TigsTown.com - Wendy Smith

At the Park: Scouting the West Michigan Whitecaps Derek Hill, Shane Zeile, Will Maddox, Jose Azocar

The Whitecaps have a number of intriguing prospects at the plate, especially among their outfielders. Get the scouting notes from Chris Brown's recent visit to West Michigan.

Date Observed: 5/29/16


Will Allen - May not be quite the 6’3, 220 he’s listed at, but definitely has a solid, well-proportioned build. Quiet stance with solid-average bat speed and a nice up-the-middle approach. Hit tool could play to fringe-average. Average raw power due to good strength and slight uppercut swing, but it won’t play to average unless he learns to turn on balls he can drive to the pull field. Well below-average runner, posting home-to-first times in the 4.45-4.5 range. Footwork was solid around the bag, but glove was a little stiff. Looks like a solid organizational bat who should contribute in the upper minors. Has terrific hair.


Jose Azocar - Listed height and weight (5’11, 165) appear accurate. Lean, with room to add 15-20 lbs. of muscle in his arms, chest, and legs. Aggressive swinger with plus bat speed and impressive ability to make solid contact, though he struggles to pick up spin and lay off breaking balls. Power is well below average right now, but with further muscle development and refinement of his hit too, he could produce 8-10 homers annually. Tick above average run times that may improve if he irons out a slightly awkward gait. Good range in outfield. Made two-base error when overrunning a liner hit in front of him, but showed impressive arm strength in throwing a flat-footed one-hopper to third base from deep right field.


Cam Gibson - Did not play in game. Broad shoulders and packed with lean muscle...would be shocked if body fat is above 5%. Showcased average raw power in batting practice, but will never play to that level in games due to line-drive swing designed for slapping and running in games. Boundless energy.


Derek Hill - Lean, extremely athletic build. Room to add upper-body strength, but likely to remain on the thinner side. Shows above-average bat speed, but swing can get a bit long due to some hand casting, and his top hand occasionally rolls over. Did show a solid approach at the plate, laying off borderline pitches, hitting fastballs back up the middle, and waiting to serve offspeed to the opposite field. Possesses some raw strength and can line the ball to the gaps, but current swing is not conducive to over-the-fence power. Is a plus-plus runner who gets to top speed very quickly and glides around the basepaths and in the field, where he shows very good jumps. Arm appears to be at least average.


Will Maddox - Compact build. Appears to be maxed out physically. Extremely aggressive swinger who whips the bat through the zone but finishes off balance. Had no issues with fastballs, but was fooled badly by offspeed. Well below average power. Showed plus run times to first. Solid defender with quick hands and adequate range to both sides, and solid-average arm strength. Looks like an org bat who will struggle against more advanced pitching.

Shane Zeile - Was DH in this game. Solid build with good athleticism. Nice, balanced swing geared for line drives. Fringe-average power. Reaches gaps with ease, and can pull the ball over the fence. Run times were slightly below average, but better than most catchers.                 

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