It was a good day to be on the backfields in Goodyear, Arizona. The Cincinnati Reds Low-A and Advanced-A teams played against the Brewers affiliates, but the AZL/Billings guys also played in a scrimmage against themselves. Three games going on at once with a whole lot to see.
In the AZL/Billings group of batting practice, which also included a few guys who are behind schedule to begin the season with a full season affiliate, there were three guys who really stood out. The first two guys are rehabbing and working back from injuries. KJ Franklin was crushing the ball, hitting more than a handful of home runs in the two rounds that I saw him take. Reydel Medina is also working his way back from an injury and like Franklin, he was crushing the ball. It doesn’t appear that either player will be ready to begin the season when it starts, but unless they see a setback, both are probably going to be ready sooner rather than later to join a club.
The third player that really jumped out was Montrell Marshall. He struggled in 2015, hitting just .159/.218/.214 with the Arizona League Reds as a 19-year-old. On Sunday, Barry Larkin spent 25 minutes working specifically with Marshall on his hitting. I don’t have a clue if it worked or not, but I do know that when Marshall runs into a baseball, he really runs into it. He’s a tall guy, listed at 6′ 5″ and while he is listed at 215 lbs, there’s room to add on to his frame which could only add to the power potential he has.
Nick Howard took the mound and started in the Dayton Dragons game. He would throw two innings in the game. He had some struggles with the strikezone, but was around the zone most of the time. Given how his season played out last year, it was a step in the right direction by comparison, but he didn’t look like the same guy from the 2014 season. His fastball was working in the 92-93 MPH range in the appearance and was showing a slider and perhaps even a cutter in the mid-to-upper 80’s.
That’s all for the morning post. I’ve got three videos edited and ready to be published along with scouting notes on three players that will be coming in the early afternoon once I can get to a restaurant with quality internet so I can upload them. Two pitchers, including one that showed off the best raw stuff I’ve seen this spring and a position player that may be my pick for breakout player of the year, so be sure to check back in later today.