Keith Law scouts Low-A Charleston

Campos. (Photo via Charleston River Dogs)

Campos. (Photo via Charleston River Dogs)

As I mentioned last night, Keith Law was in attendance for Low-A Charleston’s loss to Augusta on Saturday. He posted his scouting notes today (subs. req’d), so here’s a quick recap…

  • RHP Jose Campos showed “reduced stuff and an arm action that seems destined for further injuries or a role in the bullpen.” He settled at 89-92 with below-average command, pretty much the opposite of what made his such an exciting prospect a year ago. His breaking ball and changeup are still works in progress. “This was far from an ideal look,” said Law, acknowledging Campos missed basically all of last year due to injury, “but what I saw didn’t give me a ton of hope.”
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr. is “a mess on both sides of the ball,” and Law said SS Cito Culver was “running worse than I’ve ever seen from him.” 1B Greg Bird “didn’t seem to be able to pick up anything” at the plate.
  • OF Yeicok Calderon has “bat speed and a strong arm, but his hands are all over the place at the plate and the Augusta pitchers blew him up with velocity.”
  • LHP Evan Rutckyj sat in the 89-91 range with a “fringy changeup and a slider at 80-82 that might give him a chance in middle relief.”
Categories : Minors
  • Havok9120


    So “everything sucks, always” is basically his review of that group.

    • jjyank

      Yeah, that wasn’t exactly the most encouraging report.

  • Pasqua

    So, you’re sayin’ there’s a chance…

    • jtb20384

      What was all that 1 in a million talk…

  • ClusterDuck

    ” Cito Culver was “running worse than I’ve ever seen from him.”

    Is that all he had to say about Culver?

    Is that his full context report on Culver?


    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He also said he dropped switch-hitting but still didn’t get a ball out of the infield when he squared it up.

      • ClusterDuck

        Okay, I now read it as a single game assessment. And Culver and the the team sucked that one game.

      • pat

        Well he hit two bombs a few games ago, so what does that mean? Luck?

        • JobaWockeeZ

          It can mean many things but since none of us watched the game, all we can say is that he hit two home runs.

          So unless he starts hitting for power consistently it means nothing.

    • Gonzo

      He’s written about Cito before with more information .He also mentioned him getting good wood on a ball and not being able to get it out of the infield. I imagine there’s not much for him to say about him anymore. He was one of the first people I’ve read that said he should stop switch hitting, fwiw.

      • ClusterDuck

        “He also mentioned him getting good wood on a ball and not being able to get it out of the infield.”

        Law’s comment all but says Culver is incapable of hitting the ball out of the infield. Yet several days earlier Culver hit two home runs.

        Law’s comment and Culver’s two home runs taken together tells me I can’t rely on Law’s comments.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Law’s comment says that, on the day in question, Culver was not able to muscle the ball out of the infield. Nothing more, nothing less

          Law has never claimed otherwise.

        • Gonzo

          I don’t think Brendan Ryan can hit but there here is getting a hit that one time. So if he said Culver was a power hitting stud, you wouldn’t argue would you? Because of that one time he jacked two out.

        • Soriano is a Liar

          Mega lol, I’m sure what Law meant was that Culver will LITERALLY never hit a ball out of the infield. Sounds legit.

    • Gonzo

      FWIW, I just heard Jason Parks say that Culver is nothing to get excited about on his podcast. Mentioned that he’s a trade throw in right now.

      • Laz

        TBH though this is his 4th season in the system, and he is only in Charleston. Wouldn’t give up on him yet, but he has a ton to prove.

  • trr

    So on the bright side….there’s

  • thumper

    Sounds like Law might have sat on a tack that day.

  • Opus

    Technically, a ball has only one side, so I can’t give credence to anything he says in this report.

  • Yankees’

    Campos still has a lot of potential in him and his first start back hopefully is not indicative of future starts as he gets more comfortable back from the injury.

  • CONservative governMENt

    The Blue Jays fired him for a reason.

    Wouldn’t get too worked up over his single-game assessment.

    • Gonzo

      I don’t think he was fired. He decided to leave a GM who thought the BJ Ryan and Vernon Wells contracts were good ideas.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        To get paid a lot of money by ESPN.

