IJR’s Scouting Reports: 5/20

Yesterday our in-house scout, IJR, got his first look at a couple of pitching prospects: Logan Allen (Padres) and Ben Bracewell (Athletics). The game was in the AA Texas League, as the San Antonio Missions (Padres) faced off against the Midland RockHounds (Athletics). Here are IJR’s notes from the game:

Logan Allen (6’3″ 200, 20 years old)

Solidly built lefty that is built to eat innings. Displays some decent mechanics, although lands awkwardly on his right leg at times. He is able to get his low to mid 90s fastball past hitters up in the zone and jam righties. His curve and slider were hit and miss, sometimes plus and sometimes less so.

Allen was ambushed in the first; with the leadoff hitter taking a fastball up the middle, followed by a bloop to left that Josh Naylor lumbered after and eventually retrieved, allowing the runner to take 3B. Midland was aggressive and stole 2B, avoiding the double play. Sean Murphy, hitting cleanup, then took a spinning curveball opposite field to drive in two. Murphy promptly took 2B on a missed hit-and-run. Allen dialed it up a notch to strike out the next hitter and driving several fastballs on the right-hander to get the next out.

Allen really works to take away any advantage of a right-handed bat, consistently able to run fastballs on the hands, then solid to plus changeups away. And he is competitive, whether it’s barking at himself when giving up a hit, or dialing it up a notch when he needed it.

After the first inning, he settled down and shut down the Midland bats, tallying 12 K’s (career high) through five innings of work, although he also gave up 7 hits.

His current stuff and command suggest a back of rotation starter, but his bulldog determination and size suggest the potential for more.

Ben Bracewell (6′ 195, 27 years old)

Right-handed pitcher has a lot of movement on his riding fastball, getting it up to 94 MPH, locating to both sides of the plate. His change, cutter, and curve were so-so, but he was able to locate where he wanted the first several innings.

Bracewell kept San Antonio off-balance and breezed through the first four innings, running into trouble in the 5th. He gave up a Mickey Mouse HR to opposite field on a two-seamer that stayed over the middle of the plate. Midland has a bizarre short porch in RF – a routine out in all but the smallest of high school fields. Following this with a walk, his second of three on the day (only averaging 1.1 per 9 before today) and some poor defense allowed 1st and 2nd with no outs. A sac fly to deep right center put them on 2nd and 3rd with one away. A slow roller to 1B brought the Missions within one, but he settled down to fan Tatis Jr for a second time to end the rally.

A leadoff double in the 6th, sac fly, BB, an opposite-field triple…then a 2 run HR smashed to right spelled his demise. The third trip through the lineup was too much this afternoon.

As a 27 year old that pitched in AAA most of last year, it’s curious why Bracewell is in AA to start 2018. The 7.2 K per 9 spells trouble for MLB aspirations and this was his career high water mark outside of the lower minors.

Side notes:
Josh Naylor hitting second, really puts a good swing on the ball. Nice opposite field double in 6th.
Tatis had a tough day – 2 K’s and hit into a 6-4-3 DP.

Impressed with Midland Rockhounds aggressiveness, really put pressure on the Missions defense.

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