Some Thoughts on Arizona

Some interesting players I saw in Arizona.

J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays: His power is obvious, as are his issues with breaking balls. I thought his arm looked quite strong and he is mobile for a big guy. My opinion hasn't changed...like the power, worry about the batting average and OBP against good pitching.

Gordon Beckham, SS, Chicago White Sox: I caught some buzz from other observers that people are concerned about his swing: they don't like the way it looks, kind of "choppy" was how one person described it to me. Scouts were also downplaying his range, and at least one person I spoke with said Beckham really didn't look like a guy who was drafted in the first round. I will admit that he did not strike me either strongly positive or strongly negative in the one game I saw him play. I wouldn't make too much of this just yet, we need to see more out of him, but some people are concerned.

Andrew Carignan, RHP, Oakland Athletics: He has really good bite on his breaking ball. Didn't get a velocity reading but fastball looked above average.

Jordan Danks, OF, Chicago White Sox: playing well in Arizona, and I thought he was very interesting coming out of Texas in the first place. Speed and athleticism are highly impressive, and he controls the zone well. Some scouts theorize that he may be a guy who hits better with wood than aluminum. Still some concerns about his power, but he could be a Steve Finley/Brady Anderson type, and I mean that in a good way.

Sean Doolittle, 1B, Oakland Athletics: Hitting well down here, but I thought his swing looked long, certainly longer than it looked in college. Maybe he is trying to hit for more power? He played with more energy than most players down here.

Jeff Manship, RHP, Minnesota Twins: Solid fastball, average velocity but some movement, seemed to have some problems locating his secondary pitches, which was the same knock on him in Double-A. Looked kind of tired to me, not unusual given the long season.

Aaron Poreda, LHP, Chicago White Sox: Impressive velocity from the left side in the 90-94 range. Good slider. He has been sharp down here in a relief role, and I could see him as possibly a future closer if they don't think his changeup will hold up as a starter.

Danny Valencia, 3B, Minnesota Twins: HIs swing looked longer than I expected. Decent throwing arm, but I thought his range afield was pretty mediocre, though reports from the regular season indicate an improved glove. Has had some problems with strike zone judgment in Arizona and that could be an issue for him going forward.

Brett Wallace, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals: Huge butt. Like Bob Hamelin type butt. But his bat is absolutely for real. Massive power potential to all fields and he should hit for average as well. On defense, he has the arm for third base. He has more range than you might expect, and I think he can be a below-average but not horrible defender at third in the short run. The problem I see is what happens when he starts, inevitably, to lose his range. Even a minor diminuation in mobility will make him untenable at third. But the bat, yeah, I love the bat.

Eric Young Jr, OF, Colorado Rockies: One of the few guys I mentioned who was playing with tons of energy and enthusiasm. He opened up his swing a bit more since I saw him in April. Works the count. Very fast obviously. Hit a nice home run in the game I saw, though he tends to overswing when he gets power-conscious. They are using him in the outfield right now since his second base defense won't be better than average. A lot of fun to watch.

More Tomorrow.

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