Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
I was in Lansing over the weekend and I saw two games, both Lansing wins.  I had the opportunity to talk with the Lansing manager, Clayton McCullough, the Jays roving pitching instructor, Dane Johnson, the Jays roving hitting instructor, Chad Mottola, and another roving instructor, Mel Queen, as well as several players.  Look for these interviews on Batters Box over the next week or so.  We will start with what I saw in the two games I attended.  Here is a quick scouting report as well as some comments on the Dunedin Jays from a scout I was talking to.

Before I start, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the Lugnuts broadcaster, keeps an archive of his pre-game interviews.  Check it out if you want to know more about the players.

Tyler Pastornicky is a tall skinny player, listed at 5'11" and 170 pounds.  Pastornicky's father is a scout and you can tell he has good baseball instincts, in the Friday game he made a couple of heady plays to eliminate Quad Cities runners on the bases.  Pastornicky looked to move well in the field and does have a shortstop arm.  Pastornicky had a good offensive couple of games, he had three hits with a couple of walks in two games.  He looked to be a good prospect.

Mark Sobolewski is about 6 feet tall and has an average build.  Sobolewski made a couple of errors in the games I saw although manager Clayton McCullough said that Sobolewski's defense was good.  Sobolewski moves well but he throws from low down which the Jays might change to improve accuracy.  Sobolewski appears to be a gap to gap line drive hitter.

AJ Jimenez is another young player, he is 19 years and one month old.  Jimenez is average size, probably 5'11" and 200 pounds.  Jimenez moved well behind the plate and by all reports is the better developed defensively of the two catchers.  Jimenez looked very good at blocking pitches.  Quad Cities did not run much on him so I didn't see his arm really tested but it looked average to me.  Jimenez is not as well developed offensively, he is a contact hitter right now, he goes up there hacking and tries to find some gaps. 

Jon Talley did not play in the two games I saw, I only saw him in batting practice.  Talley is tall, 6'3" and has shown power in the last but not much so far this season. 

Balbino Fuenmayor is a big, solid, guy, I didn't appreciate his size until I saw him up close.  Balbino is 6'3" to 6'4" and is big all over, he could pass for a basketball power forward on a minor college team.  Balbino is listed at 234 pounds and reports are he lost 40 pounds over the winter.  I am not sure why the Jays paid so much money to such a big guy but evidently they saw something they liked.  I believe the Jays are waiting to see how Balbino's body develops over the next two years, he is still 19 years old.  Balbino could turn all that weight into muscle and emerge as a big, solid guy or he could keep the weight on and turn into a Ryan Howard, Big Papi sized guy.  As a bigger, heavier guy Balbino is probably not ideally suited for third base, I could see a move to first unless Balbino loses another 30 pounds.  Hitting-wise Balbino is still working on his swing as he looked to have a bit of a hitch to me.

Markus Brisker is tall and as scouts say has a good body.  Brisker's upper body is big which should be a positive for developing some power in future years.  Brisker has excellent speed and is well suited for centre-field and stealing bases.  Brisker has been struggling at the plate but in the one game I saw him play he showed a good eye and approach at the plate and he did have a run producing single in the Friday come from behind win.  When Kenny Wilson comes back from his injury Brisker might do well to go to Auburn and play there every day.

Henderson Alvarez is a slight pitcher, to me he looks to be a little short of six feet, probably around Pedro Martinez size.  Alvarez has a nice compact delivery.  Alvarez is only 19 years old and has been Lansing's best pitcher so far this season.  Alvarez throws a 92-94 mph fastball (touched 95 a couple of times), a hard change-up at 84-87mph and a flattish curve-ball at 79-80.  On Saturday he was a "thrower", he likes to work fast and would get the ball and be ready to pitch and fire it in there for the hitters to handle.  The hitters handled him pretty well on Saturday but Alvarez is still not yet a "pitcher" and he left too many fastballs over the middle of the plate.  As Alvarez gets a little older and more experienced you could see him averaging 93-95 mph with the fastball and if he can start living on the edges of the strike zone he could be very effective.  If the Jays top 30 prospects were re-evaluated today Alvarez would be in the top half.

Chad Beck started on Saturday night and got little help from his defense.  Beck is just over six feet with a solid, good pitchers body.  His fastball sat around 92 mph but his command was inconsistent.  Beck had a plus slider and a good change-up.  Beck could be more effective if his command was a little better.  Beck is 24 years old and came over in a trade last season.

Dustin Antolin is a tall Hawaiian pitcher.  Apparently Antolin's first language is a Hawaiian pidgen language so he is trying hard to improve his English.  Antolin is also just 19 years old.  Antolin pitches out of the stretch at a 3/4 arm angle with a nice loose delivery.  He throws a 91-94 mph fastball with some movement.  He also has a change-up but it was inconsistent and lightly used.  Antolin threw 90% fastballs in his three inning stint on Friday.  Antolin could develop nicely if he can develop that second and third pitch to go with his good fastball.

Ryan Koch pitched one inning and featured a 88-90 mph fastball and a nice 74 mph curve with a 10-4 break.

Jonas Cuotto pitched one inning and he worked with a 90-92 mph fastball and a very good 80 mph change.  Cuotto's change was very good and he used it 50% of the time.

