Another week and we get a few more notes from extended spring training. There are also some notes on Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen.
Let’s first jump into the stuff from extended spring training. I was able to get reports on both Ty Boyles and Juan Martinez from the pitchers side of things. There were also quick notes on Jonathan Reynoso, Aristides Aquino and Avain Rachal on the position players side.
The now 18-year-old was drafted by the Reds in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of high school. He posted a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings last season with 10 walks and 31 strikeouts while giving up just one home run. The big left hander was throwing a heavy fastball in the 87 MPH range on the day. Last season he had a 56% groundball rate. On this day he was again throwing the heavy fastball and broke several bats in the game.
Another lefty in extended spring training. He was throwing around 90 MPH on the day. His breaking ball was described as slurvy and inconsistent, leaving quite a few up in the zone and flat.
Aristides Aquino stood out among the players on the field. Big and athletic, he can run a little bit. His bat speed is quick, and he tends to be short to the ball. Not afraid to use the entire field. Plenty of power potential as he matures.
Jonathan Reynoso is about as toolsy as they come, but he is still incredibly raw as a player at the plate. The defense is good in center. Has changed up his mechanics some. Last season he had a strange toe-tap loading situation where he would simply keep his heel off of the ground in his load, then rotate and plant without ever taking a step forward. This season he has his feet a little closer together and is taking a step, but still landing in the toe-tap, planting and rotating through. It should be interesting to see what this does for his power in 2014.
Avain Rachal has more power than you would expect when looking at him and is probably a tad smaller than his listed size. Still, nice power output with a smooth and quiet swing. Not sure where he will eventually wind up defensively.
I also got some quick notes on Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen from their most recent starts from a scout. Robert Stephenson was throwing 94-98 and hit 99 a few times with his fastball. Not sure where the curveball was going, which was disappointing given how this scout saw him pitch last year in the Midwest League when he controlled it well. Michael Lorenzen was sitting 92-96 with his fastball and touched 97 on this day. Good movement. The change up has improved a lot since last season and is now a pitch he can throw to advanced hitters, who last year would tee off on it. Still working on repeating his mechanics, which has led to some control problems.