FanPost

Two Gifs From Fall League

I was lucky enough to attend Fall League in the beginning of November- my fiance got me a trip there for my birthday. While I'm nothing like a scout, I thought it would be really fun to at least pretend to be one. In that vein, here are a few notes on Oscar Mercado and Edmundo Sosa (the only two Cardinals playing that Saturday) as well as some poorly recorded gifs of their swings.

Oscar Mercado:

I want to preface this by saying that I got to the game immediately after Mercado had collided with LaMonte Wade of the Twins. It was a scary, Piscotty-and-Bourjos-style moment, with Wade remaining on the field for upwards of ten minutes while a stretcher came out. My point is, maybe his mind was elsewhere- I certainly think mine would be if that happened to me. That said, he looked totally capable in the outfield- he didn't make any full-strength throws, but played everything comfortably and got okay jumps. His approach at the plate was... less encouraging. If I had to describe what he was going for, I would say that he was trying to hit every ball for a grounder the other way. Here's an example:

Mercado Single

Obviously the angle I took these from isn't great, but that short approach to the ball and ultra-flat swing were pretty much the approach I saw all night. Maybe some prospect-ier people than me can opine on it, but I don't love the long-term potential of a swing like that. His plate discipline was kind of hard to tell, just because the pitching was all over the place in this one- but he was aggressive early in counts almost to a fault, trying to punch the first thing he could hit. On a more positive note: Mercado can absolutely fly. He stole a base in this one, and he stole it with a terrible jump, off a catcher with a 50 arm. If it turns out he can hit, there's a lot there.

Edmundo Sosa:

Sosa seems to have fallen off the radar through injury and ineffectiveness, so I was eager to see him play. Defensively, he looked smooth at second base for the most part, though he turned a double play into a fielder's choice with a slight bobble at one point. He was overqualified there for the most part, though, and showed off a ton of range and arm. His hitting was actually quite interesting to me. Previous video of Sosa (which I looked up after this) has no leg kick, but he's added a pretty pronounced one:

Sosa Take

Sorry for the black bars- I'm still new to editing these things down, and this was part of a five-pitch walk, so the video got a bit lengthy. Anyway, the swing has a lot of hallmarks of swing-changing guys, so that is an interesting development. His patience seemed interesting too- I saw him walk twice, and the pictured one was against Max Fried, so it's not like it's just all terrible pitching.

His overall stats for the fall league, it should be said, seem almost unrelated to what I saw. He hit for virtually no power and displayed virtually no patience- I saw two of his three AFL walks in the three plate appearances I watched. Maybe he's just getting up to speed on swinging with a leg kick, or maybe he's going to be one of the guys it never takes for, but it's something to keep an eye on.

So that was the Cardinals- I just have two other quick prospect takes. First, Nicky Lopez (Royals SS) looked amazing. He has an absolute cannon for an arm and is smooth and polished in the field- I see why Sosa was playing second. He hit a grand slam, but it was not with any kind of traditional power swing- he looks like a slightly less flat version of Mercado's swing, and he seemed to have more gap power than anything truly remarkable. Last- here's a scouting report on Ronald Acuna in 1000 words:

Bye

Well then. The guy in front of me just went 'ohhhhhhhhhhh', which would be a pretty good scouting report as well.