Here’s a somewhat different kind of quiz, suggested by Vlad. I’ve listed several Baseball America pre-draft reports from current players, edited slightly to remove obvious identifying information. See whether you can guess the player. Obviously, since these are pre-draft reports, there are no international players. All players are on the 40-man roster. This won’t work with a Sporcle quiz, so just put your answers in the comments, using the spoiler block.
Player A is a bit like Ryan Eades, in that his size and stuff would lead you to believe that he would produce big strikeout numbers. In two years as a starter for XXX, however, A has struck out about 5.5 batters per nine innings. He has a workhorse build at XXX and XX pounds, with an athletic delivery. He relies on a two-seam fastball that sits in the 90-91 mph range and can dial his four-seamer up to 95 when he needs it. His changeup is his best secondary offering. He throws both a slider and a curveball that are below-average because a long arm swing in the back inhibits his ability to stay on top of them. A pro organization will likely take one of the breaking balls away and try to get him to shorten up in the back. A has good control, with 35 career walks in XXXXX, and he can command his fastball, though the pitch can get straight at times. If he can tighten up his breaking ball, A could be a middle of the rotation starter.
The starting XXXX for XXXXXX, Player B has returned well in XXX after missing last season with a torn labrum. He had successful surgery and has come back with solid-average arm strength while playing a smooth XXX for XXX, who won XXXXXX. B’s a huge reason for that as a savvy player with present strength and feel for the barrel to go with a polished offensive approach. B has enough power to command pitchers’ respect and plays the game with a combination of calmness and intensity that helps him be the XXXX leader. He lacks a true plus tool and likely fits better defensively at XXXX as a pro, without the power to profile at the position. B’s savvy and high floor, as well as the fact he XXXXXXX, should send him out higher in the draft than his pure tools might suggest.
Player C played mostly first base for XXXX as a junior a year ago, but began to realize his future was on the mound when he hit 94 mph with his fastball on the showcase circuit during the summer. He since has emerged as the top pitching prospect in XXXXX this spring. Working from a high three-quarters arm slot, he consistently has dealt in the low 90s, peaking at 97 mph and featuring late life on his heater. His mid-70s curveball is a plus pitch at times, though it lacks command and consistency because he overthrows it. C also will flash an above-average slider and fiddles around with a splitter and a changeup, but he’s essentially still in the early stages of learning to pitch. He’s mainly an arm-strength guy right now, but it’s impressive arm strength. There’s effort in the XXXX, XX-pounder’s delivery, and he’d do a better job of living in the strike zone if he took a more direct line toward the plate.
Player D is the best juco prospect from XXX since XXXXXX. D has the hitting ability to step right into the XXX lineup, having hit .474 with 19 home runs in 137 at-bats at XXX. He has a pro body and present strength, he plays hard and his best tool is his bat, an attractive profile. He’s a fringe-average runner and profiles as a XXXX. He had right labrum surgery in XXX, and his arm has never bounced back, with one evaluator giving him a well-below-average grade.
Few players made greater strides in the past 12 months than Player E. A virtual unknown nationally in the spring of XXX, E emerged as the quintessential late bloomer last year after going 11-2, 1.09 as XXX. He then tossed two scoreless innings after a last-minute invitation to the East Coast Showcase last summer before throwing lights-out this high school season. In the process, he orally committed to XXXX before signing with XXX, yet has given scouts every indication that he would prefer to sign and begin his professional career. E’s best pitch is a sharp slider that he throws in the 78-81 mph range on two planes. His fastball sits in the 90-92 mph range but has a tendency to be a bit flat. Still, the athletic E has a live arm, a good overall feel for pitching and impressive confidence without a hint of arrogance. He has struggled with his command on occasion, which can be attributed to minor kinks in his delivery, but his body projects incredibly well, particularly with his easy arm action.