I was able to catch 2 of the Portland sea dogs games this week and left with some good impressions from some of our better prospects.
Christian Vasquez is a prospect I've not been very high on, but I really liked what I saw from him and I'm beginning to like him a tad bit more now. His defense is off the charts, he supposedly grew up idolizing Pudge rodriguez and dreamed of being a catcher since he was a kid; it shows.
One hole in his defensive game in the past has been blocking balls in the dirt. Scouts have noted that he has made strides in this department and I walked away last night impressed in his abilities behind the dish. The Sea-dogs closer had one of those shaky 9th innings where he gave up some hits, a run and walked a guy and buried the ball in the dirt. Vasquez had to block the ball in the dirt several times and easily prevented 2 wild pitches.
He also looked much more comfortable at the plate. He's batting .313 in his last ten games and he in general just looked comfortable at the plate last night. He will probably never be a great hitter at the MLB level but his defense is good enough to make him a backup catcher right now....and if his bat develops "just enough" he can start and provide a LOT of value to the team behind the dish. He's pretty much the Jose Iglesias of the Catching position. Little to no chance we see him this year but I think he deserves a promotion to Pawtucket
Garrin Cecchini is another prospect who really excited me and he didn't dissapoint last night. He had two hits last night and went 1/4 today. Although he stung the ball hard a couple times right at someone and even his singles were hard. You can tell hes' put on some size and looks like he still has the room to fill out; I would not be surprised to see him grow into some power. What impressed me the most about him was just his approach in general. Even his outs were sexy. He knows the strike zone, he swings at strikes and lays off of the bad stuff, he looks comfortable up there and has the bat speed to catch up to the heat....he's going to be good.
Michael Almanzar did not impress me. He looked very disengaged at times. Vasqueq poped out of his stance and easily had the runner picked off 1st but Almanzar wasn't even paying attention. He looks into the game one second and then zoned out the next, it's as if he has ADHD (pure speculation)
If you didn't know any of the players names and had to guess who was a MLB player in a few years just by looking at there body's then I would have told you Garrin Cecchini and Miguel Sano (who is a BEAST by the way; if you don't know who he is then look him up).
Anthony Ranuado looked pretty good too, but as he's scouted this season he was to relient on his fastball and his secondary pitches were very "meh". It didn't really seem like he trusted any of his other pitches but he was able to get hitters out with his fastball. The good news there is that he was easily able to get hitters out with his fastball so if absolutely nothing else were to develop for this kid (and there's no reason to think that he won't continue to progress) he has late inning reliver potential. I was a little worried after he's had two bad starts on the big stage and he started off slow today, but he settled in and pretty much became lights out for the next 4 innings.
All in all I some some good stuff. Always love going to the games and checking in on some prospects. I'm hoping to make a trip up to Lowell at some point this season and check out some games up there.....LOTS of good talent there this year.