TigsTown Scouting MLN: The July 2 Signings

TigsTown brings you the scouting details on six of the Tigers July 2 amateur free agent signings. Check inside to get the scoop on what we might see from some of these prospects when they make their debuts in 2009.

Luis Cortez – Shortstop
At just 16-years old, Cortez offers a lanky frame with good strength and plenty of room for additional growth and strength. He already has good line drive power, mostly to the pull side, but he is expected to add additional power with physical maturity. He has some natural hitting ability, but must develop his concept of the strike zone to take advantage of it. His hands are soft and his arm strong, projecting him to potentially stay at shortstop long term.

Juan Espinoza – Pitcher
A little on the small side, Espinoza still has plenty of promise. Juan brings a loose arm action with clean mechanics to deliver his fastball in the 84-86 range, with a little more on occasion. He has room for some projection, and could see a bump in his velocity down the line. Espinoza also brings a curveball and change-up to the table, both with some promise to be at least average pitches in time.

Dixon Machado – Shortstop
Classic shortstop frame with plenty of room for added strength, as he is only 140 pounds at age 16. Despite his slender present build, he still has good power for his size, lacing line drives to all fields with relative ease. His defensive actions are outstanding, looking the part of a true pro shortstop. His range is good as he uses above-average speed to get to plenty of balls as well as leg out base hits. He doesn't project for a ton of power down the line, but he could be a good contact hitter that could wreak some havoc on the bases.

Manuel Morandi – Pitcher
With a pitchers body that causes scouts to drool, Morandi already generates good velocity and downward plane on his fastball. He works low with a good angle and his heater can touch 92 at this time. His curveball is a potential plus pitch, already showing excellent bite and solid command, while his change-up is still a work in progress. Morandi is a prime candidate for adding significant velocity as he matures, and he could become a very intriguing prospect in time.

Greg Morillo – Pitcher
Morillo has a very mature body with an excellent pitcher's build that he uses to generate a good fastball that works consistently in the 90-92 range with good movement. He can get some sink and/or run on the ball, but must gain consistency in commanding his heater. His curveball is still in the early stages of its development, but he has shown an ability to spin the pitch with some aplomb. Greg's change-up is already an above-average pitch, with good arm-side fade, allowing him to be effective against lefties.

Gabriel Purroy – Catcher
A true leader on and off the field, Purroy is the epitome of what you look for in a catcher. He manages his pitchers well and has good catch-and-throw skills with a strong arm on all his throws. His understanding of the game borders on uncanny for someone his age, and it only projects to get better with time. At the plate, he has some power and ability to hit for average, but it will require significant refinement to make him a true all-around player.


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