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August 4, 2015 at 8:30 AM

The Write-Up: Benintendi, Basabe and more from Lowell

LOWELL, Mass. -- Over the month of July, Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino took in several Lowell Spinners games at LeLacheur Park. The following are his reports on six players, including two top picks and a potential steal from this year's draft class.

OF Luis Alexander Basabe

Age: 18

Born: August 26, 1996
, El Vigia, Venezuela
Height: 6-0

Weight: 170
Bats: Switch

Throws: Right

How Acquired: International 
free agent (August 2012)

Dates Seen: 7/10-7/13; 7/25 (24 plate appearances) 

Physical Description - Athletic, lean, room for added strength. 

Stance/Hit Approach -  Switch hitter. Left-handed, stands slightly open with slight crouch; small leg lift; hands in good position to hit; left-handed pull approach. Right-handed stance more square to the plate and crouched; short stride; hands in good position to hit. 

Hit - 20/40  (current/future grade) - Quick bat from both sides. Left-handed swing appeared more advanced; more length in swing from right side. Very aggressive early in counts; first-pitch swinger; wants to hit; poor pitch recognition lead to lots of swing-and-miss; will improve with experience. 

Power - 30/50
- Surprising power for strength; raw power at present; good frame to add strength.

Run - 60/60 - Makes the defense rush; showed instincts to steal bases; definite basestealer potential. 

Arm - 60/60
- On-line throws with carry; made a throw from right field warning track to second base on the fly. 

Field - 30/50
- Dropped routine fly ball in center field trying to rush throw to get runner at home tagging from third; did not get great first-step reads; inefficient route running; misplayed a few balls in the gaps; covers plenty of ground; athleticism and speed will improve defense along with more experience.

- 18 year old; switch-hitting outfielder. Raw at present with athleticism; speed, arm strength and raw power. Current lack of plate approach & fundamentals defensively. High risk; future potential regular; everyday-type center fielder.

Age: 21

Born: July 6, 1994
, Cincinnati, OH

Height: 5-10

Weight: 180

Bats: Left

Throws: Left 

Drafted: 1st round, 2015; 31st round, 2013 by Cincinnati

College: Arkansas

High School: Madeira HS (OH)

Dates Seen: 7/10, 7/24-7/25 (12 plate appearances)

Physical Description - Compact, short, strong, athletic build; maxed out physically. 

Stance/Hit Approach - Slightly open, front foot turn inwards, rhythm with hands, hands set back deep in box, strides forward; plus bat speed; quick through the zone; short stroke, two-handed finish; pull approach. 

Hit - 40/50 - Quick, explosive, controlled swing; hits ball out in front with quickness in hands; exudes confidence at the plate; advanced knowledge of strike zone; overall aggressive; controlled approach; geared to pull.

Power - 50/60 - Plus bat speed; compact strength; leverage in swing for future plus power. 

Run - 60/60 - Athletic; powerful strides; accelerating speed underway. Definite basestealer potential.

Arm - 50/50 - Limited looks. Average throws from centerfield.

Field - 50/50 - Smooth, athletic defensive actions; average jumps on balls in gaps; takes direct routes; did not cover as much ground into the alleys as anticipated in limited looks. 

- 2015 SEC and National Player of the Year; athletic outfielder with power; above-average speed; advanced strike zone judgment; athleticism to stick in center field, but could also profile on the corners. Future potential regular, everyday-type center fielder. 

C Austin

Age: 21

Born: October 27, 1993
, Berkeley, CA

Height: 6-2

Weight: 180

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Drafted: 3rd round, 2015; 38th round, 2012 by Minnesota

College: Washington

High School: Campolindo HS (CA)

Dates Seen: 7/10-7/11; 7/13; 7/24 (17 plate appearances)

Physical Description - Athletic, lean, strong frame.

Stance/Hit Approach -
Upright; quiet stance; square to the plate; feet less than shoulder width apart; leg kick load; pull approach.

Hit - 20/30 - Average bat speed; showed advanced strike zone judgment; laid off most breaking pitches; hunting fastballs; was often late getting foot down; leg kick with pull approach leave susceptible to outer half; will need to learn to hit the other way. 

Power - 30/40 - Raw power at present to pull side; lift in swing. 

Run - 40/40
- Not part of his game; runs well for a catcher. 

Arm - 45/55 - Inconsistent; throws ranging from below-average to above-average; poor footwork and transfers hampered strength and accuracy. Made two heads-up plus throws to pick off runners at second base. 

Field - 30/50
- Has the frame and athleticism to move well when he wants to; lazy at times, especially with bases empty; catching needs work: stiff hands, below-average blocking, poor framing, dropping pitches down the middle way too frequently; throws out of whack; poor transfers; might have the yips. 

