Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Assorted Independent Notes

My previous post was the post on Roger Clemens' starts with the Sugarland Skeeters. Of course, other people played in those games, so here are some notes on a handful of players that were either Clemens opponents or teammates:

Brad Thompson threw a lot of offspeed pitches, with a changeup at 83 MPH and
curveball at 73 MPH. Both of the pitches have solid movement both vertically and horizontally. He can throw them for strikes as well. However, his fastball got touched up a little. He is sort of a soft-tossing right-hander. When he locates those breaking pitches low, he can get swings and misses and get grounders. However, he doesn't seem to have the fastball to set it up. He is the kind of guy that if he were left-handed you could envision him as a back of the rotation guy but the fact that he is right-handed almost rules it out completely.

In the Majors, he always had a good ground-ball rate, but it was regressing before he was out of the Majors (he had a -.3 career fWAR) His fastball averaged 88.1 MPH in the Majors, so as I said, he didn't have the fastball to set up his breaking pitches.
He got 1 outing with the Twins (of course) in AA this year and it went just okay DIPs wise (4.06 FIP and 4.09 SIERA). He didn't walk anyone, but he didn't get many grounders either. He really hasn't changed since leaving the Majors,
here was his changeup velocity:

I liked what James Simmons did at the plate. He took breaking pitches then drove a fastball well on a line. He had some success with the Giants organization in A and A+ when he was old for the leagues, but really struggled when given a short shot in AAA. He chased pitches too much, leading to too many ground-balls and too many strikeouts with virtually no walks.

Joey Gathright looked liked Joey Gathright. He was chasing pitches that were thrown low and just looked very meh at the plate. He got a shot this year with the Reds' AAA and was okay (100 wOBA + and 94 OPS+) before being released. His K/BB was predictably bad and he stole just 4 bases in 160 plate appearances.

Michael Nix for Sugarland is a RHP at 90-91 MPH with a little movement. He keeps it low usually (when he threw it high, it got smashed). He hasn't been in affiliated ball since 2009. He has a 78 MPH breaking ball and it looked like he broke out a split/change as well.

Randy Keisler lefty was getting hit pretty hard. His changeup moved pretty well at around 76 MPH with some good drop. His fastball is clearly well below average though. He mixes in an occasional curve, but he didn't throw it as much as you would expect. His fastball was 88 MPH when he was in the Majors in 2007, and it is definitely softer now. Last year, he pitched in the Dodgers AAA and wasn't bad, with a 4.36 FIP (.14 better than league average) and 4.67 SIERA (.23 worse than league average).

Koby Clemens was with the Blue Jays organization earlier this year and was okay in AA, hitting above league average but was a year older than league average. After a solid AA season in 2010, he struggled in AAA with the Astros in 2011. He is big and it appears that he has quite a bit of power, but his swing is not very pretty and has a hitch in it, which makes him cheat on fastballs. With that said, he wasn't chasing pitches, and I would expect to see him back in affiliated ball with some AAA team next year.

Bubba Bell is a left-handed hitter with nice size and has a pretty big swing. His plate discipline seems alright and it doesn't seem to be overly violent. He seems to have a little bit of power left as well. He split the last 3 years between the Red Sox/Indians/Mets AAA with very mixed results, even with a decent (though certainly not spectacular) K/BB ratio.

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