Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus signed in on Tuesday to give their opinions on the HWL. Here are some comments on our prospects.
Kevin Goldstein checked in with the scouting report of the HWL season. Our Josh Bell got some love even though his stat line looked awful.
"9. Josh Bell, 3B, Manager Jim Gabella insists that Bell is a better hitter than his .213/.292/.383 line in Hawaii suggests, as more was expected of him following a well above-average 2007 season in the Midwest League. "He hit the ball hard all the time, but it was usually right at people," Gabella said. "But he has as much raw power as anybody in baseball; the ball just explodes off his bat." Bell strikes out often, but that's seen as par for the course given his power profile. Sent to Hawaii to improve on his defense at the hot corner, Bell made significant strides as he worked hard on his footwork. Scouts still question whether he'll need to move across the diamond, but he should have the power to do so. Bell started to finally look comfortable in Hawaii as the season wound down, so expect big things from him in High-A next season."
Baseball America then chipped in:
"10. JOSH BELL 3B Bell struggled early in the low Class A Midwest League, but then caught fire in May to bring his numbers back to a respectable .289/.354/.470 and earned a promotion to the California League. Bell has tremendous power to all fields, but he struggled just to make contact in HWB as he concentrated fully on his defense. His feet are slow, and he doesn't get them moving early enough to make plays at times. As a result, Bell has trouble with the accuracy on his throws because he tends to rush. "The ball just jumps off his bat," CaneFires manager Jim Gabella said. "He's got that big raw power thing down. The tools to stay at third base are there; he just needs to continue to work to get better."
Baseball America also took a few Dodger prospect questions: Q: John from Cailforina asks:
How would you rate the Dodgers prospects in Hawaii?
A: Chris Kline: The one guy everyone kept bringing up was Kenley Jansen for defensive tools behind the plate. Solid catch-and-throw guy who showed good leadership skills.
Greg Ganter from Mission Viejo asks:
Steve Johnson had some great numbers in Hawaii, is still very young, but didn't make the top 20. Whats your position on his potential ?
A: Chris Kline: You mean 2004 Aflac All-American Steve Johnson? Fringe-average fastball with fringy stuff across the board. Good feel to pitch with good makeup. Could be an innings-eating back of the rotation starter if everything clicks, but he's going to have to walk a tightrope to reach that ceiling.
So I've been wondering about Kenley Jansen. He sure doesn't have much of a bat but he's extremely young so it was nice to hear about the defensive skills. Steve Johnson did not make the top 20 even though the had a nice stat line and Chris explained why.