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July 21, 2014

Monday Morning Ten Pack

July 21, 2014

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


The Monday Morning Ten Pack is brought to you by Sidsgraphs.com. SidsGraphs specializes in memorabilia and game-used items from baseball's top prospects! Visit Sidsgraphs.com today or visit their retail store in the south suburbs of Chicago.

***

Michael Taylor, OF, Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg)
Lost beside the incandescence of his Futures Game contemporaries, Taylor was a silent star in the pre-game batting practice, showing easy plus power with explosive hips and hands. It’s hard to champion any hitter after Gallo ruined our perception of power with his cage conquest, but I absolutely loved the way Taylor generated his pop, despite a body that doesn’t identify itself as a middle-of-the-order threat; Taylor is quite narrow in the hips and long, the body of an athlete but not the body commonly associated with a 23-year-old baseball player. Since being selected in the sixth round in the 2009 draft, Taylor has flashed tantalizing tools accompanied by maddening inconsistencies and on-the-field utility. But he has taken a big step forward so far in 2014, driving the ball with more authority and hanging in against arm-side pitching. The swing-and-miss is still a concern, and I don’t project Taylor to be a plus hit utility player at the major-league level. But if he can make enough contact to put the power and the speed into the game, his overall profile will play as a regular—and perhaps a first division impact talent if he can continue to refine at the plate. –Jason Parks

Victor Arano, RHP, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes)
When Baseball Prospectus ranked Arano 10th in the Dodgers system coming into the 2014 season, the most common question was: “Who in the hell is Victor Arano and how can you possibly put him on a top ten list?” After a strong stateside debut at the complex level in 2013, and an even stronger instructional league campaign, the simple answer to the aforementioned question was: the kid can pitch. Making the jump to full-season ball for 2014, the 19-year-old Mexican righty has continued to show a legit starter’s profile, using a solid-average fastball that sits 90-92 and touches 93 to set the table, showing strong feel for a mid-70s to low-80s breaking ball (slurve) that he can manipulate, and a developing changeup that could end up giving him three solid-average offerings. With size, good present strength, feel for strike-throwing and a three-pitch mix, Arano profiles as an innings-eating arm, a profile that lacks frontline potential and prospect sexiness but that will eventually provide value at the highest level, which is all that really matters. Don’t sleep on this prospect. –Jason Parks

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14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

CaptainZapp

Jason, is it a reasonable hope that Taylor will have refined his contact to MLB-ready when Span's contract runs out after 2015?

Jul 21, 2014 05:15 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Good question. I think contact could be a big issue with Taylor, and I say this even though I'm clearly high on his talent. I assume the Nats would love to see him step up and establish himself as the CF of the future, a player ready to arrive in 2015 and take over in 2016. I think its very possible--likely even. But he needs to continue making progress at the plate, as there is a huge difference between AA pitching and major league pitching, and he would absolutely get exposed by that level of talent right now.

Jul 21, 2014 09:46 AM
 
Masshole

While not an impact talent like Taylor, Steven Souza is ahead of him in the org. Anyone have any idea where Souza might fit in the Nationals' plans? He's age appropriate for AAA and putting up some big numbers. Whether in WAS or somewhere else, is he a bench OF or a solid regular?

Jul 21, 2014 09:07 AM
rating: 1
 
delatopia

Keith Law says Sisco is not a catcher. If he's not behind the plate, do you guys see him at LF, 1B, DH, or what? Many thanks.

Jul 21, 2014 09:08 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Tucker Blair
BP staff

Sisco still has a slight promise to stick behind the plate, but I did not view his overall defensive capabilities as anything more than fringe long-term. He will never been an asset defensively behind the plate.

Sisco is athletic enough that you could try him at 3B or LF. Keep in mind that he is a converted SS, so he definitely has the ability to play other positions outside of C.

While he is athletic, it just doesn't show up behind the plate. The footwork and ability to block can become laggy and choppy.

I'll have a full report on him later this week.

Jul 21, 2014 09:20 AM
 
hyprvypr

Heya Jason!

Was there any articles covering the Futures games, or snippets and scouting sights and sounds from this great exhibition?

Thanks.

Jul 21, 2014 09:36 AM
rating: 0
 
jbeyer88

I'm slightly numb at reading a BP article that doesn't include a Cubs' prospect.

Jul 21, 2014 09:38 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Cubs prospects get a lot of national love, as they have a premier system and three players ranked in the top ten in baseball. But we write about the prospects we see, without specific organizational preference. If we see Cubs prospects, we will write about them. If we see Mets prospects, we will write about them. That's how it works.

Jul 21, 2014 09:50 AM
 
jbeyer88

My initial comment was just meant as sarcasm/a joke. No offense meant.

Jul 21, 2014 10:12 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Gotcha. Apologies for assuming otherwise. Just want people to understand our process when it comes to what we write about.

Jul 21, 2014 10:31 AM
 
MaineSkin

Oh my Bautista hopes just took a massive hit by Sir Blair. Thought at his age some more optimism with bat Spd would make him Nats CF of future. Does he not project to a "Span" type with more Spd? He needs physical maturity to add weight at impact like Dee Gordon from a couple years ago.

Jul 21, 2014 11:47 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Tucker Blair
BP staff

Sir Blair. That makes me feel #old

I wouldn't say I am "down" on Bautista. I really like him in the field, but the bat is just not all that enticing. I wrote a full report on him as well, but sneak preview:

"He could end up piecing enough together at the plate for a few second-division type seasons, but is likely a fourth outfielder due to lack of a hit tool and impact bat. The speed is great, but is not good enough to impact his game at the plate."

Jul 21, 2014 11:58 AM
 
jkaflagg

Gregor's power did not manifest itself in college or in Lo-A, but he has mashed (as have so many others) in Lancaster. Will be interesting to see if he can carry it through to AA ball and higher next year.

Jul 21, 2014 15:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Wilson Karaman
BP staff

Yeah he's put on a bit of good weight and has impressed in each viewing this year with his ability to use it in transfer and create leverage to drive the ball. Agree that given the home park/league context it's unwise to jump to any results-based conclusions. But the present swing mechanics are enough to suggest at least some optimism for future power utility. And if it does come to play in game with his strike zone command and approach it'll make for an awfully interesting offensive profile.

Jul 21, 2014 20:25 PM
 
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