Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Surprise, AZ Visit

My pictures are now available at http://www.royalsprospects.shutterfly.com/ I'm Jack, in case you don't know, so


So it's a little haphazard, but those are all my pictures. Some 2009 photos were accidentally included in a new set...sorry about that.

While I stayed in Youngtown (immediately outside Surprise) last week, I mostly visited the Minor League camps but attended four Major League games during the day. Here are some random, on-the-whim thoughts from the morning practices and afternoon intersquad games.

- Aaron Crow looks good. He dips his top side of his body when he pitches which is something I have read about. It could be an issue down the road.
- I encountered a Minor League pitching coach (not sure who) working with Mike Montgomery on a regular curveball. Evidently, they want him to veer away from a palm curve he tossed in high school and want him to adapt to their style.
- I spoke briefly with pitching prospect Ryan Morgan, with whom I pitched in college. (He obviously ascended to astronomically higher rankings than yours truly), although I did not see him pitch.
- Eric Hosmer was hitting mostly grounders in the two B.P. sessions I saw. On the contrary, Hilton Richardson was really ranking. Not sure if B.P. is much of an indicator but I hope to see more line-drives and XBH from Hosmer's bat in '10.
- Saw Rowdy Hardy pitch for the first time ever. He struggled quite a bit with command, which is odd for him. He has a 3/4 and submarine delivery.
- Blake Johnson's curveball looked outstanding (take that for what it's worth).
- Salvador Perez and Jose Bonilla really did a good job taking charge of the infield diamond communication-wise. Wil Myers looked a bit lost and out of place behind the dish. He took quite a few instructions from the dugout coaches....a sign of his inexperience.
- A ton of bunting and stealing took place. Not sure if this is uncommon; but I would see several bunt and steal attempts every half inning.
- I'm really excited about Clint Robinson's prospects in NWA this year. He was raking the ball in intersquads; saw him hit a couple XBH and a HR.
- Chris McConnell = quite slick defensively. Johnny Giavotella didn't look too bad, either, and showed range (to my naked non-scouting eye, so again take it for what it's worth).
- It was interesting to see particular "cliques." Many of the Latin players watching the games stood in one group...the American-born players would chatter in another.
- Got autographs from Mike Moustakas and Everett Teaford.
- Select pitchers who did not pitch in intersquads that day kept score, tracking first-pitch strikes and pitch counts (to my knowledge)....and possibly more.
- Speed at the top! The tops of lineups were loaded with speedy-types....Patrick "Roundhouse Kick" Norris, Adrian "The Jet" Ortiz, Derrick "D-Rob" Robinson, and more (lame nicknames...)
- Did not see Dan Duffy or Jeff Bianchi for perhaps obvious reasons. I also did not see Sean McCauley (injured). I did not see several others.
- A center fielder (I believe it was Norris) dropped a routine fly-ball. Granted, it was sunny, but the ball popped in and out of his glove.
- Saw Chris "Disco" Hayes pitch in the bullpen for the first time.

Anyway, I might think of more....


Anonymous said...

how about jason taylor 3d

Jack said...

I still like Jason Taylor and I think he can rebound into a productive year at Class-A Wilmington, though I'm not sure what his upside is at this point since he served that suspension. He stole something like 40 bases a couple years ago but I think he'll lose his speed as he gets older as his body type mirrors that of a raw power hitter.

He mirrors Kila Ka'aihue in that he's an extraordinarily patient hitter but I've yet to consistent power numbers from him. He's a project of sorts but he's certainly worth watching in Wilmington this year.

Dr Thunder said...

I went to Surprise this year too. Only 1 game on the 27th vs the A's.

I had really good seats, 2nd row right next to the royals dugout.

Trey Hillman, George Brett, and Billy Butler of all people sat outside the dugout on chairs all game literally 2 feet away from me. So that was cool.

Try Hillman's wife and kids sat 1 row in front of me. his wife is kind of hot. Definitely a cougar. Wait a minute, maybe I just figured out why Butler sat out there all game. Makes sense i guess.