Bernie on the Scene: Prospecting Once Again

Bernie on the Scene: Prospecting Once Again

This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.

Scouting reports/profiles for these players have been requested by readers. If you have a player or players you wish for me to profile, please let me know in the comments section.

DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
6-2, 195
Age: 23

The Baltimore Orioles drafted Hall out of Valedosta High School (Georgia) in 2017. He received a $3M signing bonus. 

Hall, like many young left-handed pitchers has had trouble with command. He has been inconsistent, but he is improving. Last season at AA Bowie, Hall threw 31.2 innings, pitching to a 3.13 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in his 17 starts. He finished with a record of 2-0. He struck out an average of 15.9 hitters per nine, which is tremendous. But the innings count is short. He also walked an average of 4.5 per nine, which is not good at all. 

In late July, Hall was diagnosed with a "stress reaction" in his left elbow. That accounts for his low innings total. It also gives me great pause about his future. His particular elbow issue followed elbow tendinitis. So, beware.

When healthy, Hall throws a terrific fastball that usually sits at 95 to 98. He gets great life and movement on the pitch, and it grades well above average. He also throws an above-average curveball, a slider and a changeup. All are solid offerings. But again, other than him staying healthy, it is commanding those pitches and throwing strikes that have been the major issue for Hall. When he

Scouting reports/profiles for these players have been requested by readers. If you have a player or players you wish for me to profile, please let me know in the comments section.

DL Hall, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
6-2, 195
Age: 23

The Baltimore Orioles drafted Hall out of Valedosta High School (Georgia) in 2017. He received a $3M signing bonus. 

Hall, like many young left-handed pitchers has had trouble with command. He has been inconsistent, but he is improving. Last season at AA Bowie, Hall threw 31.2 innings, pitching to a 3.13 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in his 17 starts. He finished with a record of 2-0. He struck out an average of 15.9 hitters per nine, which is tremendous. But the innings count is short. He also walked an average of 4.5 per nine, which is not good at all. 

In late July, Hall was diagnosed with a "stress reaction" in his left elbow. That accounts for his low innings total. It also gives me great pause about his future. His particular elbow issue followed elbow tendinitis. So, beware.

When healthy, Hall throws a terrific fastball that usually sits at 95 to 98. He gets great life and movement on the pitch, and it grades well above average. He also throws an above-average curveball, a slider and a changeup. All are solid offerings. But again, other than him staying healthy, it is commanding those pitches and throwing strikes that have been the major issue for Hall. When he is on top of his game, Hall's swing and miss changeup can be a true "out" pitch.

Hall projects as a starting pitcher, and has always been talked about in conjunction with catcher Adley Rutschman. The duo were projected to form a very, very solid pitcher/catcher combination. We'll have to see now how Hall responds this coming spring. Scouting Grade: 55

Fantasy Relevance: I am now very worried about Hall's left elbow. I want to see him go an entire season before I buy in. And I also want to see him throw more strikes. I'll pass…for now.

Jordyn Adams, OF, Los Angeles Angels
6-2, 180 
Bats: Right
Age: 22

When the Los Angeles Angels signed outfielder Adams, they took him away from playing football and/or baseball at the University of North Carolina.

Adams was a first-round, 2018 pick by the Angels out of Green Hope High School in Cary, North Carolina. As the No. 17 overall selection in the draft, Adams received a $4.1M signing bonus, which means the Angels have some money invested in him.

To me, Adams does not profile as a No. 1 pick. He has blazing speed and is a Grade 80 runner, which is valuable. But he has little power, an average hit tool and is not really a game-changing threat. He does, however, have excellent arm strength in the outfield and plays quality defense.

This past season, Adams played at Class-A Advanced. He hit .217/.290/.310/.600 in 307 plate appearances covering 71 games. He hit five homers, drove in 27 runs and stole 18 bases in 22 attempts.

He had a lower-leg injury that caused him playing time. He never really found his game. Adams has missed time before with a serious injury. He was out with a broken jaw in 2018 that cost him playing time.

Adams struck out 116 times this past season. That's the major negative point in my profile of the center fielder. He has trouble making contact. And those 116 strikeouts came at Class-A Advanced. The pitching isn't that great.

A very fine athlete, Adams has a great deal to learn and accomplish in his development before he can be considered for a big league job. He is young and raw. Inexperienced and trying to learn. He has ability, but patience will be required. As one of the fastest players in the minor leagues, Adams has a chance to win a stolen base championship. But first, he'll have to show he can get on base. Scouting Grade: 50

Fantasy Relevance: Think of him in terms of stolen bases for the future. Probably more 2023 or 2024 if he doesn't have a setback regarding his health. If you want to chase stolen bases, he could be your guy. But first, he has to learn base-running technique. I'll pass for now.

Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
6-4, 220
Age: 22

Hoglund turned 22 in December and was drafted in the first round of the 2021 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays out of University of Mississippi. Hoglund could play any of a number of positions as the big league level.

Originally, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Hoglund in the first round in 2018. However, he was still in high school, and there were issues about his physical, which resulted in a question of his financial value. Hoglund passed and went to Mississippi and the Pirates lost him.

