We’ve talked about the top prospects a lot at Cubs Den, but what does the fringe look like? Let’s peek in at 3 guys in Kane County who are existing in the gray area between prospect and non prospect.
Tyler Skulina – He’s a commanding presence on the mound at 6’5 and 255 lbs. A bit of an athlete, Skulina works out of a ¾ arm slot that differentiates from high to low depending on what pitch he’s throwing. That’s the major issue I have with Skulina as he stays in a high ¾ for his fastball and drop down for his curve. The release point is consistent but the arm action is slow and exaggerated, it takes a long time for the arm to come around and I don’t think there’s a lot of velo projection left here. Skulina operates in the 89-91 range. I had heard reports that he could touch 94 but I didn’t see that. The stuff is pedestrian with a curve that flashes every so often but given the mechanical issues he has to sort out I don’t see much room for improvement concerning that offering. The fastball location comes and goes with Skulina as well. There’s a lot of things to repair here regarding Skulina.
Carlos Penalver – 6’ nothing skinny shortstop with smooth fielding actions and a flat swing. Penalver’s future will be completely determined by whether he can hit at a fringe average level as he has a utility player profile. The glove can play, he has good instincts, a nice glove to hand transfer and an above average arm at short. He gets a little casual out there at times. At the plate Penalver has a below average hit tool and poor power. When he squared up the ball it went for line drives in the gap, loft and backspin doesn’t inspire much confidence that he’s going to develop power either. He’s a fun player to watch at the lower levels and he has some tools that translate to the next level, whether he’s a .240 hitter or not will determine if he makes the show.
Yasiel Balaguert – Listed at 6’2 and 215 Balaguert is a big body that looks high maintenance. Balaguert has major league bat speed and swings hard at just about everything. I saw him barrel up a few balls here and there and they went for deep line drives. It’s weird as there wasn’t much lift in the balls but the swing plane seemed conducive to it. Balaguert lacks any sort of approach so while he has great bat speed the utility isn’t there at present. I saw Balaguert swing at three straight changeups and come up empty every time. Afield Balaguert is slow footed with a strong arm, with a destination at 1st likely the approach will have to improve or he will wash out.
Filed under: prospects