2016 Arizona Fall League Review

 

GLEYBER TORRES-INF-NEW YORK YANKEES-6-1”, 175

For me, Torres is the best athlete in the Fall League. He can do it all.  He hits for average and for power, he runs well, he plays good defense and he has a strong arm.  He is agile and lithe.

Terrific hands through the ball. A true star. Either he stays at short and Gregorius plays second or vice versa.  Great duo.

JACOB NOTTINGHAM-C-MILWAUKEE BREWERS-6’2, 230

Nottingham is big and strong, but he has lots of work to do if he is to become an everyday catcher.  But he can hit.  He drives balls as a right-handed hitter and may have more of a future as a first baseman.  He’s working hard on defense, but his footwork is still awkward. He has extra-base/ home run power.

Willie Calhoun

Photo Credit: Ryan Morris

WILLIE CALHOUN-2B- LOS ANGELES DODGERS-5-8, 185

Short and very stocky, Calhoun has an incredibly loud bat. He homered among his three hits in the Fall Stars game.  Makes excellent barrel of the bat contact. Hitting and hitting for power are his only real tools.  He’s very limited on defense and has to be very careful not to gain even more weight.  I like what he can do with the bat.  May eventually play third base due to a lack of range at second.

MICHAEL KOPECH-P-BOSTON RED SOX-6-3, 205

Kopech is probably the best overall pitcher I’ve seen in Arizona this fall.  He has terrific fastball velocity and sits 95-98 miles per hour.  He can easily hit 100 when he so desires.  His delivery is neat and clean. A high strikeout pitcher, Kopech has outstanding command and control and will someday slot nicely in the Red Sox rotation.

FRANKLIN BARRETO-INF-OAKLAND ATHLETICS-5’10, 190

I feel Barreto fits better at 2B.  His offense is what will get him to Oakland.  He can slap the ball around the field and he can run some.  He was a key component of the Blue Jays trade for Josh Donaldson. They traded for him as a shortstop. He can hit.

RYAN O’HEARN-1B-KANSAS CITY ROYALS-6-3, 200

O’Hearn has opened some eyes with a very strong barrel of the bat approach. Hits the ball hard and can drive in runs. Has a future with the Royals. Big home run power carries his game.

RYAN MCMAHON- 1B- COLORADO ROCKIES- 6’2- 185

When I first saw McMahon he was playing 3B. I like him better as a first baseman. Has some pop in his bat and he should find a welcome home park in Coors. He hasn’t progressed yet as they thought, but I like his upside and his swing.  Home run power.

Anthony Alford

Photo Credit: Ryan Morris

ANTHONY ALFORD-CF-TORONTO BLUE JAYS 6-1”, 215

Played football in college and still loves the sport. Needs at-bats to help his development. Outstanding defensive CF with plus speed and a strong arm.  I look for power to develop from his terrific frame. Should hit plenty of gap doubles, triples.

BRADLEY ZIMMER-OF-CLEVELAND INDIANS- 6-4”, 185

Zimmer is a good athlete, but his swing has gotten long as he hunts home runs. Good defense, good speed and good bat control are his calling cards. Crowded Cleveland outfield could mean another year on the farm or even a trade. Has upside.

DILLON TATE-P-NEW YORK YANKEES- 6-2” 165

Former 1st round pick by Rangers came to Yankees in Beltran deal. Too thin, he has a chance to really develop into a good pitcher.  Not there yet.  Has very good command and control. Has worked in relief this fall. 93-96 fastball and a plus slider

ALEX VERGUGO-CF-LOS ANGELES DODGERS-6-0, 205

Verdugo is athletic and agile. Swings the bat well from the left side of the plate.  Excellent eye-hand coordination. He sprays the ball around to all fields. Not a typical center field body.

GREG BIRD-1B-NEW YORK YANKEES-6-4”, 220

Bird was hurt all last year, but no longer has rookie status. He is here to make up for lost at-bats. He should be a force at Yankee Stadium with terrific left-handed swing. Knows how to hit and can hit for huge power.  Could be a true star with Yanks.

RYDER JONES-1B-SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS-6-3, 215

An up and coming power hitter that can play both corners. Has some true pop in his bat, and I am surprised the Giants have him playing 1B this fall with Belt firmly entrenched in SF. Look for an uppercut swing and a work in progress. I like his upside.

Travis Demeritte

Photo Credit: Ryan Morris

TRAVIS DEMERITTE-2B-ATLANTA BRAVES-6-0, 180

I like the way this guy plays the game. Good barrel hitter with some pop in his bat.  Can play both sides of the ball well. Has a good eye and will make the pitcher work. Under the radar.

