Friday, September 21, 2012
International League Pitchers Notes
Will Inman was a third round pick by the Brewers way back in 2005 and was Baseball America's 91st best prospect going into the 2007 season. During the season, he was traded to the Padres as part of a trade for Scott Linebrink. He had mixed results in AA, never missing a lot of bats and was held there for a long time. He was also held in AAA for basically 3 full seasons where he struggled in the PCL and was let go. He pitched for the Red Sox AAA this year as a reliever (he was mostly a starter with San Diego). This move doesn't surprise me as he has definite relief mechanics. He is a strike thrower
with a 89-91 MPH 4-seam fastball. Inman can also sink it at 89 MPH and throws a curve at 73-77 MPH. It is big and loopy, and he can throw it for strikes. It really was his main pitch when I saw him and he doesn't really bury it. It gets it up to 80 MPH, where you almost want to call it a separate pitch, even though the movement isn't much different despite being a little bit sharper (as you would expect with velocity increase). He buries the one that is a little bit harder if you want to separate those pitchers.
Inman was a pretty effective reliever, with a 3.76 FIP and 3.78 SIERA, striking out 28.3 % of batters. He kept the ball in the park but had a huge problem with walks. When he threw strikes, he was dominate, as hitters had a .308 SLG against him. He threw strikes 60% of the time, which is below average, but not nearly as bad as his walk rate suggests. He is interesting, but didn't get as many swings and misses out of the zone (O-swing %) as you would want in a guy you expect to be a strikeout pitcher.
Nick Christiani was a 13th round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 2009. In AAA this year, he had a really good ERA, but less impressive DIPS (including a SIERA well worse than league average). He didn't have a good strikeout rate and walked too many batters for the low strikeout rate. According to the plate discipline stats, no matter if he threw the ball in the zone or out of the zone, he gave up contact (and it was hard contact, with a ridiculous line drive rate).
The right-handed reliever sits at 89-91 (hit 92 MPH with some tail like a 2 seamer)MPH but with obvious sink (sometimes sinkers are somewhat hard to tell, this one isn't). The pitch even broke like a splitter a couple of times. It stayed up a few times but it looks like a good pitch when down (when it stays up it simply will not be effective).
He mixes this with an 83-84 MPH slider. It doesn't actually have that much difference in movement compared to the sinker. The velocity difference should keep hitters off-balance somewhat.
Shane Dyer was picked in the 6th round in 2008 by the Tampa Bay Rays and has had a mediocre minor league career with not a lot of strikeouts, mainly as a starter. Dyer got his introduction to AAA this year and it did not go well thanks mainly to BABIP, but he didn't exactly strikeout a lot of hitters either.
As a RHP, he throws just 87-90 MPH, with a little bit of tail (but not impressive enough to really make up for the velocity). He also mixed in a 86 MPH slider/cutter occasionally with a (got down to 78) 81-82 MPH good not great movement and locations on change. Dyer also showed off a rare curve at 77 MPH with decent late break (not loop).
It really is not good looking stuff overall. I sure don't see anything here, but his command was pretty solid.
Anthony Carter was picked in the 26th round by the White Sox in 2005, so at 26, he is too old to be a prospect. However, he throws 94-95 MPH as a right-handed bullpen arm. He also has a slider at 87 MPH with decent downward break (also seemed to either throw a change at similar velocity that he left up or they were sliders that didn't break. I honestly couldn't tell). He throws it a lot to lefties and it stays up too much and isn't very consistent. Personally, I would like to see him throw that pitch less.
He really wasn't exceptional this year in AAA, but was solid with FIP and SIERA in the 3.70 range. Because of a lack of a 2nd pitch, his strikeout rate really wasn't amazing. He got a lot of ground-balls and kept walks down (throwing strikes over 65% of the time).