Due to the trade deadline, I’ve been behind on my reading on prospect writeups. I had a few reports saved to read from the last week, and caught up on those today. Of course, I could have caught up on them in the last week and I wouldn’t have missed a single trade, thanks to the slow deadline. Below are some good links on a few of the top prospects in the system, along with my thoughts on a few of the players.
**J.J. Cooper of Baseball America talks about Tyler Glasnow growing into a potential ace. The article is for BA subscribers only, but is a good profile on Glasnow. The key parts are that Glasnow is more advanced than most teenagers at his age, and he has also made huge strides this year with his command. A big issue for Glasnow at the start of the year was that he had issues repeating his delivery. He has more control over his body now, and is doing a better job of learning how to repeat his delivery. We’ve seen the results in the stat lines. He has 20 walks in 49.2 innings since the start of June (3.6 BB/9), which is down from 30 walks in 42.2 innings in the first two months of the season (6.3 BB/9).
**Nathaniel Stolz of RotoGraphs also has a good look at Glasnow, including some video. He saw Glasnow on June 14th, and in the article he works to separate the reality from the hype on the young starter. Pretty much everything said is accurate. Glasnow has two plus pitches with his fastball and curveball, although the curve could use more consistency. He doesn’t have any red flags mechanically. The downside is that he needs to work on his changeup, especially providing some separation in speed from his fastball, and needs to improve his control, which he has done a good job of in the last two months, but could still use more work.
**I’ve talked about Glasnow a lot, and anything I say would be repeating my previous thoughts or repeating the above notes. I will point out that I think Glasnow is further along than Jameson Taillon at the same level. Glasnow struggles with his command, but when it’s on he can locate at the knees on a steep downward plane. That was something Taillon couldn’t do in low-A. Glasnow doesn’t have a changeup, but neither did Taillon at that level. He’s also dominating opponents, which is something Taillon didn’t do. We’ve seen Taillon show huge improvements with the changeup, and with his command and ability to throw down in the zone in the two years since he’s been in West Virginia. It’s going to be fun to see how Glasnow improves over the next two years.
**Zach Mortimer of Baseball Prospectus had updates on Clay Holmes and Gregory Polanco last week. I got to see Polanco a lot this year, and the report on BP was a lot of what I saw. Zach notes that Polanco needs to work on his reads in the outfield, and makes up for poor reads right now with his speed. That’s especially true on straightaway shots. He also notes that Polanco has exceptionally quick hands at the plate, which will allow him to hit for power and average. Finally, he notes that Polanco has that “it” factor that very few prospects have.
Zach told me before the article went up that he would be profiling Holmes and that he had a good report. I was more interested in reading that, since I haven’t seen Holmes yet this year since Spring Training. He struggled at the start of the year, but has been turning it around recently. All of the reports I’ve heard on him this year have been good, including this one. Mortimer notes that this is a case where scouting the box score, rather than seeing a prospect in person, can get you in trouble. He says Holmes has easy mid-rotation potential.
One thing about Holmes is that he looks like he could be taking the Nick Kingham path this year. Last year Kingham started off slow in West Virginia, then quietly had a dominant second half. In his final two months he had a 3.03 ERA in 59.1 innings, with a 54:12 K/BB ratio. That was after a 5.37 ERA in 70.1 innings in the first three months, with a 63:24 K/BB ratio. This year Kingham has been great both in high-A and Double-A.
Holmes also got off to a rough start in West Virginia. In his first two months of the year he had a 5.60 ERA in 45 innings, with a 31:32 K/BB ratio. In his last two months he has a 3.02 ERA in 53.2 innings, with a 41:28 K/BB ratio. He’s still got some control problems to work through, but he’s been much better in the last two months. That’s scouting the box score, but all of the reports I’ve received on Holmes have matched Mortimer’s report that his stuff looks good, and he still has that mid-rotation potential.