  • Gonzo

    Everyone knows that you can only believe reports that agree with your ideas. Otherwise, you must attack the author.

    Cognitive dissonance ftw!

    • trr

      Good point, and I see that practice all the time on my political blogs. Having said that, his report is chock full of perjoratives, with damned little insight or perspective. However, his voice should be heard and considered on this worthy forum…

      • Gonzo

        How do you know that’s the way scouting reports aren’t written in general? I sure don’t know. I’ve listened to KG relay scouting opinions from team scouts, and they never struck me as articulate, in depth, and erudite.

        I’m also not sure what insight you’re looking for in this report? It’s a snapshot.

        • trr

          Exactly! For instance, saying that Bichette is “a mess on both sides of the ball” tells us nothing. Not looking for erudition here, but a little more depth (effort?) would be nice. I’ve read some actual scouting reports, and they are quite detailed. All we can take away from this post, as havok said is “everything sucks”

          I’m not down on Keith, just this post.

          • Tremont

            Saying Bichette is “a mess on both sides of the ball” tells me everything I want to know. He is of the opinion that he is bad at everything.

            • trr

              I think we all get that Tremont, but saying someone is a “a mess on both sides of the ball” strikes me as a little shallow. Normally, RAB offers more analysis. But if it tells you what you need, more power to ya.

          • Gonzo

            He’s actually written about DBJr before. I’m pretty sure his report that he sucks falls in line with what he’s written about him previously.

            It’s obvious that DBJr wasn’t his focal point and what he saw didn’t change his view on him. He’s said he’s close to a NP. I guess that means he doesn’t require many words.

            • trr

              As i said, Keith’s position deserves consideration. Nearly everthing I’ve read about Bichette is negative. I guess the only reason he gets so much ink is his high draft position, or his name…

    • JobaWockeeZ

      I’d normally agree but anything with KLaw deserves a pinch of salt. But most people know this by now so the vitriol isn’t as great as it was.

      • Gonzo

        Curious, do you think he deserves more salt than Parks, PJ, Callis or KG back in the day? If so, why?

  • This Year

    C’mon Keith. Jose has pitched a total of 6 innings in a year. Wouldn’t your command be off and your arm strength on the low side. Maybe he will eventually fail, but give the kid a chance in 2013, for Pete’s sake.

    • Rick

      Gotta do it for Pete!

      • CS Yankee

        If not for Pete, do it for his sake.

        …which BTW, goes well with Sushi and Kiran beer.

  • AnthonyD

    I think Law picks weird spots to preach political correctness when he’s generally a dick. That being said, his scouting reports tend to be really well written and I’ve always found him to be very fair to NYY prospects. Sucks if the RD are in fact this fringy / bad.

  • Thanks again

    Well at least Pineda is pitching well……. Oh wait…

    • Get Phelps Up

      Stayed up all night thinking of that one, didn’t you?

    • pat

      2013 Montero: .176 /.176/.206

      • murakami

        How many PAs is that? Guy’s a notoriously slow starter, and I don’t mean his footspeed. He’s also 23. But, as they say, whatever.

        • mustang

          You are right we will see.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Don’t give us that you’ve called Montero a bust more than North Korea sent out threats.

            • mustang

              How come I knew you would show up to this.

              I Have now explain this to you so many times that I lost count so this would be my last time.

              1- I NEVER called Montero a bust. I have just pointed out that his number have NOT YET achieve the Miguel Cabrera level or any level close to what so many boasted about for so long.

              2- I do follow Montero because he is my little test subject on what becomes of prospects who get label with ridiculously stupid expectations.

              So please in the future if you’re going to make statements like ” you’ve called Montero a bust” enclose a link to when I said it.
              This way you don’t look like an ass that is just upset because Montero has not YET live up your lofty expectations.

      • mustang


      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Hell, 2012 Montero: .260/.298/.386 and -0.4 WAR.

        Considering that Noesi had -0.7 WAR last year, we’re winning the trade pretty handily.

