2024 Padres Prospect News and Notes

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14. Shane Drohan, MIRP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Florida State (BOS)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / L FV 40

Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/45 40/45 45/45 60/60 40/45 90-92 / 95

Drohan has transformed in many ways since he was drafted out of Florida State in 2020. He recently traded his red socks for white ones as the Southsiders scooped him up in the Rule 5 Draft. Perhaps most notable, however, is the degree to which he has shortened up his arm action. He steadily climbed through the Red Sox system and had an incredible beginning to the 2023 season with six starts at Double-A, during which he boasted a 0.82 WHIP and allowed just five total earned runs. Due largely to his lack of precision working in the strike zone, his stat line sagged upon a promotion to Triple-A, as Droahn’s HR/9 grew more than sevenfold. Eleven of the 19 dingers he allowed at Charlotte came on belt-high beach balls. While his in-zone swing-and-miss took a tumble, his chase rate stayed in the mid-30s across both levels, and although he throws his slider more often, his changeup is his standout secondary in this regard, with a combined chase rate across the two levels of around 46%. He rarely threw the pitch to lefties, but righties struggled mightily against it, posting just a .154/.236/.262 slash line against the cambio in Drohan’s 89 innings post-promotion. Drohan’s Triple-A struggles were the first obvious stumbling block of his professional career, and if he can regain the command that allowed him to dominate at the lower levels, he could earn a role as a back-end starter. If not, he’s got the arsenal to be a changeup-heavy multi-inning reliever.

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Red Sox Pitching Prospect Richard Fitts Is Growing His Game
by David Laurila


Richard Fitts is a big right-hander hoping to do big things in a new organization. He has a chance to do just that. Acquired by the Boston Red Sox from the New York Yankees in December’s Alex Verdugo trade, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Auburn University product is coming off a season where he logged a 3.48 ERA and fanned 163 batters in 152-and-two-thirds innings with Double-A Somerset. A 2021 sixth-round pick slated to begin the forthcoming campaign in Triple-A, he ranks among the top starting pitcher prospects in the Red Sox system.

Fitts discussed his game earlier this month when Boston held its annual Rookie Development Camp at Fenway Park.

———

David Laurila: Let’s start with how you approach your craft. Are you a pitching nerd?

Richard Fitts: “I’d like to be considered a pitching nerd. I’m by no means a genius, but I take a lot of pride in trying to get better every single day, and that includes figuring out the ins and outs of what can make me the best that I can be.”

Laurila: What did you learn in the Yankees organization that you didn’t necessarily know at Auburn?

Fitts: “I learned a lot more about how to throw a four-seam fastball in different spots. That’s kind of how I’ve developed as a pitcher. I’ve learned where I can throw certain pitches and what counts to throw them in. Auburn was amazing — I loved every single minute and was able to develop a little bit there — but once I got into pro ball and got some metrics in front of me is when I think I really took off.”

Laurila: Where does your fastball play best?

Fitts: “Usually up in the zone, up-and-in. I like to throw it down-and-away a good bit too, but mostly up in the zone. That’s to both righties and lefties. I get pretty good ride on my fastball.”

Laurila: Do you know the metrics on it?

Fitts: “Last season, I was probably sitting anywhere from about 18 to 22 inches of ride. From what I’ve heard from hitters, and kind of from the data, I also have some perceived cut. It’s like a power cutter, almost.”

Laurila: Location and usage aside, are you throwing your fastball any differently than you did in college?

Fitts: “No. But when I got to Auburn, I was actually only throwing two-seams. I played the infield when I was in high school and threw two-seams across the diamond. When I got to Auburn, coach [Butch] Thompson said ‘Hey, you’ll tick up a couple miles an hour if you throw a four-seam,’ so I started long-tossing with one. At that point, the four-seam was new to me.”

Laurila: Are you throwing a cutter?

Fitts: “I played around with one last year, but I ended up scrapping it because it was too similar to my fastball. Actually, it was almost like a really bad slider merged with a really bad fastball.”

Laurila: What is your best secondary?

Fitts: “I’m working hard on developing a solid changeup that I can use against both righties and lefties, but right now it’s probably my slider.”

Laurila: Is it a sweeper or a conventional slider?

Fitts: “It’s a little bit in between. I’m trying to get a little more sweep to it, but not the giant sweepers that we’re seeing across the league. I’m starting to figure some things out in hopes of getting a consistent movement of 10 or more inches.”

