As far as tools go, it is blatantly obvious why Albert Almora is regarded so highly as a prospect. Everything he does is fluid and athletic. His arm was only tested once, but he fired a rocket to third on a liner headed into the right-center gap. He got a terrific jump on a deep drive straight back that he was able to reach effortlessly and in stride at the track for the out. His bat appeared very average Friday night, however, against South Troy’s Dave Roseboom, who is here for the second time as he was a member of the Dodgers as a rising junior in 2009 as well. Roseboom never allowed Almora to square up a pitch as he was 86-89 mph with excellent fade, a plus change, and a useable curveball, all with outstanding command. Roseboom will join the Spartans of South Caroline-Upstate in the fall and demonstrated far more polish than is typically seen from a starter here at the CMWS.
David Thompson had more success against the southpaw, but has several noticeable flaws at the plate and in the field. Thompson lands heavily and leaks a lot against his front side. As a result his swing is all arms against secondary stuff or even fastballs with moderate fade. He does not take a direct path to contact and has a tendency to hit around pitches from underneath pitches. He hit the ball hard a couple of times, but never hit anything to the forehand side of the 3B as a result of his arcing bat track. In the field he had the softest 3B arm of the night with a low slot and poor carry. His hands and feet are fine there, but his slot will have to come up some to stay at third professionally. Nevertheless, only one hitter Friday night showed more bat speed than Thompson, and it was Farmington’s own Shilo McCall. McCall displayed a plus arm during pregame infield and plus range on a ball into the left-center gap that he snagged on a sprint over the shoulder near the track. He showed the ability to drive the ball both ways at the plate as well.
The Cards’ Dillon Bibo went deep the other way to give them the lead and also beat out an infield single in his first AB. Mike Bernal showed the feet, glove, and arm necessary to stay on the left side of the infield. Joe Cervantes crushed a ball the other way against a same-side arm for extra bases and showed an arm capable of staying at third. Dominic Moreno’s fastball flashed 90 mph a couple of times, but worked mostly in the 86-88 mph range with quality command to the bottom of the zone with arm-side life and sink. His secondary stuff was not as accurate as it can be, but he never really needed it to be more against Puerto Rico. More impressive performances are sure to come as Ricketts is scheduled for three games on Saturday.