|Player: Ty Madden Scout Date: 3/5/2021 vs. Houston|
|Organization: Texas Position(s): RHP|
|Height: 6’3” Weight: 215 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right|
|Fastball: 93-98 on day. Heavy sinking downhill plane with limited arm-side run. Plus offering that will play even better at next level with less forgiving wood bat. Rarely gets barreled on fastball.|
|Change: Low-80s, arm speed consistent with fastball creating deception. Late dip with plenty of run has the look of plus potential with easy above-average projection.|
|Slider: Mid-80s, 1-7 break. Starts high with natural downhill plane ending in late cut. Two plane action is truly plus and is easily best off-speed, maybe best offering overall. One of the best sliders in the draft.|
|Curve: High-70s, rarely threw it on day. Have seen it as a looping 1-7 breaker on other days. Inconsistent that needs to be improved to round out a quality four pitch mix. Unlikely to ever be more than average.|
|Delivery/Mechanics: High arm slot. Limited drop with back leg but still gets good drive off it. Repeats well despite late effort and some fall to glove side. 1.40 delivery. Impressive extension takes full advantage of size.|
|Summary: Complete game shutout with 14 Ks on day. Starter’s body with starter’s repertoire. Does not have the upside of some other arms in draft but could be a quick moving starter. Fastball-slider combo can play in bigs now, change almost there, curve distant fourth offering. No real concern with the late effort, as safe a pick in the top 10 as there is. Could slip simply because not a sexy pick as no way to call him an ace, but a high quality 3 likely with shot to become a number 2.|
Taylor Trammell was given an early heads up he had made the Seattle Mariners Opening Day roster, but for a trio of top prospects they had to wait until the last few days before hand to learn their first big league experience would come on Opening Day.
For the Cincinnati Reds, they roll out an Opening Day lineup of three third basemen, with stud prospect Jonathan India hitting seventh and playing second base, a position he has all of five games of pro ball under his belt playing. The Florida Gator prospect has plenty of athleticism though and should be able to hold down the position just fine despite having significantly more arm strength than needed at the keystone position. He is a bat first guy with plenty of pop that will likely move up in an underrated lineup. He could be a guy that flirts with the ROY this season.
Also batting seventh in his MLB debut is Kyle Isbel in the regular season battle of Surprise Stadium, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spring complex. Isbel is debuting in right field despite having an average arm at best, but there is a shot he settles in as the center fielder given he has plus wheels and quality instincts that should be enough to stick up the middle. He was a third round pick in 2018 out of UNLV that saw the Royals add Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch in the first round, but a scout with the Royals at the time told me there were people in the organization who felt it was Isbel who would turn out to be their best selection in that draft.
The Chicago White Sox get the late start on Opening Day, but the most anticipated debut will come in that game as Andrew Vaughn has made the roster and is expected to get the start at first base (although it could be DH with Jose Abreu at first). Vaughn was arguably the best player in the country in 2019 despite Adley Rutschman going first overall and Bobby Witt Jr. going second, but the White Sox were thrilled to get Vaughn with the third pick. There was no argument as to who was the best pure hitter that year, as Vaughn was far and away the top of that list, and he has incredible power to go with it. He is not the typical slugger of this generation that will be massive power and massive strikeouts, instead he is a guy that can hit over .300 and put the ball in play most his trips to the plate. Defensively he is not going to wow anyone, but the bat will more than make up for any defensive issues that arise.
|Player: Colton Cowser Scout Date: 3/9/2021 vs. Texas|
|Organization: Sam Houston State Position(s): OF|
|Height: 6’3” Weight: 195 lbs. Bats: Left Throws: Right|
|Hit: As quick a bat as any lefty in draft. Hips clear well to find barrel on inside fastball. Starts with a big bat wrap resting on shoulder but uses mild leg kick to get hands in sync with feet. Covers whole plate and will get bat on anything. Sits on breaking balls well and explodes on ball.|
|Power: Not a powerful look or approach, but quickness creates the pop. Line drive swing will limit home run totals but can line balls off the wall to either gap with apparent ease.|
|Run: Above-average times, plus application. Uses baseball knowledge all over field to allow wheels to play up.|
|Arm: Wasn’t tested on day, all reports put it as average.|
|Glove: Covers incredible amount of ground. Natural center fielder for me despite many scouts having expressed doubt. Speed and instincts are more than enough.|
|Summary: Old school two-hole type hitter. Gets bat on ball and is always a threat for extra bases. Should stick in center, can hold down right, too good to be stashed in left. Should be top half of first round type pick. No massive holes in game, bat will be carrying tool. Some concern the lack of ideal launch angle will not play well with analytic heavy organizations. More of a scout friendly style.|
|Player: Jack Leiter Scout Date: 3/20/2021 vs. South Carolina|
|Organization: Vanderbilt Position(s): RHP|
|Height: 6’ Weight: 195 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right|
|Fastball: Absolutely dominant pitch on day. 90-97, sat 95. Final pitch (number 124) was 96. True 4-seamer, occasional arm side run but typically pretty straight. Rising look when working up in zone. Gets solid downhill plane despite shorter stature.|
|Change: 83-85. Far and away his fourth best offering on most days, was only off-speed working early in outing. Flashed plenty of arm side run. Inconsistent and rarely used currently but flashed easy above average upside.|
|Slider: 79-82 big 2-8 breaker that shows plus at times. Had no command of it on day, regularly missing glove side or bouncing. Mixing in cutter that runs. Seen this be his best pitch on days, this day it was just not working for him.|
|Curve: 76-77, 12-6 break, many scouts like this as best offering. No feel for it in first 7 innings on day. Best came in 8th and was unquestioned plus in one good offering. Consistency needs to be better. More loop than big faller. Plays close enough to slider batter doesn’t know where it will end.|
|Delivery/Mechanics: 3/4 to high-3/4 slot. Big leg kick in stretch and windup. Tons of drop and drive. Lands with very wide base. Fights against front leg some leading to late effort. Base combined with violence at the finish screams future arm issues. Ability to use legs suggest staying as starter highly likely.|
|Summary: No-hitter on the day with 16 Ks and one BB. Absolutely dominant on day despite none of the secondary offerings working. One pitch pitcher for 7 of the innings and couldn’t be touched. Overall, there is some longevity concerns with the effort late, but has established himself as a real 1-1 candidate. Outing after he went 7 hitless before being removed. Pure stuff he is on-par with Kumar Rocker, prior knock was lack of track record against high level talent, no longer a factor. Ace upside, injury risk, quick mover with aggressive approach on mound.|