Re: The Unranked Sleepers
Interesting topic, MTH123. Several of those players played in Dayton and I saw a lot of them. They were the core of a team that went 59-80. Puckett, Wiley, and Sappelt all have some positives but they all have holes in their games and most scouts that you talk to generally watch those guys for a few days and dismiss them. Thurman is a guy that is interesting to me. He really had a great year. He is improving a little more rapidly than your typical minor league player. His body type is such that you could see him maturing and adding velocity. Really nice kid, could use maybe a bit more of a killer instinct on the mound because in pressure situations, he started pitching scared due to lack of confidence.
That's why you can't just look at numbers. When Thurman was in a game with no pressure, he could be dominant. But when Benzinger brought him into a tough spot, say, two men on and nobody out with the tying run at the plate, 8,000 people in the stands, he was a totally different pitcher. Totally different. Most likely, he was going to walk the first guy on four pitches. He did get more confidence as he had some success. But how do you account for that when you evaluate a guy if you are just looking at numbers? That's why I am not a numbers guy. There are too many variables with 22 year old kids and too many things that don't show up in the numbers.
Puckett: Probably smaller than listed 5'10...Great raw power with tape-measure home runs due to very strong hands and bat speed...long swing led to 138 strikeouts...decent speed...very limited range at second base will likely require a move to left field...As with Sappelt and Wiley, the better Midwest League pitchers handled him pretty well, leading to .263 average. As Doug mentioned, most of his production came in one month (May) before they figured out how to pitch to him.
Wiley: Very streaky hitter (had only 2 HR as of mid-June, then hit seven in next 13 games, then just three more the rest of the year)...Showed a lot of potential as a hitter at times but does not have much else to offer...Can't throw at all...Below average range in the outfield...Doesn't offer much on the bases...Manager quoted several times saying he needs to work harder.
Sappelt: 5'9"...I have written at length about this player...Tremendous range in the outfield...Will make plays that would make SportsCenter...Excellent acceleration...Has a lot of ability but as a hitter, could not come through in key situations...You kept expecting more from him as a hitter but it never came...Weak arm...Good speed on basepaths, but bad baserunner...Very confident, brash, cocky player.