Instructional League Roster Notes – Position Players

Continuing where we left off yesterday, here’s the rundown of the position players that will participate in the Florida Instructional League, a.k.a. “Instrux.”

Player Pos. Age 2012 Team(s) 2011 Invite Notes
Spencer Kieboom C 21 AUB N 5th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Clemson, Kieboom was touted as a glove-first, bat-second backstop but surprised on both counts with 9PBs and .362OBP, plus a knack for hitting with RISP.
Craig Manuel C 22 AUB N 10th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Rice, where he was a three-year starter, Manuel split time with Kieboom and produced very similar numbers. Not a lot of power, but bats lefthanded and makes contact.
Adrian Nieto C 22 GCL, HAG Y Power and patience both dipped from ’11 to ’12 in his third season with the Suns, but a career-high 78 games played.
Raudy Read C 18 DSL Y Made strong improvements in offense in his second DSL season (.493 OPS to .765).
Pedro Severino C 19 GCL Y Repeated the GCL with slight improvement to offensive production and moderately better defensive numbers.
Wilmer Difo SS 20 GCL Y Two-time watchlister but first-time at instrux, Difo repeated the GCL without much statistical improvement.
Cutter Dykstra 2B-SS 23 HAG N Rebounded from poor showing at High-A in ’11 but returned to Low-A to do it, though he showed much better judgment on the basepaths.
Ricky Hague SS-2B 23 HAG N Offensively very streaky, but proved the doubters wrong about his ability to handle 2B, adding to his versatility.
Jeff Kobernus 2B 24 HBG Y Was on pace to match or beat his ’11 production in nearly every category before a pitch to the ribcage ended his season.
Mike McQuillan UT 22 GCL, AUB N 33rd Rd. Pick in ’12 out Univ. of Iowa, McQuillan hit his way out of the GCL and was Auburn’s leadoff man at season’s end.
Stephen Perez SS 21 GCL, AUB N Injuries limited the 8th Rd. Pick in ’12 out Univ. of Miami to just 28 games and could force a repeat at Auburn.
Shawn Pleffner 1B 23 AUB N Injuries delayed the debut of the Nats 26th-Rd. Pick in ’11 until this year, when he became an NYPL All-Star for Auburn.
Tony Renda 2B 21 AUB N 2nd Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Univ. of California, the knee-jerk comp is to Dustin Pedroia though he’s yet to show that kind of power.
Adrian Sanchez 2B 22 POT Y Gave up switch-hitting and finished the season strong, but needs to work on his defense and baserunning
Matt Skole 3B 23 HAG, POT Y Like Aaron Barrett, Skole is in Viera for some fine-tuning before heading out to Arizona for the AFL.
Zach Walters SS 23 POT, HBG, SYR Y Walters hit well at A+ and AA and struggled some at AAA, but the next challenge is cutting down the E’s (29).
Billy Burns OF 23 HAG Y Learned to switch-hit last fall, and improved his production across the board in ’12.
Destin Hood OF 22 AUB, HBG Y Injuries curtailed his 2012 after a breakout 2011 season, nearly a sure bet to repeat AA.
Hayden Jennings OF 19 GCL Y 6th Rd. Pick in ’12 out of Evangel Christian Academy HS in L.A., Jennings is generally praised for his speed and defense, but is a project with the bat.
Kevin Keyes OF 23 POT Y Tremendous power, serviceable defense, but whether he can learn to hit for average and cut down the K’s are the big questions for ’13.
Estarlin Martinez 1B-OF 20 AUB Y Martinez appears to be settling into LF but still plays 1B, which is progress because most folks are worried about the D, not the O.
Narciso Mesa OF 20 AUB Y Made a quantum leap on offense, albeit in a small sample of 31 games going from .559OPS to .791OPS.
Brandon Miller OF 22 AUB N A catcher in college, but strictly played OF for Auburn, where injuries limited the 4th Rd. pick in ’12 out of Samford to just 29 games.
Justin Miller OF 23 HAG N Miller earned a watchlist spot with a strong ’11 in Auburn, but the production fell off in his first full season.
Randolph Oduber OF 23 POT Y Oduber has the tools in the outfield, but has struggled to stay healthy enough to play there consistently the past two seasons after terrific debut in 2010.
Caleb Ramsey OF 23 HAG Y A ‘tweener that continues to pleasantly surprise, developing some pop while slicing his K rate nearly in half.
Steven Souza OF 23 HAG, POT Y Despite another position change (1B to OF), the longtime farmhand broke out in ’12 with career highs in nearly every offensive category, finishing 3rd in the organization with 23HRs.
Michael Taylor OF 21 POT Y Taylor faded in August, but showed flashes of brilliance on both offense and defense in his second full season in the outfield.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

2 thoughts on “Instructional League Roster Notes – Position Players”

  1. There’s some real talent here. I’d be lying if I knew which ones were going to be breakout stars, but that’s really the best part of this, isn’t it?

  2. I hadn’t paid much attention to the 2012 draft class until these two write-ups. Considering that some folks wrote it off as a complete waste (outside of Giolito), I come away impressed that there are some interesting talents working their way into the system. Thanks much!

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