Instructional League Roster – Final Thoughts

Some final thoughts on the 2010 Florida Instructional League

Last week, we reported on the invitees and broke them down by pitchers and position players. One of our regular commenters (markfd) broke it down into three categories, which I agree with:

1. Very young

2. Changing roles or position

3. Guys that need to work on a specific skill (pitch)

Here are a few other observations I have in looking over the players invited.

… Almost everyone invited in 2009 moved up a level in 2010 if they didn’t spend time at multiple levels.

… The exception appears to be Potomac, which makes sense because it’s the “staging area” for the system

… Repeats? Eleven batters, ten pitchers. (Almost) half of those (four pitchers, six batters) are guys 20 or younger

… Most of the this-year-but-not-last-year are 2010 draftees or IFAs. The outliers? Holder, Wort and Andruth Ramirez

Undoubtedly, there will be some speculation as to who didn’t get invited and why, though I suspect it will be buried amidst the breathless stories about Bryce Harper. Washington has a much larger-than-average camp to begin with and not every organization sends their top guys to “instrux.” Box scores aren’t released to the public, and attendance is very sparse: Mostly family, friends, and SO’s besides the scouts, who aren’t thrilled to be there.

“[S]couts don’t like having to cover instrux, because they don’t believe they can write a good report based on what they see there. It’s a place where coaches are tinkering with and tweaking their players, so you don’t always see the real stuff,” says former scout Anip Sunha on, citing an example of a player from 10 years ago that threw only fastballs and changeups, the two pitches he was working on to complement his plus-plus curveball. (Bobby Bradley’s the player, the article from which a lot of this post is based on can be found here.)

What the “intruxs” is, from what I’ve researched, is simply a chance to get the players together to work with more of the organization’s coaches in close proximity for an extra month and work on what the evaluators have spotted over the course of the year. Pitchers are said to benefit the most because they get the chance to work multiple coaches, many of whom are specialists in a particular pitch. Paul Menhart, for example, seems to be the go-to guy for refining the changeup while Randy Tomlin is the guy that John Lannan credits with both making the jump from A+ to the majors in ’07 and fixing him this summer. Like in spring training, it’s workouts and drills in the morning, games in the afternoon.

If I spot something in my travels, I’ll pass it along, but I suspect there won’t be much more to report aside from injuries and Bryce Harper.

Instructional League Roster Notes – Position Players

A thumbnail sketch on the position players batting in the Florida Instructional League

Player Pos. Age 2010 Team(s) 2009 Invite Notes
David Freitas C 21 VMT N 15th-rd ’10 Col Jr. Pick out of Hawaii,
split time behind the plate and at DH. Solid
triple-slash stats: .307/.408/.450
Sandy Leon C 21 HAG Y His bat starting to approach his
defense, overtook Adrian Nieto in terms
of playing time
Cole Leonida C 21 VMT N 6th-rd Col Jr. pick in ’10 draft that
struggled with hitting: .146/.241/.184
Adrian Nieto C 20 HAG Y Lost playing time to Leon and had a
setback year with his triple-slash stats
all dipping about 30 pts
Roberto Perez C 19 GCL Y Breakout year in repeating GCL,
appears to be a convert from SS in ’09;
solid hitting stats
Andruth Ramirez C 21 DSL N Made the jump from DSL to the GCL
and hit .197/.293/.273 in 22 games
Rick Hague SS 22 GCL, HAG N 3rd-rd ’10 Col Jr. pick that was jumped
from the GCL with good numbers and
continued to improve, finishing with a
.317/.385/.477 line combined
Blake Kelso 3B-SS 21 VMT N 10th-rd ’10 Col Jr. pick that hit for
average (.309) got on base (.362) and
stole a few bags (10 in 61G)
Stephen King 3B-SS 22 VMT, HAG Y HS Pick in ’06, King is an enigma…
flashes of brilliance in nearly every phase
of the game, but just can’t seem to put it
all together at once
Jason Martinson SS 21 VMT N 5th-rd ’10 Col Jr. pick, former two-
sport athlete (football) that may be more
suited to 3B but has the hands, arm, and
range to try to make a go of it as a SS
Russell Moldenhauer IF/DH 22 VMT N 24th-Rd Col Sr. Big, burly, with raw
power but appears to be in search of a
position (LF or 1B most likely)
Tyler Moore 1B 23 POT Y Prodigious power, but still not taking
walks and striking out nearly as often since
heating up in mid-July. Carolina League MVP.
Johan Rodriguez SS 19 GCL N Another IFA from the D.R. Put up
pedestrian numbers (.231/.286/.250) in
limited playing time (32G)
Adrian Sanchez 2B/SS 20 GCL, HAG Y Like Hague, a two-level performer,
though the jump slowed him some. Showed
good contact, speed in HAG
Steven Souza 3B 21 HAG Y Organization still high on him despite
PED use. Was having breakout year before
Michael Taylor 2B 19 GCL, HAG Y HS pick in ’09 that’s impressing somebody
at some facet without the numbers to show
for it
Jean Valdez 3B 17 DSL N Mid-season All-star in the DSL. Very
good numbers for his age (.249/.309/.354)
Bryce Harper OF/C 17 DNP N The latest can’t-miss prospect of the
decade. Rumored to be getting reps in
preparation for the AFL.
Destin Hood OF 22 HAG Y ’08 HS pick that’s been touted as
having power potential, but hasn’t
realized it yet as a pro
Kevin Keyes LHRP 21 VMT N 7th-rd. Col Jr. pick out of Univ. of
Texas that had a poor showing in his first
season as a pro
Wade Moore OF 22 VMT N 19th-rd Col Jr. pick that put up big
numbers for a small-school standout
(.287/.394/.292, 17SB)
Randolph Oduber OF 21 GCL, HAG N 32-rd JuCo pick that’s been a fan
favorite for the numbers he’s posted in
the GCL (.366/.434/.569) but struggled in
his limited (8G) look-see at HAG
Eury Perez OF 20 HAG Y ’07 IFA that’s another fan favorite,
especially after stealing 41 of his 63
bases in the 2nd half. HAG spies worry
that his defense and contact skills will be
exposed as he progresses upward
J.P. Ramirez OF 20 HAG Y ’08 HS Pick that was quietly consistent
amid the noise of streaks from Souza,
Bloxom and Perez. Concerns about his lack
of range and lack of speed

