Think Blue

Obsessing over the Dodgers' minor league system so you don't have to.

Monday, August 17, 2009

AFLAC All American Game notes

Bryce Harper is human. Who knew? The 16 year old catcher went 0 for 5 with 3 K's. He was helpless against breaking balls and his bat looked slow. Bad time to have a bad day, but one poor performance isn't going to cost him much. And on the plus side, he looked good behind the plate and showed off his arm strength.

Two of the best players I saw were RHP's Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. Taillon is already huge at 6'7 230 lbs, well proportioned and athletic. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and he compliments it with an absolutely filthy low 80s breaking ball. His arm slot is 3/4, so he doesn't get as much downhill plane as he can, but his mechanics are simple and repeatable. In my eyes, he's the top high school player in the draft class at this very early stage.

Allie is legendary on the showcase circuit for showing upper 90s heat and sat comfortably in the mid 90s during his appearance. He's a big guy at 6'4 225 and has a lightning quick arm. Stetson also showed an upper 80s slider and a changeup around 80. He spins off towards first in his followthrough, but it's something scouts will view as a minor detail in the big picture.

RHP AJ Cole gave up a few hard hit balls, but the 6'5 180 pounder has a body that screams projection, as he could easily add another 20-30 pounds in years to come. His fastball is already in the low 90s and he has a reliable breaking ball around 80mph.

Tony Wolters walked away with the MVP award, going 2 for 3 with a triple and a couple runs scored. He's not physically imposing or particularly projectable, but he's a grinder who gets the job done and has great instincts.

Yordy Cabrera won the HR derby. The SS/RHP didn't do much in the game but has tools to spare and the ability to stay on the left side of the infield. He's already 19 and will be 20 when he becomes draft eligible.

Another kid who stood out was Steve Bedrosian's son, Cameron. He doesn't stand out for his size, but the stuff is definitely there. The righty touched the mid 90s and showed 3 secondary pitches. RHP Kevin Gausman showed plus-plus arm strength, touching 97mph, with an extremely easy delivery and a very projectable build. RHP Dylan Covey showed off easy mid 90s velocity as well as a trio of secondary offerings, though he struggled with command.

Hitters were scarce at the event, which reminds me of last year's crop. Pitching heavy with some bats sprinkled in. There was also a lack of southpaws on the bump, meaning the first lefty to touch 95 likely becomes a first rounder. Lots will change between now and next June, but it's fun to get a look at the kids now and follow them until the draft.


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