|2016-06-09 19:00:00 (link to chat)||What team is the worst at developing pitchers? The Indians system has a lot of hype, but the pitchers they have taken in the top 90 since 2002 have combined for only 3.2 WAR in an Indians uniform (excluding the 6.1 WAR they got from trading Pomeranz/White for Ubaldo). The list is depressing: Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Solcum, Adam Miller, Jeremy Sowers, Justin Hoyman, Scott Lewis, David Huff, Steven Wright (traded for Lars Anderson), Trey Haley, Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Dillon Howard, Mitch Brown, Dace Kime...are you as depressed as I am yet? No? How about the fact only Sowers and Huff had at least 1 career WAR for the Indians, making them probably the 2nd or 3rd best in a group of 14 picks. |
(Truganini from CO)
|I wouldn't say there are specific teams that you know are bad at developing pitchers but there are some concerns. Seeems like Baltimore has had some recent bad luck with Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, and Kevin Gausman just to name a few. Obviously Colorado has had its own troubles with Tyler Anderson, Tyler Matzek, Mike Nikorak (at least right now), Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, and Peter Tago. -SG (Live Draft Chat)|
|2016-03-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Can you let me know what you think of the group of HS arms in this draft? It seems like the top college arms are recovering from TJ or are disappointing this spring so far.
Beyond Groome and Pint, what do you think of Speas, I.Anderson, B.Garrett, Gowdy,Berger, R.Lawson, etc.?
Are these guys going to go higher because of the college arms faltering or do you still see them going between 15-50?
(Jon from San Diego)
|Great question Jon--really appreciate all the Draft questions from the readers today. Staying in my wheelhouse.
I'll try and touch on most of the guys you mentioned in your question.
Speas--I LOVE this guy's ceiling. Granted, I've heard from sources the control/command I said to myself 'I'm not giving up on until I ABSOLUTELY have to'...sounds like I might absolutely have to give up on it making him the top prep RHP in the class not named Pint. However, I think this is without a doubt, in my mind, the best RAW stuff of any prep righty in the class (again, not named Pint). The athleticism, the arm-speed and easy operation, and the filthy mid-90s fastball with heavy life and at-times wipeout breaking ball had some veteran crosscheckers saying 'this is what Doc Gooden looked like.' The lack of control is scary, though, and as such, I bet it is Pint and fill-in-the-blank(s) that go off the board before Speas does this June. The best recent comparison I have for Speas is Touki Toussaint. In my heart, I want to say I like Speas more. I wasn't as gung-ho about Touki as some others at the time--though I wasn't as low on him as La Russa and Dave Stewart! Zing!
Ian Anderson--This kid has a lot of athleticism and quick twitch, too. I like that. I also like that it's a fresh arm, a cold-weather kid, and I think that's going to allow more projection and room for development. When I've seen him--mostly over the showcase circuit last summer--the strikes would come and go at times, like plenty of prep arms from cold areas. Another concern is the amount of time it might take him to build up the stamina to both hold his stuff later into outings, but likely more than that, hold his stuff throughout a professional season (remember what happened to Mike Nikorak last summer?). These kids from cold-weather areas only make like 3-7 starts a spring, and those can be once a week, if not even less. Third concern: His arm action is pretty long in the back and does expose the arm a little bit in my opinion. It's a very twitchy frame, though, and the arm is fast and can catch up. There just is some cause for pause insofar as durability and injury flags are concerned. Pure stuff is good--I would say it's behind Speas, but ahead of Lawson, actually--insofar as velocity and best-executed breaking balls are concerned. A lot to like, though he has some of the typical prep arm questions, too.
Gowdy--Probably the opposite of Speas and Anderson, in that he's very polished and I don't think there's much question in terms of the 'safety' of his delivery or his ability to stay around the zone. I've heard very good things about Gowdy this spring--heard that he's making progress from where he was by summer's end and for USA--and I think if there's a prep righty that makes a jump because of the injuries/disappointing starts you mentioned, it could be this guy (or Lawson). My concerns with him relate to how much better he's going to get, and/or how much of what he's got has been developed 'in the baseball academy' versus being a byproduct of natural tools. Furthermore, I've seen him hold velocity and stuff in two-inning showcase stints, but when I saw him go later in games for USA, the stuff started to fall back later in the outing--though that's not massively uncommon for any prep arm. I don't want to harp on the negative, though. This is a kid with some physical projection left who has been up to 94 and showed a balanced mix of 50+ grade secondaries--all of which he can keep around the zone.
Braxton Garrett--Okay, so THIS is a guy who will be moving up, I think. I just saw him live last week at NHSI. He's going to be the headliner of one of my scouting pieces about the event, but to just quickly touch on him: he's got solid-average stuff, but it's all tied together with great polish, poise, and feel to pitch. Great delivery, great ability to repeat, really knows and studies the craft. Good athlete--#3 hitter and team's CF when not on the mound. Son of a coach. Ceiling to me is a reliable middle-rotation lefty starter who really competes, really can keep his club in the game. The body, body control, and delivery's posture gave me a CJ Wilson vibe. I think he has every chance to go in the top 20 picks--it's probably the most usable prep lefty changeup and curveball this side of Groome. In fact, his change is ahead of Groome's. Very high on this one. Chris Crawford totally nailed his eval of him in the Draft Book.
Austin Bergner--RHP from Windermere (FL) HS. We all like Jesus Luzardo, but we are seeing with Luzardo what can happen to these warm-weather arms who have been showcasing all year-round and have been known for years. Bergner fits that description--he actually fits it more than Luzardo. I'm not comping AJ Cole to Austin Bergner, I'm just pointing out AJ Cole was very similarly touted for years from the Orlando area same as Bergner is. I played against AJ Cole. He actually threw harder at 16-17 than he does now. While grim, that's a reminder about Florida prep arms sometimes. Bergner throws a lot of consistent strikes, and he can get a curveball that's more 5 than 6 to me in the zone, too. I worry about the wear-and-tear on the arm, I worry about how much better he's actually going to get. I don't like the plungy arm in the back, and I don't like that he drops-and-drives at 6'4 in order to pound the zone. Yes, he throws strikes because of the aggressive back-leg drive, but it kills his angle--it's more 'control' than actual 'command' in the zone. Wouldn't be holding your breath for this kid to go top 15, but I like him for what he is if he's available at the right spot.
Reggie Lawson--Great athlete, great projection, great mechanics. Can't stress enough how clean the mechanics are here, and how much that--paired with the athleticism--allows you to project heavy on some aspects. I'm not sure where the velo has been this spring, he's on the leaner side, and I saw him more a 88-91 type of guy at present when I saw him over the summer. Lawson is probably the best blend of athleticism, stuff, delivery, and projection of any of the prep righties in the class, though, and that combination gives him the chance to really step forward.
I've been massively verbose, but prep high school arms are my 'ish.' You bring up a good point about some of the college arms faltering at times or having injury concerns. I think teams are going to shy away from the risk of prep arms for the most part early in the draft (Pint, Groome being chance exceptions--because they really are different than the rest of these guys). That said, if I'm trying to take shots down the field at which of the guys you mentioned has a chance to really slide into that 10-15 range, I would go...
-Braxton Garrett, LHP
-Alex Speas--only if the strikes somehow really come on strong leading up to the Draft.
I would go in that order. Thanks, Jon, for a great question. (Adam McInturff)