Results tagged ‘ Keury Mella ’
Keury Mella | RHP, 20 yo, 6-2, 200 | IFA 2011 DR | (AZL) 10 G, 9 GS, 36 IP, 2.25 ERA, 8.5 H/9, 2.8 BB/9, 10.2 K/9
Mella was a Dominican signee a couple of years ago, and is still very much an under the radar prospect. That should change in the very near future, as his stuff is about as good as anyone’s in the organization. A fastball that sits 92-95 and a sharp-breaking slider have me believing he could make an Adalberto Mejia-type ascent up the ladder, and soon. If the Giants take the training wheels off him this year, don’t be surprised to see him in my top 5 come midseason.
They said it: “…he projected to be a power arm and has already added velocity…has pumped his fastball up to 95. He also has a good curveball that helps him miss bats. He needs to bring along his changeup…showed good feel for pitching last year.” ~ Ben Badler, Baseball America
(Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)
We’ve got some news on the prospect front for the first time in a while. Jason Cole of Baseball Prospectus posted video from a recent instructional league game between the Giants and A’s. Originally he posted four clips; pitchers Kyle Crick and Keury Mella, and hitters Angel Villalona and Ryder Jones. Later, Cole snuck in a one-inning stint from 3rd round pick Chase Johnson. If you haven’t seen these, I’ll link them here. I definitely recommend checking them out… All are high-quality, HD clips that get right in behind home plate. Pretty sweet views of each pitcher’s breaking pitches!
My take: The pitchers were a bit more exciting, as you might have guessed. Pitching is the cream of the crop in this franchise! Crick’s video is the longest, as he throws a few innings. He’s a bit wild at first, surrendering walks and a couple of base hits in the first inning. He settled in pretty nicely in the following frames, and was consistently 94-96 with his fastball. I don’t know about you, but I just love this guy. Do me a favor: watch the Crick video again, then watch this clip of another pitcher the Giants developed a few years back. See any similarities? Pretty awesome stuff if you ask me.
I think Mella’s video was my favorite, and I’ve watched it over a few times. This kid is highly, highly underrated in my opinion. I don’t think it’ll be that way for much longer, though. Look at that frame! Abbreviated windup (a little like David Price), fastball at 93-95, and a filthy breaking ball! Gives up a base hit to the first hitter, then absolutely makes the second guy (Higley) look silly on three pitches. He’d work through the second inning without allowing a baserunner, recording a few K’s in the process. This video was an eye-opener for me, as I still knew relatively little about this kid. Let’s just say he’ll get a nice bump up my offseason rankings. He’s got a long way to go, but that fastball looks goooood going forward. What other starting pitcher in the system throws that hard?
Johnson pitched an inning, losing a long battle with Oakland’s 1st rounder Billy McKinney. McKinney took the walk after spoiling some 3-2 pitches, and the next batter hit an RBI triple to left center. Looked like the CF had trouble getting the ball in, but it was crushed either way. Still, Johnson worked 91-94 with the fastball, and even hit 95 once from what I remember. His breaking ball is a big, over the top curve. Had a little trouble controlling it. The changeup is low 80’s, making for a very nice change of pace from his fastball. You know, for a guy whose 3rd round draft spot prompted some questions in June, Johnson is starting to get some hype at the national level all of a sudden. Baseball America ranked him the #8 player in the NWL in its offseason top 20 list last week. He was the only Salem-Keizer player to make the list, in fact. It’ll be interesting to see what the Giants do with him next year. Augusta? San Jose? Starter? Reliever? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
Jones and Villalona’s videos were a little uneventful. I can’t, however, get over how big Angel V. is. He is a serious bopper, and he’s headed to the AFL to put his bat to the test. It looked like he got into one pretty good during this game, but you couldn’t see where the ball landed. Could have been a routine base hit, but I got the impression it was a very long single. Either way, this kid looks like he’s got major league power. Does he have major league contact?
Hopefully Cole will get the chance to shoot a few more Giants before instructional league ends. Those were a lot of fun to check out!
Finally, the Cal League top 20 was released by Baseball America today, and the Giants ran away with it. Crick came it at #3 behind A’s phenom Addison Russell and Rockies hurler Eddie Butler (although MLB.com has Crick #42 in its updated top 100; Butler was ranked in the 80’s). Delino Deshields and Austin Hedges got the 4 and 5 spots, with our own Edwin “Esky” Escobar sliding in at #6. Who came in at #10, you ask? Well, that would be none other than Adalberto Mejia, lefty extraordinaire. Three Giants pitchers in the top 10 gives you a pretty good idea that we fans aren’t the only ones taking notice of these arms anymore. Pretty exciting stuff.
