Monday, September 10, 2012

Scouting Reports on Santo Manzinillo and Charles Leesman

Santo Manzinillo is a right handed reliever in Brewers system that is pitching for their Class A team but is already on the 40 man roster. Thanks to arm issues and a car accident has taken a step back in his development. In a small sample size across 3 levels this year he really struggled. However, he can throw a fastball at 97 MPH (reports I have seen say anywhere from 95-100, but he averaged about 97 when I saw him). The best part is that it is not straight. When you hear people talk about a fastball that has "life", Manzinillo's fastball is a great example.

He didn't have great control over the slider, but it is something he seemed to have confidence in as he threw it several times. It has very nice downward movement and late break. He can miss bats, Manzinillo has elite reliever stuff. The command needs work, but it is workable, he isn't uncontrollably wild. He has catching up to do, but if he stays healthy, he could be in the big leagues rather soon because the Brewers won't want to keep that stuff in the minors.

Charles Leesman was an 11th round pick in 2008 by the White Sox (after being picked in the 40th round by the Twins in 2005). This year, he was one of the top statistical starting pitchers in the AAA International League with a  3.71 FIP and 4.14 SIERA (the SIERA is actually exactly league average). He was ranked as the 11th best prospect in the (bad) Chicago White Sox system by Fangraphs' Marc Hulet, who cited his ground-ball rate.His ground-ball rate took a big dip from AA-AAA but was still solid and roughly 7% better than average. He walked a few too many batters but had a respectable, although below league average, strikeout rate.

The lefty comes over the top while simultaneously throwing 3/4. It is almost painful to watch, but it clearly gives him some deception.
The velocity sits at 87-90 (touched 91 a couple of times) with a little downward movement. It cuts when it is in the high or middle parts of the plate. In fact, it is basically a cutter, he doesn't throw anything that looks like a 4-seamer. It stayed in the middle of the plate a few times and I counted at least 3 times where AAA hitters hit the ball relatively hard (in the 4 inning outing I watched) where a good MLB hitter would have taken him out of the park.
His secondary option is a 76-78 MPH change. It breaks like a poor man's slider and got up to 80-82 (which might have actually been a slider, it was certainly better at this velocity range, but there were only 4 or 5 of them). His command of it was poor, sometimes it would sit in the middle of the plate and sometimes it would be way off. The cutter was his main pitch though.
So from a scouting perspective, you are looking at a guy with below average velocity, command, and secondary offerings. The positive statistics may just be a reflection of an ability to deceive lesser hitters. On the flip side, he may be able to miss the good part of the bat with his cutter and deceive better hitters in short spurts. Either way, I don't see him as an impact guy and he is probably not someone I would use in the Majors (unless I was a rebuilding team looking for warm bodies to look at).

Leesman's veteran teammate Deunte Heath is a right-handed reliever that was throwing about 90-91 MPH with a little bit of movement (he got up to 93 and more straight, but he could throw it down). His command wasn't sharp in the outing I saw him. He throws a breaking ball at 75-79 MPH that he can use to get grounders or possibly some whiffs when he throws it in the dirt (it is a weak pitch when thrown for strikes). The 27 year old has good size and was very good in AAA this year, with a FIP and SIERA both under 3.00.

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