        • mustang

          The fact that Pineda hasn’t pitched 1 MLB inning for the Yankees doesn’t exactly make it a win, but Seattle shouldn’t be jumping for joy either.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            They’ve gotten -1.4 WAR out of the trade. We’ve gotten 0 WAR out of the trade.

            They’ve lost the trade more than we have, so far.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              But the players the Yankees received have been injured. Not ignoring WAR but at least Montero is healthy.

              • Laz

                But Yankees got better production from Ibanez last year as the DH.

            • qwerty

              Hilarious! The fact that Montero actually has stats to tally up means he’s playing. That in of itself has value, if not to the mariners then to another team willing to trade for it. Pineda and Campos aren’t worth a bag of balls at this point. Yeah, we’re winning this trade, lol.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’ve always found the whole “WE ARE WINNING TEH TRADE” sentiment to be ridiculous. Jesus Montero’s not setting the world on fire. Jesus Montero is PLAYING BASEBALL, at least.

            Let’s at least give Michael Pineda a chance to fuck up on a major league mound before ordering the balloons and blow jobs.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              I don’t need you judging my coping methods, Tilapia!

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Do what I do. Assume he’s tanking on purpose to the point we can re-acquire him for, say, Evan Rutckyj, Greg Bird, DBJ, and Cito Culver (since they all suck) and, then, DOMINATE.

                Or just root for Pineda to be the fucking balls when he gets back.

                • Cool Lester Smooth


            • mustang

              THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          As long as you ignore the trade value component, sure. If the Mariners put Montero out there in trade talks they’d get more for him alone than the Yankees would for Pineda and Campos right now.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            I don’t actually believe that; I’m just lying to myself to mitigate the deep sense of loss I’ve felt ever since they traded Our Savior.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        The hypocrisy is hilarious.

      • Dave M

        Montero sucking has taken a little bit of the sting away. But not much.

  • Dalek Jeter

    I’m just saying, it’s 1 game, in early April, and the only guy who I care about is coming off a major injury. I hope we don’t take the scouting report of Pineda in his first start back as gospel to what he’s going to be going forward.

  • Okulafan67

    I guess it WAS over at Pearl Harbor!

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Stupid Germans!

      • Rick

        The Germans?… Just let him go, he’s on a roll.

  • Merc

    Since when did bloggers become professional scouts?

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Well, what actually happened is that a professional scout got paid a lot of money by ESPN to become a blogger.

    • CONservative governMENt

      Law worked four years for the Blue Jays, including some major and minor league scouting.

      Before that he was an internet baseball writer.

      This assessment of Campos means nothing to me, but that’s probably just the cognitive dissonance talking. Might as well move him to the bullpen now.

      • shadow

        Keith Law is apart of the new wave of ivy league sabermetric minds that have no baseball experience other then organizing digets. His role with the Blue Jays was supplementing marketing ideas and became a minor league scout and a top advisor for the draft. His baseball eye is that off a computer printout. Sounds like it straight out of the handbook. When you have a guy who never laced it up talking about “reduced arm action” or “hands are all over the place” it screams cliche’s that he learned from the trade rather then having a clue on how to spot it or detect it.

        I talk all reports with a grain of salt. Good or bad. He’s the same guy who said Troy Tulowitski’s long swing, and limited range will prevent him from being a mega prospect. So they took JC Romero instead. Good pick but I think it’s safe to say he was wrong about Tulo.

        • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

          I believe you but am curious about how you know these tidbits? Are they public? (Links please) or do you have real friends in the biz?

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Well, the Blue Jays disagree. The Astros did as well. I’m not sure how having played after high school makes a difference in how well one takes to being trained as a scout…

          • shadow

            I guess you missed the bullet points. As said above, one not having a baseball backround has a lot to do with being able to have a trained eye. Reading scouting 101 gives you a reference and catch words that sound cute but having a trained eye takes years of working in the buisness. There is no denying that.

            A lot of guys are out of the league looking for work because they were incompetent. It’s not hard these days to become a professional scout and make 26,000$ a year. Have a few high school at bats, have a good resume, get a reference and your a scout. They will hire anyone willing to put the work in and work for free for a couple of years to show how serious one is. Especially people in the upper northwest or northeast were regional scouts are non existant.

