SoxProspects News

April 14, 2020 at 9:44 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Jimenez, Reyes, Shawaryn, Northcut, Diaz, Schellenger


Another round of scouting report updates are have been filed, just in time for the theoretical start of the minor league season. This collection of reports is led by 2019 SoxProspects.com Breakout Player of the Year Gilberto Jimenez. At this time one year ago, Jimenez had shown promise, ranked as our #16 prospect in the system. After a stellar year in Lowell, where he slashed .359/.393/.470, Jimenez is now perched at the number 5 spot in our rankings.

SoxProspects.com scouting reports are written by our scouting report team, led by Director of Scouting Ian Cundall.

Gilberto Jimenez, Outfielder

Physical Description: Extremely loose and athletic. Standout athleticism. Some projection in frame. Lower half is filled out, but could stand to get stronger with his upper body.

Hit: Plus bat speed and very quick hands. Unusually advanced contact skills. Left-handed swing is a work in progress. Starts crouched and square. Uses a toe-tap. Swing is short and direct to the ball. Tends to slap at it, looking to put the ball in play rather than drive it, and doesn’t incorporate his lower half. From this side has shown a strong willingness to drop a bunt down for a base hit. Swing is more fluid from the right side of the plate, his natural side. Utilizes a leg kick and keeps the barrel in the zone longer. Generates more hard contact. Approach and pitch recognition are raw, but strikeout rates are very low due to advanced bat-to-ball skills. Had made clear adjustments to his set up and left-handed swing in the 2019 Fall Instructional League, starting with a wider base and using a more pronounced weight transfer to better incorporate his lower half. This allowed him to stay in the box longer and square the ball up more to the pull side in batting practice sessions. Wide range of outcomes with his future hit tool, but you can dream on it developing into a plus tool.

Power: Not a major part of his game at present; generates weak exit velocities. Will flash fringe-average raw power from the right side of the plate, whereas from the left side, raw power is more below-average. Swing is more designed for hard line drives in the gaps than over-the-fence power. Well below-average game power potential unless he makes significant swing changes, but that is possible given how recently he began switch-hitting.

Run: Elite speed. Have timed under 3.9 seconds to first from the left side. Puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses. Always looks to take the extra base. Very aggressive. Baserunning instincts, reads, and jumps need improvement. Stolen base numbers are not representative of his true speed.

Field: Plus range and speed make up for lack of instincts. Jumps need work. Needs to improve tracking the ball. Overall has the potential to develop into a plus defender in center field as he improves his instincts and gets more repetitions in center field.

Arm: Plus arm strength. Throws show carry and plenty of zip when he lets it fly. Accuracy can be a tad inconsistent. Plenty of arm for any outfield position.

Career Notes: Led the New York-Penn League and Red Sox minor leaguers in batting average in 2019. Naturally a right-handed hitter, only started switch-hitting during 2017 Dominican Instructional League to better utilize his elite speed. Slipped through the cracks a bit and signed at 17 for a small bonus. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018 and 2019.

Summation: Someone who you can dream on as a potential everyday player, but has a ways to go developmentally. The most exciting young outfielder in the system. Has a chance to develop into one of the top prospects in the system if he continues to improve. One of, if not the most athletic player in the system. Shows potential for a plus hit tool to go along with elite speed. Needs work to refine his defensive game, but has the tools to develop into a plus defender. Will flash four average-to-better tools, at least, but is raw at present and has a long way to go developmentally. Possesses great work ethic.

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Denyi Reyes, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Tall, long-limbed right-hander. Solid frame with minimal remaining projection. Strong lower half, looks the part.

Mechanics:
Throws over the top. Medium leg kick. Arm stays behind body late to create deception. Gets good plane on his pitches. Gets great extension towards the plate, maximizing use of his frame. Fringy arm speed. Works very fast.

Fastball:
88-91 mph. Doesn't have overwhelming velocity, but does a good job cutting and sinking the pitch. Plus control with average command at present. Needs to prove pitch can miss bats against more advanced hitters. Average potential.

Changeup:
81-83 mph. Inconsistent feel. Pitch shows some drop at its best, but lacks separation from fastball. Has confidence in pitch, will throw in any count. Average potential.

Curveball:
72-77 mph. Long, loopy break. Will change the shape and velocity of the pitch. Tends to slow arm and cast the ball to the plate on occasion. Fringe-average potential.

Slider:
83-84 mph. Added pitch in 2018. Will show short, quick, 10-to-4 break. Clear fourth pitch that he mixes in. Below-average potential.

Career Notes:
Signed at age 17, moved from shortstop after signing. Participated in the 2015 Fall Instructional League. Was a surprise addition to the 40-man roster in November 2018 to protect him from selection in the Rule 5 draft despite his having just barely reached High A. Was designated for assignment during the 2019-20 offseason and cleared waivers.

