Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scouting Reports on UCLA

Here are my scouting reports on UCLA's baseball team, I wrote a separate article on Adam Plutko, who was a 6th round pick in 2010 out of high school, here.

Eric Filla is a stocky looking (listed at 6-0 180, but looked heavier) leadoff left-handed hitter is a below average runner. He is a sophomore, but I can't find any evidence he played last year (and he didn't appear to be in junior college either).

Kevin Kramer was picked in the 25th round by the Indians in 2011, but he really struggled at 3rd. Has a little bit of a longated swing that caused him to be hurt by fastballs. He played quite a bit as a freshman in 2012, but didn't play particularly well.

Pat Valakia is a junior that didn't do much offensively last year, but he pulled a low pitch really well, and also hit one to center. He has good range at short with a really easy arm. I would expect his numbers to be better this year, as I liked what he did at the plate, but he will really need to be good with his glove to have a professional career.

Cody Regis was the DH, which is a little odd considering the year he had last year, where he had a decent K/BB (a lot of strikeouts and a lot of walks), but hit for no power. He is a bit stocky (listed at a large 6-2 235) and was fooled on breaking pitches in the game. His swing looks slow, so I don't think he is a prospect (not much power, evidently doesn't play defense, has a lot of other issues at the plate)

Shane Zelle is a small looking sophomore catcher (6-1 188 is nothing to sneeze at though). He has a strong arm but also had a couple of bizarrely bad throws that didn't make it past the pitchers mound (I am guessing there is something wrong mechanically with his delivery). He tried to block balls with his glove and not his body. He has a pretty upright stance at the plate shortens up his swing and made good contact on a low pitch.

Ty Moore is a freshman outfielder that looked really raw offensively. He has a big uppercut hack and was eaten up on low pitches. He bats left, and already has good size, but it is hard for him to really reach any kind of potential without major overhauls at the plate.

Brian Carroll seems to be an above average runner. The small junior plays center, but the arm is below average. At the plate, he has a pretty flat swing. He hasn't played a lot, at least not in his first two years at UCLA, and it isn't surprising no real power has come from him. He really needs to hit for a high average and steal some bases to go along with solid defense to be valuable.

Trent Chatterson is a freshman 2nd baseman that showed some pop despite hitting at the bottom of the order. He gets under the ball too much and may cheat for power he doesn't necessarily have. Depending on how he adjusts at the plate, he may be a guy to watch over the next couple of years.

Ryan Deeter is a (redshirt) junior that has a violent jerky over the top delivery, with a 90-93 MPH fastball that he seemed to be able to keep low. He also has a 78-80 MPH breaking ball that he struggled to command. He was absolutely dominant statistically last year, but was undrafted despite being eligible.

David Berg is a sophomore sidearming righty throwing 81-83 MPH with some sink or drop. 75 MPH sweeping breaking ball.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chad Cordero's Pitch F/X Data

At Seattle Sports Central, I wrote about Jeremy Bonderman's spring training Pitch F/X data, a pitcher who hasn't pitched since 2010 before the outing. Chad Cordero is another pitcher who hasn't pitched since 2010, but is currently in camp with the Angels and pitched in a spring training game at Peoria, giving us some Pitch F/X data to look at.

Of course, the first thing you notice is fastball velocity. He averaged 89.4 MPH, maxing out at 90.4 MPH, obviously well below average for a bullpen pitcher. However, this is the best we have seen Cordero since 2007. Back then, he averaged over 91 MPH on his fastball. Due to some arm problems, that fastball velocity cratered to 84.41 MPH in 2008, he didn't pitch in 2009, and got back up to 88.37 MPH in 2010. Unlike with Bonderman, the years off seem to have given Cordero a better fastball that he has in quite a while.

Of course, he only threw three of the 4-seam fastballs. Even though Brooks Baseball didn't separate his 4-seamer into different fastballs when he was still pitching in the Majors, MLB AM data did when they started separating 2-seamers and 4-seamers in 2010. The MLB AM data says Cordero mainly threw the 2-seamer in his spring training outing on Friday. This pitched got nearly as high as the 4-seamer (90.3 MPH), but on average was a couple MPH slower. With that said, he did get very good movement on the pitch:

You will notice though that he didn't get much movement on the slider. In his last decent year, 2007, Cordero's slider averaged 80.93 MPH. In his spring training outing, it averaged 80.05 MPH, almost a full MPH down. His slider was about average in horizontal movement and probably a little bit below average in vertical movement (though sometimes it is hard to tell thanks to misclassifications). 2007 data is a little harder to gather, but this slider from 2007 suggests that the pitch was moving more horizontally in 2007.

He threw 5 curveballs according to Pitch F/X in 2010, but he didn't throw any before then, and didn't throw it in his outing against the Mariners either. So this was probably a mistake in the system anyway, especially since the velocity was so similar to the slider (though the movement was much different).

At 6-0, he obviously isn't releasing the ball very high. However, it seems that he is releasing the ball even lower now, as you compare a 2007 chart to his chart from Friday:

He also seems to have, although this is a bit more subtle, begun to release the ball closer to his body.


 This creates a somewhat bizarre picture of Cordero's delivery, as you usually don't release the ball lower if you are releasing it closer to your body (it usually works vise versa). I do think that we can see the difference in a couple pictures I found in a quick Google Search (the first is from Rant Sports, and the 2nd from Orange County Register). First, here is Cordero as a Mariner in 2010:

It hurts my elbow to see it at this angle (I think you could call this "arm drag", as the arm seems to be behind the body), but this looks like a 3/4 delivery. Here is a picture of Cordero pitching for the Angels:

This is at a different point in the delivery, but it seems that the elbow is more down, less out, and he is releasing the ball a little more over the top, which meshes with the release point data.

This is usually a good thing, especially when it comes to platoon splits, but as a guy trying to make the team as an extra reliever, this may not necessarily be a good thing. For short term relievers, big platoon splits are actually a good thing, as it gives them a niche and role to fit in on the big league club. With that said, for a guy like Cordero, who has had major arm issues for several years now, the importance lies in delivery repetition. If the new delivery puts less stress on his arm, then it is successful, even if it erodes at his platoon splits a little.

Cordero also threw a changeup that we haven't talked about yet. In 2007, this was a small but existent part of his repetition, as he threw 6% of the time. If you look at the movement chart from the spring training outing, you notice that the pitch moves a lot like his fastballs, but in the game, was about 4 MPH lower (which is about 1 MPH slower than it was in 2007, matching the rest of his pitches in the velocity drop for the most part, above where it was after 2007, but below 2007 itself). You would usually like to see a difference in not only velocity, but more importantly I think, movement in the change and fastball.

While this comparison isn't really fair, look at the difference between Felix Hernandez' changeup and fastball in movement:

Felix has one of, if not the, best changeups in baseball. Even though he throws it over 89 MPH, and sometimes over 90 MPH, a 3 or 4 MPH difference from his fastball, it is so effective because it looks like the fastball, then moves differently horizontally and vertically than his fastball, and has more vertical drop than his sinker.

Obviously Cordero isn't trying to throw a changeup as good as Felix. As a reliever, the changeup, his 3rd (his 4th if you separate his fastballs) pitch, isn't that important, so the fact that it doesn't appear to be a very good pitch isn't a big deal. It is nice to have as many good pitches as possible though, especially if you don't throw very hard, and Cordero doesn't compared to other relievers.

This is spring training, so we shouldn't put much stock in results. This is good for Cordero, because his results were not very good. He gave up a homer to the first batter he faced, defensive shortstop Brendan Ryan. He didn't get a single whiff in his 20 pitches, and threw 11 strikes, which is a little low percentage wise.

