These are notes on prospects from Brendan Gawlowski, who can be chipping on Each day Prospect Notes as soon as every week. Learn earlier installments of the DPN here.
Right now, we’ll evaluation some dwell seems, watch at just a little video, and head off the crushed path for a bit. It needs to be enjoyable, and apologies prematurely for highlighting a number of performances from earlier within the week. Onward!
CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Stage & Affiliate: Excessive-A Vancouver Age: 22 Org Rank: 10 FV: 40+
Line: ⅔ IP, 4 H, 7R, 1 SO, 3 BB
It was an evening he’d wish to overlook. The road most likely oversells how tough he regarded — a few gork singles prolonged the inning — however Van Eyk’s major developmental purpose this season is to pound the zone, and solely 17 of his 33 pitches have been strikes on Tuesday night time. He usually missed badly to his arm aspect along with his fastball and curve, and a scarcity of aggressive pitches restricted him to only one true swing and miss.
Mechanically, Van Eyk has a unfastened arm, clear arm swing, and nonetheless head, all of which ought to assist him throw strikes. His touchdown spot may be very inconsistent although, and that appears to have an effect on his capability to throw strikes. Generally he lands in a clear fielding place; on different events his left foot lands so awkwardly that he virtually falls off the mound towards the primary base dugout (you possibly can see footage of that in motion in Tess Taruskin’s notes from a number of weeks again). As much as 94 with a curve that flashes plus, there’s great things right here if he can discover a supply that facilitates extra strikes.
Juan Then, RHP, Seattle Mariners
Stage & Affiliate: Excessive-A Everett Age: 21 Org Rank: 11 FV: 45
Line: 4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 6 SO, 3 BB, 2 HR
A full stat sheet for Then, who managed to pack all of that into 85 pitches in his 4 innings of labor. He’ll present you two plus pitches in his fastball and a protracted, predominantly horizontal slider. Even his modified flashed plus as soon as, a dandy of a fader within the mid-80s amidst a dozen or so laborious and straight ones that sulked uncompetitively away from the plate.
A scarcity of consistency explains Then’s underwhelming numbers. He can hit 95 with out breaking a sweat, however he doesn’t all the time find nicely. He can backdoor lefties with a slider and coax righties to swing at that very same pitch within the filth, however he’s additionally liable to hold one in the midst of the plate. Given how usually he used it, the change seems to be a developmental focus. There’s motive for optimism right here, but additionally a protracted strategy to go.
The seemingly end result might be a reliever, however given Then’s age, athleticism, and arm energy, he’s an incredible instance of a man who ought to get alternatives to begin for a number of years to see if every little thing clicks. If it does, he’s acquired loads of upside.
Tyler Phillips, RHP, Texas Rangers
Stage & Affiliate: Triple-A Spherical Rock Age: 23 Org Rank: 29 FV: 40
Line: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 SO, 3 BB
It’s been a wierd season for Phillips. A sleeper within the Rangers system greatest identified for his changeup and management, Phillips acquired hit round in 5 Double-A outings earlier than a shock promotion to Spherical Rock. On the yr, he’s walked greater than 13% of the batters he’s confronted, approach up from his 4.5% profession fee heading into 2021.
With the same old correlation != causation caveat, plainly Phillips’ larger stroll fee has come alongside a change in his arm swing. Previous to 2021, his arm motion was pretty lengthy: clear sufficient, not notably stabby, however a bit lengthy within the again. This yr, he’s using a a lot tighter arm swing, one which’s in vogue all through baseball in the meanwhile. Right here’s what it regarded like within the spring of 2020:
And now from earlier this week:
It additionally seems like one thing within the new supply is inflicting him to fall additional towards first base, which can contribute to his drawback throwing strikes just lately.
Alongside although, Phillips missed loads of bats on Tuesday, notably along with his slider (one in all which you’ll be able to see above). Eric graded his slider as only a 40 over the winter, and any long-term enchancment within the pitch can be a boon to his possibilities to begin within the large leagues. In the end, there are loads of shifting components right here proper now. Whereas he’s solely thrown a pair dozen innings in 2021, for higher and worse Phllips seems like a special pitcher than he did a yr in the past. It’ll be fascinating to see how the mud settles for him over the remainder of the season.
Baek-ho Kang 강백호, 1B, KT Wiz
Stage & Affiliate: KBO Age: 21 Org Ranokay: N/A
Line: .400/.498/.576, 9 HR, 52 BB, 38 SO in 305 PA’s
For individuals who didn’t clamber aboard the KBO bandwagon final Might, Kang’s essentially the most entertaining participant you’ve by no means seen. Simply have a look at this hack:
I don’t know if Kang’s explosive, amp-turned-to-12 swing will play towards elite velocity. The hassle usually sends him spinning like a high out of the field, to say nothing of the occasions he actually falls over from the hassle. It really works towards KBO arms, however there aren’t a lot of them who can hit 95, a lot much less triple digits.
I’m extra assured in saying that if he does wind up being a productive hitter stateside, he’ll be each bit the phenomenon that Yoenis Céspedes was again in 2012. Whereas the swing makes Kang seem like a contemporary increase or bust hitter, he truly has loads of hitting abilities. It begins with unimaginable hand-eye coordination, and the energy and athleticism to regulate the trajectory of his fearsome reduce to react to spin and offspeed pitches. He doesn’t swing and miss all that a lot — examine that SO fee — and when he does, it’s normally as a result of he’s promoting out for energy and guessing useless pink in hitters counts. He hits the ball to all fields, and he’s even in a position to bunt for a single if opposing managers attempt to shift on him.
When and whether or not Kang chooses to come back stateside is a query for one more day. As it’s, he’s an extremely compelling participant, one I’d encourage everybody to attempt to watch throughout subsequent month’s Olympics.