Randy Smith: This guy has very good tools. It is harnessing and getting him under control a little bit. He gets a little jumpy and a little home run happy. That is typical of a 17-year-old kids. We love his tools; they are impressive.
Alvaro Aristy came off a suspension and struggled. What were your impressions of his season?
Randy Smith: He missed a significant amount of time. The bat I saw was actually pretty decent. I think he is going to be a better hitter than people think he is going to be. It may take a little bit of time. With his hand-eye coordination, I think he is going to be all right. I wasn't disappointed, nor was I jumping up and down. We kind of expected it with the time that he missed.
Duanel Jones was someone who played well during extended but could not get into rhythm in the DSL after coming back from a 50-game suspension.
Randy Smith: Here is another guy that missed a significant amount of time. It is tough to jump right in versus live pitching when you haven't been facing it on a regular basis.
There is a lot to like about him. His makeup, his offensive tools. For a young guy, he saw a lot of breaking balls too. It didn't hurt him, in the games I saw him.
I think he is going to come over here next year. He is still raw but there is a lot to like.
Miguel Del Castillo improved by leaps over the last year. What allowed this turnaround happen in the hitting department?
Randy Smith: I think it is a little bit of experience and a little bit of understanding the type of hitter he is. He is a line drive type of guy and won't hit for a ton of power. He locked in on his pitch and swung the barrel and let it go. His walk-to-strikeout ratio was pretty close to even. It is really a better understanding of what type of hitter he will be.
Varo said he thought Fabel Filpo would be the best pure hitter to come out of the DSL. Do you feel the same?
Randy Smith: He has a sweet looking swing, there is no question about that. For him, it is learning to use the whole ballpark and to be aggressive in the right situations. His swing from both sides is pretty impressive. He is a guy that when you look at – you know he is going to hit. Probably another year of experience down there and he will be good for it.
Jairo Gomez had a really good year. Does he have the upside as well?
Randy Smith: He is a little bit more experienced. His best bet is to bounce around and play all the infield spots. He has performed well.
Gabriel Quintana came out on fire but struggled after the first month. What adjustments does he have to make to hit the breaking ball moving forward?
Randy Smith: He is a big, strong kid and someone we like quite a bit. They get stuck in between the breaking ball and fastball when they see a lot of breaking balls and they end up missing the fastball. It is going to be at-bats and not worrying about hitting the ball out of the park but getting quality at-bats and hitting the ball hard somewhere.
Tayron Guerrero really came on strong at the end of the year. What kind of career can he have?
Randy Smith: He is pretty darn impressive. He has come leaps and bounds in a hurry. He is a big guy with a pretty clean delivery. The ball comes out of his hand very well. He needs to develop his secondary stuff but that is not unusual for guys down there. I am pretty impressed with what I have seen. A great body – wow.
Marlon Claveria is another player that Varo is high on. What kind of upside does he offer?
Randy Smith: He is a big, strong kid. He is a two-way guy. He has a feel for pitching. His fastball will run into the low-90s with a good breaking ball. He has pretty good command of his fastball. I know those guys really like him and we will see how he progresses this Instructional League.
Vladimir De La Cruz also had a quality season. What are does he need to do to improve?
Randy Smith: For a lot of these guys, it is fastball command. It is getting a comfortable slot and movement. We felt a lot of them had raised their arm angles for some reason and it affected their velocity as well as their command. The whole staff saw their velocity pick up in August when we got them mechanically straightened out. He is another guy with a good arm. It is really fastball command first.
Jean Corpas was probably the most consistent starter for you guys. What did he do so well?
Randy Smith: Pitched. He has a pretty good idea on how to pitch. He has a good feel for all of his stuff. He is a little bit more advanced than the other guys, particularly for the experience wise.
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