Insights from the Fort Myers Miracle
A little about me. I am by no means a trained scout. Do I know more about certain things than others, sure, does that make me a scout, nope. These are merely my observations, and comments about the players I saw today (4/6/12) and throughout the next month and a half while I am in Fort Myers.
I scored the game myself, and have taken sometime to review what I saw and go through my notes. So for now here are my observations from 4/6/12.
Pat Dean: Dean started the game and was quite efficient throughout the game. The lefty out of Boston College is making a return to the Fort after throwing 58 innings here last year. Tonight he was working between 87-92 with his fastball. He has a small frame and slight body but he pounds the strike-zone and fires strikes with his fastball. He needed only 67 pitches to get through 6 quality innings, and threw 50 strikes (74.6%). What I found interesting is that the first batter of the game, an eventual strikeout looking, started with an 11-pitch AB in which is took two balls, fouled off eight and then eventually went down looking. If you eliminate that first AB of the game, Dean recorded 17 outs in a span of 56 pitches. Throwing 41 strikes on those 56 pitches. He most likely tops out as a long reliever or 5th starter down the round.
Bruce Pugh: The righty is back for his third stint in Fort Myers, 2010 as a starter, and 2011 as an all-star reliever, was the first option out of the pen tonight. He throws hard, 94-95, with the occasional 85 MPH change-up mixed in. But his stuff is straight, and was ripped in four consecutive ABs to start his appearance. The box score will show he allowed four hits, and four runs, but only three were earned. In reality this could have easily been five hits and four earned. He was charged with an error on a chopped ball that he mishandled and couldn't get the out. He is only 23, but three consecutive seasons at one level is never a good sign.
Caleb Thielbar: The first player the Twins have ever signed from the St. Paul Saints, Caleb Thielbar came out of the pen for the 8th and 9th inning and was pretty effective. The lefty sits at 90-93 MPH (touching 94 to the second batter he faced) and throws a low 80s slider. He did hit two batters, but otherwise was pretty effective, throwing 70% of his pitches for strikes. He threw 7.1 innings at the end of last year for Fort Myers allowing only one hit over that time. At 25 he is not really a prospect, but if the Rock Cats need an arm at some point I wouldn't be surprised if Thielbar were given that opportunity.
Daniel Santana: I'll get called crazy, but Santana reminds me somewhat of Alexi Casilla. He runs well (though he was caught 15 times on 39 attempts last year), and sets the table really well for the guys after him. He had three of the games four hits today, and also stole a base. All five of his at-bats today were quality ABs, and I was really impressed with him. He is listed at 170, but I suspect that's a stretch. He was the #20 prospect in the 2011 Prospect Handbook, but goes unlisted this season. He is a sleeper.
Oswaldo Arcia: I saw him a couple times this spring, and I love that he was the youngest player in Major League camp. I didn't see much from him at the plate today (he struck out twice, walked once and was hit by a pitch) but he has a cannon from Right Field. He should be able to reach double digit assists from RF.
That is all for now, I hope you enjoy a little outside perspective!