SoxProspects News

March 22, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Scouting Scratch: Three down


With the third day of action finished from Fort Myers, here are today's 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.

-Blake Swihart had a tough time getting on top of the ball in his four plate appearances in the A-Ball game today. He went after three fastballs in the upper tier of the strike zone and was unable to do much. Swihart grounded two of them into the ground out to the second baseman and carved a lazy flyball to centerfield against the third heater. He also has some work to do adjusting to more advanced secondary offerings. Swihart committed his hands early against a changeup in his second plate appearance and rolled over the pitch due to being too far out forward with his weight. His athleticism continues to stick out though, with the expectation that his offense is going to progress as he gets more comfortable seeing pitches in his early career.

-Garin Cecchini has filled out over the off-season and begun to grow into his frame. Cecchini was on the lean side last season. His lower body looks stronger and he used his hips well to put a charge into a fastball midde-in out to centefield for a triple. Cecchini produced plenty of backspin by staying inside of the baseball with his hands. His hitting talent is apparent when watching him and his skills look prime for taking strong strides forward this season.

-Jose Vinicio put an easy swing on a fastball in his first plate appearance to line a hard single to right field. Vinicio generates plus batspeed left-handed. Still slight of build, he can square up balls well as a lefty. He pulls his hands cleanly inside of the ball when attacking offerings on the inner third. Vinicio still needs work with secondary offerings and can jam himself against fastballs above the thighs however. His offensive progression is strongly tied into adding more strength to aid him bringing the head of the bat through the zone as the level of pitching advances.

-Luis Diaz worked 89-91 mph with his fastball in his three inning outing today to start the A-Ball game. Diaz mixed his secondary offerings in more than previous outings observed. He ultilizied a low-80s changeup to pick up a swinging strikeout and also snapped off a couple 80-81 mph sliders. The change showed bottom dropping action. Diaz paced his delivery well during the start and stayed consistent with his arm slot.

-Cody Koback put a charge into a fastball in the middle of the plate to line a deep triple off of the centerfield wall. He extended well during his swing to square the pitch up with backspin. The outfielder showed off his speed, motoring into third easily without a throw. Koback did go down swinging against a curveball that he could not stay back on in his second plate appearance of the game though. He has looked capable of driving fastballs when I have seen him, but needs some work picking up breaking balls quicker out of opposing pitchers' hands.

-Sean Coyle continues to show he can barrel up fastballs, ripping a double down the third baseline against an inside heater, but still needs some refinement handling secondary offerings. He got himself too far out in front of a curveball and could not adjust to the path of the pitch. He looked to be guessing fastball in this instance. Coyle's pitch recognition is going to be tested during the season against the more advanced pitching he is projected to see in the Carolina League. He did flash some nice leather, showing solid anticipation on a ball hit to his right to eat up a potential base hit.

-Despite consistently being timed as around an average runner down the line during today's game action, Jackie Bradley, Jr. shows solid instincts and foundamental in centerfield. Bradley effortlessly tracked down a shot into the left-centerfield gap, making a more difficult play look routine. At the plate, he put together a solid at-bat to drive a fastball in the upper tier of the strike zone hard into the right-centerfield gap for a triple. Bradley did a good job keeping his hands back to explode through the baseball, but could not repeat this in a later plate appearance that resulted in a chopper to the first baseman. He pulled off of a fastball away, which is an area that he needs improvement with during his early career as a professional.

-Xander Bogaerts showed off his plus-to-better raw power in driving a fastball away for a deep home run to the opposite field. He generated outstanding batspeed with his hands to effortlessly explode on the ball with a small, quick stride. Bogaerts kept himself balanced well in this instance after lunging at pitches in his first plate appearance that resulted in a swinging strikeout. He can be on the aggressive side with his pitch selection and get too long with his swing at times to tie himself up on the inner half of the plate. Bogaerts will need to continue to work on staying inside the ball, but he has the look of a future major league hitter.

-Brandon Jacobs had a tougher day at the plate today, over-swinging and showing a bit too much upper cut in his swing. Jacobs could not get the sweet spot of the bat on the offerings his choose to attack. He looked off-balanced during his stride, which resulted in three lazy flyballs. He has been on the baseball during spring training, but could not repeat those hitting mechanics today. Jacobs has been one of the most improved players over the course of the last year. Consistency keeping his swing together is key to continue developing up the ranks of the organization.

Northeast Scout Ian Cundall contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall. Chris Mellen is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisMellen

 
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