Peter Gammons: Ten observations from the Futures Game

javier baez II

Javier Baez celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the 6th inning of the Futures Game.

Ten observations from the Futures Game:

  1. Joey Gallo may have begun his hitting career with Jason Giambi back in Las Vegas, but his batting practice and game power repeatedly brought the same comparison: Josh Hamilton. Different type of athlete, but the loft in his swing is, indeed, reminiscent of Hamilton.
  2. But Vas sidekick Kris Bryant is also extremely talented, but a different kind of player. The Jayson Werth comp as an athlete is valid, and one Cubs scouting official says “I thought Kris was a really good center fielder in college.” Bryant loves the outfield, and if Addison Russell or Javier Baez moves to third, Bryant could be a really good right fielder.
  3. Baez, incidentally, is said to have become a different player since he formed his relationship with Manny Ramirez. The way he appeared to look for Lucas Giolito’s curveball away and hit it out to right field was vintage Manny.
  4. The Dodgers’ Julio Urias hit 94 MPH and showed a classic Koufaxesque delivery. Oh yes. He turns 18 in a month. “He’s the one guy the Dodgers cannot trade,” said one baseball executive. “In their market, they cannot trade the great Mexican star.”
  5. In a year in which Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton have changed their teams, second basemen Micah Johnson of the White Sox and Jose Peraza are sub-4.0 blazers. Johnson’s athleticism is scary.
  6. One scout on Dodger shortstop Corey Seager:”He slows the game down and makes the game play out on his time.”
  7. One player the Cardinals will not trade is center fielder James Ramsey, who defines leadership, character, a sense of where he is and who he is, not to mention a really good hitter. He is a very good tennis player, whose Wilson contract gets him Federer racquets (one of his winter tennis partners is Jeff Francoeur). His mother was a ranked tennis player, and people see his two handed backhand in his swing. Tennis is one of the best preparations for hitters because of the hand-eye coordination; ask Dustin Pedroia, who like his mother was a really good tennis player as a kid. Seeing Ramsey hit reminds me of playing with Carl Yastrzemski 40 years ago; Yaz would run all over the court to get to his backhand, and watching Yaz-Ted Williams matches in Winter Haven was a classic view of two men with incredible hand-eye coordination and competitiveness that made them hate the possibility of losing to the other.
  8. Which of the many talented pitchers could go to the big leagues and succeed right away? Lefthander Daniel Norris of the Blue Jays and Noah Syndergaard would be my first two picks. But Minnesota’s Jose Berrios is going to be here at beautiful Target Field in a hurry. Javier Vazquez II.
  9. Most surprising BP? Boston’s 5-8 Sean Coyle. “He may be our longterm third baseman,” said one Red Sox official. If he is, and if Deven Marrero indeed is the defender and leader they think, where Xander Bogaerts ends up is still a question. Just where, not if.
  10. I have Giolito as the future coolest guy in Washington. Something about those Harvard Westlake people.
  • JB88

    Out of curiosity, what do you mean by “Baez, incidentally, is said to have become a different player”? Can you give us a bit more depth on that comment. TIA.