Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 1/28/13
Over the last month, Kiley McDaniel has been posting some great reports over at FanGraphs. I’ve been retweeting them on Twitter, but keep forgetting to link to them in the nightly First Pitch column. So here are links to all three reports, with some thoughts on each one. Gerrit Cole The first report was specific to top prospect Gerrit Cole. Overall it was a great look at Cole. A few notes: **McDaniel feels that Cole should scrap the curveball. That’s definitely his 5th best pitch. I wouldn’t see the harm in getting rid of the pitch. With three plus-pitches (one of them a breaking ball) he doesn’t have much need for a second breaking ball. **McDaniel notes that when Cole was missing, he was missing up in the zone, which seems to be the consensus. He notes that Cole made some slight changes to do a better job of driving the ball down through the zone. The Other Power Arms In the second report, McDaniel looked at a few other power arms outside of Cole and Taillon. He focused on Nick Kingham, Clay Holmes, and Vic Black. **McDaniel said that Kingham has the upside of “a solid 3 or 4 groundball-inducing, innings-eater starter”. In the last two Prospect Guides I’ve called Kingham a potential number three starter who could pitch 200 innings a year, so I’d agree with McDaniel’s assessment. **After reading the great report on Holmes and his delivery, I went back to look at some video. Here is a video I took of Holmes during Spring Training. Here is a video Will Cleveland took at the end of June. There’s definitely some changes between the two videos. In the first video the stride is longer. I can definitely see where his arm is dragging behind, and it looks like it’s a bit worse in the first video. His arm is more extended in the second video. After his first outing in Spring Training I spoke with someone who knew better than I would who called his arm action loose and effortless when talking about his velocity. McDaniel calls him awkward and stiff, but I think he’s talking about his body, since he later says the arm action is in his favor. **The final pitcher profiled was Vic Black. McDaniel called Black a one-dimensional middle reliever, noting his issues with command. Luis Urena The Hitters In the final report, McDaniel profiled a few of the hitters who are ranked lower in the system. Normally when we hear about the hitters, we hear about Gregory Polanco, Alen Hanson, and Josh Bell. This time it was Mel Rojas Jr., Gift Ngoepe, Wyatt Mathisen, Luis Urena, and Stetson Allie, as well as relief pitcher John Kuchno. I’ll let his reports do the talking for the other players, but I did want to highlight Urena. If you bought the 2013 Prospect Guide, you’ll see that I had Urena as the 50th best prospect in the system, and identified him as a sleeper candidate. I say “I” had him ranked there, because I was the only one who had him in the top 50. When it comes to the 40-50 range of the rankings, it’s mostly highlighting potential sleepers or notable upper level guys who have high floors. Most of the guys who draw consideration were only voted on by one writer. I put Urena in the final spot just to highlight him. Some of the alternatives were Colten Brewer, Dalton Friend, Dan Gamache, Ryan Hafner, and Bryton Trepagnier. All of those guys were voted on by different people for different reasons, so I wouldn’t say they all fit the same profile I gave Urena as a sleeper. McDaniel also had Urena as a potential breakout player in 2013, and for a lot of the same reasons. The big reason was his power. It seems every time I see Urena, he’s crushing the ball. He’s got a lot of raw power, and that’s been showing up on the field more and more lately. I noticed it at the end of the year, then during instructs. I also noticed reports from others during instructs about his power, and this is another one. The one thing I would disagree with McDaniel about is his arm strength. I saw Urena play a lot of right field last year, and in the span of a week saw him fire two perfect strikes to third base. McDaniel calls his arm “fringy”, but I disagree. I don’t think that’s uncommon for people to disagree about arm strength. That seems to be the dividing point between people in the discussion of whether Alen Hanson can stick at short. As I noted in the Prospect Guide, Urena has all of the tools that made Polanco a breakout candidate. One crucial difference is the strikeouts. Urena has horrible plate patience. Comparing the two at the age of 19 in the GCL: Polanco (2011): .237/.333/.361, 19.5 K%, 11.8 BB%, 169 AB Urena (2012): .200/.275/.407, 44.8 K%, 7.4 BB%, 145 AB Urena has more power at the age, but Polanco’s K/BB ratio is much better. I noted that his strikeouts don’t speak well for the chances of him breaking out like Polanco, and that he was rated there more for the tools than the results. It’s rare for hitters to show improvements with such horrible strikeout totals. There was a discussion about this over at Bucs Dugout in the comments section, with one comparison being Wes Freeman in 2009. Statistically, that comparison works. When you consider the background, they’re a bit different. Freeman had experience in high school. Urena didn’t have much organized experience, and only has 408 career at-bats. So there’s a better reason that Urena is very raw. I thought it was interesting that McDaniel said he does well trying to keep his swing short. McDaniel also said that he has some length to his swing at times. Usually that leads to more holes opening up, which leads to more strikeouts. But if he can learn to consistently keep his swing shorter, that could help prevent some of the strikeouts to the point where he’s not swinging and missing almost half the time. I think Urena will always struggle with strikeouts. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a good career ahead of him. He probably needs to get that percentage down to around 25% or less, all while maintaining plus power. He’s mostly driven by power right now, and that power seems to be showing up in games more and more. That’s what made him a sleeper candidate for me, and it seems like McDaniel is on the same page. Links and Notes **The 2013 Prospect Guide is now available. The 2013 Annual is also available for pre-sales. Go to the products page of the site and order your 2013 books today! **The eBook version of The 2013 Prospect Guide is also available through our publisher. They also have a discount code during the month of January that allows you to save 20%. Use the code JANBOOKS13 to get the discount. This code is only valid on the eBook on the publisher’s web site, and not the books on the products page of the site. **Alex Dickerson Named to MLB.com’s Top 10 First Base Prospects. **Winter Leagues Recap: Australian League Season Wrap-Up. **Winter Leagues Recap: Australian League News and Notes. **Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #6 – Josh Bell.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker