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Eyeball Scout Enjoys First Spring Training Win

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One game down, three to go, and "interviews day" is not until tomorrow, so this is just an appetizer from the Eyeball Scout, who enjoyed today's 9-4 win over the Colorado Rockies. Observations from section 100 (behind the plate, three rows in front of the inimitable Shooty Babbitt):

- Apparently, according to baseballgirl, "Shooty Babbitt" auto-corrects to "Snooty Babbitt". But anyway...

- Sean Manaea's stuff does indeed look good. Reports had his fastball averaging around 93MPH and hitting 94-96 MPH, which seemed reasonable from my vantage point. (I guessed amybe he was throwing mostly 93MPH and topping out at 95MPH.) Most notably, his fastball has a ton of run away from a RH batter, which should make him difficult to pull -- batters will need to essentially hook the ball in order to turn that pitch around and pull it. Manaea's slider and changeup offered effective secondary options and he was definitely not very hittable.

The only caveat was the one you would expect if you have followed Manaea's career to date: his control was not always pinpoint sharp. He looked to me exactly as I imagined, which is someone whose stuff could play in the big leagues right now but who could use a couple months' seasoning at AAA to master his control. You will be seeing Manaea sooner rather than later, methinks.

- Josh Reddick impressed me with his two left-center field hits, one a smoking line drive to the gap for a double, the other a softer single through the hole just left of 2B. Earlier in his career, Reddick was a terrible off-field hitter because he did not have the ability to hit the ball with much authority. To see him scorch a drive the other way and also use the left side again with success, bodes well for Reddick's chance to pick up where he left off in 2015 -- the first season in which he showed some success hitting the ball the other way. Also, Reddick unleashed a strong one-hop throw to 3B that while too late to get the runner showed the arm-strength clearly lacking in 2015.

- Dillon Overton pitched 2 effective innings and what stood out to me was that he consistently got broken-down swings from his offspeed pitches, which appeared to have excellent deception. I didn't ever hear a report on his fastball velocity, but to my eyes it looked perfectly decent (90MPH?). Physically he is a bit reminiscent of the lanky Jerry Blevins, and perhaps all the arms and legs flailing in his angular delivery creates some important deception.

- Both on the back field and in the game, Jake Smolinski looked a bit hapless at the plate, but it's March 4th. Danny Valencia showed that while he is steady on balls he gets to, his range is nothing to write home about. Valencia shares these qualities with Jed Lowrie so it will be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of a season. And based on his first swing, I would have to say that Franklin Barreto is probably a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

More from the Eyeball Scout as the weekend progresses...