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Scouting Video Flashback: Michael Conforto, Oregon State (2014 Draft)

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May 15, 2014

Michael Conforto is seen here back in the day, doing his two tours through the Area Codes. I remember liking him then. Always had a pretty simple swing and showed strong hands. Following him in college, he hasn’t developed into one of those big physical presence type guys, one of those 6-foot-5 athletic looking dudes. That said, I don’t think you’ll find anyone in the business who thinks he can’t hit, but you will find people asking where the power is this year. That’s a question to be answered. Guys who get drafted good hit home runs. The top of the draft is not supposed to be for doubles hitters, but that does happen sometimes. We’ll see.

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Scouting Video: Ryan Tinkham, C, Oxnard College

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May 12, 2014

Ryan Tinkham is one of these guys who got found because he had the good fortune to be catching one guy with ungodly fastball life and another one with an ungodly fastball that needs a strike zone the size of a hula hoop. He’s going to be a Division I ballplayer somewhere, and when this guy physically matures, there will be power to go with the size. I like hitters that don’t look like cookie cutters, because that’s where the power is. Again, this was not a showcase guy, this is just a ballplayer — and I feel like this business needs to stop spending so much time on showcase players and start looking for BALLPLAYERS. That’s what Tinkham is. Yeah, maybe it’ll be another year before the draft bloggers and the prospect rags catch on, but hey, you guys live in the Twitter-verse, and I live at the ballpark. There’s a big difference. Boots and sunscreen, every time. As for Tinkham, there is power here — and he swings hard — and he’s athletic enough. You’ll see.

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Prospect vs. Prospect: Stone Garrett vs. Touki Toussant (2014 Draft)

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May 8, 2014

I still like Stone Garrett even though I’ve never seen him outside of the AC. Touki has a good arm, he needs control of his fastball and breaking ball, and an average change to be an ML starter, otherwise it’s bullpen life. Sort of Marcus Stroman looking the more I think about him. There you go world, run with that one.

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Scouting Video: Nolan Sanburn, RHP, Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s)

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May 5, 2014

Nolan Sanburn is one of those guys I have seen every few years. Saw him at Area Codes, saw him when Arkansas was at San Diego State a few years ago, and bumped into him at some Cal League game I went to just for the heck of it. So the arm still works, I’ll tell you that. He hasn’t really developed the physicality I thought I might see, and for those 6-foot-something right-handers in this business, it’s always a hard climb unless they have the put-away velocity and the nearly major league ready breaking ball out of college. That said, this guy should get the time he needs to develop. So for me, I don’t really care what the role is. I want to see a guy like this develop into a major league contributor. The physical tools are there for that. Now it’s about performance.

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Scouting Video: David Carver, LHP (2014 Draft)

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May 1, 2014

David Carver is an example of how you can find talent in the back of the draft. Here’s a lefty with an 89-90 fastball that has been up to 90-92 and can spin a breaking ball. The physicality is coming. So what we have here is a 6-foot-3 lefty gradually getting to 200 pounds. This is a guy you sign as a roster filler with potential, but once you pull a guy out of college baseball, you often get that two grade fastball jump. It is hard to find smooth and efficient deliveries like this guy has. Guys like this find a way to survive in pro ball, they just do, and then you look up, and wonder where they came from, when they’ve really been there all along.

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Scouting Video: Chevy Clarke, OF, Inland Empire 66ers (Angels)

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April 22, 2014

Chevy Clarke is a guy I remember seeing once or twice on the showcase trail. Here he is nowadays toiling in the Cal League.

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Scouting Video: Carlos Correa, SS, Lancaster Jethawks (Houston Astros)

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April 15, 2014

Carlos Correa is a former 1/1. Newsflash, I know. Like you needed me to tell you that. Last I saw him was at that stupid dog and pony show in high school before his senior year. He’s gotten a lot bigger. This was a very short look. I’m not going to break him down. You know who he is, these are the swings I caught on video. I will say this: if it works out, he would be a shortstop with size that would hit in the middle of an order. If I was Jiovanni Mier, I would figure things out real quick.

I’m not in any rush to move him off short. He looks like one of those rare shortstops who makes the 5-6 hole look pretty small. He’s an average runner on an ordinary ball. Always had a good arm, which in the old school, means you’re saying 60. I can go with it. I’m not going to sit here and gush about anyone. He should be a big leaguer, that’s all I have to say. But just like anyone else, he has to prove it, because nobody cares what your scouting card looks like until they see it in a real life game against real life competition.

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Scouting Video: Jeren Kendall, OF, Holmen (WI) HS (2014 Draft)

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April 10, 2014

Jeren Kendall is a guy who showed up at Area Codes, and who people liked. Small state cold weather guy with a big SEC commit or a pro option out of high school, we’ll see what happens. Personally reminds me a little bit of Tony Kemp, those speedy lefty hitters Vandy likes.

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Scouting Video: Marcus Wilson, OF, Serra HS (2014 Draft)

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April 7, 2014

Marcus Wilson is seen here. Since last summer, the George Hendricks comp has been flying around. The only difference, I know who signed George Hendricks, and he knew what a hitter looked like. The problem is nobody here has any idea if Wilson hits. Sorry, that’s the facts. What you’re drafting is an athlete with the good body, but everything else is not developed. I saw him in Summer and again in Spring and pretty much he’s the same guy. You can box him out all you want and decide if he’s all tooled out, but the point doesn’t change. He’s going to be for one of the clubs that likes to draft athletes, which in baseball parlance, means black players with upside. We talk about the black athlete in baseball, and this is what the unfinished product looks like. The problem is that this guy isn’t the hitter Smith was, so maybe ASU is the right direction. So that’s not a bad thing, but either one of two things will happen: if he signs out of high school, he’ll develop at a satisfactory pace or be on the complex until he’s 21. Maybe both. I look at him as a high school sign and say this is a 2-year complex guy, 6-year project. That’s the gamble you take. The team that likes him will take that chance because they will tell you speed-power-athleticism-arm is too rare to pass up. Hey, to each his own. Some clubs will just say, not strong enough, not ready enough. So all it takes is one. You can take out all the prospect media PG trumpeters, and in the real world, that’s what you get. Once the draft is over, once high school is finished, the real world begins.

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Scouting Video: Jonathan Teaney, RHP, Quartz Hill HS (2014 Draft)

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April 3, 2014

Jonathan Teaney is going to pitch at the nice ballpark at USD last I heard. I’ve seen him a few times. What you see is what you get. He’s a 90-92 fastball guy with a slider. Really fast delivery, which I’ve never cared for, but if that’s who he is, that’s who he is. Arm is smooth and I always liked that. Physicality has always been a concern of mine. He has to physically develop a little bit more to find out what he will be. Has always kind of reminded me of Bauer for his size and up-tempo, almost hurried, max-effort windup. Reminding me of Bauer used to be a good thing. Used to be.

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