            So yeah Keith Law worked as an assistant GM for an organization that was horrific at the time of his tenure. On top of that he has been one to have a bone to pick with certain organizations such as the Cardinals. Calling a team lucky to have made it to the playoffs and have absolutley no shot to beat the Tigers was a classic fail and it speaks volumes about his pompus dorky well being. Especially someone who never laced it up

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              The Cardinals in 2006 were absurdly lucky to make the playoffs…

              And he worked in the business for years and was successful and well-respected enough to move pretty damn far.

  • pat

    While I’m sure our guys didn’t do anything worthwhile the game he saw he knows if he goes over the top Yankees fans will angrily flood his site and chats. Just take it for what it is, another opinion of many floating around.

  • Chip

    Also, it’s only one start. I mean, I’m pretty sure anybody who scouted CC on opening day would have said that he doesn’t belong in the league. Give him a few months to build up arm strength and make sure his elbow is fine.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’m sure he’ll be ultimately right on some of these, and wrong on others. I’d guess I’d want to see a bit more patience than a couple of starts with Campos, but am fairly indifferent to the others.

    Good thing they hold one of these draft things ever year.

  • mustang

    Well time to switch teams…lol

    Campos has pitched 6 innings coming of an injury !!!!!!!

    I’m going to leave it at that.

  • Karl Krawfid

    A little early no?

  • David

    Normally, I’d go the sarcastic route and say this makes me very optimistic about our scouting and our future, but I think Law was just plain butthurt here. I’m not sure if this was as in-depth as he got with his reports, but these are just single game commentaries. I’m not going to take too much away from this just yet.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      I think Law was just plain butthurt here.

      So you think Law has some anti-Yankee agenda?

      • JobaWockeeZ

        I’d be the first person to argue otherwise but in this case there probably is. It isn’t influencing his opinions but he definitely dislikes the team. Of course he’s entitled to do so.

        • Pat D

          Yep, he dislikes the team he’s stated numerous times that he rooted for while growing up.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Yeah. I love all the “anti-Yankee bias” people who don’t know that KLaw grew up a Yanks fan.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Ya mess wit Evan Rutckyj, ya mess wit da whole family. Unduhstand?

          • Voice of Reason

            So did Keith Olbermann. So did Cliff Corcoran. So what? People can’t change? Develop interesting new hatreds for a number of unfathomable reasons? Who knows, give it a few years, you might end up disliking the Yankees. It happens.

            • Pat D

              So you’re just going to assume that KLaw now hates the Yankees? Yea, that’s a good conclusion.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          Who cares who he likes and doesn’t like as long as it doesn’t influence what he writes which is what David implied with his comment

          • Robinson Tilapia

            God forbid someone write something negative about Yankee prospects. It must mean he has something against the team.

            He didn’t like what he saw that night. End of story. Most of us couldn’t pick these prospects out of a police lineup.

            • Manny’s BanWagon

              Exactly why we’re reliant on guys like Law for an honest assessment of the prospects.

              I highly doubt any Yankee bias influences what Law writes about Yankee prospects and comments from anyone who implies Law may have an anti Yankee bias in an attempt to discredit his opinion is just plain ignorant.

              • Rick

                We ain’t done got none of them bad prospects over here.

              • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

                Actually, I could see him using a negative bias toward the Yanks specifically because he grew up a fan and now doesn’t want to seem like a homer. So maybe he gives the guys a harder time. Or maybe they do, in fact, suck.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Bichette and Culver didn’t surprise me since they both are likely blown picks.

    Lousy reports on Campos and DePaula, supposedly 2 of the top young arms in the system, however is quite disappointing though it’s early and I guess things can improve.

    • YankeeGrunt

      What was his take on DePaula?

      As for the wider piece, Law’s a worthwhile read but his calling card is obstinance. He forms opinions about players, often in quite limited look-ins, and if later on things improve (or in some cases stall or regress) he is reluctant to move away from those first impressions.

      • Preston

        Since Campos was pitching, he didn’t see DePaula.

        • AndrewYF

          His take on DePaula: “Didn’t even take the field, hard to have hope for a guy who doesn’t even play. Organizational arm at best, whenever he decides to deign us with his presence.”

