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Scouting the Vancouver Canadians

Reading through some of the posts on this very blog from last year, it looks very much like I made an effort to give brief scouting reports on many of the Canadians, focusing especially on 2013 draftees.  A lot of that was because the C’s weren’t really blessed with any exciting, young prospects to start last year and the recent draftees hit the ground running.

This season, those that follow the C’s with more of a prospecting jaundice (i.e. me) have been blessed with a few top tier Blue Jays prospects to keep an eye on, so have tended to focus more on them.  I promise that will change…….soon.  The Jays second first rounder, 11th overall pick Max Pentecost, made his professional debut Monday night, going 0-3 with a strike out for the GCL Jays.  I full expect him to get a few reps down in Florida before joining the C’s for the home series versus Everett starting Friday.

Until then I’m going to go back to the well and focus on the most recent winner of the Northwest League pitcher of the week honour. Miguel Castro.  Now, I haven’t put eyes on Castro since I charted him back on the 20th of June but I did listen to the Hops feed for the start on the 25th and spoke to C’s pitching coach Jeff Ware about the five innings he threw on the 30th versus Salem-Keizer.  So have a bit of a feel for how things are going.

Using the Charlie Caskey Creative Accounting method, if you remove that ugly fourth inning in Hillsboro from the overall line, Castro’s other 23 innings pitched produce a miniscule 0.78 ERA, 2.35 BB/9 rate, and a very healthy 4.33 K/BB ratio.  I’m too lazy to work out the reduction in his FIP but paper napkin calculations says it comes down by a fair amount as well.

That is pretty bloody good.  And remember, Miguel is still one of the younger pitchers in the league.

Speaking of young.  I know I harp on it a lot, but Franklin Barreto is very young for this level.  He’s going to go through a few ups and down this season and, after a ridiculous start, prior to his two for three performance Tuesday night, he was in a bit of a trough.  In the eight previous games, the Venezualen shortstop had slashed .172/.333/.207 with only one extra base hit.

Firstly, the positives.  Despite struggling, Barreto still had a fair idea of the strike zone, walking four times to contribute to that better than decent OBP.

The negatives?  Well, there’s really not that many when it comes to Franklin, but here’s what I saw (especially in the Salem-Keizer series).  Again, I’m not a scout, so take it how you want.

Barreto sets up with a very wide base with his hands relaxed and bat on his shoulder.  His stance is quite open.  What surprises me, for someone with such an open, wide base is fact his load contains quite a large timing mechanism.  Instead of just bring his left foot back parallel to the pitcher, he has quite a pronounced leg kick.  At the same time his hands shift back and his bat has an unnecessary waggle.  It seems a bit noisy.

He also stands very close the plate, so Salem-Keizer developed a plan that seemed to work effectively.  They started Barreto with both fastballs and breaking balls.  For whatever reason, in that series, Franklin was struggling to pick up spin and was generally down in the count.  The Volcanoes would then bust him inside and Barreto just couldn’t get his hands through.

In no ways am I saying it’s a terminal issue.  I’ve seen him pull his hands through on inside fastballs (with pop) enough to know he can do it.  I think this was just a bad series.

I promise, this is the last time I talk about these two until Friday (when I chart Castro again) at least.  In the meantime, we’re going to look at the GCL Jays.  Something I never thought I’d say.  But phwoaarr, there’s some kids on that team to dream on….

Barreto takes a hack

Barreto takes a hack

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