Spring Training Prospect Notes: Giambrone homers and Kelli makes presence known

 

Trent Giambrone

Trent Giambrone

Fernando Kelli, given the opportunity to replace Albert Almora in CF for the second half of the game, went 2-for-2. His first hit was a chopper up the middle and his second a looping liner into center. However he was caught in a run down on the base paths, committing the cardinal sin of making the third out at third base when he tried to go first to third on an infield single. It should be noted that Kelli was able to make it to the bag with ease. The one problem with the play was that Kelli had a runner in front of him on the bases, and Jeffrey Baez required the use of the bag, leaving Kelli with nowhere to go. It just so happened to be the final out in a two-run game that robbed the team of a bases loaded opportunity. You just can't make this mistake young man:

Kelli's inexperience showed through on defense as he took multiple poor routes in the outfield. One on a fly ball over his head that he allowed to bounce off the warning track for a double and another in the right center field gap off the bat of Jorge Soler that he misjudged the distance to the wall and allowed the ball to ricochet off and passed him, once again for a double. He also collided with Bijan Rademacher on a ball in right center that was Kelli's ball to take, but you have to wonder if he was being vocal enough in calling for the ball as Rademacher never slowed. Thankfully the collision was only a glancing blow and both players remained in the game.

For a more positive, and age/experience appropriate look at Kelli's game, here is some video taken by Jason Pennini (@JasonPennini) last week of Kelli both at the plate and as a runner in a Minor League game on the backfields. Be sure to stay tuned to the end to watch his plus speed as he swipes second base after reaching on a single.

Back to the game action on Sunday, an even younger player than Kelli, 18-year old shortstop Luis Vazquez subbed in for Javier Baez, but was clearly overmatched by the upper-90s heat he was seeing. He also short hopped his one throw to first on a play where he was clearly trying to guide the ball instead of letting it rip. Vazquez made up for it in the ninth when a retrieved a ball in shallow left field that had bounced off the glove of third baseman Trent Giambrone then fired it to second to nail the runner as he tried to stretch it into a double.

Giambrone had a rough game at the hot corner, committing one error and narrowly escaped another thanks to a Royals-friendly official scorer that rewarded one of their batters with a hit. Giambrone did make an impact at the plate however:

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    You can't teach speed and Kelli has plenty of that but you can learn routes and base running and Vazquez is a highly rated SS so I will be watching these two and hope they stay in the States from now on. Thanks for the early report Michael.

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    I watched bits and pieces of both games yesterday--both were roughly equally painful--and concur with you on Kelli. He will learn with experience. I think on the baserunning thing he thought Baez would go home on the throw. Bad decision on his part, though, not to FOLLOW the runner.

    The play in the OF he should have been more vocal, I agree, however, Rademacher seemed somewhat out of position, in my opinion. Just a sloppy play overall. But this is ST and these guys are in the minor leagues to learn these things. Thankfully it isn't 2012 and these are our #2-3 prospects.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Rademacher did range way further than a RF typically will. In that particular scenario with a runner on 2nd, it can be beneficial for the RF to get that ball because his momentum is going more toward the play, but in this case Kelli had time to round the ball and get his momentum going back toward the IF. It was actually the best defensive play Kelli made, he set himself up rather well to make that throw, and his arm was actually not bad either.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It sounds like we are in agreement on this. I also think Kelli still should have called for it. It might have prevented a scary moment.

  • For those of you that were worried, apparently Alzolay throwing mid-90s with a plus curve in minor league action today

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Very good news. Thanks for the information. IMO the FO knows how to bring along young players.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Was there a velocity concern with Alzolay? I remember Oscar De La Cruz being reported at high 80s to low 90s but don't recall a low report early in spring on Alzolay.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    No. Just that he hadn't pitched so people were worried he was injured.

  • And things remain the same. Bases loaded with 0 outs in both the 1st and 2nd. Cubs score 1 run. Don't know who's coaching 3B but needs to put some oil on the wing. 4 or 5 times in last two games runner fails to score from 2B. Is there something wrong with Bryant? At 25 he gets less playing time than anyone on the team---same with Rizzo. Maddon treats them like they're Z's age. Let em at least play 7 Joe. Enuf for tonight but it could be a long season.

  • In reply to veteran:

    and if the coach sends them or they get hurt playing then you will complain about that. We have a 40 man roster right now at the end of the spring training. On days when we only play one game, they will get guys like Bryant some rest. He's ready for next week already. Also, Didn't KB play in some other organized event in Las Vegas over the weekend?

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