  • EndlessJose

    It’s sad Bichette and Culver who are two first round picks can’t even fill up two sentences about there skills makes me scraed that Damon Oppenheimer is gonna screw up the draft picks this year.

    • YankeeGrunt

      And those same drafts brought us Mason Williams and Greg Bird, along with half a dozen other legit prospects. I didn’t like either pick, but judging those drafts or the man who orchestrated them on those two picks alone is silly.

      • YankeesJunkie

        The most upsetting part about the picks is they were not even close to the best available player. While player personality and composition are important, that is not an excuse to choose so far down the talent pool.

        • YankeeGrunt

          Bichette went at 51. Historically picks that low have less than a 50/50 chance of getting to the bigs at all, even less of a shot of contributing meaningfully. How many guys in the conversation at 51 have done much of anything in the minors so far?

          The Culver pick at 32 is a little different. There were a few overslot guys available, including Castellanos, and a number of very good prospects have come out of that sandwich round, including Mike Olt and Taijuan Walker. But it’s still a low-percentage pick, and a switch-hitting shortstop with a great arm isn’t the worst gamble they could have made.

          • YankeesJunkie

            Most picks beyond #20 is going to be a crapshoot regardless, however that does not mean the Yankees should make a pick who is not the best talent or close to it. The Yankees need to be picking the best talent and not character and MLB blood.

            • I’m not the droids you’re looking for…

              Maybe they simple disagreed about exactly which players represented the best talent.

              • YankeesJunkie

                True, however when drafting HS players it is more based on potential and not actual talent.

                • Cool Lester Smooth

                  This. Cito is a relatively toolsy kid from a cold weather state. Pretty damn projectable.

                  He was probably a second-round talent who they picked in the first round since he was their guy.

          • pat

            Castellanos practically cost more than our entire draft that year. They had to operate under the constraints of a budget imposed by ownership. They did the best they could w/ Williams, Austin, Culver etc.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They were both reaches where they were drafted. They were risks. So far, there’s evidence that those risks may not pan out. Most prospects are a crapshoot. Prospects like this are even more of one.

      I’m quite confident this organization is capable of switching direction when necessary.

  • forensic

    Good report: “Yankees prospects are the best ever and rule the world!”

    Bad report: “Law is just a schmuck blogger who hates the Yankees and knows nothing about scouting, and happened to see them on a very rare bad day this season.”

    I’m not even sure what the point of this kind of stuff is, but whatever.

    • Dave M

      Well, the truth is somewhere in between……..:-)

  • RetroRob

    Well that certainly was depressing.

    The Campos velocity reading was the most concerning. It is early, but was hitting 96+ at this time last year.

  • mr. sunsine

    Kieth, buddy, tell us how u really feel ! Talk about debby downer. Fuck dude, get laid already !

  • dkidd

    i award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul

  • bo knows

    I dont have any issue wih what Law said. My issues though are with Rutckj and campos. I tthink the talk with campos came based on what has already happened rather than what will happen, I seriously doubt hismechanics that last year were called clean and easy are so much different that they will increase his risk. The difference though is that he got hurt, and the second that happens his mechanics immediately came to questions.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Did he say anything about Robert Refsnyder?

  • Joba’s ‘Stache

    This is clearly a “one-game” assessment as I have already been to two of the 4 home games and seen a very different side. Culver is straight mashing the ball and is swinging harder than I saw all last season. DBJr had a walk-off RBI the other night and has been drilling it. He also is doing batting simulations before the game which looks like he’s in a trance. DePaula’s wild game the other night was a result of his first time pitching in front of a crowd and under the lights…

    I’m not making excuses and I’m certainly no scout but I’m at the majority of the home games and observe pretty carefully. Oh, the stadium sits directly on the Ashley River and there is always a breeze/wind. If its coming off the water, it’s a pitcher’s park and nothing is leaving the walls fwiw…

  • Joba’s ‘Stache

    DePaula pitched the home-opener on Thursday and got rocked with 11 balls in the first innning. FWIW, it was his first time pitching under the lights…