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— A Scout's View

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

THT: Breaking Down The Draft’s 1st Round: Picks 11-20

Here’s the link to Part 2 of the article, which covers picks 11-20.

Questions, comments and suggestions for players to be reviewed in parts 4 and 5 of the article are welcome.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to part 1(picks 1-10)

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 12:31 PM | 25 comment(s)
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:37 PM (#2410640)
I don't really follow prosspects, but I do see that Jeff received an award from SABR for minorleaguesplits.com. Congrats, Jeff! I had an opportunity to meet him a few months ago. Nice guy.
   2. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:06 PM (#2410671)
I am currently working on a quick video analysis (with voice included) between Kozma and Laporta's (or Mills) swings. I intend to try to incorporate more of these "voice lessons" in the future as soon as I find the right program for it....
   3. villainx Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:15 PM (#2410678)
Great article(s).
   4. The Chanumas Spirit Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2410705)
Excellent article!

It's a bit depressing that you're not high on Matt Wieters, though...

The Orioles could really use some good news right about now.
   5. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 04:31 PM (#2410843)
Thanks for the comments...

When I come out with the rankings of the hitters (where I'll try to take more than 2 minutes of swings into account), you'll be surprised on where I put Wieters. I actually like him quite a bit. I was just trying to stay true to the draft video. I wish I wouldn't have written that he was an "overdraft."
   6. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2410952)
Hi all, here's a link to a video clip comparing Kozma to Laporta that includes me talking you through the reasons I disliked Kozma's swing:

Kozma-LaPorta

A couple of notes:

1) I hate the sound of my voice. I seem to have developed a bit of a lisp since coming back from Spain (friggin Spaniards)...LOL. How am I gonna get on Baseball Tonight with my accent and lisp? Freakin spaniards....

2) In all honesty, I just threw this one together. It probably took me about 4 takes. Also, this is a program that I'm testing out so I don't really know how to work with it well yet. I would've loved to put some points up on the screen, but I tried it on one the previous takes and it made the video move out of position.

That said, is this something you'd rather see than written articles?

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Carlos, aka ChadBradfordWannabe
   7. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2410954)
Carlos,

Fixed the link:

Feedback in a few.
   8. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2410956)
ya beat me to it. fixed as well on mine. thanks though
   9. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2410959)
Re #1, I thought that this was a link to Sackmann's THT article. D'oh!
   10. Dan Turkenkopf Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:33 PM (#2410966)
I liked the side by side approach with the voice-over. It's a lot easier to see what you're talking about this way - sometimes I'm not entirely certain if I see what you're referring to in the written work. Your voice is fine - I barely noticed an accent or a lisp. I think the commentary flowed pretty well for the first time and will definitely get better with practice.

I agree it would be nice to be able to include graphics on the images to further illustrate the details. Also, and I know you have no control over this, it would be great if the video were higher quality. When it's blown up to this size, it's hard to make out the details.

Overall, I don't think I'd want these to replace the written analysis (it's really hard to listen to these at work), but would love to see more of them.

BTW, did you see the other day when Neyer called you the "the most important baseball writer on the Internet"?
   11. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2410976)
Thanks for your comments Dan. That program I used has a trial period that expires in about 3 more days and I wanted to make sure I got something like this done. I just don't dominate the program as well as the one I currently use (and would like to use except that it's stoopid expensive).

BTW, did you see the other day when Neyer called you the "the most important baseball writer on the Internet"?

Yes. I can't tell you what an honor it was to have Rob Neyer himself say that. I mean...I'm still not over it...
   12. casejud Posted: June 22, 2007 at 07:47 AM (#2412742)
You deserve it man. I actually finally registered to this site today so I could tell you how much I have been enjoying your stuff man. I was struck initially by, how much some can learn from just those little scouting videos and how many misconceptions there are about some players. I like how you put a name to many of the mechanics of a players swing and delivery. Very informative. Anyways, players that interst me that I haven't heard mentioned are..Jutin Jackson! I was scouting for a mock draft on minorleagueball.com (Sickels site) and I swear i thought about taking him 9th! I was the D'Backs mock GM. I'd really like to see what you think about him. To me I see a kid who is extremely athletic enough to play in the middle of the diamond and who also has a LOT of juice in the swing. I forget where he was picked but, why was he not thought of by most as a top pick? Also Kelen Kulbacki, Todd Frazier. Jsames Simmons and, Nick Schmidt all strike me as players who are a lot better than people picked ahead of them and would be great to look at. Just me 2 or 3 cents. Keep up the great work! I'll be watchin' and learnin'. Need any help let me know.

-Casey
   13. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:17 PM (#2412857)
Casey--

thanks man, I appreciate it. I will certainly take a look at the names you mentioned and see if they make the cut. As of right now, I have a definite 10 or 11 of reader-submitted names with many on the bubble. I'm shooting for 20.
   14. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 23, 2007 at 12:55 AM (#2413487)
Question for the community....

I MAY have usable video on Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan. What do you guy think of them as guys to do evaluations on? I'm getting pretty pumped about doing something like that, but I'm not sure if people would rather have me take a look at say, Chad Billingsley or JAve Peavy than Bob or Nolan. It would be more of an educational thing where I would point out some of the key points in their deliveries that made them successful.

Thoughts?

Carlos
   15. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 23, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2413514)
I may also have Hank Aaron AND Babe Ruth. Thoughts?
   16. npurcell Posted: June 23, 2007 at 01:46 AM (#2413547)
for Withrow, this is what you said...

