Today's items from the 2015 Arizona Fall League.
***Over at Purple Row, SB Nation's Colorado Rockies community, Jen Mac Ramos looks at Rockies prospects active in the Arizona Fall League. Notable observations for outfielder Raimel Tapia:
Tapia’s approach at the plate hasn’t changed since I saw him in Modesto. He’ll try to pull bunt at times, and I’m convinced that’s mostly his own doing. He did this in Modesto when there’s a runner on base, but I noticed that he did it with no one on base in Arizona. Tapia's lower body is bent so much that his posterior is halfway down his calves when there’s two strikes on the count. He can extend the bat a bit by utilizing the left hand and tries to pull the ball fair, but would often just foul it off instead. He can see the ball well and can get a good portion of the barrel on the ball when he sees it;
***In our own previous AFL thread, reader rwperu34 contributed the following observations in the comments section that are worth highlighting here, including impressions of Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes, Rangers prospect Lewis Brinson, Athletics prospect Renato Nunez, and the rehabbing Jurickson Profar.:
Alex Reyes started. I sat right behind home plate so had a very good view of his movement, but didn’t get quite as good a read on his velocity. I caught one pitch on the gun (as I was coming back from collecting the Paul Molitor bobblehead I had just won) and it was 95. Movement was erratic. Some pitches were tailing, some seemed pretty straight (keeping in mind I couldn’t tell the difference between the changeup and fastball). Then in the third inning, all of a sudden it looked like his fastball had a little cutting action! Curveball was not sharp today. The biggest concern I had with that pitch is it came with a different motion or release point or something, because I could always tell it was coming. I definitely could not tell the difference between fastball and changeup.
Lewis Brinson is tall and skinny, but still very strong. He swung at strikes and took balls until a two strike swing and miss at a slider in his 5th PA. HIs first PA he hit what seemed like a very weak flyball to LF that ended up taking the LF to the warning track. I almost regretted calling out "Too high!". 2nd time, ripped a couple of pulled foul balls to get behind 0-2, then took four straight balls for a walk (or perhaps he fouled off one more). Next up, four pitch walk. Fourth time HR to CF. Defensively he made an easy play look hard. Other than that, I only got to see him chase a foul ball. He had quite a bit of a bow in his route. Based on what I saw today, I don’t think he’s a CF at the MLB level quite yet.
Renato Nunez shall not be forgotten. As I was reflecting on his first AB thinking this guy is pretty young, has a decent body, and a very good swing, he proceeded to hit a 420 foot blast to straight away LF. Defensively, I couldn’t get a gauge on his arm because he refused to throw anything more than half effort in warmups. The one ball hit to him he fired into the dirt on a somewhat difficult DP effort.
Jurickson Profar has added some good weight since I saw him in AA and the swing is still pretty powerful for a little guy. He ripped a 2b over the head of the RF (a terrible play that is caught by most MLB RF, although not Nelson Cruz). A big negative was two CS on a day where the rest of the team was running wild.
Earlier this week, another reader asked if Yankees prospect Gary Sanchez (hitting .425 with five homers to this point) was a pull hitter or not. Here's his spray chart from the minor leagues in 2015, via MLBFarm.com. I think the answer is yes.
***Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford has left the Arizona Fall League for undisclosed reasons.
***Twins outfield prospect Adam Brett Walker has two homers in his last two games, hitting .355/.459/.677 thus far through eight games. As usual, contact is an issue with 12 strikeouts in 31 at-bats but few hitters in the minors can match Walker's raw power, or game power for that matter.