2013 MLB Preseason Predictions

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Happy Opening Day, everyone!

We are just a few hours away from the first game of the 2013 regular season and I hope you all are as excited as we are. The staff here at MLB Dirt gives you our 2013 preseason predictions. Here’s to another great year of baseball! Continue reading

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Charles Brewer Scouting Report

When you think of Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospects, the first names that come to name are Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, Archie Bradley. The list goes on. One guy that many might not have heard of though is Charles Brewer. He may not have a ceiling that is even somewhat close to those other guy’s I listed but he does have a shot of having an impact at the big league level sometime soon.

Brewer was drafted in the 18th round of the 2006 draft out of high school by the Angels but chose to go on to play at UCLA. At the age of 21, he was drafted again, this time by the Diamondbacks, in the 12th round of the 2009 draft. He would go on to make his professional debut that year in the Pioneer League. He went on to post a 2.45 ERA between High A and Low A in 2010 while throwing just about 150 innings. Brewer opened the 2011 campaign with AA Mobile posting great numbers before he was struck in his pitching hand in June by a line drive hit back at him that sidelined him until the very end of the season. He was able to bounce back for a few starts though and posted a 2.58 ERA with an 8.3 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9 that year at AA. He opened 2012 at AA Mobile, pitching in only 17.1 innings before being promoted to AAA Reno where he would spend the remainder of the year. After posting impressive numbers up until 2012, Brewer struggled a bit in Reno. His ERA with them on the year was 5.99 despite still posting solid strikeout and walk numbers (BB/9 of 2.3 and K/9 of 7.0). I had the chance to see the right-handed starting pitcher this season when Reno came to Tacoma and the scouting report that I came away with can be seen after the break. Continue reading

A.J. Pollock Scouting Report

One of the last teams that I scouted this minor league season was the Reno Aces when they came to take on the Tacoma Rainiers. I previously wrote up outfield prospect and minor league average leader, Adam Eaton, over at Bullpen Banter. Now I’ll take a look at his teammate, A.J. Pollock.

Pollock was the 17th overall pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2009 draft. He made his professional debut in 2009 in the Midwest League where he hit .271/.319/.376 in 277 plate appearances. Pollock’s development took a step backwards though in 2010 when he missed the entire season with a fractured elbow. He bounced back in 2011 and spent all of the year at AA Mobile putting together a solid year. He posted a .307/.357/.44 triple slash in 608 plate appearances with 8 homeruns. He opened up the season at AAA Reno and got a call to the bigs in April when Chris Young hit the DL and he spent about a month with Arizona where he hit .250/302/.339 and a homerun in 63 plate appearances. Pollock would be sent back down to AAA Reno when Young came of the DL and he spent the rest of the year down there. His line on the year at AAA was .318/.369/.411 and 3 homeruns.

On to the report following the break. Continue reading

Jose Martinez Scouting Report, Arizona Diamondbacks

I have had the opportunity to see a handful of teen pitchers in the Northwest League this year and I had the chance to see another one — Jose Martinez — last week. Compared to the other guys I’ve seen, Martinez is not nearly as well known. Going into the start, I had no clue who he was and could find hardly anything online. So who is Jose Martinez? Well he is a right-handed pitching prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League this year and dominated. He had a 1.72 ERA in 73.1 IP with a 2.7 BB/9 and an 8.7 K/9. He was promoted to short season Yakima on August 24th and made his NWL debut the next day. Unlike some of the other teen pitchers I have seen in the NWL this year, Martinez actually looks like an 18 year old. He’s small and looks very young. His final line on the night was 5IP 4H 3R 3ER 5BB and 5K. He threw a total of 82 pitches on the night. After seeing Martinez though, he is definitely an interesting arm and a name to watch moving forward. Continue reading

Mike Zunino Scouting Report

Mike Zunino’s days as an Everett Aqua Sox are over as the Mariners promoted him up to AA Jackson just a few days ago. I had the chance to see Zunino a few times at Everett and wanted to see him as many times as possible before I posted a scouting report and video. Well now that time has come.

Zunino was drafted by the Mariners with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of Florida. He was the top college bat available in the draft. While he does not quite have the upside as the two guys selected in front of him, he is much more of a sure thing and should reach the majors a lot quicker. The Mariners assigned Zunino to Everett and he made his debut on July 15th. He was originally supposed to debut the day before, which I was on hand for, but the weather thought differently and thunder storms rolled through Everett and the game was postponed to Saturday. Unfortunately I was not able to be there for his debut. Zunino would go on to tear up the Northwest League hitting .373//474/.736 and a league leading 10 homeruns. He was expected to dominate the NWL in the manner that he did and I am surprised that he stayed down there that long. Jumping all the way up to AA will be a challenge for Zunino but I think he’ll be able to adjust and playing in the playoffs with AA Jackson will be beneficial.

On to the scouting report: Continue reading

Some Thoughts on the Manny Machado Call Up

The news that the Orioles were calling up prospect Manny Machado first broke at about 11:30 ET when Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweeted the news. Well twitter began to blow up and the discussion began.

Machado was the Orioles first round pick in the 2010 draft and the third overall pick in the draft. He made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League at the age of 17 and spent hardly anytime there before being called up to play in the New York Penn League to finish out the 2010 season. In 2011 he split time between Class A and High A which brings us to 2012. He was a consensus top 15 prospect in all of baseball heading into the year and was regarded as the second best shortstop prospect behind Jurickson Profar. At this point, Machado is arguably a top 5 prospect. He has spent all of 2012 at AA where he’s hit .266/.350/.431 this year in 455 plate appearances with 10 homeruns. Continue reading

Marcus Stroman Scouting Report (With Video)

Marcus Stroman was a pretty big wild card heading into the 2012 draft as to where he would be picked. There was no doubt that he was a first round pick and that he had some of the best stuff in the entire draft but what held him back was the concerns about his small build. He slipped down to the Blue Jays at pick 22 who signed him for $1,800,000 which was full slot value for the pick.

The Blue Jays sent Stroman to the Vancouver Canadians in the Northwest League and they would be working Stroman as a reliever for the remainder of the season. When I heard this, the first thing I did was check the Everett Aqua Sox schedule to see when Vancouver was next coming to town. The pitching matchup that day was a headline matchup between Roberto Osuna and Victor Sanchez. I wrote up Osuna last week and you can view that report here. That matchup was already a treat in itself but right before I left I found out that Stroman would be pitching that night. Continue reading