Summation:
Profiles as an emergency up-and-down arm or a long reliever at best. Stuff is fringy, but command and control profile and advanced ability to sequence allow him to pitch above his raw stuff. Met his match somewhat in Double-A in 2019; fine stats belie the amount of loud contact he gave up.

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Mike Shawaryn, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Sturdy, filled-out pitcher's frame. Doesn't have any projection left. Has filled out considerably in his upper body since he signed. Solid lower half.

Mechanics: Throws from a low-three quarters arm slot, starting in the middle of the rubber. Significant amount of effort in his delivery. Loud pre-pitch, with right hand constantly moving by his side as he gets the sign. Brings glove up high to his face then down and back up without using a full wind-up. Effort starts when he brings his arm back and raises his elbows high, then drops and drives, slinging the ball from a low arm slot. Delivery puts a significant amount of stress on his arm and shoulder. Delivery is tough on right-handed hitters due to low arm slot, but left-handers get a good look at the ball.

Fastball: 90-92 mph. Tops out at 95 mph. When starting, velocity tails off after the fourth inning down to 89-90 mph. In relief in 2019, sat more 91-94 mph. Pitch has late arm-side run and sink. When he keeps the pitch down in the zone, leads to a lot of weak contact on the ground. Average control; fringe-average command. Control regressed significantly in 2019 and bares watching going forward. Still working on consistently commanding the pitch. Potential average offering in a starting role but could play up as he adjusts to a bullpen role. Has reportedly worked on elevating a four-seam fastball to change hitters' eye levels.

Slider: 82-85 mph. Was once a slower, slurvy pitch with 10-to-4 break, but has evolved into a harder, sweepy breaking ball. Velocity did tick back a bit in 2019 from being 84-87 mph. Pitch lacks tilt, but has late bite. Has shown bat-missing potential against upper-level hitters. Has strong feel and confidence in the pitch. Willing to throw the pitch to both left-handed and right-handed hitters. Potential solid-average offering.

Changeup: 84-86 mph. Inconsistent at present and doesn't use consistently in games. At its best, will show late fade and is thrown with deceptive arm speed. Other times is on the firm side and looks like a fastball he took something off of. Pitch will be crucial to his ability to stick at the major league level. Potential below-average offering.

Career Notes: Was seen as a potential first-round pick after a strong sophomore season, but struggled with injuries during his junior year and his draft stock took a hit. Signed for $262,000 over slot. Participated in 2016 Fall Instructional League. Nicknamed "The Unicorn" in college. In 2017, ranked 9th in the minors in strikeouts and 11th in strikeouts per 9 innings.

Summation: Profiles best as an emergency up-and-down swingman. Ceiling of a long reliever capable of coming in the fifth or sixth inning and throwing two-to-three innings should he end up in the bullpen. Fastball and slider show the most potential, but command and control still need refinement. Strong makeup and work ethic. Further development of changeup, giving him a pitch better-suited to get out left-handed hitters, will be key to sticking in the major leagues versus being Triple-A depth.

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Nick Northcut, Third baseman

Physical Description: Strong, sturdy frame. Thick lower half. Minimal remaining projection.

Hit:
Starts open with his hands high and some pre-pitch movement. Leg lift timing device. Has previously used either a high leg kick or a toe tap, so likely still developing feel for preferred timing mechanism. Long, uppercut swing. Swing is on the stiff side. Fringe-average bat speed. Very rudimentary approach. Struggles recognizing secondary pitches, especially breaking balls. Will extend out of the zone and has a lot of swing-and-miss in his game. Can turn on fastballs in. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power:
Plus raw power. More power to pull side at present. When he squares the ball up, it goes a long way. Power comes from combination of strength and bat speed. Combination of poor approach and lack of contact skills make it unlikely power potential will actualize in-game.

Run:
Well below-average speed. Not a part of his game.

Field:
Hands and footwork are passable at third base for now. Limited range and mobility, especially laterally. Still developing a consistent pre-pitch setup. Stiff when charging the ball. Won't be a flashy defender, but as long as he doesn’t get too much bigger, could develop into an average defender.

Arm:
Above-average arm strength. Struggles with accuracy when throwing on the run.

Career Notes:
Rawlings First-Team All-American in high school. Top 50 prospect in the 2018 draft. Was committed to Vanderbilt. Had a low-90s fastball and hard slider that made him a prospect on the mound as well as at third. Signed for significantly over slot, but for less than some teams thought he would need to sign. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018 and 2019.

