February | 2012 | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Articles from February 2012

Spring Training Prospect Invitations: Milwaukee Brewers


Taylor Jungmann

With Spring Training finally upon us and speculation surrounding the future of baseball’s brightest prospects spreads like wildfire, The Golden Sombrero will highlight some of the notable and intriguing Spring Training invitees from each organization.

Wily Peralta*, RHP:  Widely considered to be the Brewers’ top prospect, Peralta was signed out of the Dominican Republic as a toolsy outfielder in 2005.  But after witnessing his raw arm strength, the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder was quickly transitioned to the bump.  After missing the 2007 due to Tommy John surgery, Peralta has progressed steadily since returning.

In his breakout season as a 21-year-old in 2010, Peralta posted an 8-6 record and 3.79 ERA with 104 strikeouts and 64 walks in 147.1 innings between High-A and Double-A.  He followed it up  by having his best minor league season to date in 2011.  Peralta went 9-7 with a 3.46 ERA, 117 strikeouts, and 48 walks over 119.2 innings at Double-A Huntsville.  His success garnered a late-season promotion to Triple-A where he went 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 1.032 WHIP in 31 innings.  Peralta also showed improved command in the hitter-friendly PCL, as he posted a 40/11 K/BB ratio.

Peralta pounds the strikezone with a four-seam and two-seam fastball, and typically sits in the low- to mid-90s – although he is capable of touching the upper-90s.  His best secondary pitch is a hard slider, which, when kept down in the zone, is a legitimate swing-and-miss pitch.  He also features a change up which has come along over the years due to his role as a starter, but at the moment probably only grades out as about a 50.

Although some believe he is best suited for a bullpen role, the Brewers have remained steadfast in their development of Peralta as a starter.  Therefore, it will likely take an injury to a member of the Brewers’ rotation for Peralta to get his shot.  While a strong spring will greatly improve his chances of breaking camp, it’s likely that Peralta will begin the 2012 season in Triple-A

Taylor Jungmann, RHP:  Selected by the Brewers with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Jungmann had been one of the top collegiate pitchers since his freshman year at Texas.  At 6-foot-6, 220-pounds, the lanky right-hander throws each of his pitches on a downward plane and isn’t afraid to attack opposing hitters.  Although he can reach back for a 95-96 mph fastball, he typically works in the 92-94 range with late life.  His slider continues to improve – his size, arm slot, and arm speed have always generated above-average tilt – and is considered his best secondary offering.  Like most young pitchers, Jungmann was considered a power pitcher in college and therefore lacks an above-average change up.  However, it’s decent and could grade as a 60 in time.

Considering he signed at the last minute, Jungmann will get his first taste of professional baseball in 2012.  Given his collegiate experience, he’ll likely begin the season at High-A Brevard County – unless he wows the organization enough during Spring Training to begin at Double-A.  But keep your eye on Jungmann, if he progresses swimmingly, the right-hander could be on the fast track to the big leagues.

Jed Bradley, LHP:  The Brewers netted two potential front-end starters in Jungmann and Bradley.  Selected three picks after Jungmann with the 15th overall pick, Bradley was the second-best left-hander available in the 2011 draft.  At 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, Bradley’s size and collegiate experience project well, so I wouldn’t look too far into his getting knocked around in the Arizona Fall League.  When you’re the ace of your program, the collegiate season can become rather taxing.

His fastball typically sits in the low-90s but he’s been flashing 94-95s more and more which leads many scouts believe that could become his norm.  He also features a pretty nasty power-slider in the high-80s and a neutralizing change up.  His mechanics are smooth and allow him to locate each of his three pitches.  His and Jungmann’s minor league careers – neither of which should be lengthy – will be intertwined as Milwaukee plans for both players to arrive in the Show around the same time.

Caleb Gindl*, OF:  Drafted out of high school in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, Gindl has completed one minor league level per year and has a career line of .300/.378/.466 to show for it.  He enjoyed his best season for Triple-A Nashville in 2011, posting a .862 OPS with 23 doubles, 15 home runs, and a 93/63 K/BB in 472 at-bats.  Although those numbers are inflated due to the hitter-friendly PCL, they’re consistent with his production at every level and his approach at the plate continued to improve.

