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Kingsport Mets Scouting Notebook: Dash Winningham, Arnaldo Berrios, and other position players

Some thoughts on Dash Winningham, Arnaldo Berrios, and other K-Mets hitters of note.

Dash Winningham

1B/DH, Kingsport Mets (R)
Height, weight: 6'2", 230
Age (2014 season age): 19
Acquired: 8th round, 2014 ($175,000)
Date(s) seen: 6/26-6/28 vs. Bluefield Blue Jays: 4-for-14, 3 R, 2B, RBI, 2 K
2015: 290 PA, .266/.310/.479, 63 K / 15 BB

Winningham has garnered interest from Mets fans and prospect watchers to a level that probably outstrips his amateur pedigree (to be fair, his name is Dash Winningham). And generally speaking, high school first baseman is a difficult professional profile to get excited about, but Winningham showed me a lot in this look. He is not simply a one-tool masher; he has some real feel for contact too given his professional experience level. And the power is real, coming from what scouts would term "country strength."

The approach is a mixed bag, but there is some stuff to like there too. He tracks off-speed stuff side-to-side well, though he would chase up in the zone. The defensive profile is, well, a high school first baseman. Winningham has reportedly worked himself into much better shape, but he is first base only to me, and the hands and footwork are still rough there. It's a bat-only prospect, but the bat is better than I expected and he warrants closer watching in 2016.

Arnaldo Berrios

RF, Kingsport Mets (R)
Height, weight: 5'9", 175
Age (2014 season age): 19
Acquired: 39th round, 2014
Date(s) seen: 6/26-6/27 vs. Bluefield Blue Jays: 3-for-7, R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K, HBP
2015 so far: 228 PA, .249/.336/.340, 71 K / 21 BB

Berrios was a very-late-round pick out of Carlos Beltran's academy in 2014. At first blush he fits pretty neatly into a long line of Mets right field organizational soldiers that can run a little bit, throw a little bit, and pop one every once in a while. It's the Raul Reyes->Eudy Pina->Victor Cruzado family tree. Berrios fits that mold, as there just isn't a standout tool here, and he isn't a center fielder, but he caught my attention anyway because he is a miniature replica of Javier Baez, and he pulls off the Batting-Stance-Guy imitation from both sides of the plate. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) he doesn't have Baez's bat speed or elite raw power. It's not just a BSG imitation though; Berrios looked pretty good working back up the middle and gap-to-gap with his swings, and there are enough athletic tools there that he should be roaming right field for Mets affiliates for a while.

Short Hops

Patrick Mazeika was the Mets' eighth-round pick in this year's draft. I only saw him for one game at catcher and thought the arm was a little short and the swing a little long, but the performance was obviously there. The path to the show is littered with college guys killing the Appalachian League and then petering out in A-ball or Double-A, but if I'm honest, I just don't have a good feel for Mazeika yet. It happens.

I've got a bit better feel for Kevin Kaczmarski, though. The other college bat that powered the 2015 Kingsport offense, Kaczmarski was a senior sign in the ninth round and is 16 months older than Michael Conforto. Okay, that's probably not a fair comparison, but Kaczmarski looked too much the part of a guy who beat up on mediocre college pitching (which you can also find plenty of in the Appy League). The swing looks geared for BBCOR bats, getting a little extra spring as he tries to serve everything opposite field. I think he will struggle with better velocity as he moves up the ladder, and it's a left-field-only profile.

Darryl Knight answers the question that has been on all of our probably only my minds: How would Ivan Wilson fare as a catcher? Knight is a premium athlete who shows plus or better grades for both arm and raw power. I missed his two-home-run game by a day, but the scouts in attendance were more than happy to regale me with tales about the prodigious power display. The phrases "longest home run I've seen in that stadium" and "the second one was almost in the same spot" were used. You can only write what you see, though, and I saw a grand total of one game and a pinch-hitting appearance. The defense behind the plate is rough outside of the show-piece arm, and the approach at the plate was unfortunately also comparable to Ivan Wilson's.