At this point, it is early in spring, but it is a little hard to see Cordero cracking the Angels bullpen, even to start the year. The Angels bullpen struggled last year, but we have to be realistic when talking to Cordero. He is right-handed, has a long injury history, doesn't throw hard or even average, and at this point, doesn't look like he has a very good breaking or off-speed pitch. It is a good story, but he will probably start in AAA. If he stays healthy, finds his slider again, and pitches well in the PCL, then it is possible you will see Cordero in the Majors this year, but as is the case in all comeback attempts, the odds are stacked against him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baylor Baseball Scouting Report (2013)

I saw Baylor last year and wrote about them here.

Max Garner is a right-handed senior pitcher with solid size and an arm angle that is over the top but does come out as well (I guess you could call it a 3/4 delivery, though it didn't really seem like one). He was 87-90, mostly 88-89 MPH, with some sink, with a 81-83 MPH arm side change, and a 73-77 MPH breaking pitch that got down to 72 MPH. He had to face a lot of lefties, and was pretty hittable. Either his pitches broke arm side (it was a little tough to tell break from my angle) or he was consciously trying to pitch arm side, that is, away from lefties. He can get some good low break on his fastball/sinker, but his arm speed seemed to slow down a little bit on his off-speed pitches.

Starting is actually relatively new to Garner, as he didn't make any starts in his first 2 seasons at Baylor, and made just 6 in 2012, working mostly out of the bullpen.

Josh Michaelec is a right-handed pitcher with a true over the top delivery that seemed to help him get on top of the ball. He threw 88-91 MPH, but got down to 86 MPH and really lost velocity with runners on. He threw a 82-84 MPH breaking ball that he could bury, and got down to 77. He threw just 3 innings last season.

Crayton Bare is a small looking (5-11 185) senior lefty that was throwing just 81-83 MPH. There was nothing really deceptive about his delivery, so it is hard to see how he lives with that velocity. He also throws a 73-76 MPH curve that has some horizontal break along with some good downward break.The very below average stuff has worked out for Bare, as even though the first two years of his career was pretty nondescript, he was quite good in a small sample size last season.

Logan Brown played centerfield, and some had good reads to go along with athleticism. At the plate, he is a slash/dash and speed player. He didn't play a whole lot last year, but stole a few bases and hit for no power and didn't hardly walk.

Jake Miller is a shortstop that has good contact skills but will he chase. A tall, skinny player, he may grow out of the position, but he is good there now and has a good arm. He was a starter last year and had a disastrous 58/10 K/BB. He hit just one homer and stole just 3 bases as well. Especially if he moves off shortstop, I don't really see a skill set that will play at any higher level. 

Nate Goodwin is a junior catcher that has a hitch in his swing with bat speed that doesn't appear to be particularly quick. Thanks to Josh Ludy and Nathan Orf, he didn't play very much in 2012.

DH Mitch Price is a big guy that was able to spoil pitches, showed good plate discipline, but has a slow swing. Duncan Wendel made a nice play at first and seemed to have some athleticism for the position. The sophomore played in just 5 games with 3 plate appearances as a freshman. Lawton Langsford holds his hands really low when he begins his swing and just kinda leans in and slaps. He's is a 2nd baseman that displayed nice range, but his arm didn't appear particularly strong.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Simple Spring Training Pitch Data: Germen, Rice, and Karns

Here are notes and simple pitch data from 3 pitchers in the Spring Training game between the Nationals and Mets. There was a TV radar gun, but there is no Pitch F/X in Florida Spring Training. All 3 pitchers have never pitched in the Majors or have publicly available Pitch F/X data.

The locations and heat maps are from the catcher perspective and the radar gun was supposedly 1 MPH slow compared to other radar guns at the game, but I didn't adjust the velocity. The comparisons come from Brooks Baseball's Pitch F/X leaderboard, with it set to relief pitchers. I linked the comparisons to their FanGraphs pages.

Scott Rice is a veteran that was drafted in the 1st round way back in 1999, yet hasn't made the Majors and is still pitching. He pitched out of the Dodgers' AAA affiliate's bullpen in 2012, with a kwERA of 4.25. The two pitchers below I put in a Google Docs spreadsheet and listed the result, but I didn't do that for Rice. There were a lot of weird formatting things going on with the heat maps and the spreadsheets, so I just hyperlinked the spreadsheets to the other two pitchers:

84                 Low left
88                 High Left
86                 Low Left
86                 Low Middle
80                 Low Right
80                 Low Middle
81                 Middle Right
85                 Low Right
88                 Low Left
89                 Low Right
89                 Low Middle
88                 Low Right
85                 Low Left
89                 Low Middle

Overall Pitch Average: 85.57 MPH
Comparison: Marco Estrada
Fastball Average: 87.3
Comparison: Darren O'Day
Breaking Ball Average: 81.25
Changeup Comparison: Tyler Clippard 
Simple Heat Map:


4 4 4

General Observations: He moves the ball around, nothing is straight, simple delivery

Nathan Karns was a 12th round pick by the Nationals in 2009 (he was actually picked in the 10th round out of high school), but at age 25, he still hasn't reached AA. He did reach as high as A + in 2012 and had a 2.77 kwERA in 13 starts.

Overall Pitch Average: 91.56 MPH
Comparison: Rafael Dolis
Fastball Average: 93.92 MPH
Comparison: Jeff Fulchino
Breaking Ball Average: 84.5 MPH
Slider Comparison: Luke Gregerson

11 Balls
2 Flyballs
8 Fouls
2 Groundballs
7 Called Strikes
2 Whiffs
65.6 Strike %

Heat Map
4 11 1
2 2 7

2 3

General Observations: Extremely easy and simple delivery, but he had some real problems finishing the delivery and landing. Control probably wasn't as good as strike percentage indicates.

Gonzalez Germen: The 25 year old Met made it to AAA in 2012, but spent most of the year in AA, where he had a 3.91 kwERA. He was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic, where he dominated in the summer league in 2008 and 2009.

 Overall Pitch Average: 87.21 MPH
Comparison: Tom Gordon
Fastball Average: 91 MPH
Comparison: Daniel Jennings
Breaking Ball Average: 82.17 MPH
Slider Comparison: Claudio Vargas

4 Balls
2 Fly-balls
3 Fouls
2 Grounders
1 Called Strike
2 Whiffs
71.42 Strike %
Simple Heat Map (these have no ball/strike differentiation/bias):

2 2 1

3 5

General Observations: Control of breaking pitch was poor. Gets on top of ball very well.

Cal State Fullerton Scouting Reports

Here are some notes on Cal State Fullerton, a ranked NCAA team, from when I saw them play against TCU (on television)

Thomas Eshelman is a freshman right-handed pitcher that is already pitching on Friday nights. He has a pretty normal looking delivery, normal release point and arm action, but the  leg kick and motion seems a little binary and is not really as fluid as you would like it to be. 

He doesn't throw real hard currently, at about 87 MPH, but locates both high and low (more so low), with occasional sink. At 6-3 190, he could a little bit of weight and perhaps some velocity as well.

Eshelman has a good looking change that ;ooks just like the fastball, then drops off the table at the last second. It is obviously not as good looking when he left it up, which he did, though at his age, that isn't a big deal. The vertical drop isn't massive, but it is solid and sudden.

The curveball breaks glove side, with not big time vertical break. All of his pitches seems to break glove side, throwing more on that side, away from righties, into lefties. 

He already has 3 pitches that he can throw often, but the velocity does hold him back. He got a lot of swings and misses against what is supposed to be a good college team, that is at least older than him on average. He is advanced and able to throw strikes with all his pitches, which is going to be key for him as a prospect, especially if he doesn't add velocity.

