Sunday, January 13, 2008
ever wonder what a life in scouting might be like? I do! Scouting is about far
more than just reading stats. It's about reading swings and stances and
hand-speed, and pitch selection and arm angles and speed and instincts and, and,
and... probably a number of things more than that. It is all in the attempt to
find ball players to make your team better. Of course, there is no great,
perfect means of finding sure-things. But today, we can all play scouting
director thanks to the wonders of YouTube!
Do you ever wonder what a life in scouting might be like? I do! Scouting is about far more than just reading stats. It's about reading swings and stances and hand-speed, and pitch selection and arm angles and speed and instincts and, and, and... probably a number of things more than that. It is all in the attempt to find ball players to make your team better. Of course, there is no great, perfect means of finding sure-things. But today, we can all play scouting director thanks to the wonders of YouTube!
I felt the need to actually see some of the players that are rumored to be potentially coming to the Twins in Johan Santana trade scenarios. YouTube gives that opportunity given, of course, that someone somewhere has taken videos of these guys or recorded segments about them. As you will see below, some of the videos are simply shrines to a ballplayer as well. Anyway, it was fun to watch some of these things and I think you will enjoy viewing them as well. I will comment briefly as well.
Red Sox players -
I couldn't find any video of Ryan Kalish or Michael Bowden, two other Red Sox prospects who have been mentioned in rumors.
CLAY BUCHHOLZ - I know his name never comes up, but to me, he would be the top possible guy that the Twins could acquire. That said, there is also a reason that the Red Sox won't trade him.
Scouting - I watch this video of him just warming up between innings. I am amazed by how similar his whole motion, delivery and follow-through are to former Twin Brad Radke.
JON LESTER - A tremendous story , no doubt, but he is also a tremendous pitching prospect.
Here is some through-the-chain-link-fence video of a couple of Lester warm-up pitches. No extra movement or effort in his delivery. He just looks like a pitcher.
Here is a nice story on Lester from the Pawtucket TV station prior to his call-up. It includes plenty of video of him pitching. Not to over-promote, but his follow-through is very similar to Santana's. I can almost see him finishing up with one of those Santana fist pumps.
JACOBY ELLSBURY - Twins fans would love to see the big league ready CF take over for Torii Hunter for the next 6-8 years!
JED LOWRIE - I really like what Lowrie could become. I just wonder about his value to the Twins with guys like Matt Tolbert and Alexi Casilla at Rochester and Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes at New Britain.
Only one video of Lowrie available. He is shown hitting right-handed. He is a switch-hitter. This is from an Arizona Fall League game. I like the balance, but this isn't actually a great illustration. He actually appears to swing at a pitch down below the strike zone for a single.
JUSTIN MASTERSON - a solid pitching prospect, a ground ball pitcher who could start or relieve.
Here is video of Masterson throwing a warm up pitch in the bullpen. He certainly brings his right arm back as far as he can and throws from an angle probably just below 3/4. Another pitch. He certainly gets the full extreme of the definition of 'whip action'.
LARS ANDERSON - signability made him a late round pick and he got the money and signed with the Sox.
He probably has only really been mentioned in Twins blogs, but Lars Anderson is a good power hitting, young prospect. Here is some good video of an at bat of his. I like his eye and I like the swing!
COCO CRISP - Not a prospect by any means, but Crisp is the best defensive CF in baseball... and there are plenty of YouTube videos of him. \
Going to a boxing match at The Mansion. Well dressed!
And we all remember his situation with the Mariner Moose!
And here is Coco's littlest fan!
There was no video on Austin Jackson that I could find.
PHIL HUGHES - he's right there with Clay Buchholz as far as potential and ceiling.
MELKY CABRERA - definitely better than a 4th outfielder. He can hit, he can field. He's solid, but not spectacular.
He certainly plays three outfield positions very well, and anyone who robs Manny of a homer is fine by me!!
JEFF MARQUEZ - Mentioned as the second choice of the Twins after Ian Kennedy. This guy has been very solid as well.
the reports are good, but I wonder about the little hitch in his delivery. Plenty of major league pitchers have that, but it is worth noting, at least.
IAN KENNEDY - doesn't throw as hard, but a very good college pitcher who came all the way up from Hi-A ball in 2007. Comparisons with Slowey.
Just watch the delivery and the mannerisms of Kennedy. He is a replica of Slowey.
This video is great because it is a slideshow of Kennedy to Ice, Ice Baby! Now that is old school cool!
Good interview after his big league debut in Yankee Stadium. Just try not to stare at his teeth.
JOSE TABATA - very young, but he held his own in the Florida State League. All about potential.
Here is a nice base hit by the youngster during the Venezuelan Winter League. He certainly was way out in front of the first breaking ball, then took a pitch, then clearly adjusted. That is impressive with him being that young.
No videos of Deolis Guerra or Kevin Mulvey to be found.
CARLOS GOMEZ - speed, speed and more speed. Can he get on base and hit with enough pop to become a star?
This video of his first big league at bat is worth watching just to hear the lady who is filming it. It will be "Good for you!!"
Here is a much closer view of his right-handed stance. I really like it!
In this video, you can see him steal second and third after a single. I don't think he really even got a great jump from first to second and still got the steal. And, there was an argument on the call at 3B.
FERNANDO MARTINEZ - very young, but has such a great swing, and in my mind, it is a must to get Martinez in a deal with the Mets.
This is just a great at bat to check out the left-handed stance/swing of F-Mart. He takes several pitches and finally a swing. Very reminiscent of Curtis Granderson from a stance/swing standpoint, but we know he also takes walks and doesn't strike out as much.
Watch this story on him from SNY.tv Mets Weekly.
MIKE PELFREY - Many are down on Pelfrey because he struggled in the big leagues in 2007, but that was really the first he has struggled in his career. I like his upside still a lot.
PHILIP HUMBER - former college star is now recovered from Tommy John surgery. He projects to probably a #3 type starter.
Mets Weekly takes Humber and John Maine out to lunch.
So, not really a scouting report, but I did think it was fun to see some of these videos out on YouTube and see these minor leaguers in action. This was really just done for fun, but if you were able to learn anything about the players, that's great too! Any thoughts?