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Chat: Harry Pavlidis

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday November 26, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Harry Pavlidis.


Talk pitching and PITCHf/x with Harry Pavlidis.

Harry Pavlidis: It's Black Tuesday, so all of the following answers are 50% off the regular price.

David (Montreal): When will Fieldf/x be available to the public? Thanks for the chat.

Harry Pavlidis: Unfortunately I don't expect that to happen. A couple thoughts ... first FIELDf/x certainly isn't pervasive as PITCHf/x is. I'd be surprised if more than 10 parks have it. Second, I think all 30 parks will have _something_ in 2014 (FIELDfx or something like it) but I don't expect that to be made public. Unless ... take a look at the NBA, they've gone whole hog with stats publishing. They have the SportVu tracking system in place and publish lots of data from that. They even have video integration on their box score pages, something the teams have had for years but nothing like that for the public has existed (that I know of). Could this put some type of pressure on MLB to do the same? Perhaps, but the teams would have to agree. Right now, I don't see that happening despite all the benefits that came from making PITCHf/x public.

Joe (Richmond): Just saw some video of Gregory Polanco in the Dominican winter ball league. The dude is huge. Looks like a beast. What are your thoughts on his future?

Harry Pavlidis: corner outfielder playing every day seems like a reasonable target. He could hit his way to the majors some time in 2014.

Chopper (Indy): Are Archie Bradley and Lucas Giolito two of the top minor league pitchers from a potential standpoint?

Harry Pavlidis: Both have tremendous ceilings. Giolito is a ways off and Bradley did well for a 20 year old in AA but needs to take a step forward to stay on the fast track.

AJ (Phoenix): At jury duty wondering if I should pull a Cusack (#RunawayJury). Which prospects have you seen whose mechanics were exceptional given their age/stuff/advancement?

Harry Pavlidis: I can't say "exceptional" but I can say what I like (I'm an analyst, not a scout) and there are plenty of guys I simply haven't seen yet. That said, Julio Urias pops to mind, no one that young should be in the MWL let alone pitch as well as he did. Taijuan Walker has that amazingly easy power. So does Aaron Sanchez, nice and balanced. Marcus Stroman has amazing arm speed and athleticism in his delivery.

Matt Moore (Tampa Bay): Anything in my mechanics to suggest I'm going harness my beast arsenal?

Harry Pavlidis: your beast arsenal arises from your mechanics, stop thinking about it so much.

Ryan (Baltimore): What does Gausman need to do in 2014 to take a big step forward and what results do you expect?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd like to see his breaking pitch become more of a weapon. He's got the power arm and that interesting two-changeup thing going (which I like). As far as I can see that's the last piece, as I think that slider is a minus pitch right now (results-wise).

Shane (Denver): Arenado and Castellanos both seem similar (strong hit tool, average power). How do they differ offensively?

Harry Pavlidis: Castellanos strikes out twice as often, so that power better come up.

petelunchbox (Handsome City): Where does Chris Sale rank if you are measuring trade value of SP? Would you still be concerned about his motion even after two full seasons? Will that concern ever disappear?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd say he has plenty of value, given his age, success and the friendly nature of his contract. I am less concerned about his delivery than most people it seems, and, no, I don't ever expect to stop hearing this question.

Dirk Von Butterworth (Erie PA): If you were the White Sox which SP do you trade (assuming you want to add a hitter)? Sale to get the max return? Quintana or Santiago, or do they not have enough value around the league? Assuming no one is going to touch Danks, and Erik Johnson is going to be a cheap building block.

Harry Pavlidis: I wouldn't trade Sale, since he'd be useful and affordable when the team improves in a few years. He's too rare of a commodity. Quintana would probably yield more than Santiago.

Shane (Richmond, Va): Really enjoyed the work you have done with Wagner and Kilgore in the WaPo recently. If you told me PITCHf/x data or something comparable was going to get column inches in a major newspaper 5 years ago I would have scoffed. Where will this data be 5 years from now? Still on niche SABR internet sites, major newspapers (whatever they will look like by then), more prominent roles in local tv broadcasts?

Harry Pavlidis: Thanks, it's fun work to do. Glad you enjoy it. The data will be much more prominent, in ways we can and can not imagine.

Joe Rockpile (Tuscaloosa): Robbie Erlin closed the season 32 IP 1.96 ERA 1.06 WHIP 24 K 7 BB, but with the Josh Johnson signing appears out of the mix in SD. Kennedy, Ross, Johnson, and Cashner are givens. Then you have Stults, Luebke, Wieland, and Burch Smith to contend with. What does SD do? Trade Cashner? Just keep the depth in AAA?

Harry Pavlidis: Keep. The. Depth. JJ and Cash are both health risks, and an outstanding name combo for a late 70s buddy cop show.

Samsonite DuSable (Springfield): Danny Duffy, ready to break out and live up to K rate and stuff, or too inconsistent to be a rotation anchor?

Harry Pavlidis: those are two separate things--I think he's close to having a good season as a starter (health allowing) but I don't see him as a rotation anchor. He's going to find age taking a bit off his stuff quite soon so it's get going or get gone time for Duffy to shine.

Alex (Anaheim): What starter(s) do you expect the Yankees to land?

Harry Pavlidis: I really don't know, they've been quiet so far which is ... interesting, or alarming, or meaningless. Not sure which.

captnamerca (FL): It seems like young prospects are evaluated on biological factors like body type and mechanics. At what point does the focus shift towards results?

Harry Pavlidis: Either when they are no longer prospects and/or when they reach the majors.

Jeff Samardzija (Chicago): Where will I be pitching next season?

Harry Pavlidis: not the Cubs. You had your chance to sign an extension, said you'd do better and earn a better deal. Well, here we are. I'll try not to be bitter.

