BRADENTON, Fl. – I’ve got a few articles going up this afternoon from today’s Spring Training coverage, but wanted to provide you with a video update first, featuring the two top pitching prospects in the system, who both threw bullpen sessions today.

Here’s top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow. Francisco Cervelli was catching him, and had him slowing down before each pitch. Glasnow has such a quick delivery that I had to record him holding a lot, just to make sure I got the pitch. I also had to split my recording between Taillon and Glasnow, since they were throwing at the same time. So not many pitches here, but you get to see all three of them.

Here’s Jameson Taillon, and as a bonus, the video of his pro debut for comparison. As I’ve written a lot in the last year, Taillon has really cleaned up his delivery. There’s much less effort, not as many moving parts, the fastball is down in the zone instead of always being flat and up, and he’s not falling toward first base on the follow through, instead planting his leg firm. He spent a lot of time cleaning up his delivery the last two years during his rehab, although this has been a progression lasting many years. Here was last year’s breakdown on the evolution of his delivery, to explain more. (I’ll use any excuse to link to that article, as it’s one of my favorite ones in this site’s history.)

As a bonus, here is a brief video of Elias Diaz catching Kyle Lobstein today, showing off his quiet glove and his blocking skills (1-for-2 in this video blocking the curveball in the dirt).

I’ve noticed Diaz talking with Manny Sanguillen every day before the bullpen sessions. Manny also watches him closely during batting practice. There seems to be a pretty close relationship there, and it’s not just this year, as I noticed it last year as well (and sat next to Manny at one point discussing how good Diaz is at receiving pitches, a topic which he brought up). Today, I tried to get a photo of them talking. Manny noticed, and got Diaz to pose for this picture, which was my favorite one of the day.

Manny Sanguillen and Elias Diaz take a moment to pose for a photo. #Pirates

A photo posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Just a hunch but IMO that Taillon will get to the majors before Glasnow and they will both be good starters with Glasnow a little better.

    • Since I am the old fart on this site I urge u to take a look at Manny’s first 9 years – he was headed for HOF territory I think – did not walk a lot – but amazingly did not strike out a lot – never saw a pitch he didn’t like

  2. I’m excited for Taillion’s arrival. They’ll hopefully start him off slow so he has plenty in the tank later.

    • He looks so much better… almost like they aren’t the same pitcher. Can’t wait to see them both in live action. Kuhl also reminds me a bit of Wacca in terms of aggressive approach.

  3. Tim … Maybe a stupid question but I noticed Stewart’s rocking in his squat. I was wondering if he always does that? Or is he “settling” into his squat as part of spring training regiment

    • The pitchers give the signal of what they’re going to throw just before going into the windup. It’s a quick glove flip to show the sign, then they throw. So the catcher is getting set up based on the type of pitch he just saw called, while the pitcher gets ready. I usually start the video right after the sign.

    • Going off what Tim said about setting up for a particular pitch, I remember watching a catcher for Lakewood last year, call his pitches and every time it was a curve, he would get into a wider squat. The problem was that he would set up early, and he sort of did a small jump to get in the wider stance, so it made a lot of noise and tipped the batter off early that a curve was coming up, or in the instances he didn’t do it, a curve wasn’t coming up. I was calling pitches up in the stands and some people were impressed that I was getting them right, but the catcher made it real easy for anyone who knew what they were looking at. The Lakewood pitchers started getting hit pretty hard until they brought in some fastball pitcher who was just blowing it by hitters. Basically, you want a quiet catcher behind the plate and he was not it. It would probably be easier to get away with when you’re not in a quiet minor league stadium, but just the exaggerated movement had to catch the hitter’s peripheral.

  4. Thank you much for the video’s – both Glasnow and Taillon threw very well and Cervelli, Stewart, and Diaz all looked very good. It is the first time through and I expected them to be long and deliberate in their bullpen’s. As they get closer to the start of ST do you expect they will try to quicken up their deliveries from the stretch?

    • Bullpen sessions are a lot different from the games, so there will probably be some changes between what you see here and what you see when they’re in real games with real batters.

      • Well, that was kind of my point. Cervelli is a very good MLB catcher…who did Glasnow throw to most of last year and year before? Certainly not someone on Cervellis level/ability

        • In AAA it was Elias Diaz, I remember reading some Major Leaguer saying Diaz was the best catcher he’s ever thrown too. But I totally see your point, I think that’s one of the reasons why being a NRI at Spring Training is so beneficial to a player.

  5. The videos of Taillion show a remarkable difference in the amount of effort in Taillion’s deliveries from his debut to now. If he’s still reaching the same velocity, this bodes very well for him being able to work deep into games. Thanks for posting the videos.

    And I’d love to read Stewart’s thoughts on Glasnow, Taillon, Kuhl, Brault, and Williams. I’m sure he can’t be completely candid but he still should be able to provide some interesting insights. Or maybe interview several catchers (Cervelli, Diaz, McGuire) so that comments don’t need to be attributed to any single catcher.

    • I may have mentioned this back when Tim first published the article but the change is so dramatic, you wonder why they didn’t “shut him down” earlier and fix the delivery back then. Not sure if that would have prevented theTJ surgery as the damage may have already been done, but 3 additional years of bad form couldn’t have helped.

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