Previewing the 2016 Delmarva Shorebirds


Ryan Mountcastle courtesy of

I began a few weeks ago previewing the teams in the 2016 Sal with a look at the Asheville Tourists.  The Augusta Greenjackets, Charleston Riverdogs, and Columbia Fireflies followed.  Which brings me to the Delmarva Shorebirds as I continue around the league alphabetically.

The Shorebirds are a Baltimore Orioles farm team and when putting this preview together I scoured the Aberdeen Ironbirds and the GCL Orioles rosters.  Then I talked to Orioles prospectors Dillon Atkinson Twitter @DAtkinsonOU of O’s Uncensored, and BB Essential and Carl from Orioles Hangout, on Twitter @OriolesHangout and both were very helpful in regards to how the O’s handle promotions in the low minors and roster construction in general.

Dillon Atkinson said:

“The majority of high school players that the Orioles take in the early to mid rounds of the draft have either had a brief stint in Low-A Aberdeen, or they just completely skipped it.”

“It’s a different story for the top college players Baltimore selects, however. Aside from the right-handers we know on the Orioles now — like Kevin Gausman, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Wright — the majority of the college players selected made at least a brief stint in Delmarva, if not a full season.”

Tony echoed Dillon’s thoughts saying:

“Obviously draft status and money will affect placement, especially the first full minor league season. Top draft picks (first few rounds) whether high school or College will most likely start their first full season in Delmarva (Low-A). Some top college prospects could start the year at Frederick but that’s rare. ”

The official rosters won’t be available until the beginning of April so this is speculation.

Notes from the Sally is a scouting site and I only do live in person scouting reports.  I typically go to 1 or 2 games a week, once I see Delmarva (I think I get my 1st look May 10th) you can expect to see reports on most of these players

The Notables:

DJ Stewart

courtesy of

Stewart was selected 25th overall by the Orioles out of Florida St.  A short and stocky left fielder Stewart is probably best known for batting stance as he hits with an extreme crouch he sprays line drives all over the yard but some scouts question how much power he’ll generate.


Ryan Mountcastle

courtesy of

Mountcastle was selected 35th overall out of high school in Winter Springs Fl (Orlando area). Listed 6’3″ 185  Excellent bat speed, he could hit for average and power.  Played SS in rookie ball likely long term home is either 3rd base or OF corner


Ryan McKenna

courtesy of

McKenna  was the O’s 4th rd selection out of high school in Dover, NH listed 5’9″ 175 lbs, McKenna is athletic center fielder and a plus runner and shows good bat speed.  He only got into 10 games after the draft as he missed time with a pulled hammy but he was back in time for instructs.


Jason Heinrich

courtesy of

Heinrich LF-RF. The O’s 5th round selection out of New Port Richey, Fl (Tampa area) listed 6’1″ 205 lbs. Heinrich is a strong young man who can send the ball a long way but he’s raw offensively. Defensively he projects well at either corner.


Gray Fenter

Courtesy of

Fenter RHP Was the O’s 7th round draft pick from West Memphis Ar. listed 6’1″ 210. Baseball America said “Strong-bodied RHP Gray Fenter (7) got the largest signing bonus ($1 million) of any pitcher Baltimore drafted and has the highest upside, with a fastball that sits 90-94 mph and has reached 97.”

Around the Diamond


One or both of Alex Murphy and Jordan Heim could return to Delmarva as they both missed significant time in 2015. Both are worth keeping an eye on as up and coming backstops.  And when you factor in Chance Sisco and Yermin Mercedes the Orioles have some good depth at the catchers position.  Also in the mix for the 2016 Shorebirds are 2015 draft picks Chris Shaw and Stuart Levy, also undrafted free agent Allan Bencid

Middle Infield-

In addition to Mountcastle at shortstop we might also see Guillermo Salas return and Ricardo Andujar get some reps, he also got some reps at 3rd last year.  Irving Ortega will most certainly start in Aberdeen but he might see some time in the 2nd half. If that happens they might slide Mountcastle to 3rd or promote him.

2nd base 14th round pick Drew Turbin and last years 15th rounder Alejandro Juvier both look interesting.  Juvier also saw time at 3rd last year so that might be an option.  Others in the mix are Yariel Vargas, Trevor Sprowl and Jack Graham.

