Winter Meeting Prospect Thoughts

The Winter Meetings are fun! So many rumors, so much inaction. Alas, there were several prospects outside the Rule 5 draft who were moved or rumored to move who are worth discussing. Of course, I can’t discuss them all, but if you’re interested in a player I’ll field questions in the comments. 

Derek Dietrich – Many wondered what the rationale was behind the Marlins recent trade of Yunel Escobar. Salary dump? Public relations move? Is Dietrich a guy to watch? Without inside information it’s impossible to state the Marlins’ motive with any certainty but I can tell you that Derek Dietrich is an interesting prospect. I’ve seen enough of the former second round pick to say I like his swing. His hands start too tight to his chin for my tastes but he’s able to get them into the load position in time to prevent an awkward hitch in his swing. From there, the bat gets to the zone quickly and his bat speed is good. That’s an impressive starting place, but there are concerns. I’ve noticed a tendency for Dietrich’s hips to slide forward and his backside to collapse. Concerning, but both are fixable and Dietrich could rise to the majors quickly if the Marlins slide him to third, Donovan Solano doesn’t produce, or Adeiny Hechavarria continues to swing a wet noodle.  He has good power, but his homerun total will be dampened by Miami’s unfriendly confides.

Trevor Bauer – When Bauer was drafted out of UCLA last year love affair between the right-hander and the nation began due his clear ability and intelligence. But Bauer, a strikeout artist and engineering major, quickly fell out of favor the Diamondbacks due to his stubborn adherence to his style of pitching and unwillingness to be coached. While pitching up in the zone and his tunneling concept may have earned him the Golden Spikes Award in college, the Diamondbacks (and many others) believed to fulfill his potential he would need to change. Rumors suggest the Diamondbacks are insisting Bauer be the centerpiece of any major acquisition despite other organizations requesting Tyler Skaggs. A trade would be great for owners of Bauer, as it would get him out of one of the game’s best hitter’s parks and the dog-house.

Trevor May – It’s rare to be excited when a prospect moves from the Senior to Junior circuit but May owners did well when the right-hander was traded from Philadelphia to Minnesota in exchange for Ben Revere. For one, park factors suggest that the Target Center and the other AL Central parks outside of Chicago are not as abusive to pitchers as Citizen’s Bank Park. Moreover, the Phillies have been unable to fix his control problems. Sadly, I can’t link Mike Newman’s article on May for you all but what I can tell you is that May’s inability to repeat his delivery and long limbs hinder his ability to control the baseball. And while I rarely give a team credit for developing a player – I’m a big believer that individual hard work is a larger factor – if one team can get May to throw strikes it’s the Twins. May will see time with the Rochester Red Wings this season and could make spot starts for the Twins if he progresses.

We hoped you liked reading Winter Meeting Prospect Thoughts by JD Sussman!

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Formerly of Bullpen Banter, JD can be followed on Twitter.

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I wonder if the Twins management’s ability to get pitchers to throw strikes has more to do with the type of pitcher they’ve drafted over the past decade then some kind of training expertise. I guess bringing in Meyer and May to their system will help test this.