On Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of covering the Major League Baseball Futures Game at Great American Ballpark. That got me on the field for pre-game batting practice and in the locker room to talk with the guys before the game. It also put me in a spot to talk with many national writers and a few scouts before and after the game about the three players.
Amir Garrett | LHP
In the Game: 1IP, 3H, 1 unearned run, 1 strikeout.
What a scout said: Incredibly athletic left hander like you don’t see often. He’s made big improvements in the last year and he’s showing elite velocity.
What he said: “I’ve been working hard, just learning how to be a better pitcher. Just going out there and pitching every day, not worrying about basketball, I just worry about pitching and it’s helped”.
Game Notes: The left hander topped out at 96 MPH three different times in the game and averaged 94.3 MPH with his fastball in the game. He needed 15 pitches, throwing 12 fastballs and three sliders.
Kyle Waldrop | OF/1B
In the Game: 1-4 with a run.
What a scout said: Easy power with good bat speed. Could be a 25 home run guy in the future.
What he said: “I’m trying to be a little more consistent this year, like I was last year, but I’m just going to continue to keep working hard and playing hard and see what happens”.
Game Notes: While he only went 1-4 in the game, his hit was the third hardest hit ball he had in the game. He ran into one earlier in the game, but it was just foul. He wound up flying out to the warning track in left field later in the at-bat. As a Cincinnati Reds prospect he played the entire game out in right field.
Ã‚Â Yorman Rodriguez | OF
In the Game: 0-4.
What a scout said: I got a few different opinions on Rodriguez. Several noted that he looks like a good 4th outfielder, but they weren’t sold that he would hit enough to start in a corner spot. One guy I spoke with had more faith that he could play center field, but noted he’d probably be below-average out there. That same guy believed he had 15-20 home runs in his bat in the future as well.
Game Notes: Rodriguez, like Waldrop, played the entire game in right field. It was Waldrop who actually led to Rodriguez getting to show off his arm out there as Waldrop had to hold up at second base after a single to right that had Rodriguez put a throw into third. At the plate Rodriguez showed off good plate discipline for the most part, seeing 24 pitches over his four at-bats. In one particular at-bat he just missed hitting a home run as the ball went just foul down the left field line. He then lined the next pitch down the left field line that was about a foot to the wrong side of the line. He would eventually fly out to the right-center warning track to end the at-bat.