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March 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The Write-Up: More reports from Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla. – This latest batch of scouting reports from Spring Training by Chaz Fiorino reaches all levels of the system, from one pitcher who started spring in major league camp to another who will make his stateside debut this summer. 

Rijo is a 19-year-old, right-handed second baseman. He has a young, under-sized frame at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, with room for added strength as he physically matures. Defensively, Rijo is an athletic, high-energy guy with lower half quickness in his lateral movements. Rijo’s athleticism immediately stood out in the field taking groundballs during morning workouts. However, there were a number of times when he struggled with his glove transfer to his throwing arm or booted a few groundballs. The athleticism and raw tools were easy to see defensively to project future average potential defense at second. The arm profiles best at second base as well. Offensively, I only got a glimpse of Rijo in two at-bats and a few batting practice swings. Rijo has a high hands setup and displayed surprisingly sneaky raw power in his morning batting practice. In the two at-bats I caught, Rijo was late getting his front foot down in time and was drifting forward with his body at the plate. This resulted in a couple late swings and getting off-balance on off-speed pitches. Rijo looked aggressive at the plate and ready to hit. Very young at age 19 and slated for High A Salem, Rijo is still a ways away, but has impressive raw tools for a 19-year-old, projected middle infielder with plenty time to develop.
Betts is a 23-year-old, right-handed third baseman. He is physically strong, mature with an athletic build in his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. Betts stood out in early morning workouts at third base taking ground balls. He looks the part physically of a prototypical major league third baseman. He moved laterally pretty well and was able to charge in on balls on the infield grass to cleanly field everything that was hit his way and make on-target throws to first base with at least average arm strength. Offensively, Betts had a quiet approach at the plate. He sets up with his feet slightly less than shoulder width apart, his front foot slightly turned inward, then takes a short stride forward. I liked Betts’s quickness through the zone and his line drive, uphill swing path to generate power and backspin on the ball. I only caught a glimpse of one at-bat from Betts during games, but he did not disappoint, smoking a line drive to left-center field for a base hit. At 23 years old and a senior draftee out of Duke University, Betts could move quickly through the system depending on how far his bat can take him. He should be challenged with a season-opening assignment to Salem after playing in 64 games at Lowell in 2014. 

Kyle Martin
The first thing that immediately stands out is Martin, a 24-year-old, right-hander, is his 6-foot-7, 235-pound frame. He has an athletic, strong, physically mature build. Martin comes set with his hands at his chest and drops his hands as he goes into his delivery, bringing them back up in a fluid, semi-wind up delivery towards the plate with a three-quarters arm slot. In this limited look, Martin featured a double-plus-grade fastball, ranging 94-96 mph with most in the upper reaches of that range with late life. He also featured a slider and changeup. The change was 82-85 mph and the better of the two secondaries in this outing, showing fade and sink away from left-handed hitters with plus potential. I saw one slider at 87 mph that looked fringe-average, but it would be tough to put an actual grade on it based on that one look.  

Gerson Bautista
Bautista is an 18-year-old, right-handed pitcher, listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, and will be making his stateside debut in 2015 after a strong DSL campaign last year. Bautista currently has a skinny frame with long limbs and room to fill out and put on added muscle. Bautista worked from the middle of the rubber with his hands set at the belt and long arm action in back in his delivery. In this limited look, Bautista impressed with a plus-grade fastball ranging from 93 to 95 mph and showing two-seam run in on right-handed hitters. Additionally, he threw a few sliders between 81-83 mph with short, tight shape that lacked consistency, ranging anywhere from below-average to above-average when he was able to effectively get on top. He did also throw a fringe-grade changeup at 86 mph.

Celestino is a 25-year-old, Dominican right-handed pitcher with a 6-foot-6, 205-pound lanky frame with long limbs. He has long arm action in back with a stab and hook of the wrist that most likely is hindering his command. He drops and drives on his back leg in his delivery towards home with plenty of arm strength, but not the smoothest of deliveries. In this limited look, Celestino featured a fastball, slider, and changeup. The fastball sat 93-95 mph and showed arm-side sink and run at times. The slider was the better secondary pitch at 83-85 mph with tight, short break, showing at least average-to-better potential. I saw one change-up at 86 mph that did not do much and appeared flat through the zone. It is easy to dream on a guy with Celestino’s frame, plus fastball, average-to-better potential slider and a third pitch in his back pocket. The overall command and control of his pitches and delivery will be critical to reach his potential.

Photo credit: Wendell Rijo, Kyle Martin and Miguel Celestino by Kelly O'Connor.

Chaz Fiorino is Assistant Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.