After years of threatening to do so, I finally went to Fishkill yesterday to see the Hudson Valley Renegades play. It's a bit unfortunate that we still haven't signed out first 5 picks from the 2009 draft, so there probably aren't many (if any) guys likely to make it to the majors, but here goes what I saw:
Alex Colome - Alex Colome started on the mound for the Gades. I didn't see anyone in the stadium with a radar gun, but it was pretty obvious that his pitches had more pop than anyone else who was pitching that night, and I'd estimate that he was sitting in the 92 - 93 range. Good news is that his fastball does tail away from righties naturally, so while it's very straight on the Y axis, it has some movement on the X axis. Also, when he missed with it, he had a tendency to miss low, although when he missed high, it was very high. Sometimes he looked great, pounding the bottom of the zone with fastballs. The first batter he struck out with a number of fastballs that came in right at the knees, and the hitter never really got the bat off his shoulder. However, there are times when he'd also lose the zone and throw 5 or 6 balls in a row. Didn't throw much else besides the fastball, although he showed two other pitches. One looked like a very fast slurve, with which he did generate a couple of swings and misses, but he didn't have much command of the pitch. The other was either a really bad change, or a really slow curve, which looked nothing like his fastball either coming out of the hand or in the delivery. That pitch will probably need to get completely retooled as he moves up the ladder. Once in a while, he'd ratchet up the velocity even more, but when he threw max effort, he didn't seem to know where the ball was going. Overall, I'd say he has some promise, but if he doesn't improve, he could also easily flame out around the AA level. Ended the day with 7 Ks, 4 walks and only three hits allowed, with most of his contact leading to relatively weak contact, although there were a couple of big fly balls that tracelled pretty far.
Doug Salinas - The second pitcher in was Salinas. His velocity wasn't nearly as good as Colome's, but he was a big guy with a pitcher's build. I'd say he was closer to 220 than the 195 he's listed at, and he's every bit of 6'4". He was able to generate some strikeouts as well by mixing things up a bit and locating his pitches decently, but he'll need to improve his fastball velocity to have success at the higher levels.
Zach Quate - Quate was the third pitcher. Probably organizational filler long-term. Smaller guy, throws from a tricky short-arm 3/4 slot. Nothing special about his pitches, so I imagine he won't have too much success once guys figure out his delivery. The delivery isn't low enough to be considered a sidearmer.
Tyler Bortnick - Of the position players, he was one of the most impressive. Long-term, I doubt he has the arm for shortstop, so he'll probably need to move to 2B, but he had a good nose for the ball and a good line drive swing. He was the only hitter there who seemed to be able to direct the ball while hitting. While his swing didn't generate much power, he was able to 'hit it where they ain't'. His 2 RBI double was a liner along the third base line that fell fair and rolled back to the corner. Each time he hit the ball, he made fairly solid contact, but he didn't seem to have much more than gap power. Also looked decent on the basepaths, but probably needs to improve his decisionmaking. Once, he was successful in stealing 3B, but there was a left-handed batter at the plate, so it probably wasn't a great decision. Another time he was easily picked off running against a lefty pitcher who was throwing over to 1B about 5 times before each pitch he threw.
Dustin Biell - The other position player who looked promising was Biell. Didn't have a chance to see him too much defensively, but probably won't have the speed to play CF long-term. Not the best eye, but he had a pretty line drive swing, and when he made contact, it was very solid contact, and sounded different coming off his bat than the other players. Also was able to lay down a perfect sacrifice bunt, but didn't have enough speed to beat out the throw.
Brett Nommenson - Watching him, I have no idea how he hit so well in college. My girlfriend (who was a professional classical musician and thus is well attuned to this type of thing) said she thought it looked like they were changing something about his swing and that he didn't look comfortable with it yet. On a ball hit out to right, he ran one of the worst routes I think I've seen in my life, missing a ball that either of the Gabes would have easily caught by about 10 feet.
Burt Reynolds / Elias Otero - Both guys were fairly similar, so I'll lump them together. Both were wiry and small, with a little bit of drive in their bats and were able to make some decent contact, but the ball just didn't carry well for them. Otero looked okay defensively and was nice in turning a double play. Didn't see too much defense from Reynolds.
Eligio Sonoqui - Another guy who was lankier than I expected, especially for a 1B. Didn't look to actually be 6'2", looked more like 6'0". Did a good job of picking up balls from the dirt. Hard to tell much about his swing since I was on the 1B side and he's a lefty. FWIW, name is pronounced "El-Lee-yo So-NO-key".
Mark Thomas - Tiny guy for a catcher, and could really fly for a catcher. Seemed to have pretty good plate discipline, but the contact he made was really weak, a couple of infield dribblers. Didn't get to see his pop times.
Mayo Acosta (who was DHing) and Christopher Murrill didn't leave much of an impression on me. Nobody too special looking on State College, other than that Craig Parry seemed to have a very strong arm. The Gades ran a lot on him, but mostly because they were able to get really good jumps on the pitcher. Considering how he's hitting, if I were the Pirates, I'd consider converting him to the mound.
Fun night overall. I was surprised by how small the foul lines are at the stadium - it historically plays as such a strong pitcher's park that I was expecting there to be huge foul areas, but that wasn't the case. Also, the PA announcer was a lot of fun, occasionally jawing at the other team's players over the speaker system.