Your thoughts on Keys outfielder Glynn Davis. Off to a good start, has he turned the corner , or better play from repeating time in same league?
The success from Davis is largely a mix of both aspects. While he has improved, it is important to remember that he is indeed playing the Carolina League over again. At age 22, he is very close to the average age of the league, which often determines how good a prospect is for their location.
Davis has improved in some areas though, such as consistency with his hands in the box. Last year, he was dropping his hands; they were noisy; he would drop his elbow, and generally would struggle to piece together an entire game’s worth of AB. It was not only the hands though, as he would step in the bucket. In 2014, Davis has improved his hands, and they are more quiet. He still has some consistency issues and I still see him stepping in the bucket at times, but there are small improvements. Davis is a plus athlete and has natural athleticism on his side, but it needs to turn into baseball athleticism. I still do not think it is quite there yet. His plate discipline is still fringe, as he does not pick up on anything with good spin.
So the improvements have been noted, but it is important to remember that players like Davis simply do not change over night, and he still will need to work on all the issues he has displayed in the past. Another note; Davis is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch.
– Tucker Blair
Who are you minor league players to watch this year?
Everyone knows about the big names such as Hunter Harvey, Josh Hart, Kevin Gausman, Tim Berry, etc. So here is a list of intriguing players that might not be getting any buzz right now, or might not be in a full-season league.
Jon Keller – I wrote about Keller in notes this week. Keep an eye out on him, even if he works only out of the bullpen this year.
Travis Seabrooke – Loved what I saw from Seabrooke in Spring Training. The young Canadian could see time in Aberdeen this year and the arm has a ton of potential. I touched briefly on him a month ago.
Jonah Heim – I continue to hear great things about Heim. He has improved much defensively and offensively, and would probably be on the Shorebirds’ roster if not for Chance Sisco. Look for him at Aberdeen.
Randolph Gassaway – Could the Orioles finally have a first base prospect? From what I saw in Spring Training, Gassaway showed a lot of promise. He will be one to watch at Aberdeen.
Zach Davies – So he has a little more buzz than the other guys, but I cannot tell you how impressed I was with the changeup. This is a plus pitch and I think it needs more recognition. I wrote up more about him here.
This list goes on, but these are a few that I am really excited to get eyes on again.
– Tucker Blair
Do you think Miguel Gonzalez has a short rope in the rotation?
Yes and no.
Yes, Gonzalez has a short rope and will probably always have a short rope. There are many reasons for this, one being that he seems to need an extra day of rest here and there to be able to perform at his peak. Also, his stuff may play up in the bullpen and he could be an excellent reliever rather than an average starter. Lastly, there are pitchers pushing to make the rotation and someone has to go.
No, because Gonzalez has actually been good as a starter in the past, pitching to a 3.71 ERA in his MLB career, and his last start was his best start thus far this year. In that game against Tampa, he threw too many pitches and walked too many people but his stuff was some of the nastiest it has ever been. He used all of his pitches, Fastball, Curveball, Slider, and Split and got Rays batters to swing and miss on all of them. The curveball impressed me the most as it was the best I have ever seen him use it in a game with a nice tight spin and hard sharp late break. The Splitter, his out pitch, was a lot sharper. Gonzalez will always have to consistently maintain his level of performance to keep his hold on a rotation spot because of his weaknesses, but for now he has a pretty strong hold on his rotation spot.
– Alex Conway