He has gone through some mechanical woes, mainly with his arm slot and staying on top of a devastating slider. When the points are all working in harmony, he is near impossible to hit.
This kid is a star waiting to blossom. He has all the talents to excel in the box and his star is in flight. Healthy again after ailing with back spasms, Contreras could have a huge second half. Now, his defense needs to improve ten-fold.
He is standing taller in the box but does pull the ball with ease. Instead, he favors going up the middle or the opposite way, taking away his natural power. It is, however, hard to argue with his high average and on base percentage.
He is leadoff material, despite his horrible stolen base percentage. He reached base with regularity and is a catalyst at the top of the order. He remains one of the better bunters in the system.
He struggled early on, mainly because he did not have many innings under his belt in spring – the result was elevated pitches. Down in the zone, Ekstrom has his fielders do the work while he benefits.
There are some who will ask for more power, but at 19 in the Midwest League we are not as concerned. It will develop and the expectation is a strong second half to compliment a good first half.
He just hits, does it with power, and uses the whole field. The expectations could be a bit higher for him, but he is on pace for another solid season that won't bring him down at all.
Before the injury, Tom King was stroking the ball with ease, working to his strengths and seeing more pitches. Since the sampling size was small, we want to see more of the same.
He has started to hit more consistently by staying back on the ball and allowing his natural talent to take over. With his defense, there is no telling where he could go but he needs to keep it up and continually improve.
You know what you will get with Ramos on the mound – innings and your team is in the game. He does not wow with his stuff and his fastball borders on fringe, but he knows how to pitch.
Believe it or not, Stauffer has made steady improvement through the year by listening to advice he would have ignored in the past. The stubbornness aside, he could blossom again in the second half.
He shows glimpses of how good he can be and then will fall apart at the seams for intervals that have no cause. He could be filthy or ordinary depending on the day of the week and time of the month.
You could ask for more homers, but what would be the point? He skipped a level and went to the toughest spot in the minors – Double-A. He is holding his own average wise and last year his power blossomed down the stretch. We expect the same to happen this year.
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