Richy Pedroza is a very small senior lead-off hitter. It looks like he has good speed, which makes sense considering he is batting lead-off and his size precludes him from having power. He did have a good approach last year, walking more than he struck out. As a shortstop, he seems to move well and have good range along with at least a decent arm.

Carlos Lopez is another senior with sort of a slappy swing. The lefty isn't that small, but he leans into the ball, giving him no chance to hit for any real power. Despite walking more than he struck out last year, he was really aggressive in approach, taking some bad swings.

Matt Chapman is a big looking guy, listed at 6-1 195. The sophomore was batting in the third hole. He didn't seem to have what you would call great bat speed, but it is alright, and his bat covers the zone well (it is an uppercut swing though) and it is a very controlled swing. About an average runner, he seemed solid at 3rd base, but not plus. As a Freshman, he got a lot of playing time, but was pretty boring as far as a stat line goes, not showing any stolen base abilities or much power, or a lot of walks. At the same time, he sort of held his own.

J.D. Davis has some early season power numbers, but didn't hit for much power last year. He was picked in the 5th round by the Rays in 2011 out of high school. A tall guy, the sophomore has a huge swing, but it comes with pretty slow bat speed. I don't think he is a 5th rounder now, but he isn't eligible for the draft again until 2014.

Michael Lorenzen is the big prospect on the team and is a likely 1st rounder. He has good size, listed at 6-3 200. At the plate, he has a very uncontrolled swing, but there is obviously some pop there. I got him at about 4.15 to first, from the right side which is very nice speed. He also made a very good play in center, showing off his range and athleticism. I've seen him a few times over the past year or so, and while this isn't the consensus opinion, I think I like him on the mound as a relief pitcher better than as a hitter/fielder. Obviously he has the arm/speed/positional value, but the plate discipline is pretty bad. Statistically, his 2012 K/BB of 42/14 is pretty untenable for a big time prospect at the college level. You see the tools there, but there is just a lot of reasons to believe that he is just going to have too many problems actually hitting. While an excellent centerfielder with plus speed can make it to the Majors without being much of a hitter, it isn't necessarily top prospect worthy. He certainly has a higher ceiling in the outfield, but if it makes any sense to say so, he probably has a lower floor out of the pen. He seems too "raw" at the plate for a college position player to be drafted in the first round, at least in my opinion.

Chad Wallach is another big guy (a 6-3 220 catcher). He showed some plate discipline and an ability to cover the plate. However, his swing is pretty big and the uppercut nature makes him susceptible to pop ups. A 43rd rounder out of high school, he was a disaster at the plate last year.

Greg Velazquez has a swing is similar to Lorenzen's as far as wide reaching and somewhat out of control. However, his bat speed isn't as good looking as Lorenzen's. In fact, his is a little longer. He did show some power though, but it seems to be all pull variety. He was awful at the plate last season, but it was in just 62 at-bats.

2nd baseman Mitch Oloff seems to be roughly an average runner, maybe a little better. He didn't play a lot last year, he has some plate discipline issues, with a not very controlled uppercut swing that causes him to chase and struggle with low pitches.

Austin Diemer was a 26th round pick out of high school, but rarely played in 2012. He clearly has an other way approach with well above average speed.

Koby Gauna is a sophomore with a fairly normal delivery, in which he stands up sort of straight during with a slight hesitation. He split between starter and reliever last year. At 6-2 as a right-hander, so probably a reliever if he is a prospect. However, since he was only throwing 86 MPH, he probably isn't one.
He also throws a change that breaks arm side. His fastball also seems to have some arm side break as well like a 2 seamer.

Willie Kuhl is a sophomore RHP pitcher with a fairly normal delivery. He is curveball heavy, has some horizontal movement and big vertical break, but it is not sharp break. It is a mediocre pitch at best, just because it is so slow looking, clockedat 72 MPH.  His fastball/sinker didn't seem to have much command, but he also showed what looked like a separate change at 82 MPH.

Tyler Peitzmeier is a sophomore lefty with decent size. There is not much movement in delivery,but he temporarily hides ball behind his body. He doesn't really take a great stride.

Hebron High School Scouting Report

Here are my notes on Hebron High School's baseball team. It is a team with a lot of seniors, but they weren't very competitive with Arlington Martin.

David Pope is a 6-1 lanky senior pitcher with a clear 3/4 arm action. He gets on top of the ball pretty well and has a deceptive leg kick, that probably doesn't help his delivery repetition

He throws about 78 MPH on his fastball, with a 72 MPH off-speed pitch, and a very floaty curve he can throw for strikes, but stays high.

Jeremiah Skiba is a small (5-10 160) right-handed senior pitcher that really falls off the mound. I don't see how he can repeat that delivery. He is a soft tosser that throws a ton of breaking balls, mainly what looks like a curveball.

Jimmy Gallarda has decent size on the mound, though he may be a little short, but has broad shoulders and brings his leg way up.. He gets some decent downward movement on the ball and was throwing 81-83 MPH, touching 85. He took something off, in which I guess is a change, at about 78-79 MPH. 

Blake West is a really small (5-7 150) senior that has some chase in his game, but he is a good runner. Christian Valderrama is a small right-fielder that really struggled defensively and had an unimpressive swing. He weighs just 155, but according to the roster, he also pitches. Ross Lowe is a good blocker behind the plate with some athleticism. His arm didn't look strong, and he didn't have a good swing.Travis Stone hit a ball to the wall to the opposite field, even when he didn't have the platoon advantage. I thought that was notable for the shortstop.

Todd Wurzback is a really tall and lanky looked 3rd baseman. He made a nice play out there, and though he doesn't have soft hands, he has a good arm. He bats left-handed, but was really slow. Michael Kister is a decent size senior (listed at 6 feet) outfielder that ran a 4.41 to first. Drew Roth ran a 4.53 to first base as a right-handed hitter. The junior has good size (6-1), but will really have to hit.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Adam Plutko Pitch Data

I was able to see UCLA right-hander Adam Plutko pitch against Baylor on Friday February the 22nd.
This won't be much of a scouting report (my notes on UCLA as a team and Baylor will be up on the site later in the week), but instead I will just look at his pitch data, like I did with Jacob Stone and Tommy Burns.
I have seen the right-handed starter projected to be selected in the first round. I would have liked to have taken some video, but the lights and my crappy camera made things really blurry, so we will work basically exclusively with the pitch data.

This is according to Baylor's stadium gun, which anecdotally, seemed rather accurate. His fastball velocity range also seemed to roughly match other scouting reports I had read. I know I am missing at least 1 pitch, and maybe 2 pitches totally, and I have the results and location for 2 pitches, but not velocity (one was my fault, one was the stadium gun's fault). You will notice that I didn't do any pitch classification here. That is on purpose, and is mainly to minimize interpretation and error. Especially, as others have complained, the slider doesn't have dramatic movement.

 The average MPH of all pitches thrown 86.38, which is right at what John Lackey has been since 2007, in the top 5th of starting pitchers (143 out of 544). He hit 93 MPH once, and that is where he maxed out at.

Plutko's main breaking pitches are the change and the slider. He also throws a curve according to reports, but I don't think I saw it. We have seen that pitchers with no pitch under 80 MPH on average don't seem to turn into quality starters. Obviously Plutko threw just one pitch under 80 MPH. Also, the overall velocity is less impressive when you count that out of the pitches I label as a fastball (85 MPH, which there was only one, and over), he averaged just 88.09 MPH. Freddy Garcia and Ted Lilly (two veterans who used to throw harder) provide the best comparison in 4 seam fastballs. Josh Collmenter is the best comparison when trying to get rid of the veteran bias, although he has a quirky delivery. It is hard to find normal right-handed starter comparisons for pitchers that have only thrown in the Pitch F/X era. Josh Fogg and Josh Towers both threw about half a MPH harder than Plutko, and neither were really good pitchers in the Majors.

