New VSL Prospects Underway: With some pre-season questions surrounding the regular center fielder on the VSL Tigers squad, the Tigers picked up 18-year old Alexander Moreno. At 6-4, 185 pounds, Moreno has the body scouts love with tons of projections remaining on his lanky frame. He displays wiry strength with average to slightly above-average raw power from the right side. He is an above-average runner with a solid-average arm in center. Alexander's instincts are still extremely rough, as he is still learning to play the game and understand his defensive responsibilities.
Infielder Adolfo Reina (18) can play both up the middle on the infield and has shown some ability behind the plate. He has a ‘strong, stocky build' with excellent strength for someone his age, and a balanced stance and approach at the plate. His raw power is slightly above-average and as he continues to mature physically, he could add additional pop. His arm is solid-average and very accurate from all positions.
Rounding out the new additions to the VSL roster is right-hander Frank Penalver. Penalver is a little on the small side, sitting at just 6-foot, 150 pounds, but at just 17-years of age, there is some optimism for continued growth. Frank is a strong competitor on the mound, who wants the ball in any situation. His fastball works from a quick arm action to sit in the 88-91 range with good movement down in the zone. He has shown an aptitude for spinning his curveball, and flashes an average change-up with good fade. His command must improve to take advantage of his promising three-pitch mix, but the tools are there.
Two Additions in the DSL: As we draw nearer to the start of the DSL season, there will be at least two new arms hurling from the mounds in the Dominican. Right-hander Winter Kery has a power pitcher's profile, with a long, loose arm action and a projectable body (6-1, 165). His fastball has above-average sinking movement and the potential for plus velocity down the road. The 18-year old Kery has shown an ability to mix in a solid slider with above-average potential.
Joining him as one of the DSL rookies will be 16-year old right-hander Melvin Mercedes. Mercedes has a stronger, thicker frame (6-3, 190) that generates more power now, but lends to less projection down the road. He has a nice, loose arm action that generates an above-average fastball; one which has touched 94 in the past. Melvin has flashed an average power curveball, and with increased feel, it could become an above-average second offering.
Two More DSL Moves: The Tigers have released pitcher Waldy Sierra after three years in the organization. Sierra came stateside with the GCL Tigers in 2005, but struggled to the tune of a 9.27 ERA in twelve appearances. For his age 19 and 20 seasons, Waldy returned to the DSL where he was much better in 17 starts, sporting an ERA below 4.00 in both seasons. The 6'2" right-hander was slated to work out of the DSL rotation for the third season in a row.
The Tigers have also added a big lefty to the DSL mix; signing Kelvin Medina and placing him on the DSL roster to start the year. At 6-foot-4, 175 pounds, Medina has a great frame and solid athleticism that could lead to plenty of velocity down the line.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.