Scouting Notes: Dayton @ West Michigan (4/4/13)

USA TODAY Sports

Jordan and I traveled to West Michigan on Thursday evening to watch the Whitecaps opening day. Several things to like about the prospects there--detailed below.

RHP Endrys Briceno

-Easy, smooth arm action. Looks like he's playing catch. Repeatable delivery with plenty of arm speed.

-3/4 arm slot...propensity to get on the side of his fastball at times, which results in loss of velo and command

-Dominant through 3 innings (and about 45-50 pitches), then lost command as he tired in 4th inning

-Sat 90-93 for most of the night with his fastball, both from the windup and the stretch

-Had him as high as 95 on one occasion, 94 a couple other times

-Fastball has solid late arm side run that allows the pitch to play up a half grade

-Actually commanded the fastball pretty well until the 4th inning

-Breaking ball needs work. Snapped off a couple solid curves, but most were below-average. Gets on the side of the ball and when that happens, it lacks the downward break and just kind of spins

-Changeup is a nice pitch. Much more effective at 83-84 than at 85-86. Same arm speed, same arm slot as fastball with legitimate fade and some sink. Command of the pitch needs refinement, but showed a willingness to throw it on either side of the plate

-Still has projection remaining. Could easily see him adding velo as the season goes on

-If command comes along and he improves his breaking ball, a #3 starter ceiling exists here

CF Austin Schotts

-Love his approach at the plate. Shortens up in 2 strike counts, makes swing noticeably shorter when trying for simple contact.

-In 2nd AB with runner on 3rd and 0 outs, he battled to 2 strikes and then went the other way for a SAC fly. Excellent approach against a really good pitcher in a big spot

-Jumps and routes have improved in CF. Speed allows D to play up at average levels or so right now, can easily see plus projection with refinement of defensive ability due to speed

-Legitimate plus plus runner. A real burner

-Smaller than I expected. Premium athlete, but would like to see him add some strength. Still only 19

2B Devon Travis

-Even bigger believer than I was before. Very smooth in the field. Defense is highlighted by outstanding hands.

-Plenty of arm for 2B; makes pivot throw on DP with zero issues

-Solid range to either side.

-Gap power. Laced a triple into the RCF gap. Pulled his hands in and just murdered a Stephenson fastball.

-Nice approach overall. Love him as a contact-oriented 2 hitter that should have 20+ doubles

-Below average runner. Not a plodder, but not fast

LF Danry Vasquez

-Noticeably bigger, but still skinny

-Projection remaining on his body

-Really nice hands in the box

-Wasn't overmatched at bat (especially vs an elite prospect like Stephenson), but noticeably raw

-Didn't look lost in LF, but fringy at best

-Below average runner

RF Jake Stewart

-Big fan of what I saw

-Quick through the zone with the bat; and showed a much better approach than what was said of him last season

-Plus defender in RF; probably above-average in CF

-Solid average arm; above average runner

-More power than you'd think.

-Hope the bat continues to develop

RHP Julio Felix

-Sat 91-92 on his fastball

-Struggled with command

-Slider at 81-82 that was below-average.

-Need to see more

Jordan and I will be in West Michigan for both Friday's and Saturday's games as well. More notes to come throughout the weekend. Follow us on twitter @TigersProspects to read our live tweets of the games.

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