Monday, May 20, 2013

Royals Frontrunner for Best European Prospect...EVER

According to Baseball America the Royals are the frontrunner for arguably the best European prospect ever.  That prospect is 15 year old SS Marten Gasparini.  Here are a few notable quotes from Ben Badler of Baseball America.
  • Gasparini, who turns 16 on May 24, is 6 feet, 175 pounds, hits from both sides of the plate and is an outstanding athlete with 65-70 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. -Ben Badler
  • "Yet Gasparini isn’t just good for a European player—he’s one of the premier prospects in the entire international market." -Ben Balder
  • "He’s a well-above-average athlete with really good agility and really good body control,” said one international scouting director. “It’s a good body on an athlete with tools. He brings a lot to the table. Even if he goes to center field, he profiles there at a premium position. The competition level in Europe is more like middle-of-the-road high school in the United States and he’s not facing the 92-94 mph some of the Dominicans face, but he hits in games. He’s a really interesting guy." -Anonymous International Scouting Director
  • While Dodgers vice president of international scouting Bob Engle made the Mariners a leader in signing European prospects until he left in October and the Cubs have also shown interest, most sources believe the Royals are the frontrunners to sign Gasparini. -Ben Badler
  • "As soon as I saw him at 13, I knew we had a chance to create a superior player if we could work with him for a couple years." -Bill Holmberg 
  • After a year in the academy, Gasparini went to Chihuahua, Mexico to play shortstop for Italy in the 15U World Championship, a tournament heavily attended by international scouting directors. While Italy went just 3-5 in the tournament, Gasparini shined, hitting .419/.514/.710 by going 13-for-31 with a double, four triples and six stolen bases in six tries. -Ben Badler
  • "The player who he reminds of most is Derek Jeter,” Holmberg said. “Now I realize those are some big shoes to fill and they are definitely different in their swings and some skills, but I think they are similar in their actions. I have seen Marten make some plays on (defense) that are more advanced than what should be the case considering the age on his identity card." -Bill Holmberg

It's very good to see the Royals scouting all over the world for elite talent.  Even if the talent doesn't pan out the Royals are searching high and low and willing to take the chance and put the dollar sign on the muscle.  IF the Royals were to sign Gasparini, it would add to an already crowded group of prospects at the SS position in the Royals farm system which include:  Humberto Arteaga, Ramon Torres, Jack Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi, and Orlando Calixte.

As far as I'm concerned the more SS prospects the better, especially if this one is classified to be elite like scouts have said.  As a Royals fan, there are things that go on during the season that frustrate us all.  I know I'm one of the worst at seeing all the negatives but when I see reports like this from Baseball America, these get me excited.  MAYBE one of these prospects will eventually pan out and be a superstar player like the Royals need.

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