Laurila: Were you comped to anyone in the Yankees system? Maybe a guy where they’d tell you, “Watch him, your stuff plays similar to his.”

Fitts: “We talked about that a little bit, but it was mostly just trying to find what I should work on as an individual. We looked a lot at video and would go from there.”

Laurila: Where are you velocity-wise?

Fitts: “Last year, my average was about 93-94 [mph]. This year, I want to tick that up a good bit.”

Laurila: How have you changed physically over the last few years?

Fitts: “Right now, I’m 6-foot-4, 245. I know that some listings have me at 215 pounds, but that was what I came into professional baseball at. Since that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds — 10 over the last year — and a lot of muscle mass. Now it’s just about fine-tuning my mechanics as best I can.”

Laurila: Any final thoughts?

Fitts: “My goal is to be a longtime big leaguer and to win here in Boston — win some World Series. I also want to be the best version of myself. You asked about comps, and right now I’m focused on becoming that best version. I want to be authentic. At the end of the day, I want to be Richard Fitts.”

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22. Jacob Burke, CF

Drafted: 11th Round, 2022 from Miami (CHW)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 208 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40

Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 45/50 30/40 55/55 40/50 50

Burke spent two years at Southeastern Louisiana before transferring to Miami for his draft year, and proceeded to slug .599 and set a career high in homers (13) with the Hurricanes. He has continued to mash in pro ball and is a career .291/.393/.439 hitter through High-A. He has quick wrists and a compact swing that generates doubles power with ease. More importantly, Burke has played center field well as a pro and projects as a viable big league defender there. He lacks the premium offensive tools of a regular or an oft-used platoon partner, but there’s enough here to consider Burke a likely fifth outfielder.

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Tyler Schweitzer, LHP

BA Grade: 45/High

Track Record: Schweitzer was the Mid-American Conference pitcher of the year in his final season at Ball State. The White Sox drafted him in the fifth round in 2022 and signed him for $325,000. Working strictly on his throwing program after reporting to Chicago’s minor league complex after the draft, the crafty southpaw pitched in 23 games in 2023 split between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem, with a combined 3.94 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 107.1 innings.

Scouting Report: Schweitzer takes the mound with a solid four-pitch mix that grades as average across the board. He commands his low-90s fastball and will occasionally get it into the mid 90s, with good life up in the zone and plenty of spin. His breaking pitches–a slider in the low 80s and a curveball in the mid-to-upper 70s–previously blended too much, but he did a better job of differentiating the two pitches in 2023. He rounds out his arsenal with an average changeup at 82 mph, and he’s been working on getting more separation between his curveball and changeup. Scheweitzer has above-average pitchability and feel for throwing strikes, and is described as having moxie when he’s on the mound.

The Future: Projected as a potential back-of-the-rotation starter, Schweitzer will get to Double-A at some point in 2024. His stuff isn’t flashy, but he gets the job done with his mostly average stuff.

Scouting Grades Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55

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Jacob Melton, OF, Houston Astros

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 210 | Bats: L | Throws: L | Seasonal age in 2024: 23

The Astros’ second-round pick in 2022, Melton was a late cut from the top-100, primarily because his approach isn’t good enough yet to get him there, although he has some plus tools including his raw power and his defense in center, which gives him a great floor as an extra outfielder. He’s overly aggressive at the plate and sells out for power, even though he has great bat speed and barrel control, so he should see some power come naturally as a function of the hard contact he’s making — averaging 90 mph and topping out at 112.

He’s had some advantages in the minors to boost his stat line, with 85 percent of his plate appearances last year coming against right-handed pitching (as in, with the platoon advantage), while he played most of the year in High-A Asheville, a terrific hitter’s park, and hit just .220/.318/.392 on the road. He needs to cut down on his chase rate and just make better swing decisions overall. He’s got 30-30 upside with plus defense in center if he can show a better approach at the plate.

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24. Fernando Perez, RHP

Ht: 6'3" | Wt: 170 | B-T: R-R

Age: null
BA Grade: 45/Extreme

Track Record: Perez signed in January 2022 as an under-the-radar target. He grew up in a remote area of Nicaragua and was not considered a notable signing. Perez debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 2022, making 12 starts and showcasing advanced command. He made 10 starts in the Florida Complex League in 2023 and impressed over 49.2 innings. The most memorable moment of Perez’s season came on Aug. 7 when he tossed seven no-hit innings to combine with two relievers to complete a no-hitter.