He then was drafted by the Blue Jays with the No. 19 pick and signed for $3.25M, which was just under slot. Hoglund has had Tommy John surgery and has not pitched professionally for Toronto. However, at Mississippi, he compiled a record of 10-5 in 31 starts. He threw 154 innings and finished with a 3.68 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He averaged 10.9 strikeouts and two walks per nine innings.

Although he can probably be a position player, the Blue Jays are concentrating on him as a starting pitcher. He projects to be a midrotation starter. Scouting Grade: ?

Fantasy Relevance: I have not seen Hoglund pitch, and I can't evaluate him until I put eyes on him. For now, I would proceed with caution regarding drafting him. He has yet to throw his first professional pitch. But he has a good chance to succeed.

George Kirby, RHP, Seattle Mariners
6-4, 215
Age: 23

The Seattle Mariners selected Kirby in the first round of the 2019 draft out of Elon University. As the No. 20 pick in the draft, Kirby signed for $3,242,900.

Kirby throws his fastball in the high 90s. He also has a good slider, a curveball and a changeup in his repertoire. Kirby's greatest asset to date is his outstanding control. He threw at Class-A Advanced and Double-A this past season. He pitched 67.2 innings, making 15 starts. Kirby finished with a record of 5-2 and a sparkling 2/53 ERA. Striking out an average of 10.6 hitters per nine, Kirby walked two hitters per nine innings. He had a WHIP of 1.07.

Probably ranked as the Mariners top prospect pitcher, Kirby's reperotire is well above average. Every pitch is crisp and well-defined. Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup — four pitches, all grading at 55 or better. He has a chance to be a great success.

The Mariners continue to improve with a trio of outstanding outfielders poised to break out. That and their acquisition of Cy Young Award winning lefty Robbie Ray, Kirby and fellow prospect pitcher Emerson Hancock and emerging starter Logan Gilbert, the Mariners are on a very solid track. Scouting Grade: 55

Fantasy Relevance: Because I think Seattle is on the move, I think Kirby would make a great investment in fantasy. He has all the pitches and a great head on his shoulders.

Alex Binelas, 3B/1B, Boston Red Sox
6-3, 225
Bats: Left
Age: 21

The Milwaukee Brewers chose Binelas in the third round of the 2021 draft out of University of Louisville. The Brewers spent $700,000 to sign Binelas.

This past season was his first as a professional, and Binelas hit .309/.390/.583/.973 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 230 plate appearances combined in Rookie League and Class-A classifications. He struck out only 51 times and walked 21 times. Binelas stole four bases in five attempts.

The Brewers traded Binelas, along with prospect shortstop David Hamilton and veteran outfielder Jackie Bradley to the Red Sox before the lock out began.

There are scouts who believe Binelas profiles best as an outfielder. He isn't the greatest infield defender, but his speed may give him a good chance to make the big leagues in the outfield. The Red Sox will likely take some time to determine his role.

Binelas has some pop in his frame, so the outfield could work. He may not hit for a big average, but if he can get on base, he can likely steal. Like most young players, he will have to learn the techniques and nuances of base stealing on a more refined basis.

Binelas has true upside as a potential sneaky power hitter and solid base runner. He can be patient at the plate and take his walks, which is admirable. But he is still raw and learning his craft. Scouting Grade: 45

Fantasy Relevance: Until he develops a true position, I don't think Binelas is much more than a dart throw at this point. I'll pass.

HEADING HOME:

Here is what two very reliable sources have shared with me this week about the collective bargaining agreement between owners and players:

1. The players rejected a $100M floor offered by the owners because the players fear it will lead to a salary cap. To me, that's nonsense. It would have been the best thing for baseball. I have NO IDEA why the players would reject that.

2. The players want their younger players to make more money, sooner.  Would $100M spread around a 26-man roster insure the younger players would get paid? The answer is yes. Super stars would not get ALL of the $100M.

3. The $100M floor would hurt teams like Cleveland and Pittsburgh, etc. They have NO intention of spending that amount in the near future.

4. Owners are now talking about a 154-game season. They ALWAYS objected to that in the past. They said it would cost too much at the gate. But who goes to games in the East in April? Opening Day sells out, and then bupkis from then until the weater warms. Watch for the shortened season. It could happen.

5. Negotiations may not really get going until February. No, not January. That'll be the month to dance around and poke at the issues. February will likely be crunch time.

6. Spring training will likely start late.

7. Players will NOT go into the season without five or six weeks of training and NO split training times. Not start. Stop. Start. They, rightfully so, indicated shorts springs and divided startups caused too many injuries.

8. If seven of the owners get angry enough and start feeling the heat (missing the money) those seven could pressure Rob Manfred to put an end to the lockout. Yes, it could happen. Those small market teams want a voice. They may force issues.

Have a great week. Share your prospect requests with me.

Thank you for following me on twitter and for reading my work at Forbes.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernie Pleskoff
Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
MLB: Using Barrel Rates To Identify Buy Lows & Fades
MLB: Using Barrel Rates To Identify Buy Lows & Fades
MLB Best Bets Today: MLB Picks for Monday, May 16
MLB Best Bets Today: MLB Picks for Monday, May 16
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown
DraftKings MLB: Monday Breakdown