Corner Infield

Kervin Moesquit the Orioles 24th rd selection is the most logical choice for 3rd base.  Others in the mix are Juvier, Andujar and Austin Pfeiffer. Branden Becker might be an option but he likely starts in Aberdeen.

Seamus Curran was the Orioles 8th round selection in the 2015 draft. The 1st Base job will likely be his if he’s deemed ready for the level. Others that will likely see time there are Steve Laurino and Carlos Diaz.


Centerfield will be interesting as in addition to Ryan McKenna there’s also 13th rounder Cedric Mullins, also in the mix is 9th rounder Jaylen Ferguson who’s likely ticketed for Aberdeen.

In LF we’ll likely see DJ Stewart and Jason Heinrich in RF.  Others in the mix in the corners, Oswill Lartiguez could return, Randolph Gassaway could also be in the mix at 1st base, 16th rounder Mike Odenwaelder and Henrys Blanco.

Starting Pitching

In addition to Gray Fenter we might see 10th rounder Reid Love, and 12th rounder Robert Strader.  Also in the mix: Travis Seabrooke, Jean Cosme, Zach Albin, Francisco Jimenez, Christian Avarado, Ofelky Peralta, Juan Valdez, Mike Costello and Jeong-Hyeon Yoon.


I enjoyed diving into the Orioles minors, while they’re probably not the most talented squad they’re not void of it either.  The outfield will be among the best in the Sally and catcher and middle infield will be very good as well.

I’ll be back soon with a look at the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins)




Previewing the 2016 Columbia Fireflies


Milton Ramos courtesy of

This is the fourth article in the series previewing the teams in the 2016 SAL.  Previously I covered the Asheville Tourists, Augusta Greenjackets and the Charleston Riverdogs. Today it’s the Columbia Fireflies as I continue around the league alphabetically.  Columbia SC is the new home of the Low-A Mets, the team had previously called Savannah, Ga home (the Sand Gnats).

In preparation for this article I scoured the Brooklyn, Kingsport and the GCL rosters and came up with a list of names.  I then reached out to talented Mets prospector Michael Mayer(@themainemets) on Twitter to find out how the Mets handle promotions in the low minors. Obviously it’s handled case by case but Mike said ” Most of the guys hit at least two levels but some of the top picks like Dominic Smith basically skipped two levels.  Went from GCL to Savannah (8 games with Kingsport).  They definitely aren’t afraid to skip Brooklyn with hitters or pitchers. DeGrom wasn’t even highly thought of but went form Kingsport to Brooklyn”.  You can find Michael Mayer’s work at and MetsMinors.Net and on Twitter @themainemets.  He’s is an excellent resource and I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again.

The official rosters won’t be available until early April so this is me speculating. This is an eyewitness scouting site. I’ll have write ups on most of these guys once I see Columbia play.  As we get closer to the season I’ll be posting some dates on when I expect to see specific teams. Cheers

the Notables:

Milton Ramos

courtesy of MILB

Milton Ramos The Mets 3rd rd pick in the 2014 draft, he’s one of the players I’m most looking forward to seeing this season. By all accounts he’s an excellent glove man at shortstop and he can handle a bat too.


Desmond Lindsay

courtesy of

Lindsay was the Mets 1st selection in the 2015 draft at pick 59.  The center fielder reportedly flashes five tools and has a high ceiling.


Ali Sanchez

courtesy of MILB

Sanchez signed as a 16 year old out of Venezuela, now 19 he’s heralded as a good receiver he’s athletic and handles the running game well.  He can also hit.


David Thompson

Courtesy of MILB

Thompson was the Mets 4th round pick in the 2015 draft.  He’s a power hitter with some questions of whether he will hit enough or get to stay at 3rd base.


courtesy of

Thomas Szapucki a high ceiling lefty drafted in the 5th round.  He features a low to mid 90’s fastball and developing secondaries. I listed him 5th because I think there’s a good chance he starts in short season ball this year.


Around the diamond: C


In addition to Ali Sanchez there’s also C-1B Patrick Mezeika, Tyler Moore might be back, Darryl Knight, Jose Garcia  could also be in the mix.

