TigsTown.com - Paul Wezner

2017 TigsTown Top 50 Scouting Reports #35-31: Julio Martinez, Artie Lewicki, Gregory Soto, Eduardo Jimenez, Zac Houston

Moving down the line with the next five prospects in the Top 50, the group features a few power arms that gain plenty of attention with their fastball, along with a toolsy outfield prospect that packs plenty of power at the plate rather than from the mound.

35. Julio Martinez (OF)

Tool Grades (Future)

Hit

Power

Speed

Defense

Arm

40

60

45

45

55

 

Martinez’s raw power could project higher than the 60 grade listed above, reaching as high as 70 with some scouts, but his inability to make consistent contact will limit the game utility of his premium tool. Martinez has fantastic power potential and even as a below-average hitter, he has the potential to be a power threat in the middle of a big league lineup. Martinez’s bat will carry the overall profile considering he projects as a below-average defender on a corner, though his arm could allow him to manage right field. Martinez’s development will require several more years before he even reaches the upper levels of the minor leagues, but he warrants attention as he navigates that journey.

 

34. Artie Lewicki (RHP)

Tool Grades (Future)

Fastball

Slider

Curveball

Changeup

Command/Control

50

45

50

50

55

 

Lewicki is a classic college senior sign with the sum of the parts standing above any individual attribute. The soon-to-be 25-year old right-hander pounds the strike zone with a four-pitch arsenal of fringe-average to average pitches. He locates his fastball and changeup to both sides of the plate and began elevating his fastball at times in 2016. Both Lewicki’s curveball and slider can work in most game situations, though he tends to default to his loopier curveball more frequently. Lewicki lacks a high ceiling, but has a legitimate big league future as a fifth starter or swingman; possibly as soon as late 2017 or early 2018.

 

33. Gregory Soto (LHP)

Tool Grades (Future)

Fastball

Slider

Curveball

Changeup

Command/Control

60

55

30

40

40

 

A big left-hander with plenty of strength and an electric plus fastball, Soto has a chance to begin moving more quickly through the system. His fastball will reach 95-96 mph at times, and while he needs to begin controlling it better, he showed some progress with his strike throwing late in the 2016 season. Soto’s slider also made progress last season, flashing as an above-average pitch with tight spin and improving bite as the season progressed. Most scouts project him to scrap his well-below average curveball, though his changeup has some potential to become a below-average or show-me pitch if he needs it as a starter. At the end of the day, Soto’s more electric fastball and slider could lead him to an interesting role as a high-powered reliever.

 

32. Eduardo Jimenez (RHP)

Tool Grades (Future)

Fastball

Curveball

Changeup

Command/Control

70

60

40

45

 

Back on the bump after Tommy John surgery the previous year, Jimenez impressed scouts as a reliever in 2016; a role where he showed a dynamic fastball-curveball combination that has the potential to lead to a high leverage role. He consistently reached 94-95 mph last season and there are numerous scouts that believe he could reach as high as 97-98 mph as he continues to build strength in his recovering right arm. With additional strength and repetition in 2016, Jimenez saw gains with his breaking ball, more consistently flashing plus and looking like a potentially dominating second pitch. Jimenez still struggles to locate his heater and will likely never own a refined command profile, but he should throw enough strikes to work as a setup reliever at his peak.

 

31. Zac Houston (RHP)

Tool Grades (Present/Future)

Fastball

Curveball

Changeup

Command/Control

70

45

40

50

 

Houston made a prompt impression after joining the Tigers as an 11th round pick last summer, dominating opposing hitters across several levels. Working with a lively double-plus fastball that approaches the strike zone on a steep angle, Houston is difficult to square up; both missing bats and inducing weak contact. With a below-average curveball and nascent changeup, Houston is primarily a one-pitch reliever right now, though his breaking ball could be a useful pitch that shows average regularly. Houston controls his fastball well and shows ability to move it around the strike zone as needed. With any development of his breaking ball, Houston could be a setup reliever that moves quickly through the Tigers system. Without such development, he profiles more as a middle reliever or seventh inning arm.


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