The Spectrum: Spring Training Notes, 3/14 – 3/20

Sam Travis - Scottsdale Scorpions - 2015 Arizona Fall League (Bill Mitchell)

Feature Photo: Sam Travis, 1B, Red Sox

Monday, March 14

Jorge Polanco, 2B, Minnesota Twins, 3-5
Robert Gsellman, RHP, New York Mets, 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB
Alec Asher, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies, 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Jacob May, OF, Chicago White Sox, 0-3, 3 K
Pierce Johnson, RHP, Chicago Cubs, 2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Jose Peraza, SS, Cincinnati Reds, 2-3, R
Victor Alcantara, RHP, LA Angels, 2 IP, H, R, BB, 3 K
Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies, 2-3, 3 R, HR, 3B

Jorge Polanco will likely move off short this year but his bat will play at most any position they would move him to. Rough night for Robert Gsellman. His command has to be on point for him to be effective as he doesn’t possess high octane stuff. Usually his command is pretty solid. Alec Asher profiles as a backend starter with a mostly average four-pitch arsenal and average command. Tough day for Jacob May as well. May has a ton of speed but he’ll have to answer questions about his hit tool for it to play up. Pierce Johnson got knocked around pretty hard but he rebounded well towards the end of the week. Jose Peraza’s had an impressive spring so far, we’ve written about him before in this space so we’ll see how he works out once the games matter. Trevor Story had a good week as well, more on him later.

Tuesday, March 15

Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers, 2-2, HR
Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Chicago Cubs, 2-4, 2B, R
Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics, 1-3, HR
Sean Manaea, RHP, Oakland Athletics, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Up and down week for Lucas Giolito. Reports had him up to 96 to 97 mph, though (read about him further down below). Joey Gallo continues to hit bombs this spring, Jeimer Candelario continues to attack the gaps as well. Matt Chapman had a breakout offensive season in 2015. He was drafted as a glove-first guy so it remains to be seen if his offense carries over to 2016. Sean Manaea has turned heads this spring as well and will earn major league innings in 2016.

Wednesday, March 16

Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Carl Edwards Jr, RHP, Chicago Cubs, 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox, 1-2, R, 3B
Socrates Brito, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-4, 2 R

Dylan Bundy isn’t likely to get stretched out in 2016 so it would seem that his role for the forseeable future is going to be out of the bullpen. He was once considered starter material by some, but Carl Edwards Jr. has settled into a reliever role. More on him a little later. The White Sox are rolling with Jimmy Rollins at short, which increases the probability that Tim Anderson will earn a sizeable chunk of playing time. He’s had a quiet spring so far without many loud games but he presents excellent bat speed, tremendous speed and a strong arm. Socrates Brito will see a lot of playing time in left for the Diamondbacks.

Thursday, March 17

Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves, 2-4, 2B
Aaron Blair, RHP, Atlanta Braves, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K
Sam Travis, 1B, Boston Red Sox, 2-3, HR
A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros, 1-4, HR
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K
James Paxton, RHP, Seattle Mariners, 2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 2 K
Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Colorado Rockies, 2.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Jonathan Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Dansby Swanson’s hit tool earns a lot of praise, as it should. He also has defensive chops and profiles to stick at shortstop. Aaron Blair has had a rough spring. Three walks isn’t what you want to see out of a pitcher with this profile. Sam Travis is having a loud spring, and it continued with another home run. A.J. Reed will see his fair share of playing time at the majors this year and he has the power and contact skills to be a productive first baseman. Rough starts for a trio of starters today. Robert Stephenson needs to harness his command more if he wants to scratch the surface of his potential. James Paxton needs to make it through the year healthy. Jeff Hoffman has a high-octane arsenal so I wouldn’t expect many starts like this one moving forward. Jonathan Gray had himself a solid game. The Rockies famously told him to work on his changeup throughout his minor league career. He’s flashed it much better now that the handcuffs are off.

Friday, March 18

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox, 2-3, R
Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals, 2-3, R, 3B
Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics, 1-1, HR
Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers, 1-2, HR

Andrew Benintendi’s feel for the barrel earned him praise around the time of the 2015 draft, and he continues to prove his believers right. Raul Mondesi has been more projection than production in his young career. He has been young for his level at just about every stop, though his glove does offer a level of safety with his profile. Franklin Barreto’s contact skills and power make for an exciting combination. He won’t stick at shortstop but the bat plays. Lucas Giolito was more impressive this time around. His premium stuff was on display, making it easy to dream on his sky-high upside. Dylan Bundy put up another solid one-inning stint. Lewis Brinson really upped his stock with a productive 2015. He offers a broad base of 50’s and 60’s, and he is a profile to watch early this season.

Saturday, March 19

Ronald Guzman, 1B, Texas Rangers, 2-2, 3B
Brandon Drury, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-3, HR
Pierce Johnson, RHP, Chicago Cubs, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Carl Edwards Jr., RHP, Chicago Cubs, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Socrates Brito, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-4, R, 3B

Light day after a storm banged most of the Florida games. Ronald Guzman was once highly regarded for his contact skills but it’s never come together for him, and he’s struggled throughout his career. Brandon Drury will be in the majors in 2016 and will offer positive value with his flexibility and bat. Pierce Johnson needs to tame his wildness and get through a season healthy. Carl Edwards Jr. has two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball, but like Johnson he needs to work on his command. Socrates Brito showed off some of his speed with a triple.

Sunday, March 20

Light day, as most of the prospects have been assigned to minor league camp.