Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scouting Reports on Francisco Pena and Matthew Way

Francisco Pena is big catcher (6-2 230) in the Mets system. Pena has a
big swing and he looks aggressive at the plate. It looks like you can fool him with breaking balls. Pena clearly has some pull power and I watched him pull a big homer down the line in Dominican Winter League (usually a league that suppresses offensive numbers) play against a lefty.
Statistically, he has had really low OBPs (.289 over the last two years across A+ and AA) and hasn't turned the power into good ISOs or SLGs. He did walk in his short stint in AA, but had a low BABIP without much power, which suppressed his numbers quite a bit.

Behind the plate, it looks like he is a calm receiver, and moves the glove reasonably well for framing, but did seem to snap at the ball at least once.

Matthew Way has had a weird career. He is a small left-handed pitcher at 6-1, less than 200 pounds. He was drafted in the 5th round by the Phillies out of Washington State (after being drafted in the 36th round by the Giants in the previous year) in 2009. He was very successful in the minors with a 3.48 ERA and 8.9 K/9IP in A-ball. However, injuries destroyed his career and he was eventually released.

So after not throwing a single pitch in 2011, Way found himself as a 25 year old free agent. He latched on to 2 different independent teams, and pitched pretty well other than a spike in his walk rate. Now he is pitching in the Dominican Winter League.

Way is definitely a soft-tossing/deception lefty. He brings back his arm behind him before coming 3/4s after a somewhat high leg kick. The fastball looks okay, in the mid to upper 80s that mainly tails. His command of it was very spotty when I saw him in the DWL, and he didn't have a good outing. He also threw what looked like a sinker/slider that had the best movement. It wasn't a sharp break, but it broke both horizontally and vertically.
Way can throw his changeup for strikes, but it isn't an exceptional pitch in movement. When he was drafted, this was his best pitch (as you would expect from a soft-tossing lefty). I didn't think it was his best pitch when I watched him.
If he goes back to throwing strikes, Way looks like a AAA lefty and emergency guy in the bigs. I wouldn't ever let him start on a big league mound, but he could be a reliever and possibly get some lefties out. I would be surprised if he didn't get a minor league contract and start out with someone in AA or AAA this year, left handed arms are always coveted, especially ones that have had success as a pro.

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