Friday, August 31, 2012

Notes on Durham Bulls and Charlotte Knights

For no particular reason, I watched the Charlotte Knights (White Sox AAA) and Durham Bulls (Rays AAA) on MiLB.TV (a lot of it has to do with the quality of broadcast they have). I then decided to write a little bit about a few of the players I saw in the game.

Durham Bulls:

Jim Paduch was the right-handed (spot) starter. He was at 91-92 MPH and very hittable. He threw some 89-90 MPH fastballs with a little more movement and sink. His change was inconsistent in movement and location at 82-83 MPH. He mixed in an occasional 73 MPH curveball. Paduch had a lot of grip problems in the game and it made it really hard to make a read on his command/control. He is not a strikeout type guy, but could and probably should be a ground-ball guy. I am not sure why he throws that fastball high at really any time.

Cole Figueroa struggled at 3rd base in the game. He is listed as a 2nd baseman and is usually considered a good defender. He is a little guy that was acquired from Padres in Jason Bartlett trade with a little pop (not really a home run threat, but could hit some line drives and doubles).

Tim Beckham is probably the top prospect on either team. He has speed, athleticism, arm, and can hit the low pitch with some authority.  He hit the ball hard and on a line every time he made contact. His plate discipline is not very good though, and probably the weakest part of his game.

Henry Wrigley has been an interesting player statistically, but had some ugly chases on breaking balls. Both his numbers and his age suggest that he is something like a "mistake" AAAA hitter, and the empirical evidence seems to confirm that.

Leslie Anderson's swing was not pretty and he was chasing just about everything. He was able to make quite a bit of contact, but it was with below average foot speed.

Dane De La Rosa sat at 91-93 MPH with his fastball but didn't have much control of it at all. It is somewhat flat, but goes in on right-handed hitters. His breaking pitch looks like a curve at 81-82 MPH (it is either that or a terrible soft slider). It hangs there and doesn't have great or big break. He threw one good one, and it was the last pitch of his outing.

Charlotte Knights:

Josh Phegley is a former 1st round pick. Of course he doesn't run well, he is a catcher. You can see some power though, as he pounded the ball off the wall when he looked a little fooled on a changeup. There is some swing and miss in his game, but he got a breaking ball from Josh Lueke (who was 93-94 MPH but had no control over his off-speed pitches and was getting hit hard) and pulled it over the fence. Defensively, he didn't look that great, having some problems catching and blocking the breaking ball. His overall receiving skills just do not appear to be very good.

Scott Carroll was the starter for the Knights. The veteran RHP has a 88-91 MPH moving fastball. He has plenty of size at 6-4, so you think he will be able to get on top of the ball. He has a 82 MPH slider, that seems a little softer than its velocity. In other words, it doesn't "bite" hard. He can't really throw it for strikes.While Carroll can get AAA hitters to swing at it, I don't see how he could get MLB hitters out with it with any kind of consistency. He has no real 3rd pitch.

Jhan Marinez hit 95 MPH on his fastball and can locate it low. His command was shaky and he didn't show off a 2nd pitch, but the velocity is fun and he is still young.

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