Notable Quotables – Thoughts on the Top 100: 71-80
By Jake Seiner
The Minor League season has come and gone, and sadly, that means Notable Quotables will be heading into hibernation until the games start up against next spring. We’ll still have plenty of regular content, both here on the blog and over at MiLB.com, but to celebrate the end of the 2013 season and the temporary end of this column, we’re going to bring you a “Best Of” from this summer featuring each of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects.
A quick note: While we managed to feature just about every Top 100 prospect this season, there are a few who evaded our eyes/tape recorders for one reason or another. In that case, rather than leave you hanging, we’re going to drop in one fun fact or statistical quirk of note that hopefully reveals a little something about the player.
71. Luis Sardinas, SS, Texas Rangers –
Frisco hitting coach Jason Hart on Sardinas’ abilities as a hitter:
“He just has a really good skill set. … He’s got great hands and eyes. He really knows his hitter ID. He doesn’t try to do too much, especially from the left side. His biggest thing is to have a plan every at-bat. He knows that he’s a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter.
“He’s gonna get stronger. He’s 20 years old. The balls are going to be carrying in those gaps and those balls are going to go for extra bases. [He just has to] continue to become smarter and smarter at coming up with his approach.”
72. Colin Moran, 3B, Miami Marlins –
Moran apparently liked life in Greensboro more than on the road, hitting .380 with all four of his home runs and a 1.030 OPS in 22 home games. On the road, he hit just .213 with a 17-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 20 games –- he struck out eight times and walked seven times in home games by comparison.
73. Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies –
Reading hitting coach Frank Cacciatore comparing teenage Franco to present-day Franco:
“With kids at that stage, when they’re first in the organization, you can see why they sign them. They have a lot of talent. He’s really aggressive, obviously, and of course his plate discipline wasn’t there, but the bat speed and the strength — you could tell the tools were there to work with. It’s neat to see a guy progress like that. Now, he’s staying in the zone a little better. He’s still very aggressive, and he still attacks the ball very well. Now, you’re starting to see somebody starting to get polished.”
“I’m not a guy who’s just going to run to run. … It depends on the situation in the game, what’s on the scoreboard, everything. I’m just trying to put myself in position to score. If the pitcher’s giving it away, I’m going to take advantage.
“There are a bunch of different ways to be effective on the basepaths. I like running, but I have to be smart doing it too. I don’t want to be thrown out in clutch situations. I have to be mindful and take what the game gives me. That’s just how I play.”
75. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays –
Lee played in just 15 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
76. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates –
West Virginia pitching coach Jeff Johnson on his outlook for Heredia:
“It’s good. His fastball plays. It’s 92-94 [mph] and his changeup has gotten a lot better, probably his best weapon as we sit today. Eventually, I think he’s going to have a very good curveball. Right now we’re just staying with the fastball though, stay down, use the changeup, stay inside. If we can lay down that foundation, everything else will fall into place.”
77. Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins –
Cedar Rapids pitching coach Gary Lucas on improvements Berrios made after struggling in June and July:
“I think, first of all, what was causing that was the fact that location was inconsistent with his fastball, he was leaving pitches up and getting hit. … He looked 19 and inexperienced at times. He was a kid in high school who threw it by everyone, up and down, in and out. Now he has to learn to get out of jams and make them hit to get on.
“He kept competing, kept fighting, showed a good mound presence overall and tried to work his way through some of that. … He’s passed the test for his age in this league and he has more than held his own through some rough times.”
78. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels –
Cowart played 132 Double-A games, which was the fifth-most by a player 21 years old or younger in any Double-A league this season.
79. Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego Padres –
Liriano after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament and finding out he’d miss 2013:
“It’s really bad, but I’ll be OK. … I’m prepared to work hard. I’ll be ready for next year.”
“I was obviously injured all last year, so health is the first thing for me this year. … I put on about 15 pounds in the offseason, so I’m stronger and I feel a lot more confident. My fastball’s back in the mid 90s.”