Eyewitness Evaluation – Potomac Nationals CF Victor Robles

Victor Robles      CF           Potomac Nationals

DOB:  5/19/97      Height: 6-0        Weight:   185      Bats:  Right         Throws: Right

7-Word Scouting Report:  Elite Prospect, Exceptional Athlete, Impact 2-Way Centerfielder

Future Grades:   Hit (60) Power (55)   Run (60+)   Defense (60)   Arm (60+)

International free agent signed for $225,000 by Washington in 2013; 20y/o listed at 6-0 185lbs with impressive physicality – a lithe, projectable obvious athlete with long legs, a high waist and a wiry upper body, projects to add 7-10lbs of muscle as he matures.  Robles possesses plus or better speed, routinely posting 4.12 – 4.18 second times home to first.  He appears to have quality makeup, seems popular with his teammates and is consistently smiling on the field.

In the field Robles has outstanding potential – he has a very strong arm for center field, shows good carry and accuracy, easy “60”.  Robles utilizes his plus speed to cover tremendous ground, excellent range in all directions.  Only (minor) knock defensively is Robles does not always take the most direct route to the baseball – this should improve with repetition but instincts are more solid than elite.  Profiles well as a “60” defender in center field.

Right-handed hitter; quick-twitch athlete with lightning fast wrists – generates obvious and noticeable bat speed, whips the barrel through the zone.  Advanced approach at the plate and awareness of the strike zone, will work the count, hunts fastballs and recognizes spin well.  Impressive barrel skills, which coupled with impressive bat speed allows the ball to jump off his bat – shows power to all fields during batting practice and to the pull side in game action, generates more power than one might expect from his physique.  Robles reminds me a great deal of Alfonso Soriano with his swing and body.  Still needs minor league at-bats, but projects as a potential plus hitter with above-average raw power.

Robles is a truly exceptional athlete with developing 5-tool major league potential.  The only true warts in his game at this point are a lack of polish both offensively and defensively – he needs refinement in the outfield to improve routes and the challenge of Double-A pitchers with better command and offspeed offerings.  He should receive a promotion to Double-A in the next 30-45 days and could reach the major leagues sometime in 2018 as a 21-year-old.

Robles has a relatively high floor as a prospect due to his defensive ability, speed and raw power – he profiles comfortably as a league-average center fielder if the hit tool lags against better competition.  Robles projects as an impact 2-way centerfielder at his peak, with a ceiling as a .280-.290 hitter with mid-teens power and fringe gold-glove defense.  This is an elite talent and one of the best prospects I have evaluated at this level.

Scouting The 2017 MLB Draft – Kevin Smith SS University of Maryland

DOB: 7/4/96       Height:  6-0         Weight: 188       Bats: Right          Throws: Right

7-Word Scouting Report:  Pure Shortstop; Excellent Athlete; Questionable Hit Tool

Future Grades:  Hit (35) / Power (40+) / Run (60+) / Defense (55) / Arm (55)

Three year collegiate starter at the University of Maryland; well-known high school prospect from New Jersey, lacked the physicality to be signed from high school.  Almost 21y/o listed at 6-0 188lbs, well-built body with obvious muscle, lacks much future projection – quality athlete with excellent speed, have routinely timed him between 4.14-4.19 seconds home to first from the right side.  Smith is a gritty competitor and grinder, obvious leader on the team.

Defensively Smith is the rare college shortstop who should stay there professionally, as his athleticism, arm and hands make him profile well at the position.  Smith will show above-average to plus arm strength, solid accuracy and soft hands at shortstop.  He turns the double play well and has natural fluidity at the position.  He does not possess a cannon-like arm or elite athleticism like top major league defenders, but he should develop into a better than average shortstop.

Right-handed hitter; shows lithe, loose wrists and apparent bat speed, whips the barrel through the zone.  Shows a willingness to work a count, but obviously hunts fastballs.  Struggles with swing-and-miss (45 strikeouts in 182 at-bats this season) and shows a particular weakness recognizing spin and/or laying off breaking pitches low-and-away.  Has obvious loft in his swing and legitimate raw power both to the pull side and right-center field – could hit 10-15 home runs in the future and plus speed allows him to collect extra base hits.  Strangely has hit better with wood in summer competition than with metal during college games.  Profiles as a 35 Hit / 40 Power batter, with the potential for more if he can improve his contact rates in the future.

Smith represents an interesting prospect in a rather uneven year for college hitters – Typically shortstops and catchers are “over-drafted”, as the lack of players capable of staying there defensively, combined with the need of each organization, represents a unique supply and demand.  Smith struggled with an injury earlier this spring and has not performed as well offensively the past two seasons as many would expect.  However, he was outstanding in the Cape last summer, has a track record hitting with wood and should stay at shortstop professionally.

Smith will need to cut down on the whiffs and make more contact, but the power is quite intriguing from a middle infielder.  The questions surrounding his hit tool will keep him out of Round 1, but the team that saw him well last summer and is willing to sacrifice some batting average could select him in Round 2 or Round 3.

Projection -> 2nd or 3rd Round

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.}