Evaluating Riley Pint RHP Asheville Tourists

Riley Pint RHP Asheville Tourists Low-A (Evaluated 4/9/17)

Fastball (50/65) / Curveball (45/55) / Slider (40/50) / Changeup (35/45)

“We ARE selling jeans here!” – looks the part, standing a wiry 6-4 195lbs with potential to add 15+ pounds.  4th overall pick to Colorado in the 2016 MLB Draft, signed for a $4.8 million bonus.  High 3/4s arm slot, nearly from his right ear; struggled repeating his mechanics, often under-rotating, sending his fastball high and arm-side.  Easy velocity, looks like he is playing catch – mechanics need refining to improve command/control but no obvious flaws.

4-pitch repertoire-  Fastball sits 95-98mph touching 99mph 4x – lower velocities can show sinking and/or cutting movement, upper velocities are lively with arm-side wiggle.  Curveball sits 79-83mph with 11-5 movement and late breaking action; starts behind the batter and made several look foolish; true swing-and-miss “55” potential.  Showed a few 83-85mph sliders with some hard, late bite; inconsistent but potentially average.  Changeup 89-90mph shows excellent arm speed and tumbling arm-side movement; struggles to locate for strikes as it fades out of the zone but freezes batters – “45” potential

Pint will spend all year at 19 y/o and will experience growing pains in his 1st year of full season ball; injury risk due to the premium velocity for a high school arm; will need 3+ years of minor league development.  Fastball command will determine ultimate role.  #2 starter ceiling, with the likely outcome being a mid-rotation starter and floor as an impact reliever.

Scouting Carter Kieboom

Carter Kieboom                SS/3B                    Hagerstown Suns

DOB:  9/3/97        Height: 6-2        Weight:   190      Bats:  Right         Throws: Right

7-Word Scouting Report:  Promising hitter, Intriguing Power; Future Third Baseman

Future Grades:   Hit (55) / Power (50) / Run (55) / Defense (45 @ SS, 55 @ 3B) / Arm (50 @ SS, 55 @ 3B)

Washington’s 1st round pick, 28th overall, in 2016 from a Georgia high school, signed for slightly under-slot for $2 million.  19.5 y/o listed as 6-2 190lbs, very projectable body and total baby face, potential to add 10-15lbs of muscle – obvious athlete with quality speed, have clocked him in the 4.20-4.27 second home to first from the right side.  Gritty competitor, grinder – like his makeup but have observed him chirp with umpires, needs to temper this habit.

Right-handed hitter; shows lithe, loose wrists and obvious bat speed, whips the barrel through the strike zone; natural barrel skills and the ball sounds different off his bat.  Shows a willingness to work the count and has an advanced approach at the plate – does show some swing-and-miss, some can be attributed to seeing pitches but does struggle with quality spin away and will chase fastballs above the letters.  Has loft in his swing and naturally backspins the ball, allowing him to flash good power, especially to the pull side.  Has power to right-center and speed allows him to generate plenty of doubles in the gaps.  Perhaps most impressively, has shown legitimate improvement series to series and week to week.

Defensively Kieboom currently plays a passable shortstop, utilizing his above-average speed and outstanding instincts to make the routine plays.  Hands are just average and can get stiff when moving, especially laterally.  Lower half can get somewhat stiff and does not possess the natural fluidity of a major league shortstop.  Arm is solid-average and accurate with reasonable carry.  Tools feel like he could stay at shortstop in the majors, but would be a bottom five defender – profiles significantly better at the hot corner, where first-step quickness, instincts and arm would allow him to project as an above-average defender.

Kieboom is an impressive, polished high school draft pick who plays the game with a “good” swagger.  He shows a mature approach at the plate, with excellent barrel skills and some emerging power, especially to the pull side.  Like any teenager, he needs to add strength, but there is a good chance he could develop into an above-average hitter with average power – that profile fits better at shortstop, but should work fine at the hot corner.  Defensively could play a tolerable shortstop in the majors; however considering the wizardry demanded at the position in 2017, profiles much better at third base long-term; second base could also be an option based on organizational need.