If we assume all 23 breaking pitches are changeups, they averaged 81.61 MPH. That is a below average change in velocity compared to MLB pitchers, and closest to Justin Germano's. In both whiff/swings % and groundball swing percentage, Germano's change is below average to awful. As a slider, it would be below average as well, closest to, as far as right-hander's go, Carlos Silva. Silva's slider was not awful, even when he was as a pitcher, but his slider was below average in getting whiffs and grounders in the Pitch F/X era.

What I am classifying as the fastball he threw about 64 times, or about 73.6 % of the time. Obviously there could be some classification errors (though I doubt 85-86 MPH were hard sliders), but that is a lot of fastballs. Even if you combine all fastballs together (2-seam, 4-seamer, sinker), only 1 starter in the Majors, Justin Masterson, threw that many fastballs on average (and he throws harder than Plutko by about 3 MPH on average).

Below is his Heat Map based on the location data that I collected. Just like with the Jacob Stone post, I removed the strike/no strike bias so there is a little less interpretation and chance for error

8 23 5
10 7 6
6 15 8

Obviously he loved to throw the ball high middle, and apparently this is well documented.High was his favorite height location, with low being 2nd, and the middle being the least. He worked arm side a little more than glove side, but preferred throwing in the middle of the plate. If you look at the pitchers in the Majors that most liked to throw in the upper middle portion of the strike zone, you see some good names, like Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum, but you notice that most of them are hard throwers. If you look at the top 10 in frequency there, you see that they had an average fastball of 92.3 MPH. Bruce Chen is in the top 20, but obviously he is left-handed. Bronson Arroyo, who was 35th, is the first right-hander that threw softer than Putko and showed up frequently in the middle high part of the strike zone. It is rare that a pitcher that doesn't throw hard to throw high up in the zone, because they usually can't live up there.

When looking at the results, the first thing you notice is the disappointing amount of whiffs, just 4 (4.5 %). Obviously Baylor is a good college team, but it is a college team. If you are a first round pick, you should get more than 4 swing and misses.Here are the results of the rest of his pitches:

15 called strikes
1 pitchout
11 ground-balls, 7 for outs, 4 for no outs.
6 fly-balls. All outs
4 bunts (1 foul)
15 fouls
33 balls

He threw strikes a little more than 61% of the time, which is a little low, but acceptable. He really struggled with command early in the game, but got much better. He proved to be a ground-ball pitcher, at least in this outing, despite working high so much. Also note that all 6 fly-balls were turned into outs. This could be partly luck, but just from a general observation standpoint, he wasn't really hit hard at all.

Honestly, I wasn't very impressed by Plutko. He didn't look like a first round pick to me. While certainly he could add velocity (if he just hit 93 MPH, it would be helpful), his fastball was unimpressive, and he didn't show great breaking pitches. He wasn't bat control wise, but I would hesitate to call him advanced. While he has had major success in college, I am not sure this combination of stuff and locations would play in an upper level of the minors, especially because he likes to throw high, but doesn't have great swing or miss stuff.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

University of Texas at Arlington Scouting Report (2013)

I saw UTA play against LA Tech on the 17th, and then again against Northeastern on the 23rd. I combined the scouting reports on just one post.

Keegan Hueul is a lefty with decent size but probably is done with "projection", that is, he is probably not going to fill out anymore. He has a mid 80's fastball that he threw mainly high and a change that seemed to break arm-side. He also has a 72 MPH curve that has good vertical drop that breaks into righties. He has some problems locating high and had a lot of problems throwing strikes.

Brad Vachon is a lanky right-handed pitcher, with good height and some projection. However, he has a really odd delivery and arm action. He brings his arm way back and seems like he has a non-fluid jerky motion. His fastball is about 86 MPH and was thrown just about everywhere with good movement. His curve seemed like a hard curve, and he also threw a couple 78-80 MPH changes that didn't have a ton of movement.

John Beck is a 6-3 junior right-handed starting pitcher with a delivery that has a lot of jerky motion and isn't really clean. He is currently sort of lanky (listed at 197), and his pick-off move was awful.

Beck was throwing 89-93 MPH with some 2-seam movement. It seemed to break arm-side, though sometimes he would jerk it too much glove side. Overall, his fastball command was not good, but it could be a nice groundball pitch when down. He threw a rare (there may have only been one) 83 MPH change, but his main off-speed pitch was a curve that ran from 75-78 MPH with 2 way break. He showed that he can bury it, and I liked the pitch. It has a lot of good movement away from right-handed hitters, though I am not sure if it would work much against left-handed hitters.His command of it was better than the fastball. His stuff doesn't lend to whiffs, and he is probably a pitcher that is going to have success trying to throw low and get called strikes and ground-balls. His fastball, while acceptable in velocity and good in movement, was not one that really works up in the zone for strikeouts.

Tyler Jones is a right-handed junior reliever out of Weatherford Junior College (though I don't think I saw him when he pitched there, or at least I can't find him in the notes from last year) with a really funky delivery. His arm seems to come out of nowhere, but it has to be really hard to repeat. He was very erratic command wise and was not throwing strikes and he threw just 84-86 MPH.

Jake Pinchback is a senior centerfielder with good but not great speed, as I got him at about 4.13 to first base. He is a little guy (5-9 161) with a slappy swing and clearly looked like bunt/slash leadoff hitter.

Travis Sibley is another little guy (5-8 153), but he hit the ball well, and ran a 7.9 on a double. He might actually have been faster if he was bigger. He seemed to play a decent 2nd base.

Darien Mclemore DH'd and batted 2nd. I saw the freshman last year at Southlake Carroll. He was really stocky looking and extremely slow, as I think I got him at 4.6 to first from the left side. At the plate, he was holding his hands up high, and while the bat speed was there, he was chopping at the ball and had sort of a hitch that was slowing him down. He wasn't making hard contact and was pulling a lot of grounders.

From the right side, he drove a low pitch well to left field, and definitely looks better at the plate from that side.

Ryan Walker is a junior shortstop that has decent but not plus run with 3.81 on a bunt. He has a strong arm defensively. At the plate, he had a very upright stance and has been a very good hitter so far in his career statistically. Justin Copeland was behind fastballs with a not very fluid swing. The junior ran 4.46 to first, but hit low pitches well and goes to get low pitches well to avoid ground-balls (which he needs since he doesn't run fast. Greg Mccall is about an average runner, and hits left-handed. The catcher is athletic behind the plate, but his arm is meh with inaccurate but not great zip.

I saw Peter Cuomo in Weatherford last year. He really struggled at third defensively. At the plate, he was tied up on inside pitches and appeared to have bat speed problems. He was clearly trying to pull just about everything. John Michael Twichell is not a great runner, but he drove a ball into the gap well. I saw the junior that originally was at New Mexico play 1st and DH, so he really has to hit. Matt Shortall is a corner outfielder/DH with good size, that made some solid contact. He has some catching experience, but may be down with that.

Georgia Southern Scouting Report

Georgia Southern played Florida on television, here is my write-ups on the team:

Evan Challenger is freshman lefty that was throwing between 82-86 MPH. The stuff just isn't very good at this point. He is skinny, but being 6-1 limits his projection. Challenger comes with a high leg kick, and puts the ball behind him a little bit to give him a little deception. He was working on the left side of the rubber, missing a lot arm-side, which was almost how he pitched exclusively. The change especially had problems, and was weak from a movement standpoint (it was really slow in dropping). It got down to 66 MPH, which is much slower than any big league changeup you will ever see.

