I figured I’d give it another shot here talking about some of the players I saw while with an MLB scouting department, here are some of the pitchers from the East Coast Pro Showcase:
From the Astros Team (GA, FL):
Lucas Sims RHP: Throws a fastball that was sitting around 95-96, had good command of his fastball and a breaking pitch that was effectively fooling batters and was a good swing and miss pitch. Was pretty polished but had an issue striding towards third and getting pulled off balance, once that gets fixed he’ll be a good pitcher. Was 6’2” 195 lbs.
Clate Schmidt RHP: Was very relaxed for a HS player playing in front of a stadium filled with ML scouts, actually had a pretty amusing dance-off with a position player from the other team while standing at the top of the dugout prior to the game, it was pretty funny and cool to see them so relaxed right before game time. On the mound he had an inconsistent arm slot, but one of the scouts told me it was intentional, where he would start the game high and as he went on he would just try different styles to mess with kids, and I think once he settles in one he’ll be decent. He threw with a pretty high effort 94-95 mph FB with an effective slider as well. Is 6’2” 175lbs.
Duane Underwood RHP: He threw a 94-96 mph FB that touched 97, with really fast hand/arm motion. The biggest issue with Underwood is his stride, he strides off center, causing balance and control issues, but he also turns his foot so it’s pointed straight at third, and looks incredibly awkward, several scouts were laughing that he would blow out his knee before the end of the year if he kept stepping like that, but they generally liked his stuff, just mechanical tweaks. He’s 6’2” 205 lbs.
From the A’s (MI, IN, KY, OH, TN) :
Trey Ball LHP: 88-91 MPH FB with a decent change. He’s 6’6” and only 175 lbs so definitely one of those projectable pitchers NH loves. Should fill out and add some velo.
Clinton Hollon RHP: Actually was one of the few juniors who came to the showcase, and still stood out as one of the best pitchers. He’s 6’1” but threw a smooth 94-96 mph FB with a plus breaking ball that got a lot of swing and misses. He also had some excellent mechanics and looked like he was on an instructional pitching video.
From the Diamondbacks (DE, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA):
Josh Sborz RHP: Has an older brother playing MiLB, I forget who’s system he’s in but throws an 88-91 MPH FB with solid mechanics. Was really the only D’Backs pitcher who stood out to me, with a very smooth delivery at 6’3 205. Not sure how much he can add, but should add a couple ticks to his FB because his delivery is so smooth.
From the Rockies (FL, Puerto Rico):
Lance McCullers RHP: I’m going to go in depth with him bc I know people think he’s impressive, but I was not in the slightest. It’s true that he has a great fastball, it sat at 95-96 and consistently hit 98+, I think he touched 100 as well, but it is FLAT. His fastball was the most hittable pitch I saw at the showcase, with batters consistently squaring him up. His curve was decent, but he did not force many swings and misses at all. In fact, I think he only missed two bats in the three innings he pitched, and he faced a lot of batters bc they were connecting on him. He struggled throwing first pitch strikes and had some clear attitude issues. I’m going to share two stories, one I saw and one an area scout who coached a USA baseball team from his area told me. While at the showcase, both while pitching and hitting he consistently showed up his teammates and the umpire, getting angry about called strikes while batting. While he was on the mound he consistently got angry with his catcher about calling strikes, and stepped off the mound throwing his hands up in anger, and at one time screamed for his coach to come to the mound and aggressively called the catcher out, bringing the 3B over to interpret bc the catcher didn’t speak English. It was childish, and not impressive at all for a guy who’s supposed to go near the top of the draft. I was sitting with the Area Scout for his area, and I asked if the showing he had that day was the norm, and he told me that McCullers consistently got lit up by high school batters, and not in the Jameson Taillon getting hit by mediocre batters, but against several of the HS teams they looked forward to facing him bc he was so easy to connect against. He told me that he saw a 14 yr turn on and drive his 98 mph fastball to the wall in a pro-sized field. He also told me that he was coaching a team that was playing for USA Baseball, and McCullers told him that he only wanted to play shortstop, the scout told me that a couple years ago he had Machado on his team, and that Machado wasn’t as good a shortstop (fielding wise) as another player he had, so he moved Machado to the outfield, and Machado was ok with it, he said “If I can move Machado from SS I can sure as hell move someone who is nowhere near as skilled as him from it too” McCullers refused to only pitch and so he didn’t make the team and didn’t travel with them. He has some serious makeup issues and his stuff, while good, was really really hittable.
J.O. Berrios (RHP): 6’1” 185 lbs he has good arm action and solid hand speed, and had nice wrist action causing some movement on his pitches. He sat 89-91 touching 93 several times with a good curve.
Carson Fulmer (RHP): 6’1” 190 with a 94-96 MPH FB that he could locate well, looked much better than McCullers and was very effective. He also had a plus breaking pitch.
Walker Weickel (RHP): Aside from having an awesome name, he’s a projectable pitcher who sat at 90-92 while touching 94. He had a 75 MPH curve that got a lot of swings and misses. He was a really strong pitcher.
Robert Whalen (RHP): Threw 88-91 while touching 93-94. Had a very effective swing and miss breaking ball but had a predictable changeup. He tended to slow his arm action down whenever he threw his change but pitched pretty well overall.
From the Royals (AL, AR, MS, FL, LA, GA)
None of their pitchers really stood out to me, this team was more about their batters and their toolsy athletes.
From the Yankees (NY, MA, PA, NJ)
Alex Robinson (LHP): Had a Dontrelle Willis styled leg kick but was very deceptive. He threw 91-93 standing at 6’3” 205. I think he’ll add velocity, but his motion had a lot of moving parts that added to the deception. Not your run-of-the-mill prospect but I’m interested to see how he does moving forwards.
That’s about it for pitchers who stood out to me and the scouts I spoke with, if you want to read up more on the hitters who were at the East Coast Pro Showcase or learn more about what it is/how it was run you can read my earlier FanPost at http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/8/6/2348248/summer-with-a-minor-league-fo-east-coast-pro-showcase