Middle Infield:

In addition to Milton Ramos we could also get one or both of Luis Carpio and Vinny Sienna (a great baseball name).  Columbia’s middle infield looks like it will be be pretty talented in 2016. Oliver Pascual seems interesting but he’s likely further away.

Corner Infield:

In addition to David Thompson at 3rd base

At 1st base Dash Winningham (another great baseball name) seems to be the logical choice.  Others in the mix could be Jeffrey Diehl (he also plays both corner outfield positions) and Michael Katz.


In addition to Desmond Lindsay I’m hoping for Ivan Wilson, but since they both play center I suspect Wilson starts in Brooklyn. Also in the outfield mix is Arnaldo Berrios (plays both corners). I think there’s a good chance we get Vicente Lupo back in left field he really struggled to make consistent contact in his first go round in low-A.  9th round Kevin Kaczmarski is already 24 so I think there’s a good chance he skips.  Another player I would like to see is right fielder Jose Miguel Medina age 19 listed 6’3 170 he hasn’t shown any power yet but could be interesting.


Starting Pitching:

In addition to Thomas Szapucki will be lefty Kevin Canelon, and righties Tyler Badamo, Gaby Almonte, Andrew Church and Matt Blackham.

The Mets have quite a bit of talent at the lower levels particularly at Catcher, middle infield, and outfield. It was a fun system to explore and I hope you got as much out of this as I did.

Up next on Notes is a preview of the 2016 Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) should be up mid week.


Previewing the 2016 Charleston Riverdogs


Luis Torrens courtesy of MILB

I recently began previewing the 2016 SAL with a look at the Asheville Tourists.  The Augusta Greenjackets followed and now it’s time for the Charlestown Riverdogs as I continue alphabetically around the league.

The Riverdogs are the low-A affiliate of the NY Yankees and when putting this preview together I scoured the rosters of Staten Island, Pulaski and the two GCL squads. I then reached out to talented Yankee Prospector Gershon Rabinowitz (find him on Twitter @GershOnline).  He’s an excellent writer and he’s very knowledgeable about the Yanks system. Among other things  I asked Rabinowitz how the Yanks handle assigning prospects to a level.  Most systems have two levels of short season rookie ball but the Yanks have four.  He said high school players and International players coming out of rookie ball often stop at Pulaski and players don’t often skip Staten Island but some do. He was a big help and a resource I won’t hesitate to use again in the future.

The official rosters won’t be available until the beginning of April so this is me speculating.  With that said the Yankees have a lot of talent in the low minors and Charleston will likely be pretty strong in 2016 particularly in the middle infield and outfield.

I go to a lot of Sally games and I do a ton of in person scouting reports so you can expect write ups on many/most of the guys listed here after I get a look at the Riverdogs.


courtesy of

Luis Torrens – Torrens should be 100% after missing all of 2015 following shoulder surgery.  He got a cup of coffee at Charleston at the end of 2014 so it’s a logical starting point. Torrens, despite missing a year is still just 19. He has a good bat with developing power. Defensively he’s still new to catching but he’s shown a strong arm.


courtesy of

Thairo Estrada – A good glove man who can handle Shortstop.  He will likely get the bulk of the playing time at 2nd base with 1st round pick Kyle Holder getting the nod at shortstop.  He handles the bat well and has good speed.


courtesy of

Kyle Holder – Taken at the end of the 1st round, Holder has the reputation as a good glove man and has good wheels.  There have been some questions about the bat. I’m looking forward to seeing him.


courtesy of

Drew Finley – Right Handed Pitcher drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. Finley has a big ceiling. He reportedly throws a low to mid 90’s heater and a developing breaking ball and change. It will be interesting to see if Finley skips Staten Island.  Rabinowicz said it really could go either way.


courtesy of

James Kaprielian – Drafted 16th overall Kaprielian is known for his polish and high floor and should be a fast mover.  I would have listed him 1st among the notables If I thought he was coming to Charleston. Rabinowicz thinks there’s a 50/50 chance that Kaprielian skips Charleston and goes to Tampa in the Florida State league.  He also said Kaprielian’s manager at Staten Island Patrick Osborn has been promoted to Tampa and that could be an additional clue.


