I was able to catch the Lansing Lugnuts in action a few times earlier this season, and came away with some thoughts on several guys. These are the notes I wrote back in early May, so obviously these guys have developed in the months since.
RHP Kendall Graveman:
Pretty smooth, even mechanics with repeatable delivery. FB sat 88-91, touched 92 several times with some sink. Commanded it pretty well to both sides, was able to elevate it when he wanted to do so. Both off speed pitches–slider and change–flashed average potential. Thought he was a really nice organizational arm at the time, maybe a back end starter/swingman upside. Nothing was plus, but nothing consistently below-average either.
3B Mitch Nay:
I’m torn on Nay. I like the bat, and I like the raw power package. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that he could hit .270 or so in the majors (5+ hit grade), and he showcased (in game and in BP) the ability to drive the baseball up the gaps and over the fence. Thought the raw power was an easy 6, and with development of the hit tool, the power could manifest itself in game action to the tune of 25+ doubles and 15+ HR’s. I really don’t think he’s a 3rd baseman, however. His hands a solid and he has a good arm, but the footwork was a mess and I don’t see the first step quickness or overall range to project him as a 3B long term. Think a move to 1B is inevitable, and at that point his entire profile will hinge on the bat. Role 5 upside for me.
SS Dawel Lugo:
First off, I don’t think Lugo is a SS long term. He’s a 2B for me, albeit he could be a pretty good one. Arm was average from SS, may play a half grade higher at 2B. Can get to most balls hit in his general vicinity, but lacks the overall smoothness and agility I feel are necessary to play SS in the majors. I do, however, believe he will hit. I put a future 6 on his bat, but he has a lot of work to do in the way of strike zone recognition and overall plate discipline. He can put bat to ball, there’s no doubt in my mind. But he struggles with understanding that not every pitch he can make contact with should be swung at. He needs to learn to take more pitches off the plate, not expand the zone, and take his walks. He could potentially hit .280 in the majors, but it could also end up being a very empty .280.
1B Matt Dean:
Dean is somewhat similar to Nay in the sense that I believe he’s a first baseman without huge power. He can hit, and he can hit the ball hard, but I don’t see a huge potential for HR power. I didn’t see any noticeable loft in his swing, and while he does hit with consistent leverage, it’s more of the “gap to gap with some pop” variety. He hits some gap shots that undoubtedly have some impressive exit velocity, and by that I mean he hits the holy shit out of the baseball, but I still don’t see a ton of HR power.