A few notes from the Shorebirds’ series this weekend. More updates will come later this week from around the Orioles’ farm. Also, keep an eye out for reports on Chance Sisco and Josh Hart over at Baseball Prospectus.
Hector Veloz – 3B/1B
Veloz has plus-plus raw power, but it largely goes wasted in games because he cannot make enough contact. After watching him again this weekend (and many times at Aberdeen last year), I think a large reason for this is because of how violent his swing is. He practically falls out of his shoes on the swing, which is actually fairly balanced for how violent he is with it. I would like to see him tone it down some, and not always try to crush the ball. It may lead to some added contact, although the plate discipline is still poor. He also played first base, which is definitely where Veloz should end up. He is not agile enough for third base, and the mental lapses were noted many times in Aberdeen. I mostly care about the bat, and anything to accelerate growth in the bat sounds like a plan to me. Veloz is also the funniest player I have ever watched. There might not be a bigger goofball in the entire system. I am rooting for him just for the fact that I need people to see him on television.
Jon Keller – RHP
This was my first time seeing Keller in action. He is a huge pitcher with a giant frame. Keller looks the part of a professional pitcher, and he is built. He was pumping his fastball 95-97 mph with some explosion and life. It is a plus pitch. While the Grasshoppers were making contact, I saw plenty to be excited about. He has a slider and change that need some refinement, but they both flashed average potential. Keller is working every three days out of the bullpen for Delmarva, and the hope is for him to return as a starter next season. Keep an eye on him, his arm is definitely noteworthy.
Sebastian Vader – RHP
Vader was hit hard and often in his start this weekend. The fastball will not play up at the higher levels, as was clearly noted in this start. He sat 89-91 most of the night, but the fastball was straight and hittable. The curveball and changeup were formidable at Aberdeen, but he was not fooling anyone in this outing. While his command has been solid, I do not think the arsenal will be good enough to move much further in a starting role. He has clean mechanics and there is potential for some growth into his frame, but it probably will not be enough. Vader was great at Aberdeen, but the jump to full season leagues can be very damning. Imagine jumping from Pre-Calculus to Advanced Calculus…or something like that.