Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scouting Notes on the Albuquerque Isotopes

I saw the Dodgers AAA affiliate (the Albuquerque Isotopes) play in Round Rock on June 2nd. I was there to see Roy Oswalt pitch, you can read my write up on his start here. I originally saw that the pitcher for the Isotopes was Fernando Nieve, a AAA veteran (parts of 8 different seasons in AAA) at 29 years old. I didn't start writing notes on him until I saw the radar gun give us some pretty interesting figures.

He was showing off an above average fastball at 91-04 MPH, hitting 95 MPH a few times. He blew a few of the younger hitters away, and one of the old hitters, Brad Nelson. He also murdered Nelson's bat in an earlier at-bat. He struck out 2 straight batters in the 2nd before giving up a double. He did give up a couple hard line drives that turned into outs. He had an okay slider at 84-85 MPH that fooled some hitters. He also threw it for some quality strikes. Mike Biannucci, a man of monster power, hit a homer on a slider that wasn't really bad, it was a ball down low. The only thing you could complain about it was that it was just kind of slow. He had some horrible luck in the 5th when two ground-balls got through. The line wasn't overly pretty or anything, but it was a quality start and there is something to be said about that in the PCL.
In 99 games (mostly relief appearances) in the Majors, Nieve had a 5.40 FIP and 4.58 SIERA (much closer to his ERA). His average velocity was 92.7 MPH. From what I saw, it looked like he could be a guy that could help a weak starting rotation on the back-end or perhaps be a long man or other reliever and be able to just throw all fastballs and add a couple MPH on his velocity.

Brian Cavazos-Galvez is a pretty young (25 years old is younger than league average) left fielder. He is really slow both in the field and on the bases, sort of surprising with his size. He has no real plate discipline, but has a good contact tool. He chased a low breaking pitch and hit it pretty hard, then did the same thing and hit a homer. He then struck out a very similar pitch to end the game.

Josh Fields had some brutal plays at first base. With his speed, he really has the lack of tools that one would guess a first baseman would have. He doesn't have the bat to make up for it though. He got ahead 3-1 in one at-bat only to chase a breaking ball (he ended up grounding out to end the at-bat).
Jeff Baisley is listed as a 3rd baseman, but played DH and looks more like a DH. It looked like he had a good eye until he chased some Aaron Heilman sliders. He has a weird looking swing where it looks like he is dipping like crazy. He is also pretty slow. Luis Cruz is a middle infielder with a good contact tool but the ball doesn't exactly jump off his bat. It didn't look like he has any power, it must be a PCL miracle that he has 5 homers this year. Tim Federowicz doesn't look like he is going to chase low pitches, but he was having problems with the high fastball. He obviously isn't much of a runner.

Out of the bullpen, 28 year old Derrick Loop pitched 2 innings. His fastball was anywhere from 85-90 MPH without much break on it. He finally broke out the breaking pitch in his 2nd inning of work, a 76 MPH pitch with some okay break. He gave up a hard liner to Matt Kata, an infield pop, a broken bat ground-ball, and got a double play despite having problems throwing strikes.

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