He located some good fastballs low though and his command got a little better as the game went along. His better pitches came when he was able to work glove side after setting up the hitter with pitches on the arm side.

Chase Griffin has a pretty bizarre finishing stance, as he positions his leg out like a closed stance by the time the ball gets there. Behind the plate, he doesn't seem to have much of an arm, and has a bizarre over the top throwing motion.

Clean-up hitter T.D. Davis looks like a clean-up hitter in size and he plays 1st base. The 6-4 Senior has a really long swing and clearly looks like a mistake hitter.  He doesn't appear to be extremely slow, but obviously is not a plus runner.

Arthur Owens DH'd, looked like he had solid contact skills, but didn't appear to be a very good runner. The junior is just 5-9, so he didn't look like a prototypical DH. 

Scooter Williams is a short (listed at 5-6) senior lead-off hitter. He looked really ugly on a strikeout and seemed to have a lot of problems chasing pitches. Strikeouts have been a problem in his career, so obviously lead-off hitter really isn't where he should be. Defensively, he seemed to struggle in an outfield corner. I did get him at about 4.10 to first, from the right side, which is very nice speed. 

Josh Stevenson is a senior that throws 88-90 MPH. The right-hander has an over the top style delivery where he sort of runs off the mound. This has to lead to an inconsistent release point. He has a hammer curve that looks pretty good, that he can throw for strikes or bury it in the dirt for a strikeout pitch. He really falls in love with it at times and will hang it. His fastball was really hittable.

Sam Howard is a left-handed sophomore pitcher that was a 48th round pick out of high school. Statistically, he was okay in very limited time as a freshman. Howard holds his hands down low behind his knee before delivering the ball. His back leg does something funny looking when it comes up in his follow through and it made it seem like he was landing awkwardly. He located some fastballs low, but the ones up high did not seem all that impressive. He missed a lot up and arm side. The curveball breaks both ways, not hard or impressive break, and is almost slurvy.

Chris Myers is a 6-4 right-handed senior that comes with a modified three quarters delivery. He doesn't throw hard, and may be a little easy for lefties to see, but the former catcher does get on top of the ball pretty well.

Kyle Rowe is a senior reliever that hides the ball with a back turn. The fastball was high and flat most of the time and wasn't that impressive looking. Rowe was extremely fastball heavy and the ball tended to sail way outside on him.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Arlington Martin High School Scouting Report

I was able to watch Arlington Martin High School, one of the best high school baseball teams in the country according to Perfect Game, and the highest rated out of teams in the Metroplex.

Tyler Kendrick is a small senior who looked quick, but ran a 3.82 on a bunt and a 4.34 on a traditional swing/ground-ball as a left-handed hitter. The bat looks pretty quick, and he occasionally breaks out the jail break swing, but it came with swings and misses.

Joshua Watson is stout already as a sophomore, is pretty short, and is not a great looking runner. He pulled a pitch that was left up in the zone for a homer. It was a really bad mistake, but you see that there is some pop there.

Matthew Waller has pretty good size as a senior, and as a catcher he is not much of a runner. His arm behind the plate is legit and he looked athletic behind the plate, and seems like a good receiver/framer. At the plate, he was clearly cheating for power.

Andrew Dowdy seemed pretty solid in centerfield, but he wasn't really tested. The senior has a very slappy swing, is a contact premium guy. He showed good, though I would hesitate to call it plus speed, and ran about a 7.4 on a double. He will chase, but he pulled a ball better than I expected he would.

Anthony Lyons has very good size, and will probably fill out, even though he is a senior. The left-handed hitter played right-field and his arm looked very weak out there. His actions in the field were awkward and not very good, but he may just have not grown into his body yet, though his routes were just awful. At the plate, he showed plate discipline but had some really poor swings. Lyons has some real raw strength and ran a 3.84 on a bunt. Here is a video of him at the plate (you can watch another shorter video of him here):

Turner Larkins played 1st base, has good size, though he may be a little short, so there may be concerns that he has filled out already as a junior. He ran a 4.53 to first, and has a little bit of pop and got under the ball.

Daniel Lingua has solid size as a junior, along with some good running strides, but it was not showing up in speed, and he ran 4.19 on a bunt and 4.47 on a "dig". The swing can get long and upper cut happy, but he showed good range at 2nd base and the arm seems fine.

Landon Sackett has an easy plus arm at 3rd as a junior, and while his range and athleticism looks solid, he is really slow, running a 4.63 to first and a 8.79 on a double. He has a dip in his swing, but some good bat control.

Colton Hoisager is a junior who DH'ed, even though he doesn't look big. It is hard to trust high school managers' decisions when assessing players, but he may just be a bad defender. He is slow and not much of a runner, and his swing looked pretty slow as well, with a big uppercut.

Nathan Soraka was the starter, and the sophomore (actually only listed on the JV roster) showed what I thought was an advanced feel for pitching. He looked like he had decent size on the mound, and his delivery was relatively easy, especially his body. He brings his arm way back, not quite like Brian Fuentes, but it sort of reminds me of it (and obviously he is right-handed)

He threw just 78-80 MPH, sometimes dropping into the mid 70s. He showed a lot of curves that had 2 way break that is impressive at times. It broke, just like his fastball did a lot, glove side, but he had problems getting it down. He threw it for strikes and the fastball isn't straight. However, he was not really athletic off the mound. While it is certainly too early to tell what Soraka will do, he looks like a college reliever to me, how big the college probably depends on how his fastball develops.

Cole Dobbs is a senior right-hand pitcher that is 5-10 and already filled out. He was throwing 78-81 MPH and the same kind of curve as Soranka that was 62-64 MPH with 2 plane break.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

University of Florida Scouting Report

The University of Florida had what I believed was the most interesting team in 2012. This year, especially with the injury to Karsten Whitson, they are less interesting, but it is still a good program. I watched them play on TV against Georgia Southern in an extra inning game (Georgia Southern scouting report will come soon)

The starting pitcher for Florida was Justin Shafer. The right-hander seems to come 3/4ths in his delivery and was throwing 87-89 MPH on his fastball. Everything has a little movement to it, both arm-side and glove side. It looks like he is throwing a lot of 2 seamers (coach and announcer called them sinkers) that break slightly arm side. His change looks very mediocre, while the slider breaks down almost exclusively (with a little bit of tilt glove side), at least it was early on, but as the game went along, he threw some really good ones that had some two way break. It doesn't have great overall movement, but it does break rather suddenly when thrown down. He threw it a lot to righties and seemed to stay away a lot. Shafer's command was mostly poor but not awful (he had a lot of problems with the changeup, as it would stay high and in to righties, meaning arm side) in the sense that he didn't hit the glove real often and he was sort of all over the place, but he wasn't hitting and walking many guys and he could throw some strikes.

Overall, if he becomes a professional pitcher, he seems to be a sinker/slider guy without a lot of strikeout potential in the minors. He does move the ball around the zone though and throws nothing straight. If he can gain better command (he will need to have advanced command for his age/level, which will be difficult) and keep the ball low, he does have chance for some success, especially in a relief role, but he doesn't have a high ceiling.

As a hitter, I think it is more apparent how skinny he is. He has good height though, so that may help him projection wide. Shafer seems to have good bat speed/contact skills. His swing contains a little bit of a chop, other way approach, so he probably hits a lot of grounders without a lot of power. Obviously he has solid athleticism, which should help him on the mound, both defensively, and in delivery repetition. Even though he pulled a homer in the game, I like him more as a pitcher (especially since he struggled at the plate last year) unless he is just an elite defender, which I don't think he is. The problem is that, partly because Florida was so loaded, that he threw just 6 innings last year, almost amounting to a lost season. Especially since he needs to have refined control, this is concerning.