Scouting Report: A tall, projectable righthander, Perez has made his name early on the quality of his command. He mixes three pitches in his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. Perez’s fastball sits 92-93 mph and touches 94 at peak with ride and run. He shows good command for the pitch and consistently lands it in the zone. His most frequently thrown secondary is a low-80s gyro slider with some cut. He shows tremendous feel for the pitch. Perez’s changeup sits 82-83 mph with nice tumble and fade, and he commands it. His control and command are above-average and he projects to remain a starter long term.

The Future: Perez is a talented strike-thrower with a projectable mix and body who should grow into a back-end starter.

Scouting Grades Fastball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 55

https://www.baseballamerica.com/teams/2 ... =preseason

RHP Fernando Perez

Final stats: 2.72 ERA | 49.2 IP | 12 BB | 57 K

At 6-3 and 170 pounds, the 19-year-old Nicaraguan is still maturing physically but showed flashes of starter potential. Of the only 35 hits he allowed, just one was a homer.

“Perez had a huge year in FCL,” says [Joe] Sclafani, [the Blue Jays’ director of player development]. “He's a real strike-thrower, has a feel for how to pitch, can throw everything in the zone and manipulate the ball where he wants to. The building blocks there are super-exciting and he showed more swing and miss than we were anticipating. That will be a fun one to watch.”

https://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/article/bl ... n-on-rise/

27. Fernando Perez, SP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2022 from Nicaragua (TOR)
Age 19.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+

Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/45 50/55 40/50 20/50 91-94 / 95

Perez led Toronto’s FCL team in innings and posted a stellar 29% strikeout rate and a 6% walk rate. He isn’t an ultra-athletic or projectable teenage pitcher, but he is polished, sitting 91-94 with equal parts above-average rise and run. A big part of Perez’s effectiveness stems from the quality and utility of his secondary offerings. His upper-70s curveball has good depth, and he can occasionally create bat-missing arm-side action on his changeup. While he probably doesn’t have a terribly high ceiling, Perez has the kind of stuff that would go in rounds three to five were he a draft-eligible player.

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7. Keiner Delgado, 2B/SS

Bats: B | Throws: R | Height: 5-7 | Weight: 145 | Seasonal age in 2024: 20

Arias was the most famous guy on the Florida Complex League Yankees’ roster, but Delgado offered the best present hit tool, with the results to show it in a .293/.414/.485 line and more walks (36) than strikeouts (31). He’s a true switch-hitter with sneaky pop for such a fun-sized player, as he’s listed at 5-7, 145, and I hope for his sake he’s put on a few pounds since then. He’s got incredible feel to play the game, with smooth actions on defense and the sense that he’s always in control, giving him a chance to stick at short. If not, he’d be at least a 55 if he ends up at second, splitting time between the two spots. He’s small, but it’s plus run, plus hit, middle infield, and maybe a chance for 15+ homers. I’m in.

https://theathletic.com/5261866/2024/02 ... keith-law/

9. Fernando Perez, RHP

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 170 | Seasonal age in 2024: 20

Perez hails from Nicaragua, and he made his U.S. debut last year in the Florida Complex League, showing plus control already with velocity that improved as the season went on. He was more 88-91 mph early in the year but was consistently in the low 90s later in the season with good life on the fastball, averaging over 92 on the entire season, and he can spin a promising curveball as well. He’s got a big frame and should end up a strong kid who can handle some innings and probably throw even a little harder. He’s a ways off but projects as a league-average starter.

https://theathletic.com/5262403/2024/02 ... keith-law/

16. Richard Fitts, RHP

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 230 | Seasonal age in 2024: 24

One of the three pitchers Boston acquired from the Yankees for Alex Verdugo, Fitts quietly ended up in the top 10 among all minor-league pitchers in strikeouts with 163, with a solid year as a 23-year-old starter in Double A. It was more command and feel to pitch than stuff, as it’s a light 91-96 mph without a plus secondary, and he gave up 22 homers in 151 innings because hitters do make hard contact when they square it up. The command and control are something, though, so he could pick up with a move to relief, or perhaps the Red Sox find a way to boost his velocity or improve his slider or changeup and make him a back-end guy.

