Interesting on the difference of opinions. On the broadcast and from what I've read it sounds like Houcke is a bullpen guy waiting to happen while the Red Sox organization thinks he can develop into a starter.
I was a little concerned by the projection that Brannen by MLB.com tops out at .270 - and maybe I'm reading way too much into that as I'd hope to hear that he'd be a .270 - .300 type of hitter. I would hope with his speed, he'd have a hit tool that would allow him to hit better than that. I didn't understand that power hitting lefty comment when all other reports say there's potential for some pop, but that power wouldn't be a big part of his game.
It sounds like he's either a 2nd division regular if he's a .250 - .260 hitter or if he doesn't hit enough, a fourth outfielder?
I think the Red Sox feel he's the guy who will eventually take over for JBJ, giving them great speed and defense in CF with a chance to hit with some pop.
Agree with your assessment on Brannen based on write-ups. He has Ellsbury speed, a little less hit for average and a better arm. He sounds as though he would fit the Sox as a good 4th outfielder if on today's team. Houck sounds like a reliever -- throws with effort and from a side angle--unless his delivery is tweaked.
Last Edit: Jun 13, 2017 10:12:16 GMT -5 by sarasoxer
Also, as a former sprinter, I'll say that a 6.18 60 yard time (basically a 55m), *on a grass field in cleats from a standing start* is STUPID fast. I'm not sure how they time (it's clearly electronic, but it probably is tripped by plane break at the start, so it doesn't include the 0.24s reaction time of T&F races), but it's still ridiculous. The top 10 55m world records are clustered right around 6.00-6.05 range, and that's from blocks in track spikes on a surface designed to maximize speed. I genuinely doubt that even Hamilton is appreciably faster. I can't stress how fast 6.18 is for a H.S. kid. If he has any baserunning instincts at all, 30 steals is a floor, not a ceiling.
Brannen sounds/looks like a great athlete with top of the line speed. That said, lets not go too crazy trying to put hard projections on batting average and HR totals. This is a high school kid with significant development ahead of him. He may very well not light the world on fire offensively in the GCL this summer, but lets give the boy some time in the system before we know what we have here.
I think the projections are made by the scouts not so much posters. Given those projections, while understanding their limitations, he appears to be a solid outfielder. Sure he can get bigger and stronger (probably not faster) and alter those projections.
As another former track guy, I can support telson's assessment on his 60 speed. What's odd is that on various scouting reports I saw Brannen's speed rated as 65 or 70.
The only thing that makes sense is that his raw speed doesn't yet fully translate to in game speed.
It's like the difference in Sam Travis raw power and his in game power. A bunch of reports have said he can crank HRs in batting practice, but his swing limits his power in games.
The BP article I posted talks about Herb Washington (who was a world-class sprinter in the 70s, in particular a guy whose explosive acceleration was better than his top end; he was a hand-timed 5.8 60y runner, or about 6.05 for an electronic time), who was only ever a mediocre to poor basestealer despite what would be 80+ speed. From the sounds of it (based on hitting and defensive prowess), Brannen's a baseball player first. Good point...we'll see how it translates.
Ohh alright, I was only going by the 70 grade speed given here. I didn't know how to grade speed based off the sprints. All I know is that Jacoby was a true burner. It's great that this kid sounds like he could be one too.
Telson thanks for the clarification and since you mentioned Herb Washington, worth repeating my memory of him. By his second step he was full speed, and was sliding into second as the catchers throw was still sailing over the mound, as my friend and I had our eyes popping out laughing! He had not played baseball since high school and took so much crap from other players for not being a "true" baseball player that his experiment as an exclusive pinch-runner was ended within another year or two. I still feel that if such an explosive runner had been given more time to learn pitchers movement tendencies the raw speed may have developed into prolific basestealing. Using that roster spot in today's game, though, with larger pitching staffs and more bench versatility required would be a difficult fit.