Solid frame, broad shoulders with strength in lower half; stretch-only delivery; stays tall through takeaway, will pronate wrist with some rigidity in arm action; average arm speed to a high-three quarter release, generates plane; clean drive to firm foot strike, gets over his front side consistently; easy deceleration, clean follow-through.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A, Dodgers)
Plane with modest bore down in the zone, fairly straight; inconsistent ability to elevate, pitch lacks life up in the zone; below-average present command, loses it arm-side and up; above-average projection with standard command improvement thanks to velocity and plane.
Long sweeping shape, can take it out of the zone; lacks bite but shows strong tilt; some swing-and-miss potential; average control in and out of zone, below-average present command.
Show pitch; modest fade and tumble, inconsistent arm speed; works off fastball plane.
Pitch shows out of his hand with an early hump, inconsistent arm speed; loopy shape, gets good depth but lacks bite; show-me pitch, not a chaser.
Bird was inconsistent in this outing, struggling mightily in his third time through the order as hitters adjusted to his relatively straight fastball and his command of the primary weapon wobbled. The slider shows below-average depth and bite, but the release gives it good plane and tilt to where it can play as an above-average offering with more consistent command. The velocity is down from previous reports and he's working exclusively from the stretch now. The fastball/slider combination is good enough to project a Major League future, likely in the middle innings.