Scouting Notebook – Big Leagues Magazine (Nathaniel Stoltz profiles some Triple-A Nashville players)

I'm not sure if anyone here has read Big Leagues Magazine – this is actually my first time! – but, my friend, Nathaniel Stoltz, went to Tennessee recently to watch the Birmingham Barons/Tennessee Smokies series (Double-A affiliates of the White Sox and Cubs organizations, respectively), and then a series involving Milwaukee's Triple-A Nashville Sounds and the Sacramento River Cats (Oakland A's Triple-A affilate). Here's a link to the latest issue. Stoltz's article, 'Scouting Notebook: Road Trip Through Tennessee' is on p. 35 (you will need to page through and/or a bunch – it's a digital magazine).

Here's an excerpt on 2B prospect, Scooter Gennett:

 "He's patient enough to work walks occasionally, though his approach and pitch recognition still need some refinement."

further down:

"Gennett has good speed and plays an above-average second base with good hands and range. What sort of utility he has to offer a major league team will depend on how much he can do beyond simply make contact and run."

(after mentioning Gennett hasn't hit a HR yet this season in a hitter-friendly PCL)

"He'll have to to show he can rip enough doubles to keep pitchers honest, and he'll have to supplement his hits with enough walks to post a solid on-base percentage. There's a chance he could prove himself worthy on both counts and evolve into a solid leadoff hitter, but it's more likely that he becomes a Darwin Barney-style player who contributes with his defense and hits well enough to stay in the bottom portion of an NL line-up." 

Stoltz also writes about Tyler Thornburg (who pitched 22 innings with the Brewers last year, with a 20/7 K/BB ratio).

"He's off to a good start in Nashville this year repeating the level (41/14 K/BB in 38 ⅔ IP, 3.33 FIP), and he has the stuff to back up those numbers, with three pitches that all rate at least average."

Thornburg throws 91-94 mph with some life on his fastball from a steep downhill plane, and complements the heater with a big-breaking curve and a deceptive sinking changeup. He's around the zone with all three pitches and projects to have average to solid-average command.

Some have suggested that Thornburg should move to relief due to his unorthodox mechanics and small stature, but he repeats his motion well, throws strikes, and has a diverse and effective arsenal. That leads me to believe he can be an effective midrotation starter, and he's not far from reaching that ceiling."

In addition to these, there are some passages written on Kyle Heckathorn and Khris Davis. Check it out to read more! I've been a fan of Nathaniel's work at SB Nation's Beyond The Box Score ever since I read his fantastic profile of Mike Fiers at Beyond The Box Score, last year (after Fiers had already joined the major league club) called Mike Fiers Versus the Radar Gun: How is He Winning? If you haven't read it, go back and check it out, along with his other work.

I'm hoping to catch up with Stoltz and ask him some more questions in the future about his work, and if there are some other things he saw to supplement his report on Nashville. Hope you enjoy his work! You can follow him on twitter, here: @stoltz_baseball.

 

 

Jess Lemont

About Jess Lemont

Jess is mostly an illustrator, here, providing occasional theme music. As her profile picture would indicate, she does not (or, may not) have a the skill required for flipping bats, so a drawing has replaced it. Really, you could also think of her as the photographer without a camera, in that regard. And, really...maybe it's best not to ask beyond this point.

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