Kieboom projects as a slightly above-average (Role 55) third baseman, with a medium floor due to his instincts and impressive skills at the plate.  There is also medium risk in his profile, with the biggest concerns being his distance from the majors, his eventual defensive position and how he develops recognizing spin at the plate.  Kieboom should spend most of 2017 at Hagerstown and has a major league ETA of very late 2019 or 2020.

 

{Editor’s Note – Carter Kieboom was injured running to first base Friday night and was placed on the disabled list.  This report was written prior to this injury and is assuming this will not affect his long-term future.  We wish Carter a speedy recovery.}

Scouting Tyler Watson

Tyler Watson      LHP        Hagerstown Suns

Fastball (45/55)                 Curveball (40/45)              Changeup (50/55)

7-Word Scouting Report:       Potential Above-Average Fastball Changeup, Curveball Determines Ceiling

Over-slot 34th round pick in 2015, signed for $400,000 from an Arizona high school.  Listed as 6-5 200lbs, well-built frame with projection remaining in lower half.  Nearly 20 y/o with traditional 3/4s arm slot; repeats mechanics well both from windup and stretch, quiet motion into a waist-high leg lift, reasonable extension towards home.  Stays closed in delivery, hides the ball well both to lefties and righties.  Surprisingly polished for a teenager in Low-A, pounds the strike zone and works the sides of the plate; rarely misses in the hitter’s power zone, particularly impressive working the inner third to righties.

3-pitch repertoire – Fastball sits 88-90mph, T91 4x with natural cutting action and some sink, pounds the lower third of the strike zone; works both sides of the plate, particularly inside to righties.  Curveball (72-75mph) was inconsistent throughout, some lacked shape and were “spinners” while others showed some late bite into the strike zone – can locate for strikes, especially arm side.  Changeup (82-84mph) is his best present pitch, showing excellent arm speed and quality sink, will throw for strikes; impressive for Low-A.

Watson is a polished, high school lefty who shows impressive command of the strike zone and an advanced approach to attacking hitters.  Both his fastball and changeup are quality pitches and project as above-average future offerings.  Curveball currently lags, but he can spin the pitch and locate it for strikes – could be an average future pitch but more likely fringe-average.

The biggest risks in his profile are distance from the majors, the development of the breaking ball and the assumption he will add a tick or two of velocity as he matures.  Watson profiles as a back-end starting pitcher, with a ceiling of a #4 if the curveball significantly improves with development; medium floor, medium risk prospect.  Should spend much of 2017 in Hagerstown, and could reach the majors in 2020.

Evaluating McKenzie Mills

McKenzie Mills     LHP Hagerstown Suns     (Evaluated 4/26/17)

Fastball (45/50+)   Slider (30/30)   Changeup (35/45)   Curveball (30/40)

Prototypical pitchers’ frame standing 6-4 205lbs, Mills is an obvious athlete with potential to add 10-20lbs in the future.  Utilizes a tradition 3/4s arm slot, near 90 degree angle at the elbow.  Pitches both from the windup and stretch – windup uses a simple one-step and rock delivery into a medium to high leg lift.  Has a tendency at leg lift to lean toward second base, which hinders his balance and ability to repeat his mechanics.  Command also wavers due to this mechanical flaw – looks potentially correctable with repetition.

4-pitch arsenal – Fastball (89-92mph, T94 1x) shows cutting action in on right-handers and occasional late life, struggles to command especially arm-side – Inconsistent but intriguing left-handed heater.  Slider (75-77mph) thrown a few times, slurvy and looked like a faster curveball.  Curveball (69-73mph) showed poor shape, rather loopy and lacks tight spin, slows arm speed; will throw for strikes.  Changeup (75-77mph) has promise, replicates arm speed relatively well, will show sink and occasional cutting action.  Easily his best secondary pitch but needs development to improve consistency.

Overslot 18th round pick in 2015 ($150,000), this 21.5 y/o has a tremendous physique and a left-handed arm that can reach the mid-90s.  However, his inability to repeat his mechanics and struggles to spin a breaking ball limits his profile and eventual ceiling.  Interesting arm but unless off-speed pitches take a significant step forward, likely to stagnate in the upper minors.