Scouting Notes: Sammy Solis Impresses in Arizona Fall League
Solis was not the only hurler to stand out on Monday. Also showing off plus stuff were Dan Runzler and Oliver Drake. And, at the plate, some of the usual suspects like Brandon Belt were on top of their games.
Sammy Solis and his lively left arm are no secret to scouts. He's had some health issues and some bouts of inconsistency in his amateur career but his stuff has never been a question mark. He showed that in a big way on Monday afternoon. The 6-foot-5 southpaw worked at 92-94 mph in three innings of strong relief work, and flashed some late two-seam life down in the zone.
He proved his fastball could miss both right- and left-handed bats, and his sweeping upper-70s breaking ball proved to be a particularly dangerous weapon against those lefties. Solis showed a loose, whippy arm action and a repeatable delivery as well. Also mixing in a changeup at 79-81 mph, Solis telegraphed this offering at times but proved he was able to locate it fairly consistently.
If I had to nitpick about a very strong showing from Solis, I'd be slightly concerned about him tipping pitches. Over the course of this three-inning outing, he seemed to tilt his head upward mid-delivery when throwing his secondary pitches. It's something minor but the correlation was consistently there.
But considering the quality of Solis' two best pitches, his ability to miss bats and his frame, this is a pitcher who could profile as a two or three in a big league rotation. And, if his changeup doesn't continue to develop, he still has the stuff to pitch near the back of the bullpen.
• Brandon Belt just continues to swing the bat at a torrid pace, and it really is no longer surprising. In my first in-person look at Belt since he blossomed at the plate, I have to say I agree with the John Olerud comparisons that have been tossed about in the scouting community. Belt lets the ball travel deep exceptionally well and shows good gap power to left center field. But, more importantly he shows the quickness on the inner third to turn around big league fastballs. His open stance and fast hands are proving to be a perfect combination for covering all quadrants of the plate. If the question is will Brandon Belt hit at the next level for the Giants, the answer is a resounding yes.
• One of the disappointments of Monday's action would have to be David Bromberg. The Twins' big right-hander was a favorite of mine in 2009, as he showed off a 90-94 mph fastball and a sharp breaking ball. A different version of Bromberg was on the mound on Monday. He worked at 87-89 mph with the fastball with some good sink, and his breaking ball did not have the same sharpness. A bright spot, however, was the progress of his changeup. Working at 77-78, he showed good fade and the ability to stay on the black to lefty hitters. He still has the command and pitchability to potentially work at the back of a big league rotation, but we'll have to see if the raw stuff rebounds to where it was last season.
• Out of the Baltimore system, Oliver Drake made a solid impression on Monday. The 23-year-old righty showed off a repeatable delivery while working at 91-94 mph with the fastball. The key is going to be his breaking ball, however. Sitting at 81-84 mph, it showed good depth at times and eluded a lot of bats. But, the flip side of that was a lot of hangers. If he can refine the command and consistency of it, he has the look of a solid setup reliever.
• Giants fans are no stranger to Dan Runzler and his power left arm, but the fact remains that he was highly impressive on Monday. Sitting at 94-95 mph, Runzler fastball jumped on hitters and consistently overmatched lefties in particular. He also mixed in a sharp breaking ball at 83-85 mph.
• Marc Krauss has long been a favorite of mine, dating back to his days in the Cape Cod League. And the Diamondbacks prospect continues to impress here in Arizona. He continues to show good patience against advanced pitching and an ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. Krauss has a quiet approach and natural lift in his swing, and looks like a hitter who will continue to be successful, given his patience, at the next level.
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.