Hey guys, Joe O’Brien Field in Elizabethton, TN is one of my home parks (Johnson City and Greeneville also) and I made three trips there this Summer. They have a pretty loaded team. Today I want to highlight 5 hitters that stood out in a good way. There were actually 6 counting Brent Rooker, who I wrote up previously My 1st look at Brent Rooker, 1B/OF, Elizabethton Twins.
The 1st three are probably pretty recognizable but there are also a couple of sleepers at the end. Cheers
SS) Wander Javier, age 18, listed 6’1″ 165 lbs, bats and throws right. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.
Javier is long, lean and wiry. I guessed on the field 6’3″ 180 lbs. There is projection left, I could see him carrying another 15-20 pounds of muscle. Anything more than that could negatively effect his SS Play.
Javier’s got a long, linear swing and premium bat speed. The ball really jumps off of his barrel. Like most 18 year olds, his pitch recognition skills are a work in progress. It’s a pull heavy approach right now. Once he learns to stay back, let the ball travel and incorporate right/right center. He’ll be less fooled by off speed and the hit will play way up and could reach above average or plus. The raw power is average and as he fills out, that could reach plus as well.
An above average runner underway, likely won’t be a huge SB threat. But can go 1st to 3rd very well. He shows an excellent 1st step, very good hands and feet to go with + range. And an above average arm. Javier has a very high ceiling and while the range of possibilities is vast at this point we could be looking at a player that hits 280 with 20 HR and plus defense at SS. He also has a high floor as a utility glove. He could be creeping into the top 50 on prospect lists this Winter.
CF) Akil Baddoo- Age 19, listed 5’11” 185 lbs, bats and throws left. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of High School in Conyers, GA (Atlanta Metro).
Baddoo looks pretty well put together. I guessed 5’11” 190 lbs on the field He has to be careful to not outgrow CF as he fills out.
At the dish, Baddoo hits from a crouch and a semi open stance. He keeps his hands low and uses a toe tap for timing. The swing is short fast and linear. He’s very quick to the ball and displays advanced bat to ball skills. He has plus hit potential or perhaps more. The raw power is 50 right now and should reach 55 at peak. With the current swing plane the HR’s will likely top out at 8-12. If he finds some lift perhaps that number could reach the upper teens.
Baddoo’s speed is above average as is the range in CF. The route running needs work but hes young. We could be looking at a hitter that hits .290 with 10-15 HR and a lot of doubles. That profile gets murky if he’s not a CF.
2B-SS) Jose Miranda- Age 19, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of High School in Puerto Rico.
Miranda looks long and wiry. I guessed 6’3″ 185 lbs on the field. Some projection remains but I can’t see him carrying more than an additional 10-15 lbs.
He’s got a long, linear swing and above average bat speed. The ball jumps off of his barrel. Despite the bat length, he displays very good bat to ball skills and should continue to have a high contact rate. As long as he stays willing to use all fields, the hit could play plus though above average seems more likely. The power is above average right now and possibly reaches plus at peak.
Defensively he shows good hands and solid range at 2B. He should be fine there in the short and medium run 2-5 years. With a shift to 3rd, 1st or corner outfield later in his career. We could be looking at player with 275-15-20 HR upside and the ability to play up the middle for a while anyway.
Two more to keep an eye on:
3B) Gorge Munoz- Age 21, listed 6’1″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015.
Munoz is a tool shed too. He looks well put together I guessed 6’1″ 195 lbs. He’s raw offensively but plus bat speed and a lot of pop to the opposite field. He also is a plus runner and he has a cannon on 3B. If he maxes out he’ll be fun. Already 21 he probably never fully figures it out but worth watching.
C) Rainis Silva- Age 21, listed 6’1″ 185 lbs, bats and throws right. Silva was signed out of Venezuela in 2012.
Silva handles the bat well, he’s quick the ball. His game is spraying sharp grounders and low line drives between the gaps. He has minimal load. He’s not going to hit for much game power but average wise he has a chance to be solid. Defensively he’s a good receiver with a strong arm. And is someone worth watching.
Tomorrow at Notes my 1st team all Sally lands