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Prospect Watch- The Rangers8217 Big Prom
08-12-2017, 05:55 PM
Post: #1
Prospect Watch- The Rangers8217 Big Prom
Yesterday, it had been announced that the Texas Rangers promoted two of their top prospects, catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Nomar Mazara, to Double-A Frisco. Both players arrive in the upper minors with plenty of hype and lots of youthAlfaro turned 21 in June, while Mazara is just three months and alter Nike Acg Long Ci Shoes past hisnineteenthbirthday. From a superficial, looking-at-the-numbersperspective, one might state that both promotions are premature, or at best aggre sive. Mazara is simply 19 and is being disregarded High-A after hitting a great, but hardly Troutian .264/.358/.470 in Low-A Hickory. Alfaro what food was in least playing at High-A Myrtle Beach, but he was just hitting .261/.318/.440 and allowed 18 pa sed balls in 75 games caught. Of course, current production is far in the full picture of supremely talented players in competition with others that are often older. Having seen both playextensively in both 2013 and the 2014 seasons, here Ill offer some ideas on Texas bold move in promoting this duo, as well as their futures beyond Frisco. It is extremely easy to focus on what Jorge Alfaro can perform, because very few baseball players at any level can do it. He can hit a baseball 450 feet, run in the right-handed batters box to first base in under 4.1 seconds, and register elite pop times from behind the plate. Even if youre being cautious in grading his tools, you need to a sign him a minimum of 65 power, 55 speed, along with a 70 arm. Im not sure theres another catcher in baseball who can boast those three numbers on his scouting report. To s in well-above-average bat speed along with a great work ethic, and you've got a prospect whom its easy to rave about. It can also be extremely simple to concentrate on what Jorge Alfaro cant do, which consists of exactly two things. To begin with, he struggles together with his receiving, as the pa sed ball i sue indicates. Eighteen miscues in 75 games is actually slightly much better than Alfaros 2013 mark of 28 in 86 contests, and Ive written before about how exactly pa sed ball i sues tend to go awayas players enter into their mid-twenties, but calling Alfaros glovework a piece in progre s is most likely an understatement at this time. He's a good motor behind the plate, buthes otherwise very raw in relation to his receiving and blocking skills. Further, despite an arm that some grade out at the top of the scouting scale, hes caught just 26% of basestealers this year, further emblematic from the technique i sues that prevent his immense raw talent from consistently shining through. The second concern is his approach. Alfaro has never walked greater than seven percent of the time at any minor league stop, nor has he struck out under twenty-two percent of times. This year, he'd a 100/23 K/BB in High-A in 100 games (22.9% K, 5.3% BB), with the strikeout and walk rates coming in slightly le s than 2013. Watching Alfaro live, its readily apparent what causes thishes usually not able to laid off breaking stuff within the dirt, and the long swing leads to some swing-and-mi s within the zone too. The reality of Jorge Alfaro, though, is thatone hasto consider both the extreme positives and also the significant negatives. He doesnt get a pa s on the problems just because of his capability to illuminate a stopwatch; likewise, calling a uniquely gifted 21-year-old the next bust due to current rawne s over a couple of areas is way too extreme a reaction. Given where Alfaro is developmentally, his promotion is really a bold move. Its not like his Myrtle Beach season numbers belie some kind of late jumphe hit .230/.288/.370 in July with four walks and twenty-seven strikeouts. Double-A pitchers will probably quickly figure out his inability to control the strike zone, and that i wouldnt be amazed if his strikeout rate is at or over 30% at that level all of those other way; further, the defensivei sues (he was the only catcher in hisHigh-Aleague with more thantenPBs) will further stand out in comparison to his league-mates. In a particular context, though, thats why is the move make sense. Putting Alfaro ready where Nike Air Zoom Elite 9 Shoes his natural talent wont allow him to post a .343 wOBA without improving his selectivity where his defense doesnt work might provide an extra impetus for him to eradicate those i sues as effectively as po sible. They is probably betting that Alfaro has the sort of positive makeup that will permit him to develop from struggling instead of shrink from this. Its certainly an interesting bet, and time will inform the way it plays out in both long and short term. Regardle s of how Alfaro fares in August, he'll likely end the growing season projecting as an interesting major league catcher a couple of years down the road, otherwise nece sarily the star some envision. Its pretty difficult to be considered a star without manipulating the strike zone to at least a league-average extent, and both the eye make sure Alfaros history point toward even future 3/1 K/BB ratios being highly unlikely for that Colombian backstop. Below-average walk rates, high strikeout rates, big raw power, and receiving i sues reason for the direction of a Welington Castillo/Miguel Olivo/J.P. Arencibia/Wilin Rosario future, and Alfaro should at least get to that level, but his athletic promise suggests he might be able to rise in to the Yan Gomes echelon of players if he can keep steady improvements. While hes always been young for his levels, he actually might end up as something of a late bloomer