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March 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Report Updates: Gilberto Jimenez, Nick Yorke and Eduard Bazardo


Today's SoxProspects scouting report update features three prospects who participated in the 2020 Fall Instructional League and who have now been invited to Major League Spring Training. Nick Yorke and Eduard Bazardo have been at Spring Training since the start, but Gilberto Jimenez was only recently added. 


Physical Description:
Extremely loose and athletic. Standout athleticism. Some projection in his frame. Lower half is filled out. Has transformed his body since signing; once on the skinny side, is now strong and physical.

Hit: Potential average hit tool from the left side and plus hit tool from the right-side. Plus bat speed and very quick hands. Unusually advanced contact skills. Started hitting from the left side in Fall 2017. Has already made strides with his left-handed swing, but it is still a work in progress. Starts open in a crouch and utilizes a toe tap timing device. Does a much better job now of incorporating his lower half and staying in the box and on the ball longer than he did earlier in his career. These changes, along with his added strength, allow him to make more pronounced contact, especially to the pull side. Still willing to drop a bunt down for a base hit if the defense will not guard against that. Swing is more fluid from the right side of the plate, which is his natural side. Starts squarer and more vertical. Barrel stays in the zone longer and he generates more hard contact. Approach and pitch recognition are raw, but strikeout rates are very low due to advanced bat-to-ball skills. At 2020 Fall Instructs, he built on changes to left-handed swing first implemented during 2019 Fall Instructs, starting with a wider base and using a more pronounced weight transfer to better incorporate his lower half. In 2019 with Lowell, he tended to slap at the ball, looking to put it in play rather than drive it, and failed to effectively incorporate his lower half.

Power: Will show above-average raw power from the right side and fringe-average raw from the left. Below-average in-game power potential right now, but added strength plus improvements with his left-handed swing give him a chance for more. Added strength has really helped him to tap into his power and hit the ball harder. Need to see it translate in-game, as his swing is still more designed for hard line drives in the gaps than over-the-fence power. As recently as 2019 in Lowell generated concerningly low exit velocities, but improvements are alleviating those concerns.

Run: Plus-plus speed. As he has filled out, speed has decreased a grade. Will run 3.95-4.05-second times to first from the left side and 4.12-4.15 seconds from the right side. In the past, speed graded an 80, timed at under 3.9 seconds to first from the left side. Even with a slight speed downgrade, he will put 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 at least an average defender in center field as he improves his instincts and gets more repetitions.

Arm: Above-average 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, started switch-hitting during 2017 Dominican Instructional League to better utilize his elite speed. Slipped through the cracks and signed at 17 for a small bonus after impressing during a tryout at the Red Sox Dominican Academy. Participated in the Fall Instructional League in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Was invited to major league spring training in 2021.

Summation: High ceiling, low floor. Wide range of outcomes due to how raw he is and how much development he has left. Can dream on him becoming an everyday center fielder who adds value at the plate and in the field. One of the highest-ceiling players in the system and could establish himself nationally with a strong full-season debut. Will flash four average-to-better tools at least, but is raw at present. One of, if not the most athletic player in the system. Improved physicality and changes at the plate give him a much better chance to hit and to hit for some power as well. Needs work to refine his defensive game, but has the athletic ability and arm strength you look for in a centerfielder. Possesses great work ethic.

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Nick Yorke, Second-base

Physical Description: Athletic, sturdy frame. Filled-out for a high school pick. Thick lower half. Lost 25 pounds between his draft year and first full pro season. Some remaining projection, mainly in his upper body, and needs to add strength still.

Hit: Strong feel for hit. Starts square and utilizes a very slight leg lift as a timing device. Has bat speed and a very fluid, compact swing. Two-handed finish. Advanced contact skills. Good barrel control. Advanced approach for his age. Willing to use all fields. Needs to show the ability to turn on velocity, as he has tended to push the ball the other way early in his career. Potential above-average hit tool, but a long way to go between what he is now and what he could be.

