Batting Practice Observations

The World and U.S. teams have finished batting practice, and one of the most impressive performances came from the Twins’ Luke Hughes.

Hughes generated tremendous loft in his swing, showing impressive power from an unimposing frame at six-feet, 190 pounds. Hughes’ teammateon the World team, Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez, also showed off his raw ability in BP with a smooth stroke, lacing line drives to all fields, sending a few balls over the fences, including one that hit off the second deck in right field.

Reds third baseman Juan Francisco looked choppy at times, but had as much raw power as anyone, hitting multiple balls into the third deck in right field, though not all of them stayed fair. 

Yankees catcher Jesus Montero put on a spectacle a few weeks ago at the South Atlantic League All-Star game, blasting home run after home run into right center field with the friendly breeze at Greensboro. His first few reps in the cage started slow, but Montero hit three out of the park in one of his final BP reps, something the Yankees certainly hope he does more of in this stadium in the future.

For the U.S., Phillies catcher Lou Marson showed some nice raw power, an encouraging sign for a player who could become a star should his power emerge. Marson is a plus defender with an excellent handle of the strike zone, and at 22 years old there’s still some power projection left.

The Marlins’ Cameron Maybin and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen sometimes get lumped together as outstanding center field prospects who went 10th and 11th overall in the 2005 draft, but watching Maybin and McCutchen you notice two players who project differently. Maybin has good size at a lanky 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, great raw power and plenty of room to fill out. McCutchen is a similarly prodigous athlete, but much smaller at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. While McCutchen likely won’t hit for as much power as Maybin, McCutchen develops enough power for center field with his bat speed.

Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler has had a healthy year so far, and he’s been one of the best hitters in the Double-A Texas League. Some scouts still have questions about Fowler’s power, but his 6-foot-4, 175-pound frame is still skinny, with plenty of room to pack on more muscle and develop more power.