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Scouting Notes from Midwest League: Cedar Rapids Kernels vs Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Cedar Rapids Kernels vs the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers series from 5/28-5/30

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

- Clint Coulter C/DH (2012 1st rounder, HS):

5/28: 0/3 1BB

5/29: 1/3 1B, BB, HBP

5/30: 0/4

Coulter was very aggressive at the plate and needs more patience. He lacked the ability to pick up off-speed stuff, but he did make adjustments in his later at-bats. He showed good bat speed through the zone and good plate coverage trying to stay alive. He looked good behind the plate showing a strong arm in the 5/29 game, throwing out only potential base stealer with ease.

Summation: Easy to love the former first rounder for his power potential and arm behind the plate, but the contact issues are a real problem and have really halted his development.

- Preston Gainey SP (2012 11th rounder, US Naval Academy): L 5IP 7H 3R 3ER 2BB 5K on 5/28

Gainey works quickly with no men on, but struggled from the stretch getting easily distracted with men on. He did maintain his 1st inning velocity (90-92/94) through the 5th(94 peak) but really lacked a consistent secondary pitch to put batters away with 2 strikes, which lead to most of the damage against him. When he does throw his secondary stuff he needs to keep it down Needs to keep his secondary pitches down to avoid hard contact.

Summation: Without a reliable secondary pitch it's difficult to see him making any positive major league impact.

- Taylor Williams SP- Wisconsin (2013 4th rounder, Kent State): W 6IP 8H 5R 5ER 0BB 3K

Williams showed a big fastball in the 1st (touched 97 on stadium gun) but maintained it in the mid 90’s throughout the start hitting 94 mph in both the 5th and 6th. He featured a tight breaking ball that he can throw for strikes throughout the outing. Williams fielded his position well and generates a lot of groundballs as he keeps his stuff low in the zone. He gave up a lot of soft singles/weak contact in outing, which lead to most of the damage.

Summation: As long as he keeps getting groundballs he'll continue to be effective, likely a back-end bullpen arm.

- Barrett Astin SP (2013 3rd rounder, Arkansas): L 5 1/3IP 7H (1HR) 7R 6ER 3BB 5K

Threw 4 pitches during the outing while featuring a 90-93 mph fastball in the early innings, but saw it fall off later in the game dipping to 87-89. He lost a lot of his command late in the game especially his off-speed offerings. His changeup was his best secondary pitch, when it was kept down and was used as his put-a-way pitch. He used a high 3/4 arm-slot and was able to keep from falling off the mound which allowed him to show good athleticism and field his position well.

Summation: Hard to see more than another pen arm, he gets hit hard leaving a lot of his pitches up in the zone.

Cedar Rapids Kernels

- Chad Christenson 3B/1B/OF- Cedar Rapids (25th rounder, University of Nebraska):

5/28: 1/4 1SB

5/29: 0/4

5/30: DNP

Christensen showed an aggressive approach in almost every AB, rarely taking more than first 2 pitches. He’s athletic in the field (RF on 5/28 & 1B on 5/29) and shows a strong arm at all positions.

Summation: Probably a utility player if he makes it up to the highest level, scrappy player though.

- Ryan Eades SP- Cedar Rapids (2013 2nd rounder, LSU): ND 5IP 4H 3R 1ER 2BB 4K, 2 unearned runs were due to his own fielding error against the first batter of the inning.

Eades showed a good fastball which peaked at 95 in first on the stadium gun, but sat in the 91-93 range for the rest of the start and then fell off in the 5th (last inning) where it sat at 88-90. Eades showed a slow curve at 76-77, but was able to locate it well for strikes and keep hitters off balance. His changeup was by far his best secondary offering, and he sets it up well. He falls off to the first base side after delivery and used a ¾ arm slot and was able to repeat his delivery throughout. Fielding wise, Eades made an error on a throw and struggled fielding his position.

Summation: #3 starter potential if he can continue to refine control.

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