Around the diamond

C – In addition to Torrens we might see C-1B Jake Hernandez, C-Alvaro Noriega and Austin (Audie) Afenir.

MI – In addition to Estrada and Holder we might see  Hoy Yun Park, Dermis Garcia, Danienger Perez, Gosuke Katoh and Jose Javier. The Yanks have a lot of young up the middle talent.  Park, Garcia and Perez are all interesting I hope we get all of them in the SAL this year.

CI –  The Yanks don’t seem as deep at corner infield in the low minors as they are at other positions. We could see some combination of Bo Thompson, Connor Spencer, Ryan Krill  at 1st base and Kevin Cornelius has played both corners. In Addition to Cornelius other candidates for 3B include Allen Valerio, Brandon Wagner and Drew Bridges. Valerio had a .251 ISO in 2015.

OF – Charleston should be deep and talented in the outfield.  I anticipate seeing  LF – Trey Amburgey a 13th rd pick who really raked after signing. There’s two center fielders who could come to Charleston and it’s a toss up which one we will get, Carlos Vidal and Jeff Hendrix. Both are at least interesting and I’m hoping we get both at some point.  In right I think we get Jhalan Jackson the 7th rd pick in 2015. He showed some pretty good pop in a small sample after the draft.  Frank Frias, Zack Zehner, Nathan Mikolas and Juan De Leon. It will be interesting too see if high profile outfielder Leonardo Molina can make the jump.

SP – In addition to Finley and Kaprielian we could see Rony Bautista, Kolton Mahoney, Adonis Rosa, Nester Cortez.

This was an interesting system to dig deep into and I had a lot of fun doing it. Charleston looks to be a strong team in 2016 and the future of the Yanks is looking bright.

I’ll be back soon with a look at the Columbia Fireflies (Mets)

Previewing the 2016 Augusta Green Jackets


Phil Bickford, courtesy of

I began last week previewing the talent in the 2016 SAL with a look at the Asheville Tourists.  Continuing alphabetically around the league brings me to the Augusta Greenjackets, the San Francisco Giants farm team.

The official rosters won’t be available until early April so this is speculation.  For this preview I scoured the Rookie and Salem-Keizer rosters and came up with a list of names. I then chatted with Giants prospector Avi Watters to learn the Giants tendencies in regards to assigning prospects in the low minors.  Avi Watters (on Twitter at @giantsprospects) is an excellent resource and one of my favorite Twitter follows. He said college draftees who can handle a bat often skip Augusta so that means Chris Shaw is likely San Jose bound. He also said the Giants make an effort to place the kids in the low minors close to their homes and since Phil Bickford lives in California he also might skip Augusta. Just my opinion on this but San Jose is a difficult place to pitch and I would be surprised if the Giants skipped him a level so he could go straight to the California league. I can’t rule it out though.

The Notables:

Phil Bickford

courtesy of

Bickford was the 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of College of Southern Nevada. He was the 10th overall pick two years earlier but didn’t sign electing to go to Cal State Fullerton instead. He left after one year at CSF to go to Junior College in Nevada so he could reenter the draft one year sooner. He’s 20 years old, listed at 6’5″ 205, bats and throws right.  Baseball America wrote this prior to the draft: “Bickford hasn’t consistently reached the 93-96 he showed in the Cape, more frequently sitting in the low 90’s albeit with late sinking life.  His Power Breaking Ball flashed plus last Summer but has remained inconsistent this Spring and his change remains in it’s nascent stages.”

Jalen Miller

Jalen MIller courtesy of

Jalen Miller- Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft out of HS in the Atlanta area.  Miller age 19 is listed at 5’10 173 lbs, he bats and throws right. According to he’s likely a 2nd baseman at the highest level. He’s got a good bat and decent pop to go with the good speed. Looking forward to seeing Miller and I’ll do a write up on him when I do.