https://theathletic.com/5261710/2024/02 ... keith-law/

8. Dominic Keegan, C

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-0 | Weight: 210 | Seasonal age in 2024: 23

Keegan looks like a sure backup catcher in the majors, capable on defense, liked by pitchers, with power and some patience but fringy bat speed that’s going to cause his average to drop as he faces harder throwers

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4. Nick Nastrini, RHP (2024 top-100 ranking: 76)

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 215 | Seasonal age in 2024: 24

Nastrini went to the White Sox in the trade that sent Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers, a tremendous deal for the Sox that also netted them power-armed relief prospect Jordan Leasure. Nastrini was the Dodgers’ fourth-round pick in 2021 off a spring at UCLA where he walked 38 guys in 31 innings, a hell of a job by Los Angeles’ amateur scouting group, as he’s improved a ton since the moment he signed and projects as a fourth starter or better depending on how much further his command and control develop. He works with four pitches, sitting 93-96 mph with a plus changeup and plus slider. He has a pretty consistent delivery and traditional three-quarters arm slot that doesn’t give him a ton of deception; he gives up a lot of contact in the air, so there’s a risk he becomes homer-prone or at least prone to extra-base hits as he moves up the ladder.

The fastball might be his worst pitch, but he has three other weapons to use, with the changeup possibly a 70 given how much trouble hitters have with it. It doesn’t have terrific action, but it looks just like the heater coming out of his hand, and hitters missed it more than half the time they swung at it last year. There’s still some relief risk here as he walked about 11 percent of batters he faced last year and will have to work to limit hard contact. His 2023 season had more positives than negatives, however, and the odds of him remaining a starter went over 50 percent for the first time.

9. Jonathan Cannon, RHP

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 213 | Seasonal age in 2024: 23

Cannon has always had the stuff to be a major-league starter, both in terms of velocity and overall arsenal, but he’s never missed as many bats as scouts expected and, until recently, couldn’t even get the groundballs his two-seamer was supposed to get. That last bit did change in 2023, as he had a groundball rate over 50 percent on the year, but he still gave up too much damage on contact, a lot of it on his secondary stuff. He’s probably a reliever at this point, but I understand the urge to keep starting him.

11. Jordan Leasure, RHP

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 215 | Seasonal age in 2024: 25

Picked up in the Lance Lynn trade along with Nastrini, Leasure might have the best pure stuff in the system: 95-97 mph with carry at the top of the zone and a very hard, tight, downward-breaking slider in the upper 80s, along with an average curveball around 80 with very high spin rates. He’s a straight reliever between the delivery and lack of a weapon for lefties, but give him another half-grade of control and he’s rolling out of any big-league bullpen.

• Outfielder Terrell Tatum looks like he could have been a DI running back in another life, with a compact but strong build, plus-plus speed, and athleticism for days. He can play anywhere in the outfield, and he’s shown he’ll take a walk, drawing 100 last year between High A and Triple A. He’s also one of the most extreme groundball hitters in the minors, over 60 percent at both stops last year. The White Sox have been trying to work with his swing to get him to hit some more line drives, which would give him a solid platoon upside.

Jacob Burke has the tools to be a decent fourth outfielder who can handle center, but he just doesn’t make enough contact for a low-power guy.

https://theathletic.com/5257706/2024/02 ... keith-law/

Justin Campbell was the team’s second-round pick in 2022 but has yet to make his pro debut after undergoing ulnar nerve decompression surgery last May. He’s 6-7 with an average fastball and plus changeup, but there was already a concern about him losing velocity going from pitching once a week to every fifth day. He did throw a ton of strikes in college, a demographic where Cleveland’s had success.

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1. Jacob Melton, OF (Just missed)

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 210 | Bats: L | Throws: L | Seasonal age in 2024: 23

The Astros’ second-round pick in 2022, Melton was a late cut from the top 100, primarily because his approach isn’t good enough yet to get him there, although he has some plus tools including his raw power and his defense in center, which gives him a great floor as an extra outfielder. He’s overly aggressive at the plate and sells out for power, even though he has great bat speed and barrel control, so he should see some power come naturally as a function of the hard contact he’s making — averaging 90 mph and topping out at 112.

