Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brewers Sign Michael Olmsted: Scouting Report

The Brewers have signed Michael Olmsted to their 40 man roster. Olmsted is a 25 year old RHP that was originally drafted in the 9th round by the Mets in 2007. Olmsted is a really big guy at 6-7 280.

He had to pitch in the Japanese Minor Leagues and in Independent ball before resurfacing with the Red Sox organization after some arm problems cost him a full year. He was old for the leagues he was pitching in (starting in the GCL in 2011 to getting to AA before the end of the season), so looking at the statistics would be somewhat misleading. With that said, he was downright dominant everywhere, finishing with 19 scoreless innings in AA where he struck out 36.8 % of the batters he faced.

When you watched video of him, you notice just how much of a monster he is size wise. He is a big and imposing force on the mound. His arm action is slightly strange, but he takes advantage of his size by bringing his arm behind him before coming what you would have to call a 3/4s delivery.

Olmsted has a low 90s fastball doesn't look overpowering, but the arm angle cannot be easy for RHB to see and he seems to have pretty good control over it. He seems to like to pitch inside to righties, not letting them get them arms extended on fastballs. Against lefties, he seems to like to either try to jam the hitter with the fastball, or locate it low, almost like a sinker. It is not a straight pitch, with a little bit of tail. His off-speed pitches include a slider that is in the lower 80s and a slow curveball that I didn't get a look at that is evidently in the low 70s. 

So Olmsted is a 3 pitch reliever, but the arm problems probably guarantee him staying in the bullpen. He didn't have much platoon splits in the minors, but again, I don't think the numbers there are really helpful since he was old for the levels. The arm angle may cause him to have platoon splits, but they shouldn't be dramatic since he seems to locate well and has 3 different pitches he can go to. You would probably be more confident in this if he had a changeup or a clear cutter.

Since the Brewers bullpen was so bad last year (and they are "losing" Jose Veras and K-Rod), Olmsted should get quite a look in spring training, and I would be a little surprised if he doesn't make the 25 man roster. If he doesn't, he should at least get his first shot in AAA and make an appearance with the club pretty early on in the season barring another injury.

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