Gindl is a stocky, 5-foot-9, 205-pound outfielder with above-average arm strength and quiet athleticism. He played all three outfield positions last year in Triple-A – including 38 games in center field – but profiles as a corner guy in the majors due to his lack of power.  But with Ryan Braun and Corey Hart entrenched in their respective positions, Gindl is at best a fourth outfielder or left-handed hitting platoon option.  The Brewers protected the 23-year-old by adding him to their 40-man roster in November; however, they also added minor league teammate Logan Schafer who breezed through four levels in 2011, including eight games for Milwaukee at the end of the season.

Cody Scarpetta*, RHP:  When he’s on, Scarpetta has swing-and-miss stuff and two plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and a big-time hammer.  But when he’s off…it’s ugly.  He falls out of sync with his mechanics, which results in control issues and painful ineffectiveness.  At Class-A Brevard County of the FSL in 2010, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound right-hander recorded a 3.87 ERA with 142 strikeouts and 67 walks over 128 innings.  Last season, his first full season at Double-A, Scarpetta went 8-5 with a 3.85 ERA and 98/61 K/B over 117 innings.  Still, it says something that he’s kept his ERA under 4.00 despite the control issues.

Scarpetta gives up far too many hits than he should considering his stuff, primarily because hitters sit on his fastball during his bouts of inconsistency.  The development of his change up will pay dividends for the right-hander and keep him in consideration for a starting role, but he hasn’t adapted it as quickly as scouts hoped.  If he works out some kinks and refines his command, Scarpetta could find himself in the Show quickly, although it would likely involve a bullpen role.

*on team’s 40-man roster

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2012 MLB Draft Preview: Kyle Zimmer

In a previous post I commended San Francisco’s Kyle Zimmer for his standout career both as a student and as an athlete and suggested that he also will fall in the first half of round 1 come June, so I felt as though I should follow that up with a brief scouting report.

Zimmer has a prototypical pitcher’s frame at 6-foot-4 with lengthy limbs.  He is an excellent athlete and often receives better grades for athleticism than for anything else, a terrific sign given the fact that he has had to learn pitching on the fly.  He did not go to the University of San Francisco to pitch but rather as an infielder, but his arm is so strong that eventually he was bound to wind up on a mound even as simply an experiment.

Zimmer has added a lot of extension and length to his delivery and is far more solid in back than he was early in his pitching career, exactly what one expects from a converted infielder or catcher.  Quality deliveries require enough length to provide the time necessary to reach a repeatable release point from a healthful slot.  Zimmer definitely has a delivery now that allows him to do that.  He has been up to 99 mph this spring already and could throw up a triple-digit readout at any time.  With a potentially triple-plus fastball and some polish to his delivery, he immediately shoots into the one-one conversation.

His secondary stuff is behind the fastball, but not nearly as far as it could be given how little time he has spent on the mound thus far.  His curveball (we are only considering the sharper and quicker version even though he has used a loopier one in the past as well) already is a 50 pitch, and his changeup, while fringy now, has shown enough promise to assume that it will always be useable and will always be improving.

He commands the ball well to both sides of the plate, and his numbers back up his projectability.  He has filled out a lot in his time with USF (around 220 lbs. now), but he probably still has some development left in him as well.  His changeup has already looked better in his spring starts than it did on the Cape, and he has used his tighter bender more frequently as well.  All of this shows Zimmer’s propensity to listen and react to criticism.  Zimmer’s makeup is off of the charts, and I like him a lot more than other righties in the 1-1 conversation right now.

