Memphis Redbirds at Oklahoma City Dodgers
Stephen Piscotty-St. Louis Cardinals (Memphis AAA)
Piscotty had a good night but could’ve easily had a great night. He ended up 2-4 with 2 doubles and a run scored, but could’ve easily been 4-4 with his quality at bats. The first at bat was impressive working a 2-2 count and lacing a Joe Weiland fastball for a double to the left field corner over the head of 3rd baseman Hector Olivera. His second AB he took a slider down and in from Weiland and put a nice inside out swing on it for a double to RF. He just missed two fastballs in his remaining at bats while working the counts in his favor. What impressed me with Piscotty was his calmness and rhythm at the dish. He tracked the ball real well and had a great understanding of the zone. Mechanically he is very sound with loading his hands and attacks the ball with a short quick stroke. He’s not a hitter that’s going to be beat on too many fastballs.
Defensively he had a couple chances in LF showing good instinct, movement, and about a 50/55 grade arm. He had an opportunity to throw out a tagging runner from third and made a nice one hop throw home, just a bit too late though. I honestly didn’t think he had a chance and made it closer than expected.
Overall, Piscotty is quite the athlete. He runs hard out of the box and showed good speed in the basepaths. He’s listed at 6’3” 210lbs but honestly looks bigger and stronger than that. He’s every bit the prospect and a very mature and smart ball player at 24. He looked polished at the dish and confident in his approach.
Hector Olivera-Los Angeles Dodgers (Oklahoma City Dodgers AAA)
When I watch a player who hasn’t had a day in the big leagues and has been awarded $62.5 million then I want to see the Minor League version of Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays in their prime. What I saw was nothing but average, lackadaisical play from Olivera who definitely has L.A. on his mind and not the bustling metro that is Oklahoma City. In the field he made the routine plays but did his best Adrian Beltre impersonations when throwing to first. He threw to first with an almost submarine, whip type arm action with a significant tail and arc to the ball. It might be personal preference but Scott Rolen type arms at third are what impress me and this was far from it. At the dish he was 2-5 with two Punch and Judy, rear end out pokes to right field. His set up is significantly closed and crouched with almost his whole back to the pitcher. When he loads his hands he goes full Julio Franco by wrapping the bat around his head. His main goal is looking for anything out over the plate and down. When Memphis started challenging him inside he was significantly late with his swing. He did not like the fact they started shuffling his feet with some inside heat and was unable to adjust to it. His bat speed was severely lacking and swung weakly at any pitch he made an offering to. It was very disappointing to see especially with all the hype surrounding him. If anyone was looking to compare him to his Cuban counterpart Yasiel Puig then don’t bother. Puig is high energy all the time, Olivera was just on cruise control tonight.
Corey Seager-Los Angeles Dodgers (Oklahoma City Dodgers AAA)
Corey Seager had a game of polar opposites last night against Memphis going 2-5 with run scored, but committed a massive overthrow error at shortstop while looking very uneasy defensively all game. In his plate appearances, Seager managed to hit the ball with authority each time, with his last at bat being a tailing line shot to center snagged by Tommy Pham's running catch. Defensively, it was a game to forget for Seager as his third chance of the night sailed into the first base stands. Memphis' Ty Kelly hit a slow roller that Seager charged and threw off balance over firstbaseman O'Koyea Dickson's head. Seager seemed to have miscalculated Kelly's speed because he had plenty of time to set his feet and throw. After that error, Seager seemed apprehensive and tentative, sitting back on a subsequent ground ball and one hopping it to first on a routine play. Maybe it was just a bad night for Seager, his athleticism is apparent, with instinctual moves and positioning, but the error really seemed to affect his confidence in the field. His at bats were quality, seemingly working the pitcher to get a fastball to drive 4 out of 5 at bats.