15 January 2010
Becoming Acquainted: Scouting the Sally
Posted by Jon Shepherd
As we occasionally have done in the past and now planning to do more so in the future, we like to interview other individuals who run exciting and rather informative websites that we think you should check out. Scouting the Sally is one of them.
Mike Newman is the founder of the site. He began it after coming to the realization just how much talent comes through the league. In the past four years, talents such as Ben Zobrist, Gaby Hernandez, Alcides Escobar, Hunter Pence, Gio Gonzalez, Phil Hughes, Carlos Carasco, Brandon Erbe, Mat Gamel, Fernando Martinez, Elvis Andrus, Jose Tabata, Austin Jackson, Kyle Drabek, Chris Coghlan, Logan Morrison, Desmond Jennings . . . I can go on and on. The shear number of current and future MLB talent that went through this league was staggering and presented Mike with an opportunity to provide in-depth analysis on a low minors league that is rich in relevance to Major League Baseball. His site provides easy access to some of the most detailed first hand scouting reports and videos on Sally prospects. His main goals for his site are to build up networking and communication through media and professional baseball.
Mike's background also helps provide some credit to his work. He played college baseball on the D1/2 and JuCo levels and spent some time working in professional baseball at AA. He then spent several years coaching high school baseball in Florida before devoting himself to his family. Baseball gnawed at him though and he has now decided to use Scouting the Sally as an outlet, which is much to everyone's benefit who is interested in low minors prospects. Mike's clear, descriptive reports are an excellent tool in getting a first read on a player you have seen (or haven't seen enough) or to cross check your own analysis of a player.
After the jump, I ask Mike about his thoughts on Joe Jordan, LJ Hoes, Xavier Avery, and his future plans for the site.
Crawdaddy: What are your general impressions of the talent that Joe Jordan is introducing into the Orioles system as it passes through Delmarva? How does it compare to other teams?
Mike Newman: Delmarva was down in 2009. They didn't have anything in terms of impact talent; especially on the pitching staff. I'm excited about the 2010 team as Hobgood, Givens, and Bundy would be a fun trio to scout. Overall, I'm impressed with how the organization has drafted over the past couple of years. I know people bashed the Hobgood signing, but it freed up more money to go overslot on a handful of players which builds the organizational depth they are lacking just a bit.
CD: After a promising rookie ball campaign, LJ Hoes statistically took a step back in the SAL. What is your report on him? What do you think his projection is?
MN: Hoes seems to have lost a step or two and his lower body is becoming too large for my liking. He's not nearly as sleek as he used to be and may have to move off of second base at some point. If this happens, it tanks his prospect value as he doesn't have the bat to profile as adequate at the corners. I like his bat speed through the zone, but he's is not going to project for much power.
CD: Similarly, what is your report on Xavier Avery?
MN: Avery had an excellent two-strike approach and understood his limitations on the field. He worked ground balls back up the middle and used his legs which was good to see. The question will be whether or not he can develop enough pop to keep fielders honest as I see little power potential. His glove is a bit of a question mark at this point. He can cover a ton of ground, but I question his route running and every fly ball seems to be an adventure.
CD: What future plans do you have for yourself and Scouting the Sally?
MN: Right now I'm just having a blast making connections in baseball and hearing from readers around the country. The next obvious step would be to rebuild the site to allow ads and incorporate more multimedia elements. I love using web 2.0 tools including Twitter and Coveritlive, but I was a broadcasting major in college and want to grow into a quality weekly podcast.
CD: I'd like to thank Mike for this short interview and suggest all of our readers to go and check out his site, Scouting the Sally.
Acknowledgements: Videos were provided by Mike Newman at Scouting the Sally