Harrison Bader is a freshman lead-off hitter, that has some room to fill out, but it looks like he has some upper body strength. He is clearly at the top of the order because he has good to plus speed. He struggled defensively in left field.

Richie Martin is a shortstop with good size, and well built. There may be questions, just based on size, as to whether he would stick there long term.  He ran a decent 3.85 on a bunt and is very much a slash and dash type hitter, as evidenced by his approach, which was aggressive, with a lot of bunt attempts, and an other way type swing. Defensively, his actions and range were a little rigid and not really ideal. However, his arm was really strong.

Vickash Ramjit is a lanky player with not a real desirable swing. It is sort of a pull swing that is long in the zone. It is flat, and I think it is quick, but not really a good flat. It is really hard to describe because it is pretty unorthodox, but he showed some decent bat control and contact.

Zach Powers is a big story early on thanks to some home runs on opening weekend. His frame could possibly add some more size and weight onto it, and could possibly lead to more power. Powers has a definite uppercut swing, and looks like he is cheating for power with a shoulder dip. The shoulder injury that cost him 2012 is a concern, and it is hard to get excited about a 1st base prospect that has a good short power stretch, at least not yet anyway.

Josh Tobias' swing looks really slow and long and he also chased out of the zone a lot. Somewhat of a short and pudgy player, Tobias didn't seem to be a great defender and struggled, not so much with range, but just making the play. He ran about a 4.12 to 1st, very nice for a right-handed hitter.

Cody Dent ran a 4.27 to first as a left-handed hitter. He's got pretty smooth swing mechanics (other than a slight down cut on the ball, causing a lot of grounders), but not great bat speed or anything.

Taylor Gushue has had a lot of problems behind the plate so far this year (and was having receiving problems in the game and eventually left with a leg injury), and just doesn't have great zip or velocity on throws, at least from what I saw. At the plate, he has good size, and the ability to make contact on really difficult pitches. He is a little pull happy, pulling a pitch on the outside corner, but has a little bit of power. His swing is relatively fluid overall other than a slight hip dip.

Casey Turgeon seems to have a lot going to his swing as far as body motions etc., but he has a nice flat swing and had a lot of success at the plate. He was drafted in the 22nd round out of high school last year, and though he didn't hit for much power in 2012, he walked more than he struck out.

Eric Hanhold is a lanky right-handed freshman that should fill out. He has good height and gets on top of the ball well for a good downward plane. His leg kick helps him do this as he moves it up high and out pretty well and he throws anywhere from 91-94 MPH on his fastball. Hanhold seems to throw a seperate 4-seamer and 2-seamer (or some of the fastballs really ran in arm side). I obviously like his extension plus ability to keep the ball low, along with already throwing pretty hard. Since it was a pretty short outing, I didn't really see the breaking ball. His control was also not ideal, mainly missing arm side or low.

Danny Young is left-handed freshman throwing about 90 MPH on his fastball. It seems like he has a little bit of arm drag in his delivery, as it doesn't come along with his body fluidly.

Mike Vinson, a 6-4 right-handed freshman, has an arm angle that comes pretty far out after bringing the arm behind his body. His delivery is quick and complicated, he seemed to have some command of it, but it broke down early and he had significant control issues. The 88-92 MPH fastball looks pretty straight, with a separate 2-seamer that breaks arm side.

Aaron Rhodes is a freshman right-handed sidearmer. His arm goes down, but the body doesn't go down that much (from what I have read, he is fairly new to being a sidearmer). Obviously not throwing hard (~85 MPH), but Rhodes threw a nice Frisbee type slider that slid away from the plate. The fastball breaks back in quite a bit like a two seamer that you see from many sidearm pitchers.

Johnny Magliozzi is a right-hander that was a 35th round pick by the Rays out of high school and had a bad ERA but good K/BB in 2012. He does not have real ideal size, but reportedly gets up to 94, and sits closer to 90-91 MPH. His over the top curve that didn't look great and he had problems locating it. Magliozzi was pitching backwards, starting with curve, then go fastball (which he preferred to get high whiffs with, but would get some low called strikes as well).

Corey Stump is a sophomore lefty (rarely used as a freshman) with good looking height. He might get even better plane on the ball if his arm angle was a little higher. It isn't quite sidearm though and is hard to call 3/4ths, at least for me. He throws in the high 80s, with decent movement, and is hard for lefties to pick up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LA Tech Scouting Reports

No need for an introduction:

Richie Navali is a big looking righty that tries to hide the ball in his delivery (6-2 220 junior out of junior college). He throws in the mid-80s up to 87 MPH. He throws a change in the mid to high 70s that he threw to both sides of the plate. Navali also threw an infrequent curve in the low 70s that he didn't command well most of the time. He seemed to be keep the ball low, with some occasional high heat, but was hittable. He also missed low a lot.
Adam Derouen is a sidearm/ 3/4ths righty with a 85-87 MPH fastball and a 75 MPH changeup. He gave up a lot of contact, and the release point is really friendly for lefties.

Sam Alvis is a lefty that looks small and has a 84-88 MPH fastball. he has a bit of a high leg kick but fairly normal delivery. He also has a 72 MPH curveball. As an outfielder, he was very mediocre last season with the bat. As a pitcher, he had just 16 appearances, and was okay, with twice as many strikeouts as walks.

Taylor Burch is a centerfielder that is sort of lanky but has nice size overall. He showed off nice range on defense, but hit towards the bottom of the order and was pinch hit for. He has a crouched batting stance with low hands. He really struggled at the plate in 2012, and only stole 2 bases.

Cody Johnson replaced Birch in centerfield, and bats left. He also pitches, but is pretty small. At the plate, he really struggled with the curveball and didn't appear to have very good plate discipline. Jacob Derouen Dh'd and looked slow. At 6-0 205, he is already filled out. He has a pull swing, but took pitches well though and used both fields.

Bre-Shon Kimbell looks well build, but doesn't have a lot of athleticism and is not a plus runner. He controlled the bat pretty well and looked like he had good bat speed. His plate discipline was inconsistent, good at times, but he also had a horrible swing on an inside fastball and was eaten up by breaking balls in another at-bat. In right-field, he made a really poor play and the arm is not very strong. The sophomore was drafted in the 28th round by the Brewers out of high school and had an okay year as a freshman, with not a ton of power or speed, but a not embarrassing OPS.

Catcher Tyler Qualls looked very small, but turned on the ball pretty quick at the plate. Behind the plate, the blocking questions weren't very surprising, but his arm seemed questionable as well. Just looking at his numbers, he is a high contact/low walk player at the plate, and had a decent year last year.

Tyler Ervine is a first baseman that I saw in Weatherford last year. He didn't have good range or athleticism at first, even though he is tall, but he could get a little bigger by filling out. He stung a pitch really well at the plate, but he chased several pitches though.

Ryan Jones' swing was not very pretty. The team let him play in just one game last year out of junior college. Kody Neel is an outfielder that ran 4.41 to first. The senior had a 28/6 K/BB as a junior. Taylor Love didn't show much at the plate, but did show good defense at short. He is just a freshman.

Dakota Doss is a right-handed senior sidearmer that throws in the low 80s and high 70s. He throws a slurvy thing in the high 60s to low 70s. The pitch breaks away and down and doesn't have much command of it. Doss was an absolute disaster in 14 outings last season.