Mac Marshall-

courtesy of

Marshall was drafted in the 4th round out of Chipola College. He was drafted one year earlier by the Astros, failed to sign and backed out of his commitment to LSU and elected to go to Junior College instead so he could reenter the draft two years earlier than he would have been eligible. He’s 20 years old and listed at 6′ 181 lbs, bats right and throws left. Here’s what Baseball America wrote about him before the draft  “His changeup is a plus offering with tremendous tumble and his curveball has above-average potential. He has an excellent feel for pitching and fills up the strike zone with his whole arsenal.”


Chris Shaw-

courtesy of

As stated above there’s a good chance that Shaw skips Augusta but I’m writing him here in case he doesn’t. Shaw was drafted at the end of the 1st round in the 2015 draft out of Boston College,  He’s 22 listed at 6’3″ 229 lbs, he bats left and throws right.  Here’s Baseball Ameica’s take on Shaw:  “On the Cape, Shaw showed off his most impressive tool, his plus-plus lefthanded power, leading the league with eight homers. Shaw home runs became legendary, with reports of 450-foot bombs to dead center. Still, Shaw entered the spring with significant question marks on how much his hit tool would allow his power to play.”


Lucius Fox

courtesy of

Fox was a high profile July 2nd signee from the Bahamas he signed for 6.5 Mil.  He’s an 18 year old switch hitting shortstop. He didn’t get into any games after signing but according to Avi Watters he had a great showing at Instructs. I still think it’s a long shot that Fox starts in Augusta as he seems like a candidate for rookie ball but we might get him during the year.


Around the diamond


Miguel Gomez could see time in Augusta.  He’s been splitting time between catcher and 3rd base. He’s been hitting very well but he’s been old for the level at each stop so far. Fernando Pujadas and returnee Matt Winn could also see time. There are a few catchers from the AZL Giants who might make it to Augusta: Kleiber Rivas, Rene Melendez, Zachary Bowers all struggled offensively in small samples but one or more could conceivably take a step forward.


Jalen Miller likely gets the bulk of the reps at shortstop

Kelvin Beltre (I went back and included Beltre at the insistence of Avi Watters) He should be the the starting 2nd basemanTyler Brown, Kevin Rivera and Richard Amion could also be in the mix.

CJ Hinojosa could also be a factor here but he could be the starting shortstop in San Jose too. The dark horse here is Lucius Fox, if he makes it, then Miller likely slides to 2nd base and Augusta would have crossed the ridiculous threshold. Seriously that would be an awful lot of talent for an A-Ball squad.


Jose Vizcaino (7th rd pick in the 2015 draft from Santa Clara U) could be headed to Augusta as the starting 3B. He could go to San Jose too but there doesn’t seem to be another logical fit for Augusta

Chris Shaw will be the starting 1st baseman where ever he starts his year. If he’s in San Jose, Dillon Dobson and returnee John Riley could be in the mix for playing time at Augusta


Ronny Jebavy the 2015 5th rd pick will likely man center, he’s a good hitter who can run fast, good glove in center.

Steven Duggar- the Giants 6th rd pick will likely start in right field.  He has great tools, but never really put it together in college.  He has a high floor due to strong defense and his outfield arm has good speed.

Byron Murray- Is my guess for starting LF and yet another kid I’m looking forward to seeing. By all accounts he’s a well put together young man and the ball jumps off of his bat. The Giants may have something in this 24th rd pick.

Julio Pena and Asheford Fullmer might see playing time in the Greenjackets OF.  Mikey Edie might make it to Augusta but he’ll probably start in Salem-Keizer because of Jebavy’s presence. The dark horse here and someone I’ve been rooting for for a long time is Gustavo Cabrera he was a high profile signee back in 2012 and suffered a horrific accident that nearly cost him his hand.


In addition to Bickford and Marshall, Michael Santos might be back.

We might see Logan Webb and Nolan Riggs up from Salem-Keizer this year.

Some chance we’ll get Deiyerbert Bolivar from the AZL Giants. and Sandro Cabrera from the Dominican Summer League is a possibility. 

I had a lot of fun exploring this system.  The Giants had a major talent infusion at the lower levels in 2015.

Once I see the 2016 Greenjackets you can expect a bunch of write ups. I’m not sure yet when that will be. I will be hammering away at a schedule soon after which I’ll post the dates on the site.



Previewing the 2016 Asheville Tourists


courtesy of mlb

Happy New Year, wishing you a great 2016.

