On a beautiful 60 degree spring afternoon in Charleston, the West Virginia Power sent Lithuanian righty Dovydas Neverauskas to the mound. Neverauskas would not only face a very good hitting Delmarva Shorebird line-up but also one of Baltimore’s top pitching prospects, Hunter Harvey, as his mound opponent. In the end, Neverauskas out-dueled Harvey to earn his third win of the season. Below is a breakdown of Neverauskas’ pitches on the day.
Neverauskas featured a plus fastball all game long. He controlled the pitch from the first inning through the fifth and did not walk one Shorebird batter. The pitch ranged from 92 to 96 MPH on the Appalachian Power Park radar gun but mostly sat in the 93 to 94 range. Of the batters he faced, he only struck out two, but he produced weak contact during his entire start. When the Shorebirds did get a runner on, Neverauskas was able to control the fastball down in the zone to produce ground balls. The Power defense turned two nice double plays to keep him out of trouble. (READ: Prospect Watch: A Good Report on the Defense From JaCoby Jones)
As with many of the young pitching prospects at this level, the Pirates encourage them to first learn fastball control. This seems to be the plan with Neverauskas, who only threw the changeup a few times his second time through the Shorebirds lineup. The changeup registered 87 on the gun each time and the opposition did not put it in play.
During the game, Neverauskas threw what appeared to be a curveball only one time. The pitch came in at 81 mph, on a two strike count to a right-handed batter. Neverauskas delivered the pitch low and off the plate attempting to get the Delmarva batter to chase for strike three. The batter held his ground and the pitch was called a ball. This was the only time that I noted that the pitch was used.
Due to the limited use of his off-speed offerings it was hard to get a read on if these pitches will become weapons in the future for Neverauskas. The fastball however, was a plus offering today. If Neverauskas continues with the plan and is able to command the fastball down in the zone for strikes it could set him up for more starts like today. Once he starts to incorporate his secondary pitches more, I can see his strike out totals spiking upwards.