critical sign for TX, and really, all of their most intriguing, but difficult to sign HS hitters, given the lack of high ceiling position players in Texas' 2011 draft. He's recovering from TJ surgery but was ranked by Keith Law as a possible 2nd round pick before his injury in mid-April (Keith Fagg was at that very game in fact). They should give him 2nd round money if that's what it will take to sign him; the catcher depth in the system is not great, especially given the problems that Deglan and Felx are having hitting so far this year.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Robbie Ross

As no one seems to care about Robbie Ross' outing last night, he also had a no-hit bid, taking it through 5.2 innings before some loser got a bunt single off of him. He is also the first Rangers' prospect to take 3 starts into the 8th inning this year, which he has done consecutively, over his last 3 starts, thank you very much. Robbie Ross is a better prospect than Matt Thompson jut in case there was any confusion.


Heard a report from someone over at LSB who was at the game that Erlin was high 80's (scout's guns) much of the game, but did touch the low 90's after the 5th, I heard "90" from the away feed during that time. I'm really interested to see how that FB plays in the upper minors. Does he have the ceiling of a 2_3, a 3, a 3_4, a 4...? Should be an interesting ride.


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Friday, June 10, 2011

Signings

06/10/11
Texas Rangers signed SS Ryan Rua.
Texas Rangers signed RHP Taylor Dennis.
Texas Rangers signed OF Christopher Grayson.
Texas Rangers signed RHP Phil Klein.
Texas Rangers signed OF Saquan Johnson.
Texas Rangers signed OF Trever Adams.
Texas Rangers signed LHP Gregory Williams.
Texas Rangers signed OF Jeremy Williams.
Texas Rangers signed OF Rashad Harlin.
Texas Rangers signed C Joseph Maloney.
Texas Rangers signed 1B Matt Leeds.
Texas Rangers signed RHP Chance Sossamon.
Texas Rangers signed RHP Kyle Hendricks.
Texas Rangers signed RHP Kenneth Wiser.

6/10/11
OF Rashad Harlin assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Jeremy Williams assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Gregory Williams assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Matt Leeds assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Kenneth Wiser assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Saquan Johnson assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
RHP Kyle Hendricks assigned to Spokane Indians from Texas Rangers.
Trever Adams assigned to Spokane Indians from Texas Rangers.
Chance Sossamon assigned to Spokane Indians from Texas Rangers.
Christopher Grayson assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Ryan Rua assigned to Spokane Indians from Texas Rangers.
Phil Klein assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Taylor Dennis assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.
Joseph Maloney assigned to AZL Rangers from Texas Rangers.



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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2nd, 3rd day picks

The picks are coming fast and furious for Texas now, too fast to keep up with. Over the next few days I'll be posting all of the information that I can find on each pick. Folks over at LSB are busy rooting up links, and I'm sure that Ming over at TNR is systematically digging up articles in obscure local papers. I'll be collating all of their finds as well as my own into summary profiles for each pick, so if you want all of your info in a readily accessible format, this will be the place to get it, but will be a few days in the offing. The Mavs game comes first though...GO MAVS!

Oh, and if you don't currently subscribe to Jason Cole's site, now is the perfect time to do so. He will have interviews with all of the high profile picks. If you don't want the yearly script, you can just go the monthly route. It is well worth it if your are a draftnik or if you are obsessive-compulsive about the minors.

Oh, one other thing: I LOVE TREVOR BAUER. Serious mancrush. If there wasn't a pitcher more suited to be a Texas Ranger then one will never exist.



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Law on Texas

The picks: Kevin Matthews (33), Zach Cone (37),

"Summary: Zach Cone has big tools, but they just don't play, exacerbated by a bad leak out front at the plate, and he was wildly overmatched in the Team USA trials last summer and on the Cape the year before (his only real experience hitting with wood). Kevin Matthews is a tough-sign high school lefty who projects as a reliever because of his frame. That seems the opposite of what you'd expect from a nascent, big-market club such as the Rangers, especially since they were linked to several big-ticket, high-ceiling high school kids."



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Monday, June 6, 2011

#37. Zach Cone, JR, CF, Georgia

#37. Zach Cone, JR, CF, Georgia 6.2/205

Baseball America:
86. Zach Cone, of Georgia

"Cone looks like a big leaguer but hasn't played like one this season. After hitting .363 as a sophomore, he was batting .283/.343/.382 as a junior, and scouts were saying more than just the new bats were at play. He appears to lack trust in his hitting ability, swinging early in counts and getting out on his front foot too often. Scouts question his pitch recognition, and he has drawn just 33 walks in three seasons. Cone's other tools range from good to outstanding. He's a plus runner with above-average range in center field. He has understandably played with less abandon after an early-season collision in the outfield that left teammate Jonathan Taylor in the hospital and partially paralyzed with a neck injury. He gets good enough jumps and reads in center field to profile as an above-average defender there. His arm has gone backward, playing fringe-average this spring after it was plus in the fall. Cone has solid raw power and strength, and ranks as one of the college ranks' best athletes, with physical ability comparable to fellow college outfielders such as Mikie Mahtook and George Springer. Even area scouts who see all his flaws expect Cone, who was a third-round pick out of high school in 2008, to improve on that by a round or so in 2011."

Perfect Game capsule:
97. ZACH CONE, of, University of Georgia (Jr.)
Superior athlete with 5-tool potential; 6.45 in 60, excellent OF, + raw bat speed, but very undisciplined hitter.

