Bay Area All-Star scouting reports

Bay Area All-Star scouting reports
July 8, 2014, 2:30 pm
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The A's and Giants have eight representatives at the All-Star Game, not counting Jeff Samardzija.

There are eight Bay Area baseball players -- and a host of others with local ties -- currently headed for this year's All-Star Game next week in Minnesota. Courtesy of Baseball America, take a look back at the scouting reports for the local All-Stars before they reached stardom.

Giants All-Stars

OF -- Hunter Pence, Giants

After the 2006 season:

“Pence doesn’t do anything pretty but he does most things well. His approach at the plate is anything but textbook, as he chokes up on the bat and has a hitch in his swing. There were concerns that advanced pitchers might be able to pound him inside, but he put that notion to rest … Pence has quick hands, terrific bat speed and plenty of strength, so he has no problem catching up to any fastball.”

LHP -- Madison Bumgarner, Giants

After the 2009 season, when he was the Giants' No. 2 prospect:

“At his best, Bumgarner shows a mid-90s fastball, a slider with good tilt and an average changeup. His heater has late giddy-up and he has advanced command of it. … He’s an ornery competitor in the mold of Kevin Brown.

A's All-Stars

3B -- Josh Donaldson, Athletics

Before the 2007 draft, when he taken 48th overall by the Cubs:

“He’s a work in progress defensively, but shows passable catch-and-throw skills with a solid-average arm. He’s a hitter first, and has relied on plus bat speed and an aggressive approach … His swing is unorthodox, and a hard front step that triggers his swing should be toned down to improve his timing and balance.”

C -- Derek Norris, Athletics

After the 2011 season, when he was the Nationals' No. 9 prospect:

“Norris long has been regarded as a gifted offensive player, but early in his pro career there were questions about the converted third baseman’s ability to catch. He answered them by making great strides defensively in Double-A in 2011, when he also slugged 20 homers but hit just .210. … Norris has excellent pitch recognition and the ability to command the zone when he stays back.”

1B/OF -- Brandon Moss, Athletics

After the 2007 season, when he was the Red Sox’s No. 11 prospect:

“He has strong hands, a quick bat, leverage in his swing and a greater understanding that he should just let his power come naturally. He imparts nice backspin on his drives, and though he’ll swing and miss, he does a good job of covering both sides of the plate. He projects as a .270 hitter with 20 homers a year.”

OF -- Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics

After the 2012 season, just before he was signed by the Athletics:

“Cespedes is an excellent athlete whose mother was an Olympic softball player for Cuba. He was the center fielder for Cuba’s teams in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and World Cup … and he was one of the top hitters in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, its top league. … Cespedes is the best Cuban hitting prospect to defect at least since Kendrys Morales, who was younger but less athletic.”

LHP -- Scott Kazmir, Athletics

After the 2002 draft, when he was selected 15th overall (1st round) by the Mets:

“If Kazmir were a few inches taller than his listed 6 feet, he would be the favorite for the No. 1 overall pick. Even if he’s not big, his stuff is, as his lightning-quick arm reminds scouts of Ron Guidry. His lively fastball, which reaches 96 mph, and slider are both well above-average pitches, and his hard curveball gives him a third plus offering.”

LHP -- Sean Doolittle, Athletics

Before the 2007 draft, when he was selected 41st overall (1.5 round) by the A's:

“As a polished two-way prospect out of a New Jersey high school, Doolittle had all the makings of a perennial all-American candidate when he arrived at Virginia. He stepped into the Cavaliers’ starting lineup as a freshman and slammed 11 home runs, but has hit just 11 since, including seven this season as a junior … He struggled from the mound this year and isn’t considered a frontline pro prospect as a lefthanded pitcher.”

RHP -- Jeff Samardzija, Athletics (Cubs)

Before the 2006 draft, when he was selected 149th overall (5th round) by the Cubs:

“If Samardzija were solely a baseball player, he’d be much more advanced as a pitcher and a lock first-rounder. But he’s not … he’s also the top-rated wide receiver for the 2007 NFL draft. His fastball has increased from 89-92 mph in 2005 to 91-94 mph this year, touching 96 on occasion. His 6-foot-5 frame and three-quarters arm slot give him power sink on his fastball.” 

Former A's All-Stars

C -- Kurt Suzuki, Twins

After the 2006 season, when he was the A's No. 3 prospect:

“Suzuki went from walk-on to hero at Cal State Fullerton, leading the Titans to the 2004 College World Series championship as the team’s top hitter and emotional core. … He repeats his short swing, geared to produce line drives, and has improved significantly in using the whole field.”

RHP -- Tyson Ross, Padres

After the 2010 season, when he was ranked the A's No. 4 prospect:

“Ross features two above-average pitches in his fastball and slider. The fastball usually sits in the low to mid-90s and touched 98 mph late in the season in Triple-A. He uses the sink on his heater to get plenty of groundouts. He also throws a cutter with promise and a changeup that improved last season even though he didn’t use it much as a big league reliever.”

RHP -- Pat Neshek, Cardinals

After the 2006 season, when he was ranked as the Twins’ No. 6 prospect:

“Neshek earned his way to the majors, posting a career 2.17 ERA over five minor league seasons. He has pinpoint command despite a unconventional sidearm delivery that creates tremendous deception. He annihilates righthanders (.140 average, 37 strikeouts in 86 big league at-bats) with his 86-91 mph sinking fastball and slurvy breaking ball.”

Scouting reports courtesy Baseball America

 

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