This is my GM Voice Memo for Aug. 18, 2039.
OK, so this is the damndest thing – and it doesn’t reflect all that well on my attention to detail.
Today I found a kid on our Rookie League roster who our scouts grade out as a 75 potential prospect.
And yet, I had no idea.
How does that happen? Well, I’ll tell ya …
The kid’s name is Francisco Salgado, and he’s been pitching as a starter in Monclova – and pitching pretty well. But, he’s really got just two pitches: an excellent cutter, an excellent slider, and a god-awful changeup that he needs to just ditch.
My predecessor, apparently, had directed the coaches to officially designate him as a starter and put him in the rotation, hoping he’d develop. Well, as a starter, the scouts grade him out as a 45 – not terrible, but nothing exciting. That’s the grade that shows up on his profile sheet and all the larger listings of the players in our minor league system.
So, when I’ve been looking at the cursory evaluation screens on our minor league kids, I saw him as kind of a middling prospect and didn’t pay him all that much attention.
Except … he’s been pitching well for Monclova (4-4, 2.83 ERA) and our scouts have recommended for the past couple of weeks that he be promoted to Class A.
So, this morning, I call up the detailed scouting reports on him, and I’m immediately confused: they have his overall potential listed as a 75 and grade him out as 5/8 stuff; 3/6 movement; and 3/9 control.
None of that squares with a 45 potential starting pitcher. So, I start drilling down, and I call Anibal Cruz, the pitching coach for the Aqua Sox, and he says, “Oh yeah. Well, Salgado is a hell of a pitcher, but I think we might be doing him a disservice by forcing him into a starting role. You know, we drafted him as a reliever.”
Well, no. I didn’t know. But I do now – and sure enough, his scouting summary concludes that he “has the talent to be a top reliever, even a future closer.”
Yikes. I gotta actually read these things, it seems.
Anyway, I tell our guys we’re gonna promote Salgado to Grand Junction, to change his designation back to RP, and to put him the hell in the bullpen.
I’m an idiot, clearly. But still, this is like Christmas in August: it turns out we’ve had a hell of a relief prospect hiding in plain sight all along.
Just glad I finally saw him for what he is ...