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Scouting Video: Tyler Gonzales, RHP, #60, Blue Jays (2012 Draft)

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July 11, 2012

Tyler Gonzales is a guy I saw once, and here he is. You may draw your own scouting conclusions. The Jays like to go to the high school casino and see what shakes loose. House money.

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Scouting Video: Jesse Winker, OF, #49, Reds (2012 Draft)

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July 9, 2012

Jesse Winker is a guy I saw once. That’s all I got. Please enjoy the music while we ring your party.

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Scouting Video: Zach Eflin, RHP, #33 Padres, (2012 Draft)

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July 6, 2012

Zach Eflin has a name that might inspire lousy jokes about if this guy wears little green pointed spikes. Or probably more realistically, “What the Eflin is wrong with you?” I’m done with scouting commentary for now, so go ahead, have a peek.

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Scouting Video: T.J. Oakes, RHP, #348, Rockies (2012 Draft)

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July 2, 2012

T.J. Oakes is a guy I ran into last year on the trail. I think I bullshitted with him while he was charting pitches the day after he pitched. I do know that his old man is a hell of a guy who set up that dude on his team juggling bats for my video camera. That was from the same road trip where the field was so muddy that second base was trashed and they used the backup home plate at second. Anyhow, I got a soft spot in my baseball gut for Minnesota, and my book about the Milwaukee Braves (score! yet another shameless self-plug!) comes out this week. Hey TJ, good luck man, go spin some for your old man and the Golden Gophers. Next time I see you I want to see how much smoother you are and if you’re getting the more that I thought was in there when first took this video.

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Scouting Video: Nolan Sanburn, RHP, #74, Oakland A’s (2012 Draft)

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June 22, 2012

Seems like just yesterday that Nolan Sanburn was playing right field one summer in SoCal. Well, that didn’t last very long. I saw him pitching the next spring and it was obvious that this guy had power bullpen arm written on him. That would be his profile and we’ll see where the future takes him next.

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Scouting Video: Ty Buttrey, RHP, #151, Red Sox (2012 Draft)

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June 20, 2012

Ty Buttrey is a guy I liked last summer. Then I only shot one pitch, which was stupid. Anyhow, he went good and made some money. Here then, are my notes from last August on him turned from scouting card lingo into narrative:

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Scouting Video: Tyrone Taylor, OF, #92, Brewers (2012 Draft)

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June 18, 2012

Tyrone Taylor is a guy many people in Southern California put Hunter Pence on. He got paid good, but he got paid for the speed and because somebody is gambling you’ll get the speed and power combination. OK, I wish all parties well, but I have two words for everyone involved: D’Arby Myers.

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Scouting Video: Corey Seager, SS, #18 Dodgers (2012 Draft)

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June 15, 2012

Corey Seager went better in the draft than I liked him in my one look. You get these one looks, if you’re me, and you’re trying to write something that stands the test of time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing that All-American Showcase thing down at Pet Food Park, it’s that the event doesn’t lend itself to the players really caring about how hard they play. I am not saying this guy was in that group, so I don’t want any nasty emails. But here’s a guy who should have looked better and did not and it raises the question.

I mean, the players show up, they basically get fawned over like they are the beauty pageant darlings, and some guys really buy into this and sort of country club their way through the thing. So where does that leave me as a scout? Well, if a guy with talent kind of goes through the motions, then I’ll be honest and say he looks like he’s having the worst day of his life, even if he’s a better ballplayer than that. All I know is that I am not much for the fawning mentality we see at big showcase events like this — we are celebrating players who haven’t proven anything and impressing upon them the misguided notion that they are more advanced and developed players than they really are at that stage.

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Scouting Video: Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP, #75 Mets (2012 Draft)

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June 14, 2012

If only everyone in baseball kept as much detailed scouting information on the players¬†as I do.¬†Teddy Stankiewicz is going to be one of these guys who will prove my point. Now here’s a Texas guy that I saw once. Being a California guy, I had one crack to make my observations. That was in August. This is June. Back then, in my personal notes and the scouting cards full of wisdom, projections, grades and opinion (good luck peeking over my shoulder in the stands, I have eyes in the back of my head), I wrote this:

“Like! Strong solid build, arm works smooth full circle, solid RH strike thrower, fastball with late life. 90-91, run.” I put some other stuff in there, but I dreamed 5/6 on the fastball and I slapped an OFP on him that day, 52. So here he is, and I hope the Mets are as good at this guessing game as I am.

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Scouting Video: Keon Barnum, 1B, #48 White Sox (2012 Draft)

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June 12, 2012

Keon Barnum is a kid with projection in front of him. I only saw him once and felt his raw power was his best tool. You take a look at these swings and you see why I put that on him: quick hands, big hands and forearms, big shoulders, strong chest. The swing here had a big, sweeping upper cut, which is where you dream on your power. As I have said here often, I frequently grow sick of the phrase “leverage” for power hitters. It’s a word of the day, and it’s something stupid from amateur baseball. I can name you 100 big league hitters with great leverage and no pop. So for me, power comes from the hands, the wrists, the forearms, the shoulders, the chest. Most of your high school guys with raw power have to trim their swings a touch when they get to pro ball, and that’s so they can defend the inner half. But guys like this show the swing path, strength and quickness that allow you to dream on a middle-order bat. The rest, as we say in this here wild and crazy business, is up to the kid.

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