Prospect Buzz: Kyle Zimmer, Victor Roache, David Dahl, and more…

  • There’s been a growing buzz surrounding University of San Francisco RHP Kyle Zimmer, as he’s asserted his name into the No. 1 overall discussion.  In his first couple starts of the season, his command of four pitches has been great while consistently bringing it in the upper-90s.  John Kilma of Baseball Prospect Report – formerly known as Baseball Beginnings – details what he likes about Zimmer and provides some personal video of the right-hander.
  • In the back-end of a double header on Sunday, Georgia Southern right fielder Victor Roache broke his wrist while diving for a ball and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2012 season.  Roache, who is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect on their draft board, was coming off a monster offensive season in which he slashed .326/.428/.778 with 30 home runs.  Prior to the injury, he was hitting .412/.600/.765 with two home runs.
  • Andrew Pentis of MLB.com wrote a great article on Trevor Bauer and his quest to be the perfect blend of a power and finesse pitcher.  Bauer apparently has nine (yes, nine) pitches, each one specifically designed for a given scenario and/or count.
  • After watching endless video and reading a host of scouting reports, a player I like more and more everyday is David Dahl.  I love his setup at the plate as well as his bat path and balance to the point of contact – it’s pretty.  All the tools are there and everything he does on the baseball field looks natural.  Conor Glassey of Baseball America recently posted a first-hand video of Dahl recorded this past summer.  Baseball America also named him a 2012 First Team Preseason High School All-American.
  • The great John Sickels of Minor League Ball has finally released his Top 120 prospects for the 2012 season.  In my personal opinion, his list is always one of the best and this year is no different.
  • If you’ve enjoyed Dee’s articles on scouting philosophy and the evolution of the prospect landscape, then be sure to check out Nathaniel Stoltz’s “There’s No Such Thing as a First Base Prospect” at Seedlings to Stars.  Stoltz and the rest of the S2S staff have done an impressive job since launching last May, and I find myself reading it daily.
  • Over at FanGraphs, Mark Anderson compares Pirates pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.  He examines their respective mechanics and arsenal as well as their overall command and mound presence.  However, I’ll let you find out who he ultimately prefers.

Liveblogging My 1st Mock Draft of 2012

All fantasy baseball players begin jonesing for a fix after the New Year kicks off.  I cannot be excluded from this group. I always try to wait and indulge in my first mock draft once all the big names and major moves off the off-season have finished panning out.  With the announcement of Ryan Braun’s victorious appeal coming yesterday, Friday night seems like the perfect time to kick things off. I thought this year it might be fun to live blog my first draft of the 2012 mock draft season.  The Denslow Cup, my only fantasy baseball league, is a 12 team, 7×7 roto league that includes OBP and K/BB.

RD 1 (3) I took Jose Bautista here.  Pujols and Cabrera were first off the board, so you may wonder why not take Tulo here.  Well, I am 99% sure that in my league, the Denslow Cup, Tulo is going to be the 2nd overall pick.  I have the 3rd pick so I am pretty sure this will be my first pick in my real draft this spring.  Not like there is anything to complain about here either.

RD 2 (22) Here I took Mike Stanton.  I was hoping to have a shot at a middle of the infield guy such as HanRam, Reyes, Kinsler, or Pedroia…but that didn’t work out.  So, I went with a big ass bopper.  New stadium with a new shiny home run thingy.  Great guys in front of him.  HUGE power.  No reason to believe in a sophomore slump.  I am happy with this pick.

RD 3 (27) I decided on my main man, Tim Lincecum.  Last year I took him in round 2.  That was also the 1st year I ever drafted a starter before round 6.  I like having an ace.  As a pitching coach I love Lincecum’s mechanics and what it does for him in terms of IP and K’s.  I see his increased walk rate as no big deal, and returning closer to what it was his first 2 years in the league.  Now I can focus on hitting for a while.


Brett Wallace’s Thighs: The Eighth Wonder of the World

Some little-known facts about Brett Wallace and his massive thighs:

  • With certain breeds of dogs, you can get an idea of how big they will be based upon the size of their paws as a puppy.  At two-years-old, Wallace’s thighs suggested a career as a corner infielder.
  • Brett Wallace’s thighs have thighs.
  • With those tree trunks, all of his baseball pants are naturally pro-flared.
  • In 2010, Wallace was traded twice due to his unsightliness in khakis.
  • Wallace has never sat in the middle seat on an airplane.
  • He once tried on a pair of skinny jeans.
  • He once got stuck in a pair of skinny jeans.
  • He’s never been considered top heavy.
  • His lower half was the inspiration behind EvoShield’s first products.
  • Brett Wallace can out-leg press Yoenis Cespedes in his sleep.