He’s had some advantages in the minors to boost his stat line, with 85 percent of his plate appearances last year coming against right-handed pitching (as in, with the platoon advantage), while he played most of the year in High-A Asheville, a terrific hitter’s park, and hit just .220/.318/.392 on the road. He needs to cut down on his chase rate and just make better swing decisions overall. He’s got 30-30 upside with plus defense in center if he can show a better approach at the plate.

https://theathletic.com/5263881/2024/02 ... keith-law/

[RHP] Cristian Mena will start the season in AAA.

Mena is Arizona’s No. 12 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

“His slider and his curveball are both really good, and he’s got a decent changeup, too,” Hazen said. “I think we’re still looking for, and we haven’t laid eyes on him yet, but some velocity gains that we think could be in there given his youth and with more maturity, and then refinement of everything. He’s certainly not a finished product. I’d very much anticipate him being in [Triple-A] Reno to start the season.”

https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/mining-the-news-2-12-24/
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9. Cristian Mena, RHP

Bats: R | Throws: R | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 170 | Seasonal age in 2024: 21

Acquired in February for outfielder Dominic Fletcher, Mena reached Triple A last year at age 20, although his results weren’t that great at that level or at Double A, as he walked too many and was too homer-prone. He drives the ball down in the zone really well and has a plus curveball that missed a lot of bats at both spots, with enough of an arsenal to profile as a back-end starter if he cuts the walk rate down. I could see him picking up another 1-2 mph from his current 91-94, which would obviously help him stick in a rotation.

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The true headliner of the deal is probably [Richard] Fitts, a 2021 draftee who hit Double-A in 2023. He commands a rising fastball well and held his 93-95 mph velocity over a 150-inning workload. It’s the kind of pitch that provides a good foundation for a starter’s arsenal; it’s not one of those flat-plane invisiballs that turn batters into pretzels, but it has good shape and he keeps it out of the center of the zone while peppering the upper boundary of the zone. But don’t take it from me; here’s Eric Longenhagen’s updated report on him:

“Fitts spent most of his college career in the bullpen, but, as the Yankees frequently do, he was moved into the starting rotation as a pro and he has ascended through the minors with little resistance. Fitts worked a whopping 152 innings in 2023, 50 innings more than he did in 2022, and not only maintained his velocity throughout the entire season but had a little bit of a bump. He began his last start of the year pumping 93-96 mph fastballs past Double-A hitters. There is still not a third pitch here but Fitts checks every other starting pitcher scouting box. Plus-plus fastball command and a hard two-plane slider give him two whiff-getting weapons, and any worry about stamina or command leftover from his pre-draft look has evaporated. The Yankees list is going to be one of the first published and Fitts would have been a 45 FV arm ranked relatively high in that system. His 40-man timeline puts him on pace to debut in 2025. If he can develop a third viable offering in 2024, he’ll be a top 100 prospect next offseason, but he’s polished enough as a strike-thrower to debut in 2024 if the BoSox need him.”

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Rule 5 pick Shane Drohan underwent nerve decompression surgery on his shoulder Thursday and will be shut down for a few weeks.

Drohan will resume throwing towards the end of the spring and likely open the regular season on the 60-day IL. The Rule 5 pick from the Red Sox was a long shot for the White Sox rotation, but he appeared likely to claim a bullpen spot.

https://www.nbcsports.com/mlb/shane-dro ... ff309200f4
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Justin Campbell, RHP, Cleveland Guardians

Campbell could have been (and maybe should have been) in the Black Box Pitching group of this year’s Picks to Click. The graceful 6-foot-7 righty was Cleveland’s 2022 first rounder, but he has yet to throw a pro pitch at an affiliate because he was shut down post-draft and then had May 2023 surgery to relieve pressure on his ulnar nerve. He had premium extension/approach angle traits and a plus changeup when healthy.

Shane Drohan, LHP, Chicago White Sox (BOS)

Drohan could be sent back to Boston if the walk issues he had later in 2023 persist; the White Sox don’t otherwise have the alternatives to push him off the roster.

Ryan Fernandez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (BOS)

St. Louis’ bullpen isn’t destitute, but it would probably take a couple of the current NRIs (Ryan Loutos, maybe?) kicking the door down during spring training to domino Fernandez off the roster.

