More Futures Game scouting notes
July, 14, 2014
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesPirates prospect (and Futures Game player) Josh Bell is hitting .333 at high Class A this season.Here are a some stray notes and observations from Sunday's 16th annual MLB Futures Game. If you missed my first batch, here they are.
• Pirates outfield prospect Josh Bell, the team's second-round pick in 2011 and the recipient of a $5 million bonus that year, earned the "best hit tool" nod in my Futures Game preview, and it was evident in batting practice, where his bat speed was improved and he looked better swinging right-handed than he had in the past. He's still stronger from the left side, setting up more consistently by his rear shoulder with a more pronounced pause when he loads, but right-handed, it's just a question of getting the bat to the zone at a consistent time. He had just one at-bat in the game -- he was left in the hole with James Ramsey on deck for the (winning) USA team in the bottom of the eighth -- and, hitting right-handed, he grounded out to shortstop on a 95 mph fastball leading off the bottom of the seventh.
• Toronto southpaw Daniel Norris has had a breakout year in the Blue Jays' system, which team execs credit to Norris and his coaches working with him in the offseason and this spring to get his delivery more online to the plate and his arm swing more consistent. His delivery isn't perfect, but it's better.