Feature Photo: Sam Bragg, RHP, Athletics
2080 contributor Alec Dopp continues his coverage of the 2016 Arizona Fall League with a sampling of 10 new prospect videos. We’re quickly building out our Prospect Video Library and closing in on 50 new videos from the first ten days of AFL action, so be sure to check back regularly for updates!
2016 Arizona Fall League Prospect Video Highlights
After making mincemeat of advanced Double-A Southern League pitchers this summer (.293/.374/.508 with 24 HR and 102 RBI across 130 games), O’Neill’s fall league debut has followed a similar trajectory early on, leading his counterparts in HR (3) to go alongside a 1.143 OPS in his first 25 PAs. Live looks have confirmed the production thus far, as the 21-year-old maintains legitimate plus power to his pull side while still having an ability to spray the ball with force to the gaps. O’Neill has not been a prolific base-stealing threat as a pro (12 SB, 2 CS in 2016), but run times consistently sitting between 4.2-4.3 seconds suggest he has the wheels necessary to nab 15-19 bases annually at the next level.
Scott’s elite heater touched 99 mph (96-98 sitting) in a live look Monday afternoon in Glendale, complimenting it with a fringe-average 89-92 mph slider with horizontal plane and a cutter look. The 22-year-old southpaw chalked up lofty whiff totals as a late-inning reliever between High A and Double-A this year (11.3 SO/9 in 64 1/3 innings), but well-below-average control (8.0 BB/9 in that same span) has him in Arizona working to refine his command in preparation for 2017.
Laureno has morphed into an early standout at the plate in Arizona, with a .444/.476/.778 slash line and two doubles, two triples and three stolen bases en route to capturing AFL Player of the Week honors. The 22-year-old is no stranger to filling up the stat book, however, as he mashed 15 home runs, stole 43 bases and hit .319 across 116 games split between High A and Double-A this summer. Smaller in stature and without a ton of loft in his swing, Laureno may not have the capacity to hit 17-to-20 home runs at the next level, but his combination of average contact, strike zone discipline (13.5% BB-rate in AA this year) and above-average to plus speed out of the box (4.2 H-to-1B in a live look) give him a solid set of foundation to work from.
One of two pitchers I’ve seen up to triple digits with the fastball this month (along with Frankie Montas, RHP, Athletics), Martinez’s 75-grade fastball sat 95-to-99 mph (T100) in Scottsdale. Command or control of the offering, however was virtually non-existant, leading to a shaky fall league start (1 1/3 IP, four ER, five walks, 1 strikeout). Martinez will also mix in a 86-to-89 mph slider with average bite that is more vertical, but it’s clear he favors the fastball at present. The 22-year-old saw a reduction in whiffs upon his promotion to Double-A Richmond later this summer (6.7 SO/9 against 9.7 SO/9 in High-A), so any attempt to remain a late-inning arm will require taming his control issues, and establishing the fastball early.
Ht/Wt: 6’1” / 200 B/T: R/R Age: 24yrs, 3m
A former thirteenth-round pick of Toronto in 2013, Locastro’s AFL debut has encompassed a 4-for-15 line (.267) with no walks, three strikeouts and one stolen base in six games played. The 24-year-old hit .285 with a mere 11.2% strikeout rate across nearly 600 PAs between High A and Double-A this this year, and the tools to hit for a high average are there, making quality contact with a quick, short swing and double-plus speed down the line (4.05-4.16 seconds). Primarily a shortstop with Tulsa this year, Locastro has made a couple of mental lapses on routine plays at second base, but his athleticism should eventually allow for an average to above-average defensive profile at the next level.
Snagged by Baltimore from the Florida Prep ranks early in the 2013 draft, Marin’s fall league intro has lacked flare early on, slashing just .250/.375/.333 with one double, one stolen base, three walks and three K’s through 15 plate trips. The 22-year-old was still relatively young for the Double-A Eastern League earlier this year, where he hit .232 with 4 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 119 games, but the overall lack of offensive production (career .632 OPS) has been recurring theme as a pro. Marin has average top-end speed (4.3 HP-to-1B) and makes consistent contact with a level, compact stroke, but the lack of leverage and bat speed figure to ultimately limit his power profile down the road.
Drafted and developed as a late-inning relief arm from small-school roots, Bragg has maintained impressive results as a pro, holding true to a 9.8 SO/9 and 1.18 WHIP across 243 career innings. The 23-year-old righty has opened eyes in Arizona, too, hoarding seven strikeouts, no walks and just two hits allowed through four AFL innings. The 23-year-old sits 92-to-93 mph with quality arm-side life to his fastball, and excellent arm speed sells his plus 80-to-82 mph curveball, with 11/5 shape and sharp break. He also showed one 84 mph changeup with average fade in the live viewing Monday night in Scottsdale, though the fastball-curve combination alone could be enough to get some outs at the next level.
Minnesota’s top position prospect slashed .291/.335/.386 with 23 doubles and 19 stolen bases in 116 High-A contests this season, which set high expectations for the fall league despite being one of the youngest players on the circuit. He’s met them so far, tying for a league-high eight hits (seven singles) and getting on base at a .522 clip over his first 23 ABs. While his raw power is below average, the hit tool has been impressive, showing quick hands, an ability to spray line drives to all fields, and getting plus speed down the line. The early walk totals and selectivity have stood out, as well, after he posted below-average rates of 8.5% and 6.1%, respectively, in his first two pro seasons.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a starter, Garcia split time between the rotation and bullpen for the first time in 2016, posting a 3.73 ERA, 6.8 SO/9 and 2.1 BB/9 across 50.2 innings. The 23-year-old southpaw sits 93-to-95 mph with late arm-side life to his plus to double-plus fastball and 82-to-83 mph with 1-to-7 shape on his average curveball. He showed an ability to maintain arm speed on his 87-to-88 mph fading changeup in this view, too, which looks to be the better of his two secondary offerings at present. Thus far, Garcia’s three-pitch mix has yet to allow a run in two appearances, during which he has grabbed three strikeouts, walked none and allowed three base hits.
Perhaps the most unorthodox arm in this year’s crop of fall league pitchers, Rogers comes at hitters from a submarine angle and will operate 80-to-82 mph with his sinker, which helped him accrue a heavy 4.69 GO:AO ratio this season between Double-A and Triple-A. The 25-year-old doesn’t miss many bats (6.3 SO/9 in 2016), and the angle on his low-70s slider presented a clear challenge for opposing hitters on Monday night in Scottsdale. He’s allowed just one hit, with three strikeouts and no walks against him over his two innings thus far.