Power: Average raw power. In-game power is still developing. Showed more power during his brief senior season before it was shut down.

Run: Below-average speed. Makes up for his lack of speed with solid baserunning instincts.

Field: Played shortstop in high school but moved to second base after signing. Solid instincts and footwork. Comfortable charging the ball and throwing on the run.

Arm: Above-average arm strength.

Career Notes: Had shoulder surgery before his junior year and was limited to DH duty for the season while his shoulder healed. Mother was a four-time All-American softball player at Fresno State. Brother plays baseball at Cal Poly-SLO after transferring from Boise State when that school cut its baseball program. Attended the same high school as Red Sox draft pick Aaron Bates, Mitch Haniger, and Trevor Hildenberger. Selection in first round surprised many and defied conventional talent rankings, but club was convinced that he would have been more widely regarded as a first-round talent with a full senior season and that he would not have been available with their next pick. Was added to the Club Player Pool very late in the 2020 season, getting roughly 10 days at the Alternate Training Site, where he impressed with quality at-bats against much older competition--he noted that the first pitch he saw, a 98-mph fastball from Bryan Mata, was likely 10 mph faster than any pitch he had ever faced. Participated in the 2020 Fall Instructional League.

Summation: Projects to be an offense-first second baseman. Long way to go developmentally. Hit tool is more advanced, but is developing power. Reportedly has great makeup. Injury history is somewhat concerning. Organization believes he likely would have been more highly regarded as a prep prospect had his senior year not been shortened.

Note: This page will be updated with a complete scouting report after the scouting team has seen the player in person.

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Eduard Bazardo, Right-handed pitcher 

Physical Description:
Small, undersized frame. Minimal projection even though he is on the thin side. Could stand to add upper body strength.

Mechanics:
Throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. Starts on the third base side of the rubber with hands at his waist. Jerky, effortful delivery. High leg kick and slight trunk twist. Slight stab behind before whipping his arm forward. Loose, quick arm. Head whack. Some deception as he keeps his arm hidden behind his body. Average extension. Repeats delivery.

Fastball: 94-97 mph. Tops out at 98 mph. Pitch shows sink and cut on occasion when he drops his arm slot. Does a good job keeping the ball down and generates a lot of weak contact. Above-average control but below-average command at present. Has shown the ability at times to command the pitch arm-side, but glove-side command is more inconsistent. Velocity jumped from 91-93 mph at the 2020 Fall Instructional League. Velocity tended to fall off in later innings as a starter, but is not an issue out of the bullpen. Potential plus-to-better pitch.

Curveball: 83-87 mph. Advanced feel. 11-to-5 break. Elite spin rate, among highest in the system. Pitch has tight rotation and depth when he snaps it off. Has feel and confidence in offering. Willing to throw in any count to hitters from both sides of the plate. MLB-quality out pitch. Velocity ticked up at Fall Instructional League proportionally to fastball; used to sit 79-83 mph. Potential plus-to-better pitch.

Split-Finger Fastball: 88-92 mph. On the firm side and lacks separation from fastball. Will show drop on occasion. Clear third pitch that is still in development. Replaced changeup in repertoire. Potential fringe-average pitch.

Career Notes: Older international signee at 18 years old, then spent three years in the complex leagues before breaking out as a starter in 2018 in Lowell. Was a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster after the 2019 season, but was not added and was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft. Participated in 2018 and 2020 Fall Instructional League. Had a breakout showing at 2020 Fall Instructional League that led to his addition to the 40-man roster that offseason

Summation: Projects as a middle reliever with the ceiling of a late-inning bullpen arm. Drastically improved velocity shown at 2020 Fall Instructional League has changed projection. Potential for plus-to-better fastball and curveball with jerky, deceptive delivery could play in high-leverage innings. Needs to improve fastball command and improve consistency with his breaking ball in order to reach his ceiling.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez, Nick Yorke and Eduard Bazardo by Kelly O'Connor.

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