Luke Giddins is a good sized lefty with a pretty standard delivery except a little bit of a back tilt.. He had some real release point problems though. He didn't have good fastball velocity and couldn't control his curve.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Scouting Reports on Adam Choplick and Mikey Ramirez

It is that time of the year, as baseball is now on television. The inaugural college baseball game on TV for my plan was Oklahoma and Arkansas Pine Bluff. I will (at least I should) see Oklahoma in person late in the season, but here are scouting reports on the two starters:

Adam Choplick is a gigantic freshman lefty that stands at 6 feet 8 inches. His fastball was at 89-92 MPH with a change at 77-80 MPH. He gets, a lot of glove side tail with a heavy usage of the change against right-handed batters. The break and command of it was inconsistent, but he threw some really impressive ones and they drop and tilt downward very well. When he missed, he usually missed arm side, which usually means he wasn't "finishing his delivery", which is especially for a problem for young and very tall pitchers. Overall, I thought his command was pretty good for his age and size. He has a solid to average fastball now from the left-side, with the potential to add even more velocity along with a changeup that should add a little velocity and has good movement. I liked how he was able to use an off-speed pitch, especially since it was the changeup, so often, and at the same time, have a legit fastball. Many times it seems that young pitchers either use almost all fastballs, or are very off-speed heavy because he doesn't have a good fastball (a good example of that is below). Choplick is not either of these.

Obviously he is far away from even being drafted (he was redshirted, so he should be eligible in 2014), but I like Choplick.The one thing you can complain about is a lack of a third pitch, as he didn't really show one in the game. He also is coming off what I understand was his 2nd Tommy John surgery. This is obviously concerning at such a young age. With that said, he showed decent control for his age, especially for his first start as a college pitcher, and had a good outing, albeit against inferior competition (the team is in a smaller conference and went 8-31 in 2012). To me, he is an interesting name to follow, as we will want to see if he can stay healthy, and also gain a 3rd pitch and add some velocity.

Mikey Ramirez is a 5-10 junior right-handed pitcher for Arkansas Pine-Bluff. He throws 84-86 MPH with some arm side tail along with a 73-77 MPH change that floats armside and also can get some impressive downward tilt. However, he seemed to have no idea where the pitch was going. It also was so slow at times that even when it was out of the strike zone and low it was still occasionally hit hard. Ramirez also has a curve that looks 12-6 in break that he can bury low, but it was not a frequent pitch.

His delivery with runners on base reminds me of Edgar Gonzalez for some reason. He sort of rocks, and has a lot of body movement and somewhat inconsistent landing point. Obviously, his command reflected this, and he was all over the place at times.

The lack of fastball along with the lack of height and projection basically makes him a non prospect when it comes to the draft and the Majors.

Tulane Scouting Report

Here are my scouting reports on Tulane University from watching them on Saturday of opening weekend in Texas State.

Alex Byo is a senior right-handed pitcher that is 6-2, and doesn't have a complete stride and comes over the top

He seemed to keep the ball low, but also showed the ability to get some whiffs on high fastballs. He has a below average fastball that looked okay but was pretty straight. He gave up hard contact early and showed that he was a fly-ball pitcher. It looks like he has a separate curve and changeup, but the change was really inconsistent and his curve had some horizontal break.

Tyler Mapes is another senior right-hander that is a little on the short side:

Brady Wilson is a junior left-handed pitcher that comes straight over the top, and has a little bit of projection at 6-2 175. He has the tilt that gets him over the top easier. He is certainly not a hard thrower and has a very little command of his curve. He can't get it to the plate, and his fastball command isn't much better.

Tim Yandel is a freshman that has good bat control, and he can go get low pitches. However, there are some plate discipline questions and his swing looks long and slow.

Brandon Boudreaux is a small senior, that ran 4.38 to first base. He has a little bit of pop in a pull swing. Sean Potkay is a big senior that uses an upper cut swing. He seems to have some bat speed problems and sort of cheats for power. He does have good plate discipline though. Andrew Garner is a right-handed junior that also pitches. He seems to have below average speed.

Bowen Woodson had problems with fastballs, but has a little more power than you would expect for your frame. He is not quick, with below average speed. He is a decent fielder at 2nd, with good range and arm, but he did botch a routine play.

Garrett Cannizaro is a senior 3rd baseman that struggled on defensive and was fooled bad on changes and low pitches. Cameron Burns is a small catcher, and his arm looked okay behind there, He was not a bad runner with 4.34 to first. He was absolutely horrible at the plate.

Ian Gibaut is a pretty big right-handed freshman that has a lot to his delivery. It must be hard to repeat , as his leg comes way up. It is certainly not fluid, but it provides some deception. His fastball looks strong, and his change gets some very nice drop.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dallas Baptist Scouting Report (2013)

I watched Dallas Baptist twice last year, but in 2013, I saw them on opening weekend against Creighton.

I saw Cy Sneed last year, and he started when I watched DBU on Friday. The now Sophomore has MLB Size, probably why he was drafted in the 35th round by the Rangers out of high school. He is such an imposing figure on the mound and has a slow delivery that has a lot to it, as he brings his hands over his hand and brings his leg up to almost his hands and straightens it out, almost like a delivery you would see in the Far East.

There are significant changes in his delivery with runners on, and his command really suffered. He would tend to "open up" and miss badly arm side.

I don't use the scouting scale very often and think projecting control is a little silly, but you could possibly say he has 3 command currently, with the potential for 5 command. He located really well at times with no runners on, so he may even have 4 command with no runners on, but 2.5 command with no runners on. He locates a lot of his fastballs down, and it is no surprise he gets on top of the ball well. He was able to blow a few by hitters, but his curveball still looks very raw. However, when he located it well, it was a pretty solid pitch. He throws it a lot, and he seemed to only have two pitches.

Ronnie Mitchell ran a 7:78 on a double, but didn't show off much of an arm in right-field. He adjusted to a high pitch well, and has some raw power, but he chased curves, and the swing is so long that I just don't think it is workable in games as there is just too much movement and uppercut.

Centerfielder Boomer Collins ran about a 7.85 on a double. He was pitched away, and was very passive at the plate until he had two strikes. He had a good range factor in center, and hit for power, average, with a good K/BB and had 15 steals in 18 attempts. Statistically he is impressive, I just didn't see it on Friday night.

Duncan McAlpine is coming off a low average, okay power, and good BB season. The senior has an extreme crouch and extreme uppercut at the plate, which leads to a lot of infield fly-balls. He is another guy that has some raw pop, but swing and pitch recognition makes it unlikely that would play against better competition. Behind the plate, I remember that pitch blocking was a problem last time. He did show a solid arm and was quick at getting rid of the ball on throws.

Jaime Garrido is a senior infielder that hit at the bottom of the order. Last year, he only played about half the time, but was solid when he did play. He wasn't bad defensively, but clearly had more range to his right than his left.

RJ Talamantes is a junior shortstop that was also a reserve last year, and had just one less HBP than walks. He is listed at just 5-6 157, and there is some thought that he is 5-5. Defensively, I thought he was a below average fielder in all, and his arm wasn't very strong, but he made all the routine plays. It looks like he has decent but not plus speed. Obviously, he has no power, but he batted lead-off (though I saw they put him in the 9 hole that Sunday)  and took a lot of pitches, and showed some potential to hit some line drives.

Mike Wesolowski is a junior that has a long swing and was clearly trying to pull. This caused a lot of swing and miss, though he did run well. KJ Alexander is a catcher that they stuck out in left-field. Not only did he fail to show much range, he dropped two very routine balls. He was clearly in for his bat, as the ball came off it pretty well and he mostly made pitchers throw strikes. As a reserve last year, he didn't hit very well. Justin Wall is a slow bad body redshirt freshman that showed some power potential and not a bad swing. Chane Lynch is a first baseman that has some potential to fill out more. He ran a 4.39 to first as a left-handed hitter. There is a lot to his swing, especially on pitches thrown low.

