After every game covered, our writers submit player reports with observations from that game. The best reports are collected each week for this feature, where we usually feature about four or five players per level and the progress they’ve been making in the last week. This time around we had a short week. Ryan Palencer is on vacation, Altoona and Bradenton were on the road most of the week, and we didn’t have a writer covering West Virginia this week. Furthermore, most of the Bradenton team was sick in their few home games. As a result, we’ve got a few bonus extended Spring Training reports. Below are the reports from our writers who covered games this week.
Sean McCool – Altoona
Chad Kuhl (5/16 – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 0 HR) – Kuhl labored through six innings without letting up a run. He threw 102 pitches in those six innings, going deep in most counts and walking four. He got into the most trouble in the second and third innings, when he loaded the bases and had two runners on, respectively, with no outs. In both cases, he showed a lot of poise by working out of the jam. Five strikeouts would be tied for his season high. What was different about Kuhl’s outing tonight was that he only had four groundouts to six flyouts. As a sinkerball pitcher, it is unusual to see that.
Jhondaniel Medina (5/16 – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – He struggled badly with control. He walked five in only 1+ innings of work before being removed. He benefitted from poor base running by Akron when they were doubled up at first on a fly ball.
Max Moroff (5/16 – 0-for-5, 2 K) – Moroff’s 30 game on-base streak came to an end after striking out twice and slowly grounding out twice. For more, check out today’s breakdown of his streak.
Tyler Glasnow (5/17 – 3.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HR) – For the first time in Tyler Glasnow’s professional career, he gave up more than four earned runs. His velocity was noticeably down as was his location control (37 strikes in 72 pitches). Glasnow was later put on the disabled list, retroactive to this game, with a sprained ankle. It was obvious that the ankle was still bothering him with the decreased velocity and lack of control.
Tim Williams – Bradenton
Luis Heredia (5/16 – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR) – Heredia struggled in his 2015 debut, seeing a lot of control problems. He was missing wide to the right of the plate, and high, although he was focused on pitching down in the zone, and did a good job of creating angle on the ball on several pitches. That led to a lot of ground balls. Heredia was sitting 92-94 MPH, and mixed in his 12-to-6 curve from his overhand arm slot. The pitch was a bit tighter than in years past when he used the same pitch from the same arm slot. However, it didn’t put anyone away the few times he got ahead of hitters. For more, check out my report on his start.
Jose Osuna, RF (5/17 – 2-for-5, HR) – Osuna has been crushing the ball lately, and had two hard hit balls in this game. The first was a monster home run over the center field wall, almost hitting the batter’s eye beyond the 400 foot sign. The second was a double off the wall in left field, which was close to going out. He made solid contact all weekend, and looks like a guy who doesn’t belong in High-A any longer. On the field he showed off a cannon for an arm, throwing out a runner at second base.
Jin-De Jhang, C (3-for-4) – Made some solid contact, hitting several line drives. He was limited to singles in part because of his speed, and in part because the hits were close to outfielders. For a big guy, Jhang moves well, although he’ll never have the speed that will allow him to stretch a single to a double or a double to a triple. He’s going to need to rely on his line drive power for the extra base hits. I wouldn’t be surprised if this power develops further, leading to more extra base hits in the future, along with some double-digit home run power. His ability to make solid contact, along with his advanced approach at the plate should allow that to happen.
Tim Williams – Extended Spring Training
Luis Benitez – Shows off a ton of speed. Ran a 3.83 down to first base from the left side, which is beyond an 80 grade. The downside is that Benitez isn’t much of a hitter, and hasn’t made solid contact in the past. He’s also a small guy and doesn’t have much power potential. The speed makes him interesting, but he’ll need to develop his bat in order to utilize it more often.
Alexis Bastardo – He showed off a good average last year, but a low walk and high strikeout rate. This was because he swung at everything, while showing off good contact skills. It looks like that hasn’t changed, since he singled this week on a low and away breaking ball that he probably shouldn’t have been swinging at, having to go down and get the ball for a weak hit. He followed that up by stealing second. He doesn’t have top end speed, but rates as a 60 runner, which is good enough to give him some value. He will need to refine his approach at the plate to be more selective in order to have success in the upper levels.
Stephen Tarpley – Made what will likely be his final rehab start before going to West Virginia. His fastball was 90-92 MPH, showing good command. He was comfortable mixing in the changeup, featuring some late cutting action that fades away from right-handers, and sitting in the 83-85 MPH range. His slider was in the upper 70s, and had sharp tilt, looking like a strikeout pitch. It was hard to judge his performance, since it came against guys who were at a much lower level than him. He does have a good mix of pitches, and seems to be doing well from the three-quarters arm slot that he switched to with the Orioles last year.