Scouting Report: Jonathan Gray (RHP)

BLUF: Raw power right-handed starter with dominating frontline potential.

The Player: Jonathan Gray (RHP, University of Oklahoma) – Started his college career at Eastern Oklahoma State College before transferring to Oklahoma as a sophomore. Posted a 3.16 ERA in 18 starts for the Sooners in 2012, including 104 strikeouts in 102.2 innings pitched. Through ten starts this year has posted a spectacular 1.09 ERA and 7-1 record. In 74.1 innings so far, he has allowed only 40 hits and 13 walks while strikeout out 91 batters.

Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts

Scouting Report
Body (6-4, 240): Big, physical guy. Not well-conditioned but has good strength and plenty of mass to use for momentum. Fringy athlete. Always likely to be a burly guy more than a chiseled physical specimen.
Delivery/Mechanics: Pretty smooth with good arm action and an easy release. Ball jumps out of his hand. Stabs a bit on the back side but it doesn’t hinder the arm stroke or the timing of the rest of the delivery. Gets to his balance point consistently and explodes to the plate from there. Very quick arm. Some effort toward the finish with a hard fall to first base. Won’t field.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 99, Low – 93, Average 94-95, Grade – 70/70
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 98, Low 94, Average 94-95, Grade – 70/70
Fastball (FB) Movement: Late life. Ball jumps out of the hand and explodes on hitters. Has more movement in lower velo registers. Flattens out at elite velocity. Very difficult to square. Can bore in on RHH consistently. Easy plus movement when he doesn’t overthrow. Grade – 60/60
Overall Fastball: Outstanding pitch. True dominator. Velo sits in plus-plus range every time out, can touch elite range when he needs a little more and could sit in elite range in shorter bursts. Holds velo well thanks to strength. Overwhelming combination of velo and movement at its best. Grade – 70/70 Continue reading

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Scouting Report: Austin Meadows (OF)

BLUF: Easy first round pick and potential middle of the order batting average and power threat.

The Player: Austin Meadows (OF, Grayson High School) – One of the country’s elite high school players. Hit .390 with 10 doubles, four home runs and 19 steals as a junior. Heading into the National High School Invitational, Meadows was hitting .571 with three home runs this spring. He is committed to Clemson.

Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts

Scouting Report
Body (6-3, 215): Very well built. Physically mature at a young age. Added muscle mass in the last year. Has potential to continue growing and adding muscle. Questions about where the body goes from here and whether his build takes on that of a classic slugger rather than a fast-twitch athlete.
Hit: Very balanced from setup through swing completion. Rarely finds himself out front of pitches thanks to good pitch recognition and plate discipline for his age/level. Has potential to continue developing pitch rec and discipline at higher levels. Hands work well. Plus bat speed. Can go the other way but rarely does so at this time. Swing can get a little long but has bat speed to make up for it. Good present leverage with some lift to the swing, allowing for over-the-fence projection. Quality overall hitter with potential for plus grades at peak but will need multiple grade jumps to get there. Grade – 40/60 Continue reading

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The Way Ahead at BPN

The Way Ahead at BPN

As I am sure you have all noticed, my writing has been a bit sparse over the last few weeks. With a newborn baby girl in the house, everything has been a little crazy and writing about baseball has fallen down the priority list.

We are starting to come up for water in the Anderson household and that should allow my writing at BPN (and other outlets) to pick back up a bit. That said, I have a lot on my plate right now and as I want to give plenty of time to my efforts at TigsTown and Baseball Prospectus, I am going to be cutting back slightly here. I still plan to publish about three pieces a week at BPN and much of the content over the next few months will be scouting reports. I will again be publish scouting reports on the potential top draft picks and that should start this week. Continue reading

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2013 BPN Top 150 Prospects

It has been a long off-season but Opening Day is finally here and with it comes the release of the BPN Top 150 Prospects for 2013!

As you peruse the rankings you may notice differences between the Top 150 and the individual team Top 15 lists. I did not remain bound by my Top 15 rankings during this process. If I learned new information since the release of a team Top 15, that information was incorporated in the Top 150 rankings. You will see some players higher, lower, etc., in this list than in previous off-season lists. Also, I have linked to all of the scouting reports I have on file for players in the Top 150 (117 of 150 players have full reports). As you click through to the scouting reports, please note the date of publication. Scouting reports are not static; they change over time as players develop, and that is important to remember if you click through to a scouting report from April of last year.

As always, I hope you enjoy the rankings! I’ll try to pop in and answer as many questions as I can in the comments section!