– Athletic-bodied catcher that did not come as advertised; giving benefit of the doubt adjusting to pro ball. 2015 third-round selection that was regarded as the most advanced defensive catcher in the draft with overall plus defense and plus arm. Very little signs of plus defensive profile these looks; giving benefit of the doubt adjusting to pro ball and project at least future average; need to see again; refuse to label as plus after this look. Dead pull approach at the plate and question marks about overall hit tool; raw power at present. Painful to watch behind the plate these looks.

SS Jeremy Rivera

Age: 20

Born: January 30, 1995
, Florida, PR

Height: 5-9

Weight: 150

Bats: Both

Throws: Right

Drafted: 17th round, 2014

College: El Paso Community College

High School: Carlos Beltran Academy (PR)

Dates Seen: 7/10-7/13; 7/24-7/25 (28 plate appearances)

Physical Description - Athletic, undersized; room for added strength.

Stance/Hit Approach - Same approach from both sides; slightly open stance; generates rhythm and timing with hands pre-pitch; strides back to square. Line-drive, all fields approach. 

Hit - 20/30
- Simpler swing for consistent contact from the right side; short to ball; lacks present strength; struggled versus plus velocity; heavy amount of groundballs; should have more success against left-handed pitching.

Power - 20/30
– Gap-type power, tops. 

Run – 55/55
– Slightly above-average runner. Shows instincts on the basepaths. 

Arm - 60/60
- Easy plus arm; on-line with carry; can make throw from deep in the hole at shortstop. Impressive arm strength on throw from grass behind shortstop on relay throw to nail runner at home trying to score from second.

Field - 60/60
- Alert defender with sure-handed glove actions; good body control; soft hands; makes all the routine plays and ranges well side-to-side; will stick at shortstop.

– 20-year -old; undersized; switch-hitting middle infielder with plus arm and plus defense that should stick at shortstop. Will struggle against advanced pitching and velocity. High risk; future potential emergency major league utility player; hole filler; middle infield defensive specialist.

RHP Jake Cosart

Age: 21

Born: February 11, 1994,
 Friendswood, TX

Height: 6-2

Weight: 175

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Drafted: 3rd round, 2014

College: Seminole State (FL)

High School: Clear Creek (TX)

Dates Seen: 
7/13/15 - 2.2ip, 7h, 5er, 3bb, 3k, 71p-31s (53%), 3-1 gb/fb.; 7/24/15 - 5ip, 4h, 2er, 2bb, 5k, 74p-49s (66%), 6-1 gb/fb.

Physical Description – Athletic, lean, projectable frame for added strength.

Arm/Delivery Mechanics - Quick arm speed; three-quarters arm slot; long arm action in back; arm-heavy delivery; doesn’t utilize lower half much; struggled to get over front side and pitch downhill. 

Fastball - 50/60 - 91-94 mph; late life; arm-side sink when down; below-average command & control at present; mostly up in the zone. Inconsistent release point; chance to play up with improved delivery and ability to pitch downhill with sinker. 

Curveball - 45/55
- 71-75 mph; best secondary offering; 11-to-5 break; loose at lower velocity; bites when he stays on top; inconsistent at present.

Changeup - 40/50
- 80-83 mph; thrown with good arm speed; lacks present feel; inconsistent; yanked glove side frequently; flashed average drop and fade.

Slider - 30/40 - 81-82 mph; 4th offering; long three-quarters tilt; thrown sparingly; lacks current feel; threw to both right-handed hitters and back-foot to left-handed hitters; most flat.

- 21 year old with raw arm strength; room to fill-out and raw four-pitch mix; overall below-average command at present of all pitches. Has the raw tools but far off developmentally. High risk; future potential middle-to-back end-type starter. 

RHP Ben Taylor
Age: 22

Born: November 12, 1992, 
Montgomery, AL

Height: 6-3

Weight: 225

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Drafted: 7th round, 2015

College: South Alabama

High School: Brewbaker Technology Magnet (AL)

Date Seen:
7/13/15 - 3ip, 3h, 1er, 1bb, 6k, 56p-42s (75%), 3-0 gb/fb.

Physical Description – Strong, durable pitcher’s frame; maxed out physically.  

Arm/Delivery Mechanics
- Simple; no-wind up delivery; hands set at chest; short arm action; plus arm speed.

Fastball - 55/55
- 90-94; most 91-94; arm-side run/sink in on right-handed hitters; pounds the zone; gets on hitters quick.

Slider - 50/50
- 82-83 mph; short, three-quarters tilt; will throw back-door to left-handed hitters; ability to throw for strikes.

Changeup - 50/50 - 80-82 mph: advanced feel; threw behind in counts and for first-pitch strikes; early arm-side fade and sinking action. 

– 22-year-old right-hander with strong pitcher’s frame; at least three average-grade pitch mix; pounds the strike zone; lacks projection going forward. Low ceiling; high floor type guy; could move quickly as future potential middle relief type.

Photo credit: Luis Alexander Basabe, Andrew Benintendi, Austin Rei, Jeremy Rivera, Jake Cosart by Kelly O'Connor; Ben Taylor by Dave Letizi

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