Not huge on the upside, but a solid pick nonetheless.


can you expand on that?
   17. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 23, 2007 at 02:17 AM (#2413579)
Sure thing....

I just didn't see anything that would lead me to believe that he's gonna be a guy who will dominate. Just didn't see the mechanics to support an increase in velocity and him coming up with something nasty. Of course, he could make some mechanical changes (tempo, body aggressiveness and such) but those take time to implement. He has a great base to work with (excellent arm action), but I don't know if he'll get the correct instruction in order to harness and improve on his abilites.
   18. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 23, 2007 at 02:45 AM (#2413591)
CBW, I don't care if you have video from your neighborhood Little League games. If you're talking, I'm listening.

You breaking down some all-time greats would be, well, great.
   19. npurcell Posted: June 23, 2007 at 04:36 AM (#2413752)
re 17

thanks for the analysis. Coming into the draft, Withrow was regarded as one of the most projectible prep pitchers in the draft. So its interesting to see a difference of opinion. thanks for the input.
   20. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: June 24, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2414340)
Carlos, I note that you seem to prefer "drop and drive" to "tall and fall".

I assume you are famliar with Nolan Ryan's Pitching Bible, which he wrote with Tom House? Ryan promotes a "tall and fall" approach in that book, iIrc.

Do you

(a) think Nolan Ryan was wrong?
(b) think that Nolan Ryan was right about him based on his body and strengths, but that this would not apply to everyone?
(c) define these terms differently than Ryan and House?
(d) something else altogether?

I'd love to see you break down Ryan's motion, esp. in regards to the things he says in this book.
   21. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: June 24, 2007 at 12:31 AM (#2414344)
I also think it might be interesting to do a piece on the players you evaluated a year ago, to see whether or not they are meeting expectations, and if their struggles may relate to things you pointed out. You may not get video, but I don't know if you need the video to just see how someone's doing. Of course, it may be too early for such a piece.
   22. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 24, 2007 at 01:52 AM (#2414653)
Excellent questions. As you have pointed out, Ryan was a practitioner of (what he thought to be) the "tall and fall" method. Video study of his mechanics show a completely different viewpoint that didn't match what "tall and fall" was preaching. That is gonna be one of he main points on the Ryan article if I even get to it...kinda like a perception vs reality thing. Unless, like you said above, the answer is (c). I somehow don't have my copy on Nolan Ryan's Pitching Bible (Ryan was my first idol with the matching leg kick, btw). One thing I plan on doing was to revisit the bible and see if I and everyone else misinterpreted what Ryan and House were saying.

RE: followup article

I agree that I think it is a little too early, even though I think I have had plenty to brag about. It's funny how I look at those reviews and I wonder how I could've missed some of the things that are now pretty obvious. I think I might do the followup in the offseason.
   23. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: June 24, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2414676)
Carlos, I would love to see you break down the all-time greats.

I would also like to see what you think about Rich Hill.
   24. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 24, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2415208)
I wrote this last year about Rich Hill on the 9/11/06 blog entry at "Gonfalon Cubs"..

Hi all, I thought I'd chime in. Moses asked me for a quick mechanical analysis, so I looked at his 11 K game and here goes.......I'm watching the Highlight reel of his 11 K game, if you'd like to follow along.

Tempo

For those who've seen my evaluations, this is my main thing. Quick/efficient/uninterrupted tempo where momentum is used efficiently. Hill is a tad on the slow side at first. He really starts turning on the juice right around from when his arm straightens out, at the bottom of the arm cicle. Actually, you can see that when he starts that first movement up from the farthest point of his arm action circle, he really flows smoothly and VERY quickly. This is good, real good.

Arm Action

it straightens out, which I don't like both from an efficiency/injury risk POV. However, like I said, from the farthest point back, it is nice, quick, efficient. Notice how his elbow "picks up" he ball and not the hand. Elbow above hand--yes, and yes.

at release

Here's where I see potential trouble. His front side (lead arm/glove) isn't as firm as I'd like him to be at release. It indicates he's kinda pulling with his front shoulder, which generally leads to shoulder troubles. However, like I told Moses, he isn't super agressive with it, which is nice to see.
Also, at release, he doesn't demonstrate a hard thrower's true "intent." Most fireballers do this move right after release where they almost bow forward with their shoulders, like they're about to dive into the front of the mound. As an example, watch Billy Wagner a few frames after release if you get a chance. Hill doesn't do this, but hey he gets it to 92 or more without it.

injury risk

Yes, of course he's a possible shoulder guy. But so are most pitchers. Do I see major shoulder surgery? No, but I haven't seen front/side shots of Hill to make that determination.

Stuff

His deuce is awesome. It helps that it's slow. He gets compared to Zito, right? Well, they're not too far off, honestly. Their stuff is similar. Hill has a much better fastball, IMO. Zito has a better curveball, but not too far off. Unlike Zito, he could be described as sneaky fast. Hides the ball longer, has a quicker, shorter arm action. Can he become Zito? I don't see why not. Really, if I were him, I'd adopt Zito's attack plan...Fastballs in mostly with an occasional cutter and just throw the crap out of that deuce over and over and over. BTW, Zito has a pretty decent change as well. I don't know if Hill does.
Hill will be homer prone because he will have to rely on a 4 seamer, and with a curveball that big and slow, people will forever call his curveball a "hanging curve"<---when it gets hit.

If I were a GM, I'd definitely try to go and get him. Maybe not as a #1 guy, but yeah, a solid #2. His stuff, and those ridiculous numbers, are worth the risk.
   25. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: June 24, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2415216)
Thanks Carlos! I must have missed that. Good stuff.

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