ESPN:
"Cone looks as good in the uniform as any college position player in this year's draft but the tools have never translated into on-field performance. He has bat speed and upper-body strength, but doesn't keep his head steady and has long had trouble recognizing off-speed stuff. He's an above-average runner who should be fine in left or right field in pro ball but needs to work on his reads. His spring was also affected after he collided with another Georgia outfielder, Jonathan Taylor, who was left partially paralyzed by the accident."

@keithlaw: I was on the phone with a scout when Cone was picked. And he started laughing.

TR Sullivan:
"Athletic outfielder Cone falls into Rangers' lap"

Taylor/Cone Collision (h/t Jason Cole)
ESPN, Schlabach

ESPN, Durrett
"This year was a little bit down for him and that's why he got down to where we picked him," Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said. "I think if this guy had gone out and had a big year we probably wouldn't even be talking about him. We believe in our developmental staff here and we think this guy makes a couple of tweaks and it's off to the races with him."



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#33. Kevin Matthews, LHP, HS GA

Kevin Mathews, LHP, HS, GA

PG HT/WT 2011: 5.11/175
MLB HT/WT 2011: 5.11/180
PG HT/WT 2010: 5.10/165


Perfect Game (from 2010 National Showcase, 6/10)
"# 142. Kevin Matthews is a 2011 LHP/OF with a 5-10 165 lb. frame from Richmond Hill, GA who attends Richmond Hill. Smaller frame with some present strength. Well paced delivery with clean easy arm circle, accelerates well to the plate, quick arm through release, bit cross bodied, 3/4's release point, repeats mechanics very well. Steady 88-90 mph fastball gets on hitters quickly, big sweeping mid 70's curveball with very good size/depth, nice sink on change up. Good feel for all his pitches and how to locate. Should dominate LHH'ers at the next level and be immediately successful. Good student, verbal commitment to Virginia."

FB: 88-89+90
CB: 76
CU: 81


Velo from PG WWBA World Championship (10/10):
FB: 89-91+92
SL (?): 83
CU: 84


Baseball America
" 105. Kevin Matthews, lhpRichmond Hill (Ga.) HS
In a down year for Georgia, high school pitching was particularly weak. Matthews jumped out, and not just because his athleticism allows him to dunk a basketball despite his 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame. He's a slight but quick-armed pitcher whose fastball has touched 94-95 mph, though he's usually in the 87-90 range. He has not shown the ability to sustain above-average velocity with any consistency. His tight curveball gives him a solid-average secondary pitch. He hasn't shown much of a changeup. Matthews' handle on Twitter is "UVAbound11," which gives a hint at the strength his Virginia commitment. While some scouts compare him to such recent draft picks as Kasey Kiker and Robbie Ross (both now in the Rangers system), others liken him more to lefthanded relievers such as Billy Wagner (obviously with less velocity). The consensus is that he's a future reliever due to the effort in his delivery."


ESPN:
"Matthews is a very slight, unphysical left-hander with a strong commitment to Virginia who profiles best as a reliever in pro ball. He'll touch 94 but sits with an average fastball and lacks projection in his frame. The breaking ball comes and goes but will flash plus. He's a good athlete but an optimistic projection only gets him to an average fastball and he doesn't look like he'll be durable when going every fifth day."

TR Sullivan:
"Size doesn't matter, it's the motion"

Frankie Piliere
Now read this blurb carefully and tell me if you think a. Frankie is a Rangers' homer; b. Frankie may or may not have seen the kid last year, but certainly not this year; c. The "scouts in the area" he is talking about are the same "sources" we happen to be reading as well; d., the last sentence is awkwardly constructed and a classic example of the use of the "passive voice"; or e., all of the above:

"Sleeper: Most in the industry were surprised when Texas called Kevin Matthews’ name at 33rd overall. But, most of the initial reaction was very positive to the selection. Matthews has a smallish 5-foot-11 frame and is not overpowering, as he sat 88-90 mph with his fastball last summer, but it’s the advanced feel for pitching and his secondary pitches that leaves scouts impressed. Reports from scouts in the area have said that Matthews has shown more velocity this spring, and with that velocity coming around he has a chance to be a unique high school lefty with a combination of stuff and feel."

Fagg on Matthews:
"There are always exceptions to a rule and I think this kid is," said Kip Fagg, Rangers' director of amateur scouting. "This kid pitches with a chip and I like that...He's very athletic and a kid whose makeup is special," Fagg said. "We see big upside with him in a small frame. He's got athleticism, three-pitch mix, strikes, competitiveness. There are a lot of things you can say are special with this kid."



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Guys that I like at 33 and 37

Bell, HS OF (prob. LF)
Norris, HS LHP (if top roto upside)
Hedges, HS C (if you believe in his hit tool)
Chafin, LHP (if his CU grades out as ave right now)
Story, HS SS
Dickerson, HS 1b
Goodwin CF JC (if you buy his cf instincts, and that he'll hit for ave, and like his power)


Possible wild cards:
Fulmer, HS RHP, possibly close to 2 plus pitches (Projection? Soft?)
Crick, HS RHP, RAW, Big, Arm strength, poss 2 plus pitches later, (proj at 6.3/225?)
Smith, HS OF (possibly arm for RF), smooth bat, might have better than aver power



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Saturday, June 4, 2011

DSL Roster Set

The DSL roster has been released and there are not really any changes from my projected roster. The sidebar roster has been updated so take a gander.

There will be a few players added in the coming weeks or over the course of the season as they may not have arrived due to paperwork/visa issues, may be injured, or may have been released/restricted.



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