On the back end, Ty Blach came in at #15, Mac Williamson at 18, and Clayton Blackburn rounded it out at 20. Six Giants in the top 20, impressive. I think what surprised me the most here was Blackburn getting the lowest spot among this group. Many in the Giants fan base (myself included) believe Blackburn is a top 5 prospect in the system. Hell, you could make the argument that he’s #2 or 3. So I think this list gives us a pretty good idea about how the rest of the world looks at these pitchers. Also great to see Mac make the list as well, although I don’t know how he could have been left off. He fell a tick short of .300 on the season. Otherwise, his offensive numbers were very, very impressive. This is the cream of the crop in the system, ladies and gents, and they’re moving up to Richmond next year. Escobar may be moving to Fresno… as Sabean says, AA is the true test, not Fresno.
A quick recap on those BA rankings. As Giants affiliates go, I think the Eastern League and PCL are the only leagues that haven’t had top 20’s announced. Not sure if we’ll see anyone from the organization make either of those lists. Panik and Susac probably have the best shot for the EL. Maybe Heath Hembree gets a spot in the PCL 20? 10 Gigantes farmhands have made it onto their respective BA lists. The super 6 in the Cal, Chase Johnson in the NWL, and 3 more from the AZL. Christian Arroyo at #2, Mella at #14, Ryder Jones at #19. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s your 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft picks all on the top 20 lists for their summer leagues. All of this from a Giants draft class that got laughed off the field by the national pundits in June. Interesting stuff.
That was a lot, but many good things going on in the depths of the Giants system these days. I have a feeling we’ll see a couple more of these kids crack the preseason top 100, but that’s still a long way off. For now, enjoy those videos, and we’ll catch up on the prospect front again soon as the AFL season gets rolling.
(Conner Penfold/Giant Potential)
As I said in a recent post, almost every player on a rookie league team is an unknown. Rather than listing every pitcher and his stats here, we’ll just highlight a handful of guys from the American (Arizona League) rookie team, as well as a few from the Dominican Summer League squad.
Keury Mella – R (20): 2.25 era, 36 ip, 10.5 h/9, 2.8 bb/9, 10.2 k/9 – Dominican righty has a good build, an above average fastball, and the highest upside on the staff. Very underrated prospect who should get the bump to full-season ball next year.
Luis Ysla – L (21): 2.65 era, 51 ip, 6.7 h/9, 2.3 bb/9, 9.2 k/9 – Arguably the staff ace for the juggernaut AZL Giants. First-year pro out of Venezuela, and very unknown. Moving up to Augusta next year?
Dylan Brooks – R (18): 6.14 era, 7.1 ip, 7.4 k/9, 13.5 bb/9, 9.8 k/9 – 6-foot-7, 230-pound Canadian was drafted in the 30th round out of high school this season. One of the youngest players on the team. Electric, but very raw stuff.
DJ Snelten – L (21): 1.57 era, 34.1 ip, 7.1 h/9, 3.4 bb/9, 10.2 k/9 – 9th round selection in this year’s draft. Was a top 150 prospect in BA’s pre-draft ranking, so the Giants may have gotten a nice steal. Throws mid-90’s from left side.
Nick Jones – L (21): 1.93 era, 18.2 ip, 4.3 h/9, 4.3 bb/9, 8.7 k/9 – 14th round pick this summer. 6-6, 220-pound juco lefty. Closed out a couple of games for the young Giants.
Luis Pino – R (18): 3.94 era, 29.2 ip, 9.1 h/9, 5.5 bb/9, 7.9 k/9 – Mexican righty spent last summer in DSL, this summer in AZL. BB rates climbed a bit, but he’s holding his own for a young kid.
Carlos Diaz – L (19): 4.99 era, 39.2 ip, 9.8 h/9, 4.8 bb/9, 11.6 k/9 – Colombian lefty posted very respectable numbers during 2 seasons in DSL. Impressive 51 K’s in 39 IP for AZL team this summer. Slender build, but another baby to keep an eye on.
Eury Sanchez – R (20): 1.12 era, 16 ip, 6.8 h/9, 2.2 bb/9, 14.6 k/9 – Between DSL (’12) and AZL (’13), he owns a 1.19 era and 14 saves in 45.1 ip. Smaller at 5-10, 175, but career 12.3 k/9 shows he’s got something hitters can’t handle.
Nick Gonzalez – L (21): 1.04 era, 17.1 ip, 3.1 h/9, 1.6 bb/9, 8.8 k/9 – USF (South Florida) lefty was a 24th round pick in June. Probably should have been in S-K, but the numbers are still very impressive in a small sample size. Another lefty with size.
Rayan Hernandez – R (17): 8.31 era, 8.2 ip, 14.5 h/9, 6.2 bb/9, 8.3 k/9 – Youngest pitcher on the staff, 34th round pick out of Puerto Rico. He’s a large kid (6-4, 230). Appeared in 9 contests without much success this summer.
Overview: This is only part of the crew that breezed through the AZL with ease this summer, en route to a shutout of the Dodgers for a championship. Performance-wise, Ysla was the rotation ace. Stuff-wise, Mella sounds like he has the highest upside. Those two should be in Augusta next year, but the Giants aren’t always the most aggressive with pitcher placement, so don’t be too shocked to see Ysla sitting out until summer ball. You can rank the rest of these guys how you see fit. There’s high school draft picks, college lefties, international babies… and a ton of height. Snelten could be a big sleeper if he continues to work as a starter next season. Hernandez is very young, and very large. Some of these kiddos won’t ever see AA, but maybe some make it to the show. You never know at this level.
