Nothing is as good for observations as seeing games in person. This week we got the next best thing from the Lakewood team, a video broadcast of their series against the Lexington Legends. It is impossible to glean everything from a single series and a single video feed, but you notice plenty of things that don’t appear in a box score. I didn’t have time to watch all 7 hours of video, but I did watch all of the offensive trips to the plate and all of Drew Anderson‘s time on the mound.
J.P. Crawford – He is everything he is talked up to be. The patience is there at the plate. He and Tocci are attempting a decent amount of bunts in sac bunt situations, however the goal seems to be get hits, not sacrifice, and in game 2 of the series Crawford placed a bunt perfectly between the first and second baseman. The power is not there yet, I won’t be able to say how much it will be there later, but the contact is there if the strength can get there.
Carlos Tocci – He is still really skinny, but he no longer looks like the bat boy. He is going to the plate swinging for the fences or bunting, he is laying off pitches, but for the most he is looking for contact. The swing itself is not that of a light hitter, it won’t have the loft or strength for big time home run power, but it is a swing geared for hard line drive contact all over the field. If the strength is there Tocci is a guy who is going to be peppering the gaps for doubles and triples.
Willians Astudillo – He knows how to make contact, but it didn’t feel like he was really driving the ball. He is hitting a lot to the opposite field that are dropping in for singles. I really don’t have a good feel for Astudillo, my gut says he makes a ton of contact and low-A defenses aren’t very good. It is intriguing behind the plate, but at 1B that isn’t a guy.
Jan Hernandez – He is overmatched in Lakewood. The contact skills aren’t there and he is working deep counts and ending up with a lot of walks and strikeouts. The good news is he got a hold of a pitch on Thursday night that he took to right center and it was an absolute bomb on a really easy swing. Hernandez will likely bump back to Williamsport for the year, he isn’t ready, but he is going to be fine.
Deivi Grullon – I have no clue how far Grullon’s homer traveled, but it was a no doubter off the bat. He is still a bit aggressive at the plate and the contact isn’t great yet. In the field, Grullon is still too aggressive with his throws. He acts like it is his sacred duty to remove all base runners and he is gearing up to gun out base stealers and back pick at various bases. Grullon has the raw talent to be a huge weapon on defense, he needs to slow the game down a bit and pick his spots better. Overall I love the fearless mindset and I think he could stick all year if the Phillies want him to.
Mitch Walding – Looks good in uniform, still does not impact the ball with the force you want. The swing is compact and direct to the ball, but what you expect to be a hard double is a soft liner. It is still really early, and he looked to be moving well. It will be interesting to see what he is like going forward.
Dylan Cozens – Cozens had a quiet series from an observational view point. When he makes contact the ball goes far, but the contact isn’t there yet. He is not fast and I had him with a home to first time that would point to 40 speed.
Drew Anderson – Anderson was great in his second start of the year. It isn’t flashy, but a fastball at 91-92 all over the zone and a ton of strikes. Unless he magically finds a grade + jump in fastball velo and the feel for a plus secondary pitch, Anderson is more of a back of the rotation starter. He likely won’t up lists until he is knocking on the door to the major leagues, but he is now the top healthy pitching prospect below AA.