The Scrapperbook: 6/18/2012 - 6/21/2012
By Andrew Zajac
June 22, 2012
It's finally that time of year again and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers are back in action. For this past week, I'll have a unique approach to what I've called "The Scrapperbook" for the last few years. Since we're only four games into the season, next week will kick off my normal Scrappers talk.
That being said, let's visit some interesting questions to kick the year off . . .
Q: What were your initial impressions of first round pick Tyler Naquin?
A: Based off one game, it's somewhat difficult to draw a ton of conclusions, but what I can tell you is that his arm is legimitate. It's a cannon. He made two spectacular throws from the outfield which were extremely accurate. He takes good routes to the ball and can cover a good amont of ground in center. He also made a great diving play to take away extra bases.
Offensively, he had three hits to begin his professional career. His first at-bat, he had a solid single, followed by a stolen base. In Naquin's second at-bat, he laced a double to the opposite field, using his quick hands and pulling them through the zone nicely. His third hit, he legged out an infield single. The concern I have at the plate with Naquin is that his swing can get long at times because he tends to hitch his hands back before attacking the baseball. Aside from his lack of power, that's my only offensive concern.
He has above average speed, more so than people give him credit for. He may not be a plus plus baserunner in the future, but I could easily see him swiping 15-20 bags a year.
Overall, I came away very impressed with Naquin. He was everything as advertised. Also for what it's worth, his character is off the charts and is a great kid. In the future, I can see Naquin hitting .300-.320, 6-10 HRs, 30-40 XBH, 60-70 RBI, and 15-20 SB. He may never be considered an "elite" player, but he has the potential to be a solid number two hitter in a lineup and a player to be feared defensively. I'll gladly take that.
Q: Who are a few names, aside from Naquin, to keep an eye on in the early going?
A: I'll throw out three names: RHP Robbie Aviles, RHP Jake Sisco, and 2B Joseph Wendle.
Robbie Aviles is a young guy (20) who was drafted in the 7th round back in 2010 out of high school. His stock fell because most teams felt he would demand a large signing bonus. Days before the draft, he tore his UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after signing with the Tribe.
Many experts felt he had the talent to go much earlier in the draft before suffering the UCL injury, so the potential is there with Aviles, he's just extremely raw. He has a projectable frame that scouts feel can hit around 220-230 pounds before all is said and done. In high school, his fastball was clocked as high as 95, often sitting between 89-92 mph. His downfalls have been his command and finishing off his breaking balls.
Jake Sisco is another young 20-year-old righty who was drafted in the 3rd round last year out of Merced College. He's a big, physical pitcher sitting at 6'3", 220 pounds. He has a four pitch arsenal which includes a plus fastball that's been clocked as high as 95, normally sitting between 90-94 mph with good movement. He also features a curveball and slider which both have the ability to become plus pitches, as well as a changeup.
Finally, Joseph Wendle was selected in the 6th round of this year's draft out of West Chester University (PA). His best tool is his glove, but he's a hard nosed player with a good stick as well. He can easily project as a utility infielder for the Tribe in the future.
Q: What else can we look forward to this season?
A: For the very first time, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers will be hosting the New York-Penn League All Star game which takes place on August 14th at 7:35 pm EST. Stay tuned for festivity news.
Week One Record: 2-2 (1 game behind Auburn)
Looking ahead to week two:
22 @ State College, 7:05 PM
23 @ State College, 7:05 PM
24 @ State College, 6:05 PM
25 vs. Williamsport, 7:05 PM
26 vs. Williamsport, 7:05 PM
27 vs. Williamsport, 7:05 PM
28 vs. State College, 7:05 PM