Minor League Notes, Maikel Franco Klonopin
Howdy, readers. I’m insanely busy planning the wedding and the move and doing draft prep but I’m still getting to 4 or 5 games per week because I need to make sure I maintain my brand which justifies my existence. I’ve seen Severino Gonzalez twice so far this year but I’m waiting to write him up because I’m kicking the tires on something bigger than a simple scouting report there. For now, here’s some random thoughts on the guys I’ve had a couple looks at now that we’re two and a half weeks into the season. Maikel Franco- Everyone relax. The numbers are bad but this is the exact same Maikel Franco we saw last year and the Maikel Franco I wrote about after he came up and I got eyes on him. Don’t believe me? Here’s a direct quote from my first piece on Franco from last year: What I think this (Franco’s free swinging) might lead to is a little rough patch at Triple-A where pitchers can exploit the poor approach/secondary struggle combination. I think it’d be good for Franco, personally, to be forced to make those adjustments. Despite the early numbers (to which everyone seems to be overreacting) I still see in Franco what I’ve seen from the beginning, an average or slightly above everyday third baseman who has a shot to make some All Star teams. This is a 21-year old kid. If he has to repeat Triple-A next year, he’s still on a pretty swift developmental path. He’s playing baseball against some guys who have been playing professional ball for longer than he’s been alive. When you have issues hitting crafty junk, you’re going to struggle when you see almost nothing except leather-faced veterans who throw a ton of junk. Bumps in the road like the one Franco is experiencing right now are common. The Buster Poseys and Mike Trouts of the world who dominate the minors without issue are the freaks, the exceptions. People seem to be forgetting that, both in the fan base and in the media. Chill the fuck out. www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBzGeazDwxg Kenny Giles -Giles always seems to end up throwing on nights when I’m not in Reading but I need to address the groundswell of support for his promotion, and I’ll do so with this: “X” throws baseballs hard and has a decent slider but struggles to command them both at times. X = Jeremy Jeffress The Phillies don’t have a lot of power arms in the system, so when one pops up it’s worth noting. But keep in mind that the Blue Jays just cut a guy like that. They’re relatively common on the whole. Phillipe Aumont- Aumont’s velocity is down (90-92 when I saw him) a bit and the curveball doesn’t look like that plus-plus hammer of god that we saw in 2012. If some of that raw goodness doesn’t come back, he’s not a big leaguer.
Brody Colvin- He’s pitching with an average fastball and an average curveball now but still isn’t repeating and throwing consistent strikes. I’m pretty much done here.
Austin Wright- The move to the bullpen has Wright maxing out and throwing 91-93, harder than he was as a starter last year. The curveball is about average, with good depth, at 78-81mph. He’s still struggling to control things but when he misses now, it’s down. There’s an outside shot he makes it as a middle relief option.
Tommy Joseph- Tommy looks alright. He’s tracked the bell well the last few times I’ve seen him and that power is still in there. The issues with blocking balls in the dirt still exists and I popped him at 2.12 this week, well below average, though it looked like he just mis-released the baseball. I once pegged him as a potential average everyday player and I still think that’s the peak, but it’s more of a backup profile overall.
Cesar Hernandez- He’s raking but I can’t see it working at SS. Both of the opportunities he saw last night ended with throws to first in the dirt. The arm strength just isn’t there. He’s also struggled to get a feel for third base. He is still, for me, a below average everyday second baseman. Backups at the keystone don’t exist in today’s world of 12 man pitching staffs.
Zach Collier- Can still fly, play a viable CF and the swing (especially his footwork) looks much quieter this year than it did last. But he’s still late on good velo. He’s worth monitoring for sure, but I don’t see an everyday player. Fifth OF profile for me.
Kelly Dugan- Looked fine pre-injury. Was taking better at-bats than he did in Double-A last year.
Cameron Perkins- The early numbers are gaudy but the swing is long and I don’t see the bat speed to make up for it. His hand-eye is better than advertised, as is the defense in the outfield. He plays his ass off and is fun to watch but I still don’t think he’s going to hit enough to profile in a corner.