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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Prospects Newsbeat

Friday, October 14, 2016

10 Player-Development Storylines To Follow At The Arizona Fall League

Taylor Ward, C, Angels

The Angels’ selection of Ward in the first round of the 2015 draft had many industry observers scratching their heads due to concerns about the bat being good enough to make him more than a backup catcher. Though he impressed in the Midwest League during his first pro season, he underwhelmed when he moved up to the high Class A California League this year as his plate approach appeared less advanced than it had before. In addition to handling himself against better pitching in the AFL, he’ll be tasked with refining his receiving skills and improving upon the finer points of game-calling.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:18 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Baseball America Prospect Report (Oct. 13) |

An early AFL update.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, prospects

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Scout’s View: Tim Tebow Draws A Crowd, But Doesn’t Impress |

Why is he in the AFL? He is old for a prospect. He hasn’t played past high school. I get taking a flyer but why put him in a position where he most likely will be overmatched.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2016 at 02:04 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Thursday, October 06, 2016

2016 Major League All-Rookie Team |

Baseball America’s All-Rookie Team.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2016 at 07:08 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rookies

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Toolshed: Rookies meeting, underperforming their MLB projections | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

This one really surpised me.

Cody Reed: To put it bluntly, Reed probably would’ve fallen shy of just about any preseason projection, given his performance. The 23-year-old left-hander, who is on the disabled list with back spasms, struggled to a 7.36 ERA, 6.06 FIP and -0.3 WAR in 10 starts (47 2/3 innings). His biggest issue was the gopher ball; Reed averaged 2.3 home runs allowed per nine innings, well above his Minor League average of 0.5. Steamer didn’t have high expectations for the southpaw, even after a breakout 2015 campaign in which he posted a 2.41 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings at Class A Advanced and Double-A. The projection system had the 2013 second-rounder down as a reliever who would post a 4.18 ERA and 4.43 FIP if given 65 innings. The rebuilding Reds aren’t about to give up on the 23-year-old, though. If he can do a better job of keeping the ball down and in the yard, there’s still a potential quality starter there.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Time For MLB To End Rules That Jeopardize Safety Of Scouts -

“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules. They haven’t thought this through to any degree where they have any regard for the human lives of scouts.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: international players, prospects, scouting, venezuela

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Braves’ instructional league led by young arms |

The next big thing.

Maitan looks like he belongs

Perhaps one of the biggest storylines at instructs for the Braves is the arrival of international signee Kevin Maitan. The top player on’s Top 30 International Prospects list, Maitan signed with the Braves for $4.25 million in July. The 16-year-old shortstop phenom is joined by others from this past signing period as playing in the United States for the first time.
“You look at these guys and they’re basically sophomores in high school,” Scheuerholz said. “They’re big, physical, they are baseball rats.”

Maitan stands out more than most. Schuerholz saw Maitan work out in the Dominican last year and wanted to withhold judgment until seeing him, not wanting the advanced buzz to color his evaluation. What he saw surpassed whatever expectations he was trying to hold back.

“You have your guard up, you don’t know the actual truth until you lay eyes on him,” Schuerholz said. “When I did, he could’ve fit right into a Double- or Triple-A batting practice. It’s now power, this guy is going to be a special player. He’s already gained weight in a good way, he’s gotten stronger, but it hasn’t hurt his agility and footwork. We’ll give him every opportunity to stay at short.”

The group of teenagers had been getting hundreds of reps in the Dominican prior to coming to Florida for instructs to help prepare them on the field. The month they are in Lake Buena Vista will help them acclimate to their surroundings so when they come for their first Spring Training, they won’t be too overwhelmed. They’ll also get to play in games—the instructional league schedule starts on Monday—something they are itching to do after a long time on the showcase circuit and in workout mode.
“They’re champing at the bit to play in games,” Schuerholz said. “That’s how guys get better, getting them that game experience. You can’t replicate that in practice. The sooner we can do that with them, the better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 27, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rawlings, Minors announce ‘16 Gold Glovers

Birmingham second baseman Joey DeMichele is the only repeat winner from 2015, as he registered a .990 fielding percentage in 122 games for the Barons in 2016. The fifth-year pro out of Arizona State University recorded 579 total chances and was a part of 88 double plays. DeMichele, 25, was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Pensacola shortstop Zach Vincej recorded a .991 fielding percentage in 105 games for the Blue Wahoos. Vincej, 25, who had 423 total chances and turned 54 double plays, was the only shortstop with a fielding percentage north of .985. Vincej was selected by Cincinnati in the 37th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Pepperdine University.

