March 20, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Assistant Scouting Director Chaz Fiorino checks in with his scouting observations from Thursday's minor league games in Fort Myers.
- Rafael Devers (pictured, left) carries a strong, filled-out, muscular build on his listed 6-feet, 215 pounds, featuring a thick lower half. Offensively, he rolled over on pitches in his first two at-bats for groundouts to the catcher and second baseman, but recovered to collect two hits in his next two at-bats on line drives to right field. The hits came on an impressive, easy line drive swing with plus bat speed. In the first of the two successful plate appearances, Devers swung and missed on an 0-1 changeup but battled back to a 2-2 count before driving an 89 mph fastball to right. In his last trip to the plate, he took a hanging 1-2 curveball to right field. The right fielder misplayed the ball and Devers made a great heads-up play to take second base. Defensively at third base, Devers had one opportunity, making the play on a routine ground ball before making a poor throw into the dirt at first. Given his thick frame and size, he does not move exceptionally well at third. However, he did show plenty of arm strength to make throws from across the diamond. A future move defensively to first-base would not be surprising.
- Listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, with an athletic, skinny, projectable frame, 21-year-old Jake Cosart showed easy arm strength from a three-quarters arm slot with excellent arm speed. The 2014 third-round pick relied entirely on his upper body to generate velocity and did not utilize his lower half at all. The right-hander threw two innings and flashed a fastball, curveball, and changeup. The fastball ranged from 91-93, with most in the upper end of that range. He threw a pair of changeups at 81 and 83 mph with good arm speed that flashed average potential. Cosart tried throwing two curveballs and lacked any feel at all for the pitch. In one at-bat, Cosart went to the curve and lost his grip as it sailed and floated in high out of the zone, then went right back to it the next pitch and spiked it into the dirt. He followed with a fastball that sailed in on a right-handed hitter and hit him. Cosart showed some athleticism defensively on a ground ball he fielded cleanly and threw to second base to start a double play.
- Listed at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, with an athletic, skinny and undersized frame, Javier Guerra showed a smooth, line drive-oriented swing from the left side. Guerra hits from a slight crouch, utilizing a toe-tap load and generating good bat speed. Guerra put his smooth swing on display lining a fastball back up the middle into center field for a base hit in one at-bat. In subsequent trips to the plate, he got fooled on a 2-2 off-speed pitch and struck out swinging, then did so again against a tough left-hander on a hanging changeup that floated to the plate up in the zone.
- Listed at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, and 21 years of age, right-hander Jeffry Fernandez looked a bit heavier than his listed weight with perhaps a bit more room for added strength. Most impressive was Fernandez’s quick, easy, and loose delivery that allowed his fastball to work 92-94 mph, with most in the high half of that range. Fernandez comes set with his hands at his chest, using no wind-up and short arm action in back. In two innings of work, Fernandez secondaries included a slider and changeup. The slider was 85-87 mph with long, late tilt, and flashed average potential. The change-up worked 85-86 and displayed late downward drop with future average potential.
- Listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, and 21 years of age. Yankory Pimentel (pictured, right) has easy arm strength from the right side. Pimentel came set with his hands at shoulder height with a no-wind-up delivery and three-quarters arm slot. In two innings of work, his fastball sat 92-94 mph with some glove-side cut action, grading as an above-average pitch. He also featured a slider at 84-86 mph with tight, late tilt, and showed the ability to throw the pitch for strikes.
- Algenis Martinez showed a skinny frame, listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, with room to fill out. The 21-year-old right-hander comes set with his hands at shoulder height and uses a simple, no-wind-up delivery that was loose and easy and that he was able to repeat. The fastball was 89-93 mph, sitting 92-93 in his first inning of work before slipping into the 89-92 range in his second inning. The slider was 82-85 mph and flashed plus potential. He showed willingness to throw it to both right-handed and left-handed hitters, picking up a strikeout on a backdoor slider to a right-handed hitter to catch him looking. Martinez also threw two change-ups at 79-80 mph with good arm-speed.
Photo credit: Rafael Devers and Yankory Pimentel by Kelly O'Connor.
Chaz Fiorino is Assistant Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @cbfiorino.