(A quick reminder that if you click on any individual picture you can see them at full size in gallery form)
Lucas Sims has really filled out and has added quite a bit of muscle weight to his once lean frame. The delivery is still athletic and smooth, though there were a few occasions when the shoulder stayed open and caused the ball to drift arm side. He was throwing hard, often in the 93-95 range and touching as high as 96, which he did on a few occasions. He mixed in a good, hard curve and a usable change with which he maintained good arm speed. Looks like it can be at least an average pitch.
Sims got good results overall but did get squared up a bit, especially in the 3rd when he escaped with one run when all 3 outs were recorded via line drives -- one of them a double play.
Sims opponent was Jacob Esch, a pitcher I saw for the first time today. Esch has an ideal, athletic pitcher's frame at 6'4", 190. He was an infielder at Georgia Tech but scouts liked his arm...and with good reason. Esch was generally 90-92 with his fastball, touching 93 and throwing with some good plane. He mixed in an 86-87 mph slider and a 77-79 mph curve. He showed command with all his pitches on this day. If he can develop a better change-up to keep lefties honest, I can see him as a bottom of the rotation type starter. Esch was struck by a comebacker to the mound and was removed from the game, but appeared to be ok.
Daniel Winkler isn't going to wow you his pure stuff (high 80s-low 90s FB, slider, change). He is pretty much an average across the board pitcher in that regard, but hitters seem to have some trouble picking up his pitches, in part because of a very low, deceptive 3/4 delivery that is almost sidearm. He also locates all of his pitches well. Another guy whose sum is greater than his parts, Winkler may be able to find a niche as a situational reliever, as his delivery should make him especially tough on RH hitters. Has an inverted W delivery but as a reliever it should not be an issue. He also has some serious game face.
- 24 year old Marlins prospect Tyler Kinley isn't a household name but he was throwing 95-96 with a hard slider that he got Reds prospect Phillip Ervin to chase out of the zone to strike him out.
- Eric Yardley isn't going to impress you on paper. He's already 25, 6'0 ft. tall, 165 lbs, has below average velocity and fringy to average secondaries -- but he can pitch. He commands well, sinks his fastball, and has a funky, deceptive delivery with a low arm slot. The key to success for him is to keep the walks down and induce groundballs.
- A much better outing this time from Corey Black. We already know he has good stuff (mid 90s FB, hard slider) and today he threw strikes, worked efficiently, and drew weak contact -- even working through a little sloppy defense behind him. Plus, he looks a bit like Matthew McConaughey.
Statistically it wasn't a great day for DJ Peterson at the plate but he had some good ABs, the best one being when he worked the count full -- with both strikes being loud, hard foul balls -- and then drew a walk. Peterson doesn't strike you as an athlete until he steps up to the plate, where he shows good rotation, well above average bat speed, and a short stroke that should allow him to hit for average as well as power. He'll likely be a 1B at the MLB level.
Jake Bauers is a Tampa Bay prospect who was acquired from the Padres in the Trea Turner/Wil Myers deal. He has a big, sturdy build at 6'1", 200 lbs but is more known for his pure hitting ability than his power Bauers has an advanced approach and one of the sweetest swings down here. It's a swing more tailored for line drives and gap power. The unfortunate part is that Bauers is a 1B, where most teams like to have HR power -- but Bauers moves well for his size and the Rays are trying him in the OF. It looks like he's going to hit and get on base -- and just for good measure, he pulled a HR over the RF wall to go with a walk.
Tyler O'Neill is a strong, stocky hitter with an aggressive approach that may have helped produce a couple of awkward swings in his first AB, but O'Neill adjusted quickly, showing his good bat speed and raw strength. The ball absolutely jumped off his bat on a 6th inning double that got into the gap in a hurry. Despite his aggressive approach, he did put up some good ABs and it's possible he could become a more disciplined hitter as he gains experience. He's an intriguing hitter who should hit for power and at least a solid average. He's probably a corner OFer, so that bat will have to carry him.
Johan Camargo handles the bat pretty well, understands the strike zone, and has a general feel for hitting. He looks to make contact with a short stroke and he hit the ball well, using all fields, but he always seemed to find a glove. He is not an explosive athlete but he has the fluid actions of a middle infielder and a strong arm with a quick release, so I think he has a chance to stick there.
Adrian Marin is a speedy grinder type but he has a solid line drive bat and could be an average hitter with the ability to leg out some infield hits. Marin is a solid defender with an average arm, but he gets rid of the ball quickly and accurately. He played 2B but the skills may play at SS too -- at least in a utility role. He had 3 knocks today in 5 ABs with one of the outs being a fly out to the warning track in LF.
Phillip Ervin is a toolsy type with average or better tools across the board and he had a good all-around game today with 2 hits, one of them a hard line drive into left field and the other a soft fly that dropped in RF. He also showed his speed -- perhaps his best tool -- with his 3rd SB and also displaying nice range in CF. The question is whether he can hit consistently as his approach still needs some refinement.
Eric Aguilera is 25, plays 1B, and doesn't have a prospect pedigree (34th rd pick), so you won't find him on any prospect lists -- but he can hit. He has some power even if the swing gets a little long at times and as a former OFer, he shows better than average athleticism around the bag. He HR'd and singled today.