Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Instructs

Bounced around a bit on this day, attending the first 3 innings of the Royals vs. the Reds and then went to Glendale to watch the Dodgers play the Rangers.

RHP Brooks Pounders (Royals) - Pounders is a big, physical bulldog in a mature body.  I only watched him pitch 1 inning, but he appeared to be in command from periodically looking over.  He featured a FB at 89-91 to pair with a SL at 85 and a CH at 80.  None of his pitches were above avg and didn't see a lot to be intrigued about.

RHP Nick Travieso (Reds) - The Reds 1st rounder this year, was able to catch up with him and watch him throw 2 innings.  The guy with some projection left (and some bad weight) features close to a perfect pitcher's body with sloped shoulders.  He comes from a H 3/4 SWU and there is some effort there, as it is a bit of a rock and fire delivery.  He featured a FB at 92-93 w/ gd angle and more velo to come with a inconsistent SL at 82-86, a mdm downer CB at 76-78 and a CH at 82-85 that was too firm.  Overall, the SL was better in the 2nd inning, but it only flashed below avg.  His downer CB was an early breaker and his CH had gd armspeed, but little life and he tended to bury it.  There is still a potential middle of the rotation starter in there, but it is going to take time, as he needs to work on commanding the zone and refining all of his offspeed pitches.

LHP Cesar Ogando (Royals) - Ogando was another big bodied pitcher on this day and started against Travieso in the instructs game (Pounders started the co-op game).  Ogando missed all of this year with an injury after being popped by the Royals in the 6th round last year and appears to be working his way back now.  He is built like C.C. Sabathia, minus about 3 or 4 inches in a physical frame with a strong lower half.  His delivery is similar to C.C's and he comes from a 3/4 SWU.  His FB was 86-89 with a little run (we saw it higher last year) and he paired that with a CH at 79-82 that had gd armspeed w/ fade and sink and a CB at 77 that was a mdm downer with ok spin.  Both offspeed pitches will work and it will be interesting to see if the FB comes back.  He is probably more Jose Mijares then C.C. Sabathia.

Some quick notes on the hitters, Bubba Starling again showed that he has all the tools in the world, showing off his plus bat speed by doubling off Travieso and singling off another pitcher.  Jack Lopez also showed above avg bat speed in a slightly cleaner swing, although he let the ball get in deep on him. 

OF Nomar Mazara (Rangers) - Mazara was the massive bonus baby and features a projectable big frame that can put on a lot more muscle.  He hits with a mini leg kick, but does a good job keeping his hands back and being able to explode on the ball.  He can get fooled by off-speed pitches, but that is to expected at this stage of development.  Mazara projects as a middle of the order hitter with the ability to play a solid avg RF.  He showed some bat speed today that I hadn't seen until today due to the fact everything was synced up.  Very intriguing.

OF Ronald Guzman (Rangers) - Guzman is one of my favorites, also featuring a big, projectable frame that can put on a lot of muscle.  He will be a 1B and profiles to be no better then avg at the position defensively.  He hit another HR today, which makes me feel he is learning how to utilize leverage and create some more loft.  He still has work to do with it, but I still see him as a .260, 25+ HR guy.

3B Joey Gallo (Rangers) - Yet another, big projectable body the Rangers have, Gallo is right there with Mazara in terms of raw power.  Gallo's swing has a little more length to it and he can battle his timing moreso then Mazara, but the pure bat speed is more consistently there from Gallo then Mazara IMO.  Gallo will be your typical 3 true outcomes player and is going to hit 30+ bombs in the majors if his batting eye allows him.  Still very high on him.

LHP Kevin Matthews (Rangers) - Matthews really battled his command in the SAL (64 BB and 66 K in 74 IP) and for a guy whose polish led him to be a 1st rounder, it is a concern.  He commanded the ball ok on this day, throwing a lot of strikes.  The mdm, athletic kid who lacks the prototypical pitcher size (closer to Tom Milone then Clayton Kershaw) came from a H 3/4, SWU.  The delivery appears to utilize his legs, but he throws with almost all arm, as he gets disconnected early, never engages his lower half and doesn't really utilize his glove hand either.  Stuff wise, he worked 87-89 (up to 90) with a little run and sink to pair with 2 avg off speed pitches in his CH (80-83 w/ gd armspeed and fade at times) and a CB at 73-77 that was a 2 plane breaker w/ tight spin.  You can project both off-speed pitches as above avg, but I wonder if he is going to be able to be a middle of the rotation starter.  Strikes me as a middle reliever, as the CB will allow him to have success L on L.

Other pitchers I saw on this day were Connor Sadzeck (made pro debut at Spokane, where really battled command.  Stuff may work in middle relief role, as was 90-92 w/ a power CB at 76-78 and a CH at 84 that is a non-starter for me) and Nerfy Nunez (lefty making States debut was 87-88 w/ a CH at 78 and a mdm downer CB at 73).

Tomorrow, will be trying to head out to watch the Rockies vs. Angels in Tempe to get a look at David Dahl.

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