Just getting around too watching the Dragons opening day game. Keep in mind this is the 1st game of the season for them so some things may be not be as they seem.
Tom Browning is one of the corniest Color guys around.
Tom also "had most of these guys in the instructional league", and has nicknames for most of them to prove it.
Sean Watson is now at 6' 2 215, last year he was at around 240 lbs. and per Browning they (the powers that be) had to have a sit down with him towards the end of the season. Apparently about attitude, he had let his whiskers go a bit and that + his performance (1-2 8.59 era 10 appearances all out of the pen) warranted it apparently. They told him he was going to start this season and he needed to grow up a bit (or something to that effect), so the kid responded by getting in much better shape and dropping the 20+ lbs. Although he still looks chunky too me, think Burba or Mark Portugal.
Watty (as Browning calls him) has 4 pitches FB/CiCh/KnCu/SL. Pitches alot FB/CC with that very nasty KnCu sprinkled in just right. Doesn't throw the slider much and it hasn't proved to be much of a pitch yet anyhow.
Seems to pitch from the belt and up to most everyone, had a difficult time getting the ball down around the knees much. However we are talking about a game played @ 35 degrees, and once he got about an inning and a half to 2 he seemed to warm up a bit and get it down a little more consistently. Gave up his 1 run in the 1st where he was around the letters alot. His line 5ip 1 run, 7hits, 6K's, 0 BB's.
Disclaimer: Based on this game alone
Talked about too much:
Chris Valaika (didn't hit in this game, although did show a strong & acc arm)
Not talked about enough:
Chris Heisey (plays smart ball), Dennis Phipps (DR) (as athletic as Stubbs)
Travis Webb looks long and strong but mechanically looks like he has a hitch in his delivery. Throws alot of balls up and again the weather may have had alot to do with it. He throws a 4SFB, 2SFB (best pitch), CB/CH. That sinker (2SFB) is is main weapon but he didn't use it much or it wasn't gettin down. Gave up an opposite field HR with his 1st batter, up and out over the plate.
Stubbs looked solid in every facet. He looks like his bat speed could be his issue at the plate, he's not up there hacking at a lot of junk. He reminds me of Dunn alot in that he has the patience and a decent eye but he is not getting around alot on the FB when the count doesn't necc. call for it.
Juan Francisco will swing at most anything (as some have already noted) and he won't ever get cheated up there, he is swinging for it all on nearly every pitch. He is about EE's size/stature but plays like Tony Batista too me.
Julio Mateo closed it out for the home team (W of course 3-2) he kinda gave me the impression of a young Jose Mesa, tall & thick and flys open wildly with every pitch. But looked pretty solid getting the save.
Tom Brownings Nicknames:
"Ticket" Stubbs (I did hear him call him Stubbsy at 1 point)
"Firehead" Justin Turner (who BTW looked good in this game also, didn't explain the nickname however)
"Watty" Sean Watson
All in all the team looked pretty solid. The OF Heisey LF, Stubbs CF, Phipps RF all have speed and strong arms and a sense for the game.
The IF of Parker 1B, Turner 2B, Valaika SS, Francisco 3B all looked pretty solid although I wondered if Francisco might be a bit raw over there and if Valaika has enough range.
And Esquer behind the plate seemed to call a good game, has a solid arm and looked like he at least understood what not too swing at offensively. He has little power though and a few balls got past him (but none that mattered).
I have 2 more games I will watch soon (I hope) 4/20 vs. Quad City Swing and 4/21 vs. Burlington Bees.