27 year old Angels' right-handed pitcher Matt Shoemaker made his MLB debut at the end of the 2013 season, making a start against the Seattle Mariners. He went 5 innings, getting all but four batters out (2 hits and 2 walks), with five strikeouts, no runs allowed, and a wild pitch. Clearly one start is not going to give us too much insight into Shoemaker statistically, especially against the Mariners, a below average offensive team. Shoemaker making that start is most likely a product of a weak Angels' system, with very few upper level pitching prospects to be able to fill in when their starters are injured or underperforming. Shoemaker has made 64 starts in the PCL, usually a sign, especially at his age, that he is going nowhere as a prospect. The PCL, especially in parks like Salt Lake's, is a pitchers' nightmare. However, while he was slightly better on the road, he didn't have big home/road splits. I figured the best way to deal with his stats in the PCL would be to use kwERA like we use to evaluate NPB pitchers in an extreme environment the other way. Shoemaker had a 3.94 kwERA in his time in the PCL, while league average in 2013 was 4.16, suggesting that, at least by strikeouts and walks (Shoemaker was a low walk, medium strikeout pitcher with a passable but not not impressive groundball rate), Shoemaker is a better pitcher than the run of the mill average PCL pitcher. Shoemaker is slightly older as well, just turning 27, with the average pitcher being about 26.6 years old in the league.
Of course, AAA statistics are less predictive for success in the MLB than velocity and pitches, so let's start the evaluation of his Pitch F/X data by looking at his spin and speed chart from the game against the Mariners (his only outing that has Pitch F/X data for his career), which should give us an idea of what he throws:
For another look, here is his spin set in a graph along with the rotation on his pitches:
This time the spin is the vertical axis while the rotation is the horizontal axis. We still see four clusters of pitches, but this seems to show, at least slightly better than the speed/spin chart, that Shoemaker is throwing two fastballs.
MLBAM has him throwing six different pitches, and three different fastballs if you count the cutter, and here is where he located them on average according to those automated tags (entire graph is strike zone):
Here is what his release points looked like according to the traditional Pitch F/X data, and there seems to be some inconsistency, particularly horizontally: