Fall Instructional League

Jim Callis with a report on some of the players at FIL including comments from asst GM Pete Putila:

  • RHP Hunter Brown says Putila: “He’s 96-98 mph with a huge curveball, a Tyler Glasnow-type curveball, an 86-88 mph slider and a changeup. He didn’t throw the curveball until he got to us. It’s really just a matter of refining his game, working on his locations and what-not. It’s impressive watching him pitch. He gave our hitters fits.”

  • RHPs Jairo Solis and Peter Solomon “looked strong” in their returns from TJS

  • RHPs Jimmy Endersby (NDFA-2020) and Jaime Melendez (IFA-2019) both hit 95 and were among 6 pitchers who hit their highest velocities ever. [Sidenote: Melendez is listed at 5’8" and K’d 39 in 28 IP in the DSL back in 2019 as a 17 year old]

  • C Korey Lee (1st rounder-2019) per Putila: “Defensively, he looked really good. He shortened his arm action and was throwing everybody out and continued to refine his receiving.”

  • SS Freudis Nova doesn’t seem to have changed a lot: the tools are still there (plus raw power, solid speed, double plus arm) but still waiting on the bat.

  • OF Zach Daniels (4th rounder-2020) opened eyes with Putila saying “The things he does are freakish. That’s the only way how to describe it. He’s as physically gifted as they come. His power-speed combination is pretty rare.” Interesting. His numbers while at the U of Tennessee and in the Cape were absolutely fucking horrible until turning things around this spring in 17 games during non-conference play before the plug was pulled on the season.

Curious to see no report on 19 year old OF Colin Barber (4th rounder-2019). He apparently impressed enough at the alternative training site in CC that the Astros invited him to big league training camp next spring despite not having played above the GCL.

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There was also a couple of nuggets about FIL in the most recent Baseball America (behind paywall so fuck the link) including one on Barber:

  • OF Colin Barber got a Bregman comp from Putila in terms of makeup. While his exit velo and power remains high, the Astros have made some small batting stance changes to reduce the lefty swinger’s pulling the ball so much. Apparently his projection as a CFer with above average arm and plus speed remains in place.

  • Jayson Schroeder (2nd rounder-2018) has really really struggled since being drafted but has touched 95 in the FIL and has shown “drastic improvement”

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Jim Callis answered my question on Barber in the latest MLB Pipeline Inbox…

Nice jon WB! Thanks for digging and for getting the feedback.

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BA surveyed a bunch of scouts to see who they thought stood out in instructs in both Arizona and Florida. The Astros did have one player on the resulting list. Jeremy Pena, whose bat has always lagged behind his glove skills at SS, showed up stronger to camp with improved pop and “the ability to turn around good fastballs”. Good to hear for a guy whose last game action was 2019 in Arizona Fall League where he hit just .183/.248/.290 and is currently off to a 2-13 start in LIDOM.