Reno third baseman Carlos Rivero posted a .987 fielding percentage in 110 games at the hot corner for the Aces. Rivero made just two fielding errors in 234 chances. Rivero, 28, was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians as an international free agent on May 30, 2005 out of Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 26, 2016 at 12:08 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, gold gloves, minor leagues, prospects

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on display at showcase |

The next, next big thing.

Scouts in attendance were impressed with Gurriel’s physique and overall strength. They also noted good arm strength on defense. However, there is a belief is that he could use more at-bats against live pitching.

“What I showed today was a product of all of the hard work I have put in since I got here and in Miami,” Lourdes Jr. said. “I had trainers working really working hard from the beginning.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2016 at 06:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, prospects

Friday, September 09, 2016

Tyler Glasnow MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year |

He has a way to go.

One thing Glasnow wants to do is improve his walk rate and overall command. It was one of the few statistical categories that the big right-hander didn’t improve this season, as he walked 5.2 per nine in the Minors (up from 4.4 per nine in his career).

“I definitely have to work on the consistency,” Glasnow said. “I don’t want to lose any stuff, the stuff that got me those numbers. I think I need to be able to go out and do it every fifth day. There’s obviously going to be some ups and downs, but it has to be a little bit more consistent than it has been.”

Glasnow is well aware that the issues are largely physical. It can be more difficult for a pitcher his size to repeat his delivery, which can lead to the command problems he’s had at times throughout his career.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2016 at 06:21 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, prospects, tyler glasnow

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez signs with Reds |

The Reds’ latest splurge into the Cuban free-agent market culminated on Wednesday, when the signing of pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez was completed. Gutierrez was at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday for his physical, which he passed before the signing was made official. It is a Minor League contract, and the right-hander will not occupy a spot on the 40-man roster.’s Jesse Sanchez reported on Aug. 30, via an industry source, that the Reds and Gutierrez had a $4.75 million deal. Gutierrez, who hails from Pinar del Rio, Cuba, turns 21 on Sept. 18.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 12:34 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, reds, vladimir gutierrez

Minor League All-Star Team 2016 -

BA Minor League All-Star team.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 11:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Braves see no risk in possible Tebow signing |

As the Braves have continued to evaluate the possibility of signing Tim Tebow to a Minor League contract, they have remained interested primarily because they do not see an obvious risk. The financial commitment would be insignificant, and the former NFL quarterback would simply fill a need for Double-A Mississippi while serving as a non-roster player.

“Whatever Tim decides, the fact that he wants to play baseball is good for the game,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “It’s similar to when Michael Jordan or others have wanted to play. It’s positive to draw this kind of interest to the game and make it a story because it’s good for baseball.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects, tim tebow

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Red Sox Call Up Top Prospect Yoan Moncada « CBS Boston

It will be interesting to see him play defense at 3B.

Boston announced on Wednesday night that Yoan Moncada, who recently shifted from second base to third base, will be promoted to the majors in time for Friday night’s game in Oakland.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 01, 2016 at 05:01 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox, yoan moncada

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reds prospect Nick Senzel raking in Minors |

With his hitting skills, Senzel could be on the fast track to the Majors. He watched with interest as three 2015 first-round picks were recently promoted to the Majors in their first full pro seasons. That included overall No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson by the Braves, No. 2 pick Alex Bregman by the Astros and seventh pick Andrew Benintendi by the Red Sox.
“You’re always hopeful. You look at those guys ... get there their first full year, as a player and a college hitter that makes you hungry to get up there,” Senzel said. “I feel like different organizations have different plans. Whatever their plan is, you have to trust the process. At the same time, you want to do well at every level you’re in and move up as fast as you can.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nick senzel, prospects, reds

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Good The Bad And The Ugly Of Michael Kopech

That fastball. It’s arguably the best in the minor leagues, and it is certainly the fastest. He hit 105 miles per hour in his third start off the disabled list, and now constantly hits in the high-90s. It’s fair to think that he is getting by with his fastball alone, but his secondary offerings are also improved.