Gregg Jeffries (Former Prospect List): How should we expect Brandon Beachy to perform next year?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd have modest expectations, like 100 innings at the back of a rotation. He could work more and do better than that, but he just got his elbow cleaned up in September ... be cautious.

Matt (Chicago): Of the remaining "bargain" SP types on FA mkt(Kazmir, Hammel, P formerly known as Carmona, others I'm forgetting) who , based on your work, looks like the best catch?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd pick Kazmir from those three, assuming his medicals check out.

Matt (Chicago): Should I be as put off by Tyler Skaggs as I am? He's highly touted but color me unimpressed, when I've seen him pitch. Stuff seems so-so and he really "shows the ball" to RH hitters. Thoughts?

Harry Pavlidis: That's interesting because he's had a (SSS) gnarly platoon split in the majors. He's young, he'll have to be crafty and rely on his potential to extend and pitch downhill for his stuff to play up. I like the guy, I took him as my 5th starter in the Under 90 MPH Draft with Sam and Ben.

Matt (Chicago): Do you see Kyle Hendricks surprising to the upside or should we be happy if he's a league-average #5?

Harry Pavlidis: I'd be happy if he made any kind of impact in the majors, at the back of a rotation. Maybe there's a teeny weeny glimmer of a #3 in him, but I doubt it.

gerrybraun (sandiego): Who would you rather have between Chris Owings and Anthony Rendon, and by how great a margin?

Harry Pavlidis: Rendon, but that's in part due to familiarity, scouting lineage and the fact he's already put in a decent big league line at 23, while changing positions.

justarobert (Santa Clara): How accurate are the GameDay measurements of where a ball in play was fielded?

Harry Pavlidis: Fairly accurate in terms of the general location but not precise by any means.

Matt (Chicago): Tell me about that sinking slow thing that Danny Salazar throws.

Harry Pavlidis: What does he throw that's slow?

Paul (DC): What quality pitching attributes does the D-Backs' Randall Delgado bring to the mound?

Harry Pavlidis: good enough fastball to really make the change a weapon.

Paul (DC): Does Mark Buehrle's 13 year streak of 200 or more inning's pitched in a season come to an end in 2014? If not, then when?

Harry Pavlidis: it's gotta be this year or next, I can't imagine he'll pitch well enough to get 200 innings. His velocity keeps dropping and that means Mr. Nibbly is going to get (a) clobbered or (b) more nibbly. That means less ability to consume innings, and he's barely crossed 200 the last few.

chopper (indy): What type of impact/rotation spot do you envision for Jameson Taillon?

Harry Pavlidis: He may be a three, or a two at his peak.

Paul (DC): Is there a place for Drew Hutchison in the Blue Jay's 2014 rotation?

Harry Pavlidis: yes but can he grab it is the question. Could be a competitive spring.

Matt (Chicago): Salazar: That split/change thing that comes in under 80 at its slowest. What is a comp on that pitch?

Harry Pavlidis: ok, he doesn't throttle it very often so I had forgotten that. It tumbles like most splitters, but, it isn't a full blown power pitch given his fastball velocity. I can't think of a good comp, maybe a faster version of Nolasco's (he changes speeds) but with more tumble and less fade. If I come up with one I'll tweet it.

Dave (Kingman): Any player(s)that suprised you that were left of the 40 man and rule 5 draft eligible?

Harry Pavlidis: haven't thought much about it, and I probably won't until the winter meetings are underway.

rrvwmr (chicago): Have you attempted to measure injury w/ Pitch/Fx? What would you look at? Velocity decline and release point seem likely indicators. What about changes in movement? When my elbow was hurting, sliders seemed to end up flat more often.

Harry Pavlidis: I haven't, but those who have published work on that have found a couple things. One is release point changes and/or becomes inconsistent. Velocity drops may be the last thing. Some say command goes first, but I don't have a great method of measuring that (yet). Take care of you elbow.

Jason Parks (Brooklyn): Have you seen Field/Fx data? Does it make you #wet?

Harry Pavlidis: Yes. No.

Mario66 (Pittsburgh): Please rank the expected (by you) future value of the four vertically-challenged pitchers: Carlos Martinez, Yordano Ventura, Marcus Stroman. Which of them, if any, will spend less than 2 years in MLB as a starter?

Harry Pavlidis: Same order you've got, despite my love of Stroman he has to prove he can start before I move him up. Stroman is the most likely to go quickly (back) to the pen since he's so small. I think Martinez and that sinker will do some damage at the middle of the St. Louis rotation. Ventura is exciting but still raw.

Jim (Miami): If Colin Moran proves he can't handle third base, will he hit enough to play regularly at either first base or a corner outfield spot?

Harry Pavlidis: I think so, he looks like a legitimate big league hitter. Find a spot for him.

jlarsen (Thanksgiving Vacation Refuge): Was Joe Smith worth anything close to the $ spent on him or is he this year's "huh?" reliever signing?

Harry Pavlidis: he took the huh away from Lincecum's signing (sure that's a starter, as planned, but you know)

Matt Trueblood (Where it's cold): When you talk about tumble, what are you describing? Top spin?

Harry Pavlidis: actually tumble would be short of top spin for me. Top spin I would use the term drop or bite to describe. Tumble is that action you get when a splitter or change comes out with backspin but at a lower spin rate.

jlarsen (From Parts Unknown): Between the Rays 2 pitching additions to their 40-Man roster, who do you see having a more promising future from(both long-term & short-term) between CJ Riefenhauser & Kirby Yates?

Harry Pavlidis: I don't know ... ask me later on twitter

Harry Pavlidis: and with that, we are done. Enjoy the holidays and be safe on your travels.

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