Boomer Potts is a tall left handed pitcher with LOOGY stuff.  Potts has an average baseball at 90 mph but a very good big breaking slider/curve at 79 mph with good late break.

Yorman Mayora is another reliever with stands around 6' tall with a regular build.  Mayora had average stuff but worked well down in the zone and was effective there.

Matt Daly is the closer for Lansing.  He is about 5'10" or 5'9" tall with a solid build and a slinging type action.  He throws hard at 93-95 mph and relies mainly on his fastball.  Daly also showed a change-up and a 10-4 curve.  At the start of the season he had some bouts of wildness but seems to have settled down some now.

Scouts comments:

At the games I was talking with a scout for a major league team who follows the Jays, he had recently been in Dunedin to see the D Jays.  Here is a selection of his comments:

- he likes the young guys in Dunedin but says you just have to give them a year or two before judging how they will turn out.  Liked Justin Jackson's defense and though Kevin Ahrens would be OK.
- he really liked Danny Farquhar and Tim Collins.  He called Farquhar the real deal.  He liked Collins curve-ball and thought his change was coming along nicely.  He also asked me if I knew Bobby Bell, I told him I did, he liked him too, thought he was flying under the radar.
- he commented on Moises Sierra, he thought he had improved his approach with two strikes and commented on how he saw him hit some curveballs.  Said Sierra had the best arm he had ever seen.
- wasn't really impressed with Andrew Liebel, said he was hitting 85-88 with the fastball and saw him pitching backwards
- of the Lansing team he liked Pastornicky best

Lansing Lugnuts Scouting Report 2009 | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
tercet - Monday, June 01 2009 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#200758) #
Several people have stated how Moises Sierra has one of the best arm's in the minors, but how is his range/speed?  He seems fairly chunky at 6'0'' 225 and might be a tad slow for CF based on his size.
92-93 - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#200760) #
Farquhar's K rates are awesome, but what's with the horrendous control - is that perceived to be a short term blip?

Between Jackson and Pastornicky, here's hoping JP finally drafted and develops a major league SS.
Pistol - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#200761) #
I had the opportunity to talk with the Lansing manager, Clayton McCullough, the Jays roving pitching instructor, Dane Johnson, the Jays roving hitting instructor, Chad Mottola, and another roving instructor, Mel Queen

Is it common to have that many roving instructors at the same place at the same time?  Did you know that before heading there, or did you just run into some good luck?
ayjackson - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#200762) #
No mention of Chavez here.  I had noticed the other day that he had 5 triples already this year.  This tells me that he has better speed than advertised and he's hitting the ball with power to right field.  Any comments on this Gerry?  I had always thought Chavez had average speed at best.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#200763) #
That was an excellent report, Gerry.  I can now see Henderson Alvarez, instead of just having a bare statistical picture.  I had not heard much about Pastornicky's arm, and the news that it is good could not be better.  Heady ballplayer with good speed, good arm and good control of the strike zone sounds like a very nice package.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#200777) #
If Danny Farquhar is truly the real deal, he needs to be united with Mel Queen soon.  Mel is most appreciated for his gift to us of DOC HALLADAY. tells his story the best.
Gerry - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#200786) #


I don't usually meet that many roving instructors at the same time, usually it is just none or one.

Moises Sierra is not fat or slow, he is Vernon Wells size solid.  I don't think he is a center-fielder, he is a right fielder.

I forgot about Yohermyn Chavez.  I said last year that I thought Chavez had not adapted his swing to his body, he did not look to be fully coordinated.  Chavez is quite tall, 6'3" or 6'4" and he is a quick runner and a good defender.  I thought Chavez's swing was better this season but it was still not what you could call compact.  I say give him another few months and see how he develops.  A promotion to Dunedin would generally be in order except that Sierra, Loewen, Thames and Mastroianni are filling the spots.  But even if Chavez stays in Lansing for the season he can work on his swing and get ready for next season.  

Maldoff - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#200787) #
Anyone have an update on the status fo Thames? I know that his injury was to the same quad he needed surgery on last year, so hopefully it is nothing serious.....
Jdog - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#200792) #
Great stuff Gerry...where can i donate?
CeeBee - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#200793) #
Thanks for the great reporting Gerry! :) I really appreciate all the guys who write for da Box and I especially like the minor league stuff. Once again the box proves it's really the numero uno Jays site.
Maldoff - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#200798) #
Gerry, how come Antolin is being used exclusively out of the pen, rather than starting?
Gerry - Tuesday, June 02 2009 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#200800) #
Antolin is young and basically throws one pitch.  If he could develop his off speed pitches he could start.  Generally starters have three functional pitches.  As I said above Antolin threw 90% fastballs when I saw him.  The good news is that he has a good fastball so he can get away with relying mainly on one pitch.  The bad news is that he needs more than one pitch to survive above A ball.
wacker - Wednesday, June 03 2009 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#200843) #
i understand talley took a freak foul ball off his mask and drove it up and split his chin open which needed stitches and suffered a mild concussion on top of that. i guess it happened sunday  and being the reason he left the game
Lansing Lugnuts Scouting Report 2009 | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.