1. Oscar Taveras, OF (60) – St. Louis Cardinals – Scouting Report
2. Jurickson Profar, SS (6) – Texas Rangers – Scouting Report
3. Gerrit Cole, RHP (8) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Scouting Report
4. Will Myers, OF (13) – Tampa Bay Rays – Scouting Report
5. Dylan Bundy, RHP (14) – Baltimore Orioles – Scouting Report
6. Kevin Gausman, RHP (NR) – Baltimore Orioles – Scouting Report
7. Jameson Taillon, RHP (28) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Scouting Report
8. Zack Wheeler, RHP (15) – New York Mets – Scouting Report
9. Jose Fernandez, RHP (95) – Miami Marlins – Scouting Report
10. Xander Bogaerts, SS (86) – Boston Red Sox – Scouting Report
11. Shelby Miller, RHP (7) – St. Louis Cardinals – Scouting Report
12. Christian Yelich, OF (39) – Miami Marlins – Scouting Report
13. Taijuan Walker, RHP (11) – Seattle Mariners – Scouting Report
14. Lucas Giolito, RHP (NR) – Washington Nationals – Scouting Report
15. Anthony Rendon, 3B (12) – Washington Nationals – Scouting Report
16. Archie Bradley, RHP (33) – Arizona Diamondbacks – Scouting Report
17. Carlos Correa, SS (NR) – Houston Astros – Scouting Report
18. Miguel Sano, 3B (19) – Minnesota Twins – Scouting Report
19. Tyler Skaggs, LHP (37) – Arizona Diamondbacks – Scouting Report
20. Byron Buxton, OF (NR) – Minnesota Twins – Scouting Report
21. Francisco Lindor, SS (40) – Cleveland Indians – Scouting Report
22. Javier Baez, SS (91) – Chicago Cubs – Scouting Report
23. Matt Barnes, RHP (84) – Boston Red Sox – Scouting Report
24. Austin Hedges, C (NR) – San Diego Padres – Scouting Report
25. Max Fried, LHP (NR) – San Diego Padres – Scouting Report Continue reading

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2013 Top 10 Left-Handed Pitching Prospects

Yesterday’s list of right-handed pitchers was flat out jaw dropping. Today’s list of left-handers doesn’t offer the same inspiration, and frankly, it is difficult to identify a pitcher on this list that could really explode and hang with the elite right-handers I discussed yesterday. That said, the lefties currently on the farm have legitimate big-league profiles and several of them could pitch in the middle of the rotation or slightly above that.

1. Tyler Skaggs – Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Max Fried – San Diego Padres

This upper tier of southpaws lacks the punch of the upper tier on the list of right-handed pitchers released yesterday, but both Skaggs and Fried are quality prospects with number two upside. Skaggs is nearly big-league ready and should help anchor the Arizona rotation for a long time. Fried is a completely different animal, having barely made his professional debut after being drafted in the first round last summer. Despite that, Fried has been extremely impressive according to the scouts I have spoken with and he could be in line to fly up prospect lists this summer.

3. Martin Perez – Texas Rangers
4. Danny Hultzen – Seattle Mariners Continue reading

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2013 Top 10 Right-Handed Pitching Prospects

Right-handed pitching is one of the strengths of the prospect landscape right now; featuring multiple handfuls of high-end pitching prospects that have the potential to become front of the rotation arms. Unlike some years, there is a group of four pitchers in the upper minor leagues that all have the potential to front rotations and become legitimate number one starters. If that weren’t unusual enough, that group of four pitchers exists in just two franchises. That leads to some exciting times for fans of those clubs, but fans of other clubs should be excited as well. Of the ten players ranked here, seven of them have a legitimate chance to pitch in the big leagues this season and another one could be there sometime next summer. That’s an impressive crop of pitching prospects and something baseball fans should be prepared to embrace and cherish.

1. Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
2. Dylan Bundy – Baltimore Orioles
3. Kevin Gausman – Baltimore Orioles
4. Jameson Taillon – Pittsburgh Pirates

There seems to be a discussion out there that Dylan Bundy sits alone atop the list of pitching prospects in the minor leagues. I don’t share that belief. In fact, I don’t believe he’s the best pitching prospect in the game. While it is close, give me Gerrit Cole and his potential for three ‘7’ pitches at the front of my rotation. Both Bundy and Cole are exceptional talents that can develop into number one starters. My beef with the conversation of Bundy alone at the top doesn’t end there. I think the Orioles and Pirates both have another prospect that is right there with Bundy and Cole. Kevin Gausman and Jameson Taillon are also exceptional talents that have the potential to front rotations at the big league level. They’re all potential number one starters and they all deserve recognition at the top of this list.

5. Zack Wheeler – New York Mets
6. Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
7. Shelby Miller – St. Louis Cardinals
8. Taijuan Walker – Seattle Mariners Continue reading

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2013 Top 10 Outfield Prospects

One would think a 2012 Top 10 that included Mike Trout and Bryce Harper would be followed by a considerably less flashy list in 2013. Good thing for all of us, that just isn’t true. With several massive talents at the top and some raw talents with huge ceilings pushing up behind them, the outfield prospects currently on the farm are as impressive as ever. Further, there were several players that I adore that could not fit on the back of this list because of the overwhelming amount of talent.

1. Oscar Taveras – St. Louis Cardinals
2. Will Myers – Tampa Bay Rays
3. Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins

All three players at the top of this positional list represent exceptional talents with star potential. Oscar Taveras and Christian Yelich are two of the best hitting prospects in the game with the potential to contend for batting crowns in their prime. In addition to his hitting prowess, Taveras offers the potential for 25-30 home runs a year and Yelich should add very good pop as well. Myers is more of a middle-of-the-order bopper with home run power, solid batting lines and what may be a propensity to whiff a fair amount. All three players should impact the middle of their respective big league lineups and all three could begin to make that impact in 2013.

4. Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins
5. Jorge Soler – Chicago Cubs Continue reading

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