First of all let me apologize for taking so long getting this up. I've been busy and had computer issues the last couple days but hopefully better late than never. Secondly, I apologize that this isn't an in depth scouting report on everybody but with a family and friends I had to pick out people to focus on and be willing to not focus as much at other times. If you want more info on anybody not mentioned or even more on anybody that is mentioned let me know and I'll let you know what I can. Lastly, I was in a pretty poor spot to view the strike zone since I was sitting behind the Cubs dugout but I at least had a decent view of vertical movement/location.
Jake Arrieta was on the mound when I went down on Saturday and I was actually interested to see Arrieta in person. He was a guy I had my eye on this year as somebody who might finally put it together after his peripherals indicated much better performance than his record and ERA last season. The scouting report on Arrieta hasn't seemed to change much since he was a top prospect with the Orioles. He was attacking the lower part of the zone with a combo of his fastball which peaked at 96 and what Pitch F/X calls his sinker which was peaking at 92. Other than his fastball/sinker he through an occasional slider which was hitting around 88 and an occasional change 86-87. Jake seemed to be hitting the lower part of the zone well, however the Express had his number as he was getting fouled off early and often forcing him to throw 23 pitches in the first inning. Other than the 3 run homer and 2 deep fly outs by Manny there wasn't any hard contact off of him and he still seemed like a guy that could be serviceable as a back of the rotation guy at least.
Josh Vitters was serving as the DH in just his 2nd game back from the DL so I did not get a chance to see him in the field but I was pleasantly surprised with his ABs. In his first AB he took 2 fastballs just outside the zone low before lining a single to left. Both pitches that he took for balls the Vitters I've seen in the past would have swung at instead he waited for a pitch that would have been an easy double if it had not been right to the LF. Josh popped out to short in his second AB but in his 3rd he again got himself in to a hitters count. He let pitches low in the zone go by before hitting a double out to left. Granted it was only a couple of ABs after not seeing Josh play in over a year but he did look like a guy that actually wanted to wait on a pitch to hit rather than thinking he could hit any pitch.
Jae-Hoon Ha did not look like his bat belonged at AAA. He hit a couple of soft grounders to then Express 3B Mike Olt including the first triple play in Round Rock history and struck out looking. In the field was a different story though. Ha looked to have very good range in CF having to run in on a shallow pop up in the first that was at his shoestrings and then later chasing down a Manny fly to the warning track in RC.
Mike Olt was starting at 3B while still a member of the Express and lived up to his scouting report. His defense at 3B looked good as he fielded multiple plays at the hot corner and his arm looked good on throws to second and first. At the plate Olt looked patient as he tries to work his way back from a very poor start due to vision problems, although he might have been too patient as he struck out looking twice. I still don't believe that he will ever be able to be a high avg guy due to his swing but he does generate plenty of power. He connected on an Arrieta fastball just above knee level and had no problem hitting it a long way out to LC.