Aaron Gilbreath is a big lefty senior that comes with a 3/4th delivery. At 6-2, he is probably already filled out, and he is not overpowering, and keeps the ball low with what looks like a sinker. He threw a breaking ball that sweeps away from lefties and a change that stayed arm side. He also broke out a 12-6 curve but didn't command it. I initially thought he was a left-handed specialist, but he started a couple of games last year and pitched in a long relief role.

Michael Smith is a 5th year senior that had a solid year last year last year and was used as a closer. His arm comes across his body in his delivery and varied his stride. His control was awful, and he had no feel for his curveball. His fastball was not overpowering and he wanted it low. 

Paul Voelker is a short sophomore right-handed pitcher with a strange rocking delivery that seems to help him throw over the top. This may serve as a helpful device to give him a downward plane on the ball. He seems to have a decent, but flat, fastball but had problems commanding it. He was pretty hittable and was predictable, not showing a breaking ball other than an occasional change that didn't look bad and had two way break.

Creighton University Scouting Report

Creighton University had an impressive weekend in Dallas against DBU (their scouting report is coming later), sweeping them to start the season behind an impressive offensive performance. I saw them on Friday night:

Nick Musec, a senior right-handed starter that is slightly undersized at 6-2 195. He looked smaller, especially lankier, than his listed weight. He had problems repeating his delivery, but he gets on top of the ball pretty well. The fastball was getting torched and it was pretty straight. He threw a lot of mediocre changes and sprinkled in an occasional curve. He had decent command, but it really faded as the game went along. He had some very binary tendencies, as the fastball was nearly always middle to high, a change he threw middle to low, and a curve he threw in the dirt. Although, a couple later in the outing were thrown in the lower part of the zone. He has thrown just 58 innings in the previous 3 seasons.

Bryan Sova is a right-handed sidearmer that basically threw just drop down changeups. The 5-11 junior spent the last two seasons in junior college.

Alex Staehely is a senior shortstop that really struggled with breaking balls. He has a somewhat flat swing, and is definitely aggressive at the plate and has a career 44/122 BB/K rate in college with just 9 homers in 614 plate appearances (just 1 in a horrible season as a junior). He ran 4.28 to first and has just 13 steals in his career. He has good actions in the field defensively, but his arm was inaccurate.

Mike Gerber is a junior outfielder that was picked in the 40th round out of high school by the Yankees. He showed good plate discipline and appeared to be a slightly above average runner. He has a ground-ball swing, but he used the opposite field. His K/BB is unimpressive, and he doesn't have a lot of steals or homers so far.

Brad Mckewon is a left-fielder that is also a lead-off hitter. He seemed he took a lot of pitches, and I got 4.13 to first. Mckewon has hit for virtually no power over the last two season. This corner outfielder profile is becoming more common, but Mckewon has not really hit for average or walked a lot either.

Jake Peter played 2nd and is an average to tick under average runner. He made good contact, but the bat may be a little slow and he is really aggressive as well. He has an other way approach and doesn't seem to want to pull the ball.

Federico Castagnini is a junior out of Junior College that plays 3rd base. He has a quick bat, and makes good contact, but also tended to go the other way. He ran about 4.41 to first, and may slow down even more as he fills out a little more. Jordan Makovicka is a senior outfielder that also has an other way approach, lacking plus power.

Kevin Lamb is a sophomore catcher that is obviously slow, and his swing is not ideal. He seemed like he was a good receiver and pitch framer, along with a good blocker. His swing is pretty quick, but he had plate discipline issues.

Brennan Murphy is a left-handed hitting right-fielder that has corner size. The senior has a lazy batting stance and keeps his hands low. There doesn't appear to be a lot of power there.

Freshman Reagan Fowler was not a great fielder at 1st base, and is not a very good runner. However he has really big size, listed at 6-3 220. He hit a hard liner, but was burned on fastballs and impatient at the plate. That may have been why he was redshirted in 2012. 

Mark Winkleman is a senior lefty 3/4ths reliever with a little bit of a leg kick and back turn to his delivery. He doesn't have a big stride and he was not throwing very hard. It looks like he throws quite a bit of changeups. In 127 career innings, almost all in the bullpen, he has a 3.98 FIP.

Nick Highberger is an undersized freshman right-hander. His fastball looked better than you would stereotypically expect, but he was still not overpowering, even at this level. It was flat and didn't have a downward plane and stayed middle hight for the most part. He was fastball heavy, but he threw what looked like a change and got a couple of good whiffs with it. He had pretty solid command, although he didn't always repeat his delivery.

Will Bamesberger is a scrawny left-handed freshman with an awkward landing point and overall leg motion. He has a 3/4ths arm action with some soft breaking pitches that looks like separate curve/slider, with mainly vertical but some horizontal movement. Even located low his fastball isn't very good, but if he commands it, which the delivery may be a question, he can get lefties out. He keeps the ball low enough to get grounders.

Max Ising is another undersized righty out of Junior College (now a Junior). He comes more of the top and has a quick delivery. He lect the ball up and his breaking ball was not impressive but had a little two way movement and threw it frequently for strikes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Texas State Scouting Report

Here are some scouting reports on Texas State's baseball team, that seemed like they had good up the middle defense.

Taylor Black is a somewhat lanky (6-2 190) right-handed pitcher, with a really odd arm action, that you can see below:

He even showed this, what I would call concerning, arm action on pick-off throws. His fastball looked good and he located it both high and low and it got him some whiffs, especially up high. He would sometimes open up and miss arm-side with it. It looks like he was also throwing a change as his off-speed pitch, but his command of it was not very good. When he did command it, it was quite an affective pitch to both righties and lefties:

Donnie Hart is a lefty reliever with a hard sidearm-like delivery. The 5-11 Junior has mainly been used in a specialist role with Texas State:

Morgan Mickan is a senior left-handed batter that played centerfield and hit leadoff. He had a lot of swing and miss for a leadoff hitter, or at least that is what he showed in the game (though he struck out just 12 times in 2012, 7 less times than he walked). You could tell he had below average power (he had a better OBP than SLG last year), but he made solid contact and goes down to get the ball well. His stance contains a little bit of a crouch. Defensively, he didn't show great speed (stole 12 bases and had a good speed rating though) or reads.

Andrew Stumph is a senior catcher that lacked real zip on his throws, but he was a decent to solid receiver. He hasn't shown a great deal with his bat, at least statistically, in his career.

Nick Smelser is a senior that really struggled with his balance at 3rd base. He is sort of a bad body player, with below average run and a long swing (he was not very good statistically last year).

Cory Geisler is a freshman that also pitches, but I just saw him bat and he really struggled with plate discipline. Austin O'Neal's swing mechanics are really off, and it was causing a lot of infield flies. He is lanky, and not built out. He moves well at first, but he plays first base, which is definitely a negative as a prospect.

J.D. Stinnett is a freshman infielder that really struggled with plate discipline. His swing is a little long and slow, but he has some strength in his little frame. For now, there are too many contact problems for him to be successful.

Garrett Mattlage is a sophomore that ran about a 4.41 to first. He is a small guy that tries to go the other way. He was picked in the 39th round in 2011 out of high school, but didn't really hit for any power or show any speed in his freshman season. Colby Targun is a sophomore that had inconsistent swing mechanics and a really big swing.

Austen Williams closed the game out, and the sophomore right-hander didn't pitch much in 2012, but had a 15/3 K/BB. He comes over the top and gets good downward plane. He looks athletic, and gets glove side run on his fastball. His breaking pitch was rare, looked like a slider, and I didn't really get a read on its command.