Summation:
Ceiling of a platoon bench bat, but has a long way to go developmentally and needs to show significant improvement to even approach that level.  High-risk profile. Biggest strides need to be made at the plate, especially with his approach and bat-to-ball skills. Needs to learn to use all fields and improve pitch recognition. Will always have swing-and-miss in his game, but will need to keep it at a manageable level in order to tap into his raw power, which is his best tool. Bat profiles better at third base than at first base. Long-term defensive home will depend on how he develops physically and maintains his athleticism.

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Danny Diaz, Third baseman

Physical Description: Soft body. Underwent a massive growth spurt in his first year after signing. Listed at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds at signing (and in the 2020 Red Sox media guide), now looks 6-foot-4, and was listed on 2020 Spring Training roster at 247 pounds. Will need to watch his body, as it could get away from him if he doesn't focus on his conditioning.

Hit: Starts slightly open and utilizes a leg kick timing device. Likes to get extended. High, one-handed finish in swing. Swing is a little long and can get over-aggressive. Has some bat speed. Struggles with pitch recognition and lacks feel at the plate. Approach is very raw. Likes to attack fastballs early in the count; unlikely ever to take many walks. Needs more reps against professional pitching. Will always have swing-and-miss in his game. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Power is primarily to the pull side. Naturally strong, ball jumps off his bat. Six home runs in just 105 DSL at-bats was the most prodigious power output of a Red Sox player at that level in some time. Hit tool needs to make significant progress in order for power to actualize in-game outside of the DSL.

Run: Well below-average speed. Not going to be a part of his game and could continue to get slower as he gets older given how much he has already grown.

Field: Surprisingly agile for his size at third base. Won't ever be a standout defender, but could become solid enough. Has the chance to stick at third base long-term if he can keep his body under control and maintain his athleticism. Hands and footwork need work. Potential average defender. Saw time at first base during the 2018 Fall Instructional League, but appears to have been in large part to spread game reps among multiple third basemen, as he returned to playing third base almost exclusively in 2019.

Arm: Above-average arm strength.

Career Notes: Signed as a shortstop and moved to third base immediately after signing. Had surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his left hand in July 2018. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018 and 2019. Was demoted from the GCL to the DSL in August 2019.

Summation: If everything breaks right, could develop into a bench bat, but odds of reaching the majors are not great. Has some raw tools, but has a long way to go developmentally and a wide gap between what he is and what he could be. Needs to make significant improvement both at the plate and in the field. Unlikely to be anything better than an average defender, which will put a lot of pressure on his bat to develop. Currently profiles as power-over-hit at the plate. Needs to work on maintaining his body after prodigious growth spurt that occurred after signing.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in regular-season game action.

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Zach Schellenger, Right-handed pitcher

Physical Description: Ideal pitcher's frame. No remaining projection. Mature, filled-out frame.

Mechanics: Mid-to-low three-quarters arm slot. Drop and drive. Opens early with front side. Arm sweeps behind as it comes down and up. Steps toward right-handed hitter’s batter’s box and can get across his body. Quick arm. High-effort delivery.

Fastball: 93-95 mph when healthy. Hard cut in on right-handers with sink. Below-average command and control. Sat 88-91 mph in brief 2018 Spring Training look, which squared with reported 2017 velocity. Reportedly has hit as high as 100 mph and sat in the high 90s during college, but hasn't reached that velocity as a pro. Potential plus pitch at velocity shown since late-2018.

Slider: 83-86 mph when healthy. Has advanced feel for pitch. Shows tilt and bite. Can throw for strikes in the zone and get hitters to chase out of the zone at its best. Below-average control at present. Potential plus pitch with refined command and control. Sat just 77-78 mph in 2018 Spring Training.

Changeup: 84-85 mph. At its best will show drop and run. Velocity has increased from 78-80 mph in 2019. Clear third pitch. Below-average potential.

Career Notes: Impressed scouts during a strong showing in the Cape Cod League in 2016, but  biceps tendinitis limited him during his junior year at Seton Hall. Missed significant time in 2018 with back issues and a shoulder impingement, which may have led to significantly decreased velocity in spring training that year, but dominated during brief return late in the season. Initially skipped High-A to start 2019 in Double-A Portland after tremendous spring training, but struggled badly at the level and was demoted to Salem in May. Rebuilt his mechanics after demotion. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018 and 2019.

Summation: Maddening inconsistency and injury issues make him difficult to project, with a wide range of outcomes. Possible that could continue into his major league career given the volatility of many relievers. At his best, flashes two plus pitches in a dominant-looking power fastball-slider combination, which would easily play in a major league bullpen, perhaps even in the back end. However, has never maintained that profile for very long, and his shaky, inconsistent control and inability to stay healthy raise significant questions about his ability to reach his ceiling, making it difficult to project him as more than an up-and-down reliever.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez and Danny Diaz by Kelly O'Connor
 
Mark Hanoian is the Scouting Report Manager for SoxProspects.com.

 
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