GREG ALLEN-CF-CLEVELAND INDIANS-6-0, 215

Very speedy CF, reminds me of Kenny Lofton. Gets on base and isn’t afraid to steal second or third. Can produce runs. A true pest.  Good defensive CF with range and enough arm.

JACOBY JONES-OF-DETROIT TIGERS-6-2, 205

I have mixed feelings about Jones.  There is no doubting his power and he has made great strides with making contact. But I still think he tries to hard to hit the ball out of the park.  He can hit and he can play.  Very fast. Can be a stolen base threat any time he gets on base.  A true high-quality prospect.

TYLER O’NEILL-OF-SEATTLE MARINERS-5-11, 210

A short, stocky son of a body builder, O’Neill has tremendous power and is probably on the brink of a big league career. Lots of swings and misses, but he is showing improvement against good pitching. Can play very good right field.  Power hitter.

CODY BELLINGER-1B- LOS ANGELES DODGERS- 6-4, 210

Bellinger has everything a team wants in a first baseman.  A left-handed hitter, he has a consistent career as a minor leaguer so far, hitting a career .267.  This past year he hit 23 homers at Tulsa in Double-A and another three at Triple-A. He hit a booming homer that cleared the berm in Surprise in the Fall Stars game.

AUSTIN GOMBER-LHP-ST. LOUIS CARDINALS- 6-5, 235

Big and strong, Gomber has three quality pitches. He throws

A 92 mph four-seam fastball, a changeup at 84 miles per hour and 78 miles per hour curve.  His usual mix is fastball/curve with the changeup mixed in.  He has a very solid 2.62 ERA in 309 minor league innings.  He has struck out 292 and walked 85. This guy is the real deal.

BRENT HONEYWELL-RHP-TAMPA BAY RAYS-6-2, 180

His best pitch is an excellent wipeout screwball. Honeywell is another in a long line of Rays pitchers with a chance to make it big.  He has a four-pitch mix including a 96 miles per hour fastball, an 85 miles per hour changeup, a 77 miles per hour curve and a 90 miles per hour cutter. He has a 2.58 career ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 279 1/3 innings.

Nick Gordon

Photo Credit: Ryan Morris

NICK GORDON-SHORTSTOP-MINNESOTA TWINS- 6-0, 160

Gordon, the brother of Marlins 2B Dee Gordon is a terrific athlete.  He can hit for average, has some pop in his bat and he plays solid defense.  He doesn’t have the speed of his brother, but he makes things happen at the top of the order. Outstanding reflexes and baseball instincts.  A winner.

YOAN MONCADA-2B-BOSTON RED SOX- 6-2, 205

Moncada is much bigger than those stats indicate.  He has a huge upper-body and a well-proportioned frame built for power.  He hit very well here before leaving with a thumb injury.  I think he fits best as a DH. I saw some very raw and inexperienced play at 3B and some a bit better at second.

JOSH STAUMONT-PITCHER-KANSAS CITY ROYALS- 6-3, 200

Staumont can throw his arsenal with a massive 15 miles per hour velocity differential between his 80 miles per hour curve, 84 miles per hour changeup and his 98 miles per hour fastball.  Wild with little command and control until this year, he has changed his delivery and is a star in the making in my opinion.  He and Kopech stand out on the mound.

MIGUEL ANDJULAR-3B-NEW YORK YANKEES-6-0” 175

An athletic sleeper in the group. He plays 3B and he can hit. He has a terrific frame, good feet and soft hands.  He has very good eye-hand coordination and quick hands through the ball. Mostly a singles hitter off the barrel. Knows the strike zone.

JAMES KAPRIELIAN-P-NEW YORK YANKEES- 6-4, 200

I believe the Yankees are taking it easy with Kaprielian as he returns from elbow flexor strain issues.  He has a very fine delivery and a good mix of pitches.  He has not thrown his curve ball to any extent here in Arizona due to the elbow issues.  If he can go into spring training with a healthy arm, he should get a long look as a potential rotation starter at some point-maybe as soon as late 2017.

You can read my scouting reports Monday, Wednesday and Friday at TodaysKnuckleball.com.

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About The Author

Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Bernie's work has been featured on MLB Pipeline, MLB.com and FanRag Sports, among others. In addition to his BERNIE'S BASEBALL WORLD column, he's a scout/analyst for FanRag Sports.com. You can follow Bernie Pleskoff on Twitter @BerniePleskoff