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2013 Baseball Prospect Book Excerpts: From the A-File

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Xavier Avery
Xavier Avery
Jeff Gross

Here are a few player excerpts from the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book.
The comments in the book will have the stats with them.

R.J. Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 180 DOB: June 8, 1991

R.J. Alvarez was a talented but exasperating starting pitcher for Florida Atlantic University, flashing potential but never developing any consistency. He converted to the bullpen in 2012 and blew the competition away, allowing (get this) one extra-base hit (a homer) all spring. Selected in the third round of the draft, he jumped directly to Low-A and remained effective, showing a 95-100 MPH fastball and a promising, if inconsistent, slider. He had problems changing speeds as a starter but doesn't have to worry too much about that in relief. Alvarez has the stuff to move very quickly but needs to sharpen up his command. Grade C+, with closer potential if his control allows.

Taylor Ard, 1B, Seattle Mariners
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 230 DOB: January 31, 1990

Ard was drafted in the seventh round last June from Washington State University. He was one of the most dangerous power hitters in college baseball the last two seasons, and he confirmed that reputation by crushing 12 more homers in the Northwest League. Ard has genuine plus power and his pure hitting skills are reasonable, but he's slow afoot, restricted defensively, and is already 23, which limits him to a Grade C at this time. He could put up some huge numbers when he gets to High Desert this year or next.

Yeison Asencio, OF, San Diego Padres
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 200 DOB: November 14, 1989

The Padres signed this guy for $135,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, thinking that he was a 17-year- old named "Yohan Alcantara." He had an excellent North American debut in 2011, but nobody was sure what to make of it after his true identity was revealed. He is really named Yeison Asencio and was 20 when he signed, not 17, which makes a huge difference for his projection. Asencio continued to play well in 2012, posting a +17 percent OPS in the Midwest League, so the Padres decided that he was a real prospect after all and protected him on the 40-man roster. He is a very solid contact hitter with moderate power to all fields, plus a strong throwing arm (he collected 21 assists last year). His plate discipline needs work and we still need to see him against better competition. He was the equivalent of a college senior last year, and if a college senior with good tools signed and hit .323/.353/.474 in the Midwest League right away, I'd give him a Grade C+.

Mike Augliera, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-0 WT: 200 DOB: June 8, 1990

Mike Augliera was a fifth round pick last June, though this was a budget-oriented selection; his bonus was just $25,000, compared to slot value of $218,100. Draft financial manipulations aside, Augliera is rather interesting. He never walks anybody and had the best K/BB ratio in the NCAA last year. He maintained it in pro ball, which is a good thing obviously. Most public scouting reports say his fastball is just in the 86-88 range, so his status gets downplayed, but some scouts saw him as high as 93-94 last spring. He has a very good slider, a decent curve, and a fair changeup. Depending on where his velocity settles in, he could be a back-end starter or a nice middle reliever. Grade C.

Xavier Avery, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 5-11 WT: 180 DOB: January 1, 1990

Xavier Avery remains more athlete than baseball player, though he's made some progress. He's tapping into his power a little more often, and he's doing a slightly better job controlling the strike zone. He is using his speed better on the bases, and he's developed into a good defensive outfielder. He can bunt. But overall, his offense remains disappointing, hampered by problems with contact that will preclude him from being a regular outfielder if they aren't resolved. His other skills could keep him employed as a reserve for some time, and he's still reasonably young at age 23. Grade C.