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March 20, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Scouting Scratch: Day one from The Fort

With the first day down in Fort Myers in the books, here are some scouting notes from around the field. SoxProspects.com will be bringing coverage from the backfields of the complex all week so keep an eye out for these daily player notes.

-Brandon Workman threw the first three innings in the High A game against the Tampa Bay Rays' group. Workman was spotty with his fastball in the first inning, struggling to hit his spots, but rebounded nicely in the second inning. His heater sat 92-93 mph and had solid life in the second frame. Workman did struggle all outing throwing his secondary pitches. His curveball tended to roll to the plate, while his cutter grabbed too much of the fat part of the plate.

-Brandon Jacobs continues to physically look more and more like a baseball player. The outfielder is noticeably leaner in the chest and shoulders. He did a good job of pulling his hands inside against a fastball on the inner third of the plate to rifle a hard double down the third base line during the High A game. Jacobs has had a tendency to jam himself with offerings in this spot due to extending early with his swing. He did chase a fastball elevated out of the zone to go down swinging in an early plate appearance, however. Continued improvement with his selection and closing down his hole on the inner third are key needs against the rise in competition he will see this season.

-Blake Swihart caught the first half of the A-Ball game and looked fluid with his actions behind the dish. An excellent athlete, Swihart moves well laterally when having to block balls in the dirt. His frame and lower body composition leave me mixed when projecting as to whether he will stick though. Even with physical development, Swihart does not have the typical body of a catcher that is built for handling the rigors of the position. Offensively, his early career power totals are likely to be low, but he generates plenty of backspin when squaring pitches up both left-handed and right-handed. Expect Swihart to be a line drive hitter, with the potential to develop solid-average power as he learns how to lift the ball and physically matures into his early-to-mid twenties.

-Matt Marquis put an easy swing on a fastball in the middle-of-the-plate during the High A game and lined a home run to left field. After going down swinging against a changeup in the dirt his first plate appearance, Marquis adjusted well to stay back on a curveball his second time up, but lined it right at the third baseman. He does have a timing hitch during his swing load that makes it tough for him to stay inside of the baseball against inside pitching. This spot will be of watch as pitchers challenge him with fastballs on the inner third during the season.

-Presently on the lean side, Williams Jerez has the type of frame that can pack on muscle as he physically matures into his early twenties. Jerez flashes quick hands during his swing to square up pitches with backspin. His pitch recognition is presently below-average though and the instances of solid contact may be inconsistent to start his career. Jerez gets way out in front of breaking balls.

-Henry Ramos was behind the ball in both of his plate appearances during the High A game and dropped his shoulder too much during his swing to come up underneath the ball. Ramos also displayed this during his morning batting practice session. In both plate appearances, he got jammed by inside fastballs and carved lazy flyballs to left field. Ramos' swing slowed due to looping the head of the bat. At least today, he needs to use his hands more in his swing to drive the head of the bat to the point contact.

-Sean Coyle flashed solid opposite field power during his third plate appearing, rifling a double to right field against a fastball in the middle of the plate. Coyle exploded with his hands through the baseball to drive it hard. He did struggle when trying to go with a pitch on the outer third to right field earlier in the game, swinging through the pitch and looking awkward with his swing mechanics in the process.

Chris Mellen is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisMellen