Futures Game Scouting Roundup: Royals' Eric Hosmer Impressive
As far as pitching goes, there were plenty of young arms who made an impression, whether it was Tanner Scheppers reaching 99 mph or Jeremy Hellickson showing off his pinpoint command. On one of the most exciting scouting days of the year, here are some notes on players that caught my eye.
Mike Trout, OF, Angels: After seeing Trout in May, I was convinced that he was a superior talent. Following his performance on Sunday in the Futures Game, I'm even more thoroughly convinced. Not only did Trout show off all five tools, but also outstanding instincts and baseball smarts. Trout used his plus speed to turn a typically routine single to right-center field into a double, and turned in a 3.89 home-first time. Before the game, the right-handed swinging outfielder showed off big carry to the middle of the field, and during the game he hit the ball as consistently hard as any player on either roster. Despite being among the youngest players to participate, he may have been the best player on the field.
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals: As far as pure hitters go, Hosmer was the best bat out there on Sunday. Despite having pedestrian power numbers this season, Hosmer showed off monstrous raw power in batting practice, launching possibly the longest shot of the day deep into right-center field. As outstanding of a hitter as Hosmer is in game action, that big power is going to start translating soon. With his sweet swing from the left side and ability to drive the ball to the opposite field, we could be looking at a Joe Mauer-type offensive profile. As consistently as he squares the ball up, he could hit for a very high average.
Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Rangers: Typically Scheppers shows off better command than he did in Anaheim, but even without it, his power arm was very impressive on Sunday. The tall right-hander sat at 97-98 mph with the fastball, and reached 99 mph on my gun. He was behind in the count and didn't get to use his 80-81 mph breaking ball much, but that showed promise as well.
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays: When you talk about polish, the first name that should come up from this year's Futures Game is Hellickson's. The most big-league ready arm to participate, Hellickson showed off his trademark plus command and cruised on the strength of his lively 91-94 mph fastball. Hellickson also mixed in a quality 81-83 mph changeup and a sharp breaking ball. He's one of the few pitchers to throw on Sunday that qualifies as major league ready. He could pitch for Tampa Bay tomorrow.
Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets: It was an odd outing for Familia. Right out of the gate, the huge power arm was obvious, and yet he got hit around pretty good. Familia sat at 95-98 mph with his fastball, but essentially did not show a secondary pitch and struggled with his command in the zone. The type of arm he showed does not come around often, but clearly there is some work to be done against superior competition.
Zach Britton, LHP, Orioles: Slowly but surely the Orioles are making some noticeable progress in developing a homegrown core at the big-league level. Britton may end up being a major piece of that core. The hard-throwing southpaw sat at 92-94 mph with his fastball on Sunday and showed off a good feel for his changeup and slider. His fastball reached as high as 96 mph on my gun and showed excellent sink. He was clearly one of the standout all-around arms of the day, showing command and plus raw stuff.
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals: While it was Hosmer, his fellow Royals farmhand, that stole the show with three hits on Sunday, Moustakas showed off light-tower power in batting practice. He also flashed some leather during the game, making a slick play at third base.
Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves: Teheran might be the best pitching prospect in the minors right now. He did nothing on Sunday to change that perception. The wiry right-hander was at 92-96 mph with his fastball, and showed a good secondary mix with his changeup and breaking ball.
Frankie Piliere spent the last three seasons working as a scout, most recently in the professional scouting department for the Texas Rangers in 2009. He now serves as the National Baseball Analyst here at FanHouse.