like Gomes, using the bat taking off when the defense locks into place. Should you keep expectations realistic (read: not Ivan Rodriguez, Part II), Alfaro has a opportunity to deliver on them. Mazaras a different sort of beast. Hes far from a sports marveleven having a skinny 64, 195-pound body, he has just ten steals in almost three hundred profe sional games; hes restricted to the outfield corners defensively, and hell likely not have much better than average impact even at those positions. The majority of his value is tied up in the bat, but even there, his production (career .252/.343/.428) doesnt really get noticed, even when one considers his extreme youth for his levels. Hitting .264/.358 Nike Zoom PEGASUS 34 Shoes /.470 as a 19-year-old in Low-A is great and all sorts of, but given Mazaras athletic limitations, it doesnt exactly scream on track to achieve the major leagues late the next season. The production never has truly meshed using the eye test on Mazara, though, at least not until recently (more about that in just a minute). I was consistently impre sed with his approach last year, as (unlike most of the other players on the star-studded 2013 Hickory team, including Alfaro) he oftengot himself in deep counts and didnt expand the zone or look foolish at the plate. At 18, he hadnt quite determined another half of the packagedoing damage around the pitches worth hittingyet, however, you could see it coming. I spent the offseason telling anyone who would listen that Mazara was going to hit .290 with power upon repeating Hickory and that hed get promoted to High-A in June and hitting. Then Mazara came out striking .211/.282/.313 through the middle of May. Even then, he stilllookedgood in the box in most of my viewings, seeming to simply mi s positive results in his at-bats (hard hits foul or at fielders, borderline called third strikes, etc.). I didnt have a very good answer for why he was struggling statistically, so I wrote them back as a small-sample fluke. And sure enough, since the middle of May, hes hit .295/.399/.562, finally putting up the numbers i felt like he was inches away from attaining for that previous year-plus. Despite his mature approach while at bat, plus raw power, and feel for hitting, Mazara draws mixed reviews from scoutshe appears to be a love him or hate him guy. His defense in right field can help color the evaluations one of the ways or another. In 2013, Mazara looked lost defensively, struggling badly with his reads and routes and showing very little range. More knowledgeable and comfortable together with his body this year, lucrative grades out as a fringe Nike Air Huarache Unisex Shoes -average right fielder who may be able to get to average in time. He flashes a plus arm, but its wildly inconsistenthes prone to air-mail throws by plate back to the backstop, and he gets himself in trouble attempting to show off his arm strength generally, leading to inconsistent accuracy and trajectory. That concern is very common in players Mazaras age (though typically more obviously manifested in infielders), and shouldnt be considered a major concern in the long run. Some scouts also have questioned his effort level on defense and on the bases, and that he does rarely seem to be at a full sprint on the baseball field; whether one attributes this to a insufficient desire or just another facet of his measured method of the game is a personal judgment call. Given that the Rangers are jumping a teenaged Mazara to Double-A (over touted High-A outfielders Nick Williams and Lewis Brinson, among others), it doesnt seem that theyre concerned about any makeup problems. What should we expect from Mazara in Double-A? Well, dont expect him to fare well against left-handed pitchers. As they does an admirable job of manipulating the zone against righthanders, his fellow southpaws could po sibly get him to chase breaking stuff running off the plate, and that gives Mazara ma sive platoon splits. This year, hes at .283/.386/.524 against righties (61/48 K/BB) and just .214/.279/.330 against lefties (38/9 K/BB). The advanced breaking pitches of Double-A southpaws will be very tough for Mazara to deal with at this time of his development, and determining how to battle them in the long run will be key to establishing himself as a consistently tough out against the games best pitchers. Further, as with Alfaro, moving to a higher level will make Mazara look worse on defense compared to his peers. But hes had a shot to hang inside against righthanded pitchers in Double-Aright now, and that's why (or at best a big reason why) the Rangers made the move. His production probably will slink back toward where it had been in Hickory last year, but if Mazara can hit .236/.310/.382 within the Texas League a few months after his nineteenth birthday, thats a big positive, no kind of negative. Because he Nike Air Max 1 Shoes s not really a potential five-tool type like Alfaro, Mazaras future will be more negatively impacted if one of his purported strengths fails to deliver of its projection. He cant manage to turn out as a .245 hitter or simply a 12-15 homer guy, nor a bottom-of-the-barrel defensive outfielder. I'm a firm believer, however, in the ability to turn out to be a plus hitter with plus power and enough defense to create him more than worth playing, something like a .275/.350/.475 player with -5 run defense in an outfield corner. Mazaras record $4.95 million signing bonus this year can always inspire shakes of the head from some, but hes in excellent position to become more than worth it in the long run.
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09-27-2017, 10:35 PM
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