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October 18, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Zach Schellenger, Joan Martinez and Yasel Santana

FORT MYERS, Fla -- 2017 sixth-round pick Zach Schellenger has had his injury issues over the last few seasons, but he finally looks healthy and is showing the potential that impressed many scouts in the Cape Cod League in 2016. After missing a significant amount of the season due at least in part to shoulder inflammation, Schellenger was very good with Greenville at the end of the year striking out 17 hitters and walking only 3 over 10 1/3 innings.

Schellenger has an ideal pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds. He has no remaining projection and his delivery has effort. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a stiff delivery and a lot of moving parts.

His fastball sat 93-95 mph over his inning of work and showed hard boring action in on right-handers. He has an average command profile and reportedly has shown more velocity in the past as an amateur, but it is yet to be seen if that will ever come back. Even at 93-95, Schellenger can be effective and the pitch projects as a plus offering.

Schellenger also showed a plus-to-better slider at 83-86 mph. He has advanced feel for it and the pitch showed tilt and bite. He was able to throw it for strikes in the zone and also out of the zone when looking for swinging strikes.

Schellenger doesn’t have a high ceiling, but it is easy to see a potential middle reliever who could move quickly.


After an inconsistent season with Salem during which he struggled more often than he found success, right-hander Joan Martinez showed a potential middle relief profile over two looks. Martinez has an average frame and has filled out since signing in January 2016 for $5,000 as a 19-year-old, and he has minimal remaining projection. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot from the third base side with a long arm action behind and effort.

In this outing, he showed a quick arm and his fastball sat 93-96 mph. The pitch lacked movement and showed average life, but his command is a work in progress. His velocity peaked last year with Lowell, when I saw him sit at around 95-97 mph, but the velocity here was consistent with what I saw in the spring and is probably more realistic for him going forward than what I saw last August and reports that had him throwing even harder than that last year.

Off-speed, Martinez primarily featured his slider at 82-85 mph. He showed inconsistent feel for the pitch with some showing tilt and bite and others flattening out quick. The pitch flashed average potential, though in the past it has shown better.


Because the Red Sox were banned from signing international free agents in the 2016-17 signing period, the organization signed several older Latin American arms early in the 2017-18 signing period for smaller bonuses of $10,000 and lower to bolster their DSL squad. 21-year-old right-hander Yasel Santana was one of those arms and he made his stateside debut this year excelling in the Gulf Coast League and then in a one-start cameo in Lowell.

In this two-inning look, Santana did not have his best stuff, struggling with his secondary pitches and fastball command. Santana has an athletic frame with some projection remaining. He throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a long arm action and a lot of moving parts.

Santana’s fastball sat 90-93 mph, topping out at 94 mph. The pitch was on the straight side and he struggled with his command, especially to the glove side. His velocity also tailed off in his second inning of work. Both of Santana’s secondary pitches were below average in the same velocity range, 84-86 mph. He really struggled with his slider, bouncing what seemed like half of those he threw well short of the plate and slowing his delivery. His changeup was on the firm side and looked more like a fastball he takes something off of. He didn’t show much feel for either in this outing, but did get a swinging strikeout with each of them.

Photo credit: Zach Schellenger www.shupirates.com, Joan Martinez and Yasel Santana by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.