His slider was once mediocre with inconsistent control, but like his fastball, it has become a pitch that has some power behind it. He lands his slider in the low-90s, and a 90 mile-per-hour slider is Noah Syndergaard-like. The God of Thunder seems to be doing just fine with his fastball and slider at the big league level.

His changeup was a hardly-usable pitch by most reports heading into the season, but he has developed some drop and consistency with it. He can strike out batters with the pitch, recorded in the upper-80s. That may seem high-velocity for a changeup, but when you calculate the fact the batters are seeing the other pitches in the high-90s, that’s a 10 mph drop-off. Th pitch also seems to have some movement, as MLB Pipeline sees a nice late drop to the pitch.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: michael kopech, prospects, red sox

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rockies Look For Boost From Hoffman -

The Rockies already got a boost offensively from calling up top prospect David Dahl last month. Now, they will try and get the same type of boost to their pitching staff with Jeff Hoffman.

The Rockies will call Hoffman up to make his major league debut on Saturday against the Cubs, according to multiple reports. Hoffman, the Rockies’ No. 3 prospect at midseason and a Futures Game participant, was 6-9, 4.02 with 124 strikeouts and 44 walks in 118 2/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff hoffman, prospects, rockies

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Braves promoting shortstop Dansby Swanson |

Unrealistic expectations with this one.

After trading shortstop Erick Aybar to the Tigers on Tuesday, the Braves created the roster spot necessary for Swanson to begin his Major League career. The 22-year-old suburban Atlanta native ranks as baseball’s No. 5 overall prospect according to

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2016 at 06:28 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, prospects

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nine Prospects Primed To Help Contenders -

1. Yulieski Gurriel, 3b, Astros

Signed to a five-year, $47.5 million deal in July, the Astros previously said they would promote Gurriel to the majors on Monday but have since backed off that statement. Still, it figures to be only a matter of time for Gurriel, who is currently at Double-A Corpus Christi and 11 games into his U.S. career. The 32-year old Cuban wouldn’t have to do much to outperform Astros’ third basemen offensively this season, who have combined to hit .228/.312/.379.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mejia’s epic streak ends, then extends to 50 |

The streak is still alive. It’s tough from the video to decide whether the call reversal was warranted.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2016 at 07:54 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco mejia, indians, prospects Yanks Duo First To HR Back-To-Back In First AB

There was a ceremony at Yankee Stadium for the 20th anniversary of the 1996 ‘Return of the Dynasty’ team. Aura & Mystique must have been in attendance, too:

Yankees prospects Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge didn’t wait long to prove they belong in the Majors. Austin and Judge made their debuts in stunning fashion during Saturday’s 8-4 win at Yankee Stadium, hammering back-to-back home runs in their first at-bats in the second inning of the game against the Rays to give New York a 2-0 lead. Austin and Judge are the first teammates to hit home runs in their first Major League at-bats in the same game. The feat was accomplished once before by opponents—the Dodgers’ Ernie Koy and the Phillies’ Heinie Mueller—on April 19, 1938.

They are also the first teammates to homer in their debuts in the same game and became the fourth and fifth players in Yankees history to hit home runs in their first career at-bat or plate appearance, joining John Miller, Andy Phillips and Yankees assistant hitting coach Marcus Thames. Austin and Judge both finished 2-for-4.

Judge did a little more than just make contact. Unlike Austin, who barely squeaked his shot over the short porch in right field for a Statcast™-projected 331-foot homer, Judge launched a projected 446-foot blast into center field, tying the Yankees record for longest home run at home in the Statcast™ era.

Video at link.

Monday, August 08, 2016

MLB Rookie Report: Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros - Minor League Ball

His initial MLB innings confirm the minor league scouting reports: fastball between 88 and 95 MPH, averaging around 92; curveballs, sliders, and change-ups ranging from the upper-70s to mid-80s, plus excellent command and control that helps everything play up. There’s nothing left for him to prove in the minors and he is ready for a full trial.

Given his history and some funk in his delivery, I’m not certain that he’ll be durable long-term, but you can say that about most young pitchers. Aside from that, I love Musgrove as a prospect and would rate him as a Grade A- right now. He hasn’t received as much attention as he deserves, but in my view he is an elite prospect.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 08, 2016 at 11:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, joe musgrove, prospects

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