It is day two for me down here in Sarasota at the fields, and it was a beautiful day. The sun was out and the sky was blue. Hard to imagine it was snowing on Monday when I was in Maryland.
Below are the rest of my notes from my time at the minor league complex on Saturday, along with my notes from today at the Orioles/Pirates game. Also, I will have some notes over at Baseball Prospectus on Josh Hart and Chance Sisco. Make sure to keep an eye out for them shortly.
– Chris Davis looks terrific, locked in, a beast, a god, etc. I think he will have another terrific season in 2014. Call it a hunch, but he looks terrific at the plate, especially today against the Pirates.
– The reports on Nick Markakis being in better shape are very accurate. Of course they are, it is a contract year and Nick Markakis is no idiot. He looks stronger, more agile, and overall is better conditioned. It is amazing what can happen when a player is fully healthy.
– Michael Almanzar has already improved his footwork at third base. He is moving a little more fluidly over there and less hesitant on choppers. If he somehow makes the club, he will not be a deadweight on the roster, although I am not sure if he will be any form of a difference maker.
– Jonathan Schoop is a great talent and has a bright future ahead of him, but he still shows issues against off-speed. I will continue to beat this drum, but he needs a little more time in the minors. Read my scouting report on him if you want to know more. Hey, it is no rush, they have Ryan Flaherty and Jemile weeks who are more than capable of handling second for the time being.
The young Canadian is tall and slender with a ton of projection. It was my first time seeing him in person, and he has one of those frames that excite you as an evaluator. He displayed great arm speed and a quick release. His quick twitch arm is very intriguing. Seabrooke is a little stiff on his back-end and needs to fall forward and provide more push off the rubber.
The Fastball is impressive, running 91-93 mph with late explosion. It has mild arm-side action, typical of a lefty. The Curveball displayed a sharp, downward bite, looking like a true difference maker in the future. He has some feel for a Change up, but it clearly drags behind the other two pitches and needs some tightening up.
Seabrooke is a player on the rise in this system, and you will certainly hear more good things about him down the road.
Britton displayed his hard sinking fastball against the Pirates. In relief, he is consistently hovering around 95 mph with that hard sink. While his command is still questionable at times, he continues to attempt locating that sinker in the bottom half of the zone. When he gets the calls or the batter chases the pitch, he looks good. If they do not, this is where Britton begins to run into trouble.
The Orioles are going to have a hard time keeping both Kelvin De La Cruz and Zach Britton, but maybe they find a way. Both have ability, and you hate for the Orioles to give up on a player with Britton’s background.
Givens is a full-time pitcher now, if you didn’t know (or haven’t been paying attention for a year or so). He has a terrific arm, notching his fastball into the mid 90’s with some arm-side tail, although I am not in love with the mechanics. Givens has a goofy delivery, somewhere between 3/4th and side-armed. It looks funky and the ball comes out funky. He has terrific arm speed, and the ball jumps out, but he lacks fastball command. He falls off to the right side at times and it sure seems that he was not pitching for a few years. I see the talent in the arm, but it is not quite all together yet.