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Scouting Video: Jeremy Rathjen, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers)

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October 13, 2014

Jeremy Rathjen is a guy I saw, really, way back when, when he was playing summer ball for the Santa Barbara Foresters. At the time, I remember him as this long, lean, lanky kid who could swing the bat. And that much got him drafted and really hasn’t changed. By the time I saw him in the Cal League late in the season, he was pretty gassed like everyone else. There is one secondary tool with Rathjen, and it’s always been the arm, which in this day and age, is something that is always elusive to find.

Offensively, he’s still rangy, still has the same swing, still has a little bit of useful pop in there. He’s just a guy who as an 11th rounder will have to keep putting up these seasons like he did in Rancho to get himself there. Not impossible by any means, just a very long road.

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Scouting Video: Tony Kemp, Lancaster Jethawks (Astros)

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October 6, 2014

Tony Kemp is another one of the Vanderbilt guys I always saw come through California before pro ball. If it weren’t for Altuve, I might suggest that this guy is getting the second base job in Houston, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with a second base job somewhere in the big leagues. When I saw him in college, I always knew he could run and play second base and put the ball in play. What I was worried about was the durability. Well, you’d draft for the tools and keep your fingers crossed and see if the guy is as a good an athlete as you think he is. Well, he is. Or at least seems to be thus far. He’s basically got everything you want except power, but that won’t matter. He’s going to be a big leaguer, just a question of when or where.

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Scouting Video: Kyle Farmer, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers)

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September 29, 2014

Kyle Farmer is another one of these guys I saw in college before he got to pro ball. In fact, I’m pretty sure he got himself drafted by the Dodgers the Friday night at UCLA when he hit a home run against Gerrit Cole. I do remember that game and I bet Farmer does, too. That was in front of a very big crowd, and I’m not talking about the fans.

I hadn’t seen him since that night when I ran into him in the Cal League. This time, he was catching, instead of playing second base, which he played in college. I note that he hit his way up to the Cal League, and by the time I saw him late in the season, he was pretty gassed and didn’t have what I’m sure is his normal pop. But I can still see shortness in his swing, quickness in his hands, pretty good catching hands for a guy who isn’t a catcher, and throwing footwork and arm stride that is still a work in progress. So all in all, it’s a pretty good use of an 8th round pick, and we’ll see if it gets him up the freeway.

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Scouting Video Update: Ryon Healy, Stockton Ports (Oakland)

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September 22, 2014

Ryon Healy is a guy we’ve seen around Beginnings, oh, since back in the day when people were confusing him for a pitcher. It only seems like I’ve been writing about this guy forever, but really, it’s only been about five years. But it’s been a fun five years. In that time, this guy has really proven himself to have all the makings of a longtime major league hitter.

You can look up Healy’s Cal League numbers and find them to be pretty solid, but what is most impressive is the fact that he hit something like .100 in April, which is more like a good ERA than a batting average, and kept on playing hard and, most of all, competing. You know, it is true — and no metric will ever show you this — how a guy responds when he struggles at the highest level of baseball he has ever been tells you a lot about what kind of pro he’s going to become. How does he respond day in and day out at the ballpark? Does he quit? Does he pack it in? Does he work hard? Does he work smart? Do his habits make him better or does he repeat the same bad habits? And with a guy like Healy you have to say, well, he responded to a push from the player development people, responded to a major struggle, and ended up leading the league in at-bats and was third in hits. You see, most California League hitters who were drafted in a good round who struggle that badly first time through the Cal League find themselves back in the Midwest League. This guy, didn’t. All the while, he played everyday, and continued to show he is a good athlete for a big man, doing things like this: going first to third, scoring from second on singles, advancing on wild pitches and passed balls. And over at third, developing the arm strength and accuracy, drastically cutting down the errors, and when he’s at first, hard to find much better.

So, like we say, pretty good for a right-handed pitcher.

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Scouting Video: Chris Anderson, RHP, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers)

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September 15, 2014

Chris Anderson is a pretty good arm whose stuff and arm strength won’t match the High-A stats this year, but I’m willing to bet the Dodgers are plenty happy with this guy and he’ll be in Double A in 2015. Good delivery with a live arm and a durable body, good strikeout numbers, flashes plus fastball and plus slider, needs a coat of consistency and he’ll be knocking on the door soon enough.

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Scouting Video: Conrad Gregor, Lancaster Jethawks (Astros)

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September 8, 2014

Conrad Gregor is a guy I hadn’t seen since Vanderbilt. Got a few looks in the Cal League before he went on his way. To me, he looks like a left-handed bat with average power and physicality. He’ll hit a few but won’t be a beast. There aren’t any secondary tools that jump off the page, so it comes down to the bat, where there is some pop but also some length to the swing. I think we can safely call it useful power. How well it plays up the higher levels remains to be seen, but he looks like a low-cost left-handed power option in the coming years.

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Scouting Video: Rio Ruiz, Lancaster Jethawks (Astros)

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September 2, 2014

Rio Ruiz was pretty solid in the California League this season and actually did a pretty decent job holding down the middle of a lineup while the rest of the team around him was either injured or promoted. I hadn’t seen him since high school and I thought he was clearly better and overall I felt like his knowledge of his own zone improved. I think the bat is still the carrying tool, of course. There’s some arm strength but you don’t see it very often. I don’t see a ton of mobility at third, but that’s true of most kids these days. As long as he fields what he gets to and makes the computers in Houston happy, he’ll be on his way.

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Scouting Video: Luke Eubank, RHP, Oxnard College (2014 Draft)

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May 29, 2014

Luke Eubank is, to me, a thing of beauty to watch pitching. I’ve seen him since high school. I have a few things I have always said about Eubank. One is that he “knows how to be the guy.” That means, he knows how to be THE GUY. What is the GUY? The GUY is that guy on your pitching staff who basically says, “You know what? I don’t give a s— what you think. Guy on third? Bring it.” THE GUY is that guy who knows how to win. And that’s what Eubank does. 10-0, 0.77 ERA, 98 Ks in 93 1/3 innings in the regular season for Oxnard College in 2014. He went 11-0 with a 1.01 ERA as a high school senior for Newbury Park in 2012, winning the Division I title game at Dodger Stadium.

This season, he had a 0.87 WHIP, a 45 percent ground ball rate, 2.8 ground ball to fly ball ratio. There I’m done. The numbers speak for themselves.

Fastball, Slider, Change. Good luck. That’s all you need to know. He’s going to pitch in the big leagues.

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Scouting Video: Monte Harrison, OF, Lee’s Summit West HS (2014 Draft)

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May 26, 2014

Haven’t seen this guy in a while, but Monte Harrison is said to be one of the best high school athletes in this draft. I don’t know much more than this, but here’s a little BP video, and you can go from there.

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Scouting Video: Alex Verdugo, OF, Sahuaro (AZ) HS (2014 Draft)

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May 19, 2014

Alex Verdugo is seen here in the ACs. Press Play.

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