Hunter Goodman
, RF/1B, Colorado Rockies

Goodman ... garnered Top 100 consideration despite [his] overt flaws. [Goodman] chases enough that it fundamentally alters [his] profile ... Goodman had a 38% chase rate against sliders in 2023, per Synergy. He also swings about as hard as anyone in baseball and is dangerous all over the zone. He caught about a dozen games in 2023 and more often played an outfield corner, first base, or DH’d. He’s at the bottom of the defensive spectrum, yes, but he is fairly versatile.

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Pitching prospect Cristian Mena has been impressing with increased velocity in Spring Training.

The 21-year-old Mena was just acquired by the Diamondbacks from the White Sox for Dominic Fletcher back in early February. Since arriving with his new team, he has showcased a fastball that’s sitting 94-96 mph after averaging just 92 mph last year. That’s a key, according to Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen, who said “If the fastball starts playing better, I think he’s going to have a lot of success.” With Ryne Nelson currently slated in the final spot of the Diamondbacks’ rotation, it’s not out of the question that Mena could push him at some point during the season if he continues to develop.

https://www.nbcsports.com/mlb/cristian- ... 7b36f50000

Jonathan Cannon
, the White Sox No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline, threw two hitless innings in his Cactus League starting debut during a 5-0 loss to Arizona Sunday, striking out two.

“This spring is really just kind of been making sure the fastball shape is good,” said Cannon, who threw 15 of his 25 pitches for strikes. “Pretty much was exclusively sinker/cutter. That’s been a big focus for me in throwing that sinker glove side, which I did a lot today to lefties.

“So, that really has been the biggest focus is working on that sinker glove side. Making sure the cutter is good, changeup. I didn’t throw any breaking balls today, but that’s been a big focus as well.”

Pitching at the big league level, albeit during Cactus League action, was a different feel for Cannon -- at least, at first.

“I was actually talking about it in the dugout,” Cannon said. “Once you get on the mound, it’s just baseball. That’s how I’ve always looked at it. The anticipation is a lot worse than actually going out there and playing the game. So it was all good.”

Nick Nastrini, who makes his first Cactus League start for the White Sox against the defending World Series champion Rangers on Monday at Camelback Ranch, looks at confidence and trust in his repertoire as the biggest development over the past two years.

“It’s really just being able to throw all my pitches in every single count,” Nastrini said. “That’s something our coach really touched on in college [at UCLA].

“It was not something I was really able to do. It was something I really wanted to establish, especially last year being able to throw behind-in-the-count changeups, breaking balls, and execute breaking balls back to back.”

The only way to find this particular improvement is to practice what you preach in actual game situations, according to Chicago's No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline. That practice also could mean giving up a few hits while refining the process.

“It takes walking some guys, too,” Nastrini said. “You are going to go up there and throw a 2-1 changeup and yank it and go 3-1, so it’s being able to do that over and over again, having that confidence.

“You can throw any pitch in the bullpen because you can attach a count to a pitch during a bullpen, but there’s no repercussion if you don’t execute it. Being able to do that in the game is something you have to be able to do. It’s for sure a confidence thing.”

Nastrini, 24, came to the White Sox with fellow right-hander Jordan Leasure and outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Dodgers in exchange for Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly at last season’s Trade Deadline. He probably won’t break camp with the team but would be on the short list at Triple-A Charlotte if -- and when -- the White Sox need a starter.

“You just have to pick up right where you left off,” said Nastrini of being traded. “The guys in the clubhouse when I got to [Double-A Birmingham] were really receptive. I was really thankful for that. You have to keep going.

“Catch your stride in a different place. There’s going to be differences going from any organization. There’s going to be differences in the way the coaches work and the way they communicate, but there weren’t really that many crazy differences. It was a pretty seamless transition.”

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Re: 2024 Padres Prospect News and Notes

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Damiano Palmegiani, INF, Blue Jays

Although a final 2023 line of 23 home runs in 540 plate appearances with a .255 batting average doesn’t sound particularly compelling for a 23-year-old across two levels, Palmegiani’s combination of solid power and approach with an average contact rate plays up in RoboScout’s model when folding in the underlying Statcast data. Finishing the season in Triple-A, it’s quite possible that the Venezuelan-born 14th-round draft pick from 2021 sees some time with the Blue Jays in 2024, continuing their recent lineage of righthanded-hitting bats with 20-plus home run power, a patient approach, but with limited defensive value, in the Davis Schneider mold.

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