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Day Four in Bradenton

I don’t like making decisions based on a limited amount of information.  If I see a guy have a good outing, I want to see more of that before I label him a good prospect.  If I see a guy have a bad outing, I need to see it more than once, to prove it wasn’t an off-day.  That said, it’s hard to not consider how one outing can impact a person’s status, and that’s something that I’m experiencing the last few days at Pirate City.

Yesterday I saw Luis Heredia pitch one inning, and you can see the video here.  Today I saw Stetson Allie throw two innings of a simulated game, and the video for that is here.  The difference between the two was huge.

Heredia was reportedly throwing 91-96, although I had him around 92-94 MPH most of the outing.  He was throwing at that velocity with very little effort.  His size is hardly the size you would see from a 16 year old, and the idea that he could still grow is a bit of a shock.  The fact that he throws with very little effort, is hitting the 92-94 MPH range frequently at the age of 16, and still has room to mature, all suggest that he could very well be a future ace in the majors.

Allie had poor control today.

Allie was throwing around 90-95 MPH, mostly throwing 94-95 MPH from the windup, and throwing in the low 90s from the stretch.  The problem was that Allie had absolutely no control, which you can see from the video above.  It was reported around the time of the draft that he could touch 100 MPH, but had no control, and had better control in the mid-90s.  It’s still early, and Allie hasn’t pitched competitively much since being drafted, so the control issues could be a sign of rust.  However, if Allie’s control in the upper 90s is worse than this, then he may very well kill someone with his fastball this year.

Something came to mind today, after reviewing Allie and Heredia.  In my pre-season rankings, as well as the site’s overall rankings, Allie was fourth and Heredia was fifth.  I don’t like to make moves based on one outing, especially not when it’s a one inning inter-squad game for Heredia and a two inning simulated game for Allie.  But if you asked me whether I’d put Heredia over Allie right now, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it.  In fact, flipping the two isn’t a huge move, so I’ll go one further.  If you told me that your crystal ball says Heredia will be a top 3 prospect in the system next year, and Allie will be in the 6-10 range, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

Check out the video links above and see for yourself, but keep in mind that it’s a very small sample, and hardly something you want to make a final conclusion on.

Tim Alderson

One of the things I wanted to do while I was down here was see what Tim Alderson was throwing, and how he was throwing.  I didn’t get to see much of him, but did get a report on him, and managed to get a nice breakdown of his delivery.  When I first saw Alderson last year, there was something that didn’t look right with his delivery.  Not the jerky motions, but something about his follow through.  I found out what it was after looking at the photos today.

Ross Ohlendorf

Speaking of pitchers with issues, Ohlendorf had a bad game today, allowing three home runs in a loss to Baltimore.  I pointed out his HR/FB ratio, and the possibility of that causing a regression this year.  I talked to Clint Hurdle, who mentioned that it was an issue with Ohlendorf trying to over-power the ball, leaving his fastball up in the zone, and over-powering his slider.  Check out the breakdown and Hurdle’s comments here.

Pirate City

I saw the following pitchers today:

Stetson Allie: 94-95 MPH from the windup, 90-92 MPH from the stretch
Bryton Trepagnier: 87-89 MPH
Tim Alderson: 87-89 MPH, touched 90, had some command issues and was hit hard.
Daniel Moskos 92-93 MPH
Cristopher Richardson: 87-90 MPH, touched 91.
Logan Pevny: Sat around 86-87, and touched 89 MPH.
Duke Welker: 94-95 MPH, and threw it effortlessly, but had no control, with two walks in an inning.

Richardson was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2010 as a reality show winner.  He’s a left hander, and could have some success in the lower levels this year, similar to Joely Rodriguez in 2010.

Richardson

Welker could be an interesting prospect if he fixed his control issues.  He actually had good control in 2008, but saw that drop off in the last two years.  I’m going to try and catch up with him tomorrow to see what happened with his control, and why he got his velocity back in the last year.

Pevny and Trepagnier were both late round picks out of high school, and both have projectable frames that could allow them to add velocity.  They both need it, as they were only in the high-80s.  I will have video of Trepagnier on the site tomorrow.

Trepagnier

Pevny

As far as position players, earlier today I talked about Elias Diaz, who might be the second best catcher in the system.  I got to see Willy Garcia hit a line drive down the first base line off of Stetson Allie.  Garcia used his speed to turn it in to a triple.  Then he almost got killed by Allie, twice, during the next at-bat.

Alex Presley hit a big home run in batting practice.  It would be nice if he had a repeat of his 2010 season.

Finally, since the Blue Jays were in town, that meant two things.  First, the return of Ronald Uviedo…

Uviedo with the Blue Jays

And second, Chase D’Arnaud’s brother, Travis, was playing in the AA game.  Chase escaped a few times to see his brother at the plate, as shown below:

Chase watching Travis.

Tomorrow I will be speaking with Jameson Taillon about what he’s been working on, plus reporting on more action from Pirate City.  Nick Kingham is expected to pitch, which will give me my first look at the 2010 4th round pick.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Ross Ohlendorf’s Struggles Are Nothing New

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2011 Prospect Watching: Stevenson, Cumpton, And Pals

  • Anonymous

    GREAT stuff! You could almost charge for this.

    ……

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CMQTDKA45P4A264G5MS655DNNM Stefan

    You better watch out cuz Allie might kill you too

  • Anonymous

    Tim: Let me second that emotion – great stuff, especially the mph and the ability to get feedback on whether the velocity is usable. Duke Welker, #2 in 2007 and Mike Felix, #2 the year before have been two of the worst #2’s in the history of the draft. When that Welker draft was made I picked Tony Watson at #9 and Kyle McPherson at #14 as being our “sleepers”. Watson seems to throw with a great deal of confidence – can he be a MLB Reliever right now?

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