Instructional League Roster Notes – Pitchers

A thumbnail sketch on who’s going to pitch in the Florida Instructional League

Player Pos. Age 2010 Team(s) 2009 Invite Notes
Gregory Baez LHSP 18 GCL Y Jumped from the DSL to GCL with limited
Aaron Barrett RHRP 22 VMT N 9th-rd pick in ’10 draft, hammered for
23H, 23R in last six appearances
A.J. Cole RHSP 18 VMT N 4th-rd HS pick in ’10 draft, late sign; pitched
a scoreless inning in his one appearance
Paul Demny RHSP 21 HAG Y Faded in Aug/Sep (0-7, 6.75) — a power arm
that’s likely headed to the bullpen in 2011
Pedro Encarnacion RHSP 19 GCL Y Jumped from the DSL to GCL with limited
Wirkin Estevez RHSP 18 DSL N Sleight (6-1, 170) righty that put up strong
numbers in DSL all year long
Matt Grace RHSP 21 GCL, VMT N 8th-rd ’10 Col Jr. pick that struggled early
before having some limited success at GCL
Tyler Hanks RHRP 20 GCL N 17th-rd ’10 JuCo pick that put up respectable
numbers (1.29WHIP, 25K in 33⅓IP)
Bobby Hansen LHSP 20 VMT Y Big (6-5, 220) lefty, HS pick in ’08; hittable
(72H in 56⅓ IP) but gets Ks (8.15K/9IP)
Mark Herrera RHRP 20 VMT N 16th-rd ’10 JuCo pick w/ good size (6-3, 230)
and the numbers s to match (.220 OBA)
Graham Hicks LHSP 20 VMT, HAG Y Lanky, long-limbed lefty that tends to get hit
on his 2nd pass through the opposing lineup
Trevor Holder RHSP 23 HAG, POT N Pitch-to-contact guy that can be effective
in lower third of the strike zone, will be even
better as his offspeed stuff develops.
Chad Jenkins LHSP 22 VMT Y Control is a little lacking (5.67BB/9) but has
the strikeouts to match (8.67K/9IP)
Taylor Jordan RHSP 21 VMT Y Struggled but survived when I saw him in late
June but didn’t fare so well in July and August
Anthony Marcelino RHSP 17 DSL N Venezuelan IFA that put up good numbers in
the DSL, never mind he turned 17 in March
A.J. Morris RHRP 23 GCL, POT Y Converted to relief in mid-season with limited
success, but had a noticeable uptick in velocity
upon his return from GCL
Miguel Navarro RHRP 17 DSL N Another IFA, but struggled at GCL —
20IP 19H 19R 21BB
Robbie Ray LHSP 18 VMT N 12th-rd HS pick in ’10 draft, late sign, pitched
a scoreless inning in his one appearance
Dan Rosenbaum LHSP 22 HAG, POT Y Big-bodied lefty that features a curve and a
cutter to go with fastball; command is
sometimes spotty but knows how to pitch
without his “A” game
Josh Smoker LHRP 21 HAG Y Conversion to relief was a huge success
(1.35ERA, .174OBA) and may have salvaged
his prospect status, if not career
Sammy Solis LHSP 22 HAG N #2 WAS pick in ’10 draft, made two
scoreless appearances late in season.
Expected to rise quickly a la Storen
Rob Wort RHRP 21 HAG, POT N Lanky righty (6’2, 170) that leapfrogged
Dean Weaver as bullpen star. Pitches better
with men on than with bases empty