It’s time to start previewing the talent in 2016 SAL.  The official rosters won’t be available until the beginning of April, so this is me speculating. I’m not going to be 100% correct and some of the players listed won’t start the year in the SAL but will get there some time during the season due to injuries or promotions.

The Tourists are up first as I go alphabetically around the league, the Asheville Tourists are the minor league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.  They’ve been in the Sal league championship in 3 of the last 4 years and looking at the 2016 crop they’ll be strong again.

The Notables:

courtesy of the GJ sentinel

SS) Brendan Rodgers #3 pick in the 2015 draft. He comes heralded as a complete hitter with pop and enough glove, range and arm to stay at shortstop.

3B) Kevin Padlo, 5th rd pick in the 2014 draft- Good hitter with above average pop. Padlo started 2015 with the Tourists struggled and was sent down. He reemerged in Boise in June and was very good.

courtesy of max preps

3B) Tyler Nevin #38th pick in the 2015 draft- The reports I’ve read suggest an above average hitter with developing pop.  He might outgrow 3rd base.

courtesy of the GJ Sentinel

RHP) Mike Nikorak- #27 pick in the 2015 draft, Nikorak reportedly features a mid to upper 90’s fastball and mixes in a developing curve and change.

courtesy of Chicago now

RHP) Peter Lambert- 2nd rd pick in the 2015 draft. Lambert ‘s fastball sits 90-93 with a low 70’s bender and low 80’s change. He’s got an advanced feel for pitching and his control/command is pretty advanced for a High School arm.

Around the diamond


There’s two logical choices for the starting catchers job Hamlett Marte and converted middle infielder Chris Rabago.  We might also see holdover Robbie Perkins and 2015 27th rd pick Campbell Wear.  Marte has swung a good bat the couple of seasons in the low minors. Rabago statistically had a good year defensively in his 1st year of catching having converted from second base.

Middle Infield:

In addition to Rodgers there are 4 players who could be in the mix and all have the versatility to play both positions.  Carlos Herrera probably the favorite for the 2nd base job played SS for Boise last yr he handles the bat pretty well without much power yet.  Jonathan Piron and likely holdover Max George are also in the mix.
I’m also including 2015 13th rd pick Mylz Jones here although he played 6 positions in Grand Junction he spent most of his time at shortstop.

Corner Infield

In addition to Padlo and Nevin, Chris Keck might get some starts at 3rd base.

A couple of front runners for first base are 2015 7th rd pick Brian Mundell and 2015 17th rd pick Collin Ferguson. A couple of college guys Ferguson has shown quite a bit of pop but he was old for rookie ball.


I suspect we’re going to get holdover Ryan Stephens and he played left and center, Omar Carrizales really struggled after a hot start and he might come back too he manned CF and RF. Newcomers in the mix include RF Sam Hilliard, CF Terry McClure, (LF-CF) Eric Toole, CF Daniel Suero, (LF,CF,RF) Bobby Stahel and LF Cole Anderson.

I’m most looking forward to seeing Hilliard and what he can do to the short right field porch.

Starting Pitching:

In addition to Nikorak and Lambert there’s also high draft picks Javier Medina, David Hill, Parker French.  All RHP taken in the 1st 5 rounds

Rounds 6-10 the Rockies drafted LHP Jack Wyncoop and righties Colin Welmon and Trey Killian

These 8 pitchers made up the bulk of the rotations for Boise and Grand Junction.

Also in the mix is Venezuelan Javier Palacios and 29th rd pick from 2014 Logan Sawyer.

The Rockies had a lot of early picks in 2015 and they used the bulk of them to bolster the pitching and there will be some high ceiling arms coming to Asheville this Summer.

Not all of the early picks were dedicated to the pitching however as they did pick up Brendan Rodgers with the number 3 pick. A high profile shortstop that many felt would go number 1 overall.

The Tourists are the team I follow the closest as I can walk to the stadium and often do, the 2016 crop looks like it will be a lot of fun to follow.

Next up on Notes I’m hoping to finish my top 5 3rd basemen in Sal in 2015 before I go on vacation Wednesday and my next 2016 team preview is the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants) should land next week. Cheers.