Michael Santos – R (18): 2.75 era, 19.2 ip, 8.2 h/9, 2.7 bb/9, 8.2 k/9 – 6-foot-4 with high upside signed for $250k in 2012. Made 4 starts this June before getting shut down the rest of the season. Scouts like his fastball/curve combination.
Jose Morel – R (19): 1.22 era, 59 ip, 7.3 h/9, 0.9 bb/9, 8.4 k/9 – Repeat performer in the DSL. Worked as a swing-man this year, pitching 3 or 4 innings at a time. Last appearance was only start of the year: 7 ip, 2 h, 0 er, 0 bb, 7 k. Hmmm…
Reymi Rodriguez – R (19): 1.36 era, 46.1 ip, 4.7 h/9, 4.5 bb/9, 9.5 k/9 – Pitched primarily out of the bullpen in debut season. Numbers seem to indicate he’s got electric stuff.
Luis Castillo – R (20): 20 sv, 0.64 era, 28.1 ip, 4.8 h/9, 1.0 bb/9, 10.8 k/9 – Oldest pitcher on the staff, and a repeat performer in the league. Impressive numbers nonetheless.
Eusebio Encarnacion – R (19): 1.72 era, 68 ip, 7.4 h/9, 1.6 bb/9, 6.5 k/9 – Debut season. Slender build, but put together a nice campaign as a starter. Impressive control numbers.
Jonathan Loaisiga – R (18): 2.75 era, 68.2 ip, 7.9 h/9, 2.1 bb/9, 5.2 k/9 – Unknown? His height and weight aren’t even listed on the roster! Don’t know how to pronounce the name, but a very good debut summer, albeit with very low strikeout totals.
Raffi Vizcaino – R (17): 3.80 era, 47.1 ip, 8.7 h/9, 3.2 bb/9, 7.8 k/9 – Youngest pitcher on the team. Saw his best (5 ip, 2 h, 0 er, 10 k) and worst (4.1 ip, 12 h, 8 er) performances in his last two outings of the season.
Overview: Other than the big-bonus righty Santos at the top, there’s really no way to rank these guys. Most of them have good enough numbers to earn a trip to Arizona next summer, I would think. Morel’s 2-hitter over 7 innings in his final appearance looks good. Castillo has the best numbers, by far, but he’s also one of the older guys on the team… how much that matters is up to you. If we’re going by physical attributes, I’ll take Rodriguez, whose numbers look very enticing. Remember, this team went 45-22 this year, so there’s definitely some talent overseas. Call me a year from now, and I’m sure a couple of these guys won’t even be making a dent. Maybe we get a couple of AZL breakouts in the group next summer, too?
Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue? The only thing is, these champs play in Scottsdale, not San Francisco, and they earned their crown of the Arizona Rookie League by shutting out the Dodgers… how sweet it is. The game story from MiLB is here, with a big picture of winning pitcher Keury Mella to boot. Mella, the 20 year-old righty with a big fastball, tossed 5 shutout innings. College lefty Nick Gonzalez struck out 6 over the final four innings, and the “juggernaut” Giants finished what they started back in June. Christian Arroyo, Ryder Jones and Christian Paulino were all 2-4 at the dish.
I’ll keep the rest of this pretty brief, but I thought the MiLB article was very interesting. You don’t get a lot of AZL coverage in general, and the quotes from skipper Nestor Rojas (Manager of the Year) about his 18 year-old league MVP Arroyo are promising. People are starting to throw the word “special” around with this kid… after initially scratching my head at the pick (and probably reading too much into pre-draft scouting reports), I’m very excited to see him move to full-season ball next year.
Yes, I realize that rookie ball titles are nothing to get worked up about, and most of the guys on this team won’t even make it to Fresno. But when the varsity team is in the tank, tell me you don’t at least take a longer look at the freshmen squad that’s blowing out the competition. And I think you get an idea about some of the talent the Giants pulled from the lower (and upper) rounds of the draft this year. This team was led by recent draft picks, and most of its top hitters (Arroyo, Jones, Joneswhy Fargas) aren’t even 20 years old.
All of these kids may be many years away from helping a big league club, but I’ll give this caveat: I moved from California to Billings, MT in 2009. Billings is a rookie league town, home to the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League (a Cincinnati affiliate). In my first four summers here, I watched defensive wizard Didi Gregorius (’09), burner Billy Hamilton (’10), strikeout artist Tony Cingrani (’11), and a Bay Area hurler named Robert Stephenson (’12). As of today, three of those four are in the show, and Stephenson has already moved to AA. So I won’t discount the performances of guys like Christian Arroyo and Luis Ysla this year, because you just never know.