Randy Smith: Arm, speed and some power. He has a great body, runs well, throws well. He is a center fielder with tremendous bat speed. He is a little bit raw at the plate. He is an interesting guy.
Are you close to signing anyone else?
Randy Smith: We are still working on some guys. It is kind of a slow developing market. The expectations were there was going to be a ton of money and quite frankly there isn't. The premium guys are getting theirs, as we all expected, but the second tier are still a little unrealistic, in my opinion.
It is a different environment. Look at last year, the same number of guys got over a million as did a year ago – everyone just evaluates their players, over inflates their worth. It takes some time for reality to set in.
There is no rush. July 2 is a big date on the calendar because of the number of players that become eligible to sign but it is just A date. This is a 365-day undertaking. We are signing guys all the time.
Some get what they want on July 2 and some take a while and sign in the fall or spring.
You were down in the Dominican during that time? What has been the progression of Carlos Garcia who got off to a really hot start
Randy Smith: I was. He is a guy that we have liked his athleticism. He has always shown pop in his bat. The biggest difference for him has been that we got him contacts and his depth perception has improved. That has helped him offensively and defensively.
He is a guy that runs well and has some power. It is encouraging the start he got off to – I think he got a little homer happy. Most of the guys that show power for the first time get a new toy and want to show it off all the time.
Manuel Nuno has shown a big increase in plate discipline since first coming into the system.
Randy Smith: This is his third year down there. He is a huge guy – a physical specimen. He has gotten a little bit better every year. He certainly has embraced the strike zone judgment. He has power and strength; it is a question of bat speed. He is more of a strength guy than a pure bat speed guy.
It is funny – the first guy to hit a homer in the DSL this season is probably the smallest guy on the team, Alvaro Aristy.
Randy Smith: It may be funny to some but he has always shown surprising power for his size. When we had him at Petco, he was the guy that was wearing out the gaps and driving the ball – moreso than Domoromo. He is deceptively strong and has good bat speed. He has hit two and it wouldn't surprise to see him hit a couple of more. It is not like he will be a big home run guy but he has a good line drive type of bat. I think he is going to be a guy, that as he matures and gains weight, that moves the ball and puts up some extra base hits.
You mentioned Luis Domoromo – another signing from last year's class. He has shown great plate discipline. What has been the key for him?
Randy Smith: He is just experienced. I was pleased to see how he was performing in the games I saw. He was driving the ball – he is on track for where he should be. He has progressed well. When it is all said and done, I think we will be satisfied with where he is for a first year player. I would say the same thing on Aristy.
It is hard to get a read on some of the pitchers out there.
Randy Smith: That is a difficult one. They go back and forth from one day to the next.
I love the name Uber, by the way, but know little about Uber Paz. What can you tell us?
Randy Smith: He was a guy we signed early in the winter – on November 1. Again, he is one of those guys that needs to add strength and mature. He has a good frame, 6-fot-4, 185. Some days it is all there and some days it is not.
He was 84-88 when we signed him with good arm speed, loose and a guy we felt had more in the tank. Hopefully, it occurs that way.
Juan Herrera has had some encouraging outings where the walks have been down and some not so much.
Randy Smith: You look at him – he is a late August birthday and was almost ineligible. He is almost like a first-year player in terms of maturity and age.
Some days it is there and some days not – it is a work in progress. There is no doubting the potential of this kid with the body and the arm strength.
When you factor in the age – he made it by 10 days – he was 88-90 when we signed him a year ago and is up to 93-94. Now, there is some question as to where it is going but he is not all over the place. He gets high in the zone at times and overthrows at times.
The outing I saw was very encouraging. He competed well and did a very good job.
Pedro Martinez falls into the same kind of category. Early on, he didn't walk many but has walked a few over the last few.
Randy Smith: Converted outfielder so not a whole lot of experience on the mound.
He has to make conditioning a priority. He is overweight. That is an ongoing process. He needs to get into better physical condition.
How has Severino Perez looked?
Randy Smith: I did not see him when I was down there. He is a guy with a good arm. He is out right now with tendonitis.
The staff down there really likes him.
What is the status on Euclides Viloria?
Randy Smith: He was throwing great and then during the time off in early June he had some problems with his shoulder agin. He is just resumed the throwing program and feels pretty good.
He was throwing 90 and above right at the end of extended spring. I was encouraged – and I think everybody was.
He had a setback and hopefully will get him right and get him going again. It has been frustrating for him – as well as us. He is an interesting guy.
The changeup is great, the velocity has gotten better, the breaking ball is better. He is a guy who has matured. His English is good, he is in shape – all the things we have talked to about he has done. Now, he just needs to get out and do it on a regular basis.
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