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Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Thursday, June 14, 2007

THT-Breaking Down The Draft’s 1st Round: Picks 1-10

A video look at the Top 10 picks in this year’s draft

As always, questions, comments, Job offers, and suggestions for part 4 and 5 are welcome.

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 14, 2007 at 11:26 AM | 22 comment(s)
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   1. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: June 14, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2403796)
Great stuff as always. I'd missed chances to catch Price pitching, and it's good to see a clip of his motion. Terrific stuff. I'm finding I notice more little things — or at least, they always seemed to be little things to me — about players now, thanks to indicators and tips gleaned from your analysis. Keep it up.

As far as suggesting guys for you to take a look at, I'd like your analysis on Jess Todd, a former Arkansas Razorback and, I believe, St. Louis' second-round pick. If memory serves me right, he was a reliever to start the season at Arkansas, became a starter, and pitched very well. He had one game in late May where he set a school record by striking out 17 batters in eight innings to defeat South Carolina.

Word is he was drafted to be a late-inning reliever or closer. More people are focusing on lefthander and former Razorback Nick Schmidt, the Padres' newly-minted first-round pick. I'm interested in his progress, sure, but I'm much more interested in Todd. Call it the 'wow' factor from things like that 17 K game.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2403814)
Interesting. The consensus seemed to be that Baumgarner was a big reach at #10. The consensus is very often wrong.

I'm not concerned about Moustakas not being a guy that hits 450 foot bombs, but do you think his short compact swing will lend him to a high average? Is it too difficult to tell something like that in a short video?
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 14, 2007 at 04:19 PM (#2403829)
Always learn something when I read your stuff, Carlos. Nice job.
   4. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 14, 2007 at 04:24 PM (#2403837)
Wieters is an overdraft?
   5. Kyle S Posted: June 14, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2403842)
Carlos, I would like you to take a look at Jon Gilmore, the Braves' pick in the supplemental first round. He's a high school third baseman from Iowa.
   6. Garth found his way to daylight Posted: June 14, 2007 at 07:34 PM (#2404002)
I really love your work, Carlos.
I don't think his swing is built for that at this point. I see a line drive hitter with decent power. [...] In conclusion, Moustakas has a simple, short, repeatable swing. He'll hit for power, but not the power that some are projecting for him.
So he's the next George Brett, right? Just as long as we're clear on that. ;)
   7. 1k5v3L Posted: June 14, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2404035)
kevin would like to hear about Daniel Bard's mechanics again...
   8. 1k5v3L Posted: June 14, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2404038)
If Parker doesn't blow his arm out over the next 4 years, he's got a real chance to be a healthy 22-year old one day. Maybe the Dbacks will get supremely lucky and have a rotation of Webb-Scherzer-Parker-Anderson-Owings one day. The day after, kevin will be caught having conjugal hanky-panky with Callaspo...
   9. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 14, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2404082)
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Mets supplemental picks.
   10. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 14, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2404101)
Vitters appears to pick up his hands as he is swinging, is this just this clip or is that his swing?
   11. nymusix Posted: June 14, 2007 at 10:04 PM (#2404181)
I dunno if you plan to get that far, but I want to hear what you have to say about Kyle Blair. They are calling him the best high school arm out of the bay area ever, and I've actually faced him a couple of times.
   12. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 14, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2404201)
I'd like your analysis on Jess Todd.....I would like you to take a look at Jon Gilmore.....Kyle Blair

I will certainly take a look at them and see if they make the top 20 in parts 4 and 5. I might have to do part 6 too with the amount of suggestions I've gotten...hehe

but do you think his short compact swing will lend him to a high average? Is it too difficult to tell something like that in a short video?
Yes. Yes, but his swing is so compact that unless someone changes it in a major way, he should be a guy who consistently puts the fat part of the bat on the ball, and that is something that I tend to undervalue myself (gotta work on my obsession with power and velocity).

Wieters is an overdraft?

I like Wieters a lot. I tried to stay true to the draft video in which many of his swings sucked. That led to that comment. It hurt to write that in there since I have been high on him for some time.

I appreciate the kind words of all. Thanks fellas. Part 2 I'd like to have done by Tuesday, so keep it in mind.
   13. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 15, 2007 at 11:46 AM (#2404812)
Vitters appears to pick up his hands as he is swinging, is this just this clip or is that his swing?

He does and that's OK. That's just how Vitters "loads his hands."
   14. joker24 Posted: June 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM (#2405556)
LaPorta has or at the very least had gigantic power. I saw him take BP during his sophomore year and that was by far, by far the best amateur BP I've seen and really outside of juiced McGwire/Sosa/Howard/A-Rod/Pujols, BP period. Had an oppo round...probably 6/10 leave the park. Up the middle round, routinely hitting it over 410 in CF. And a 'I'm going to hit these into next year' round that was ridiculous. You don't get too many oohs and ahhs in college BP, LaPorta had them on every swing practically. One of the opposing pitchers told me half-jokingly that he almost wanted to just put one down the middle and see how far he could hit it. I hate to use the cliche, but the ball makes a different sound when it comes off his bat.

Yeah, I'm high on LaPorta.
   15. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 16, 2007 at 02:50 AM (#2405910)
Jeff Albert, co-moderator of this blog, interviews Vanderbilt's pitching coach Derek Johnson
.
Of note, he mentions many of the things I like to talk about which you'll see there. I thought it was an excellent article.
   16. Scott Fischthal Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2410324)
The most interesting video was Detwiler. Is that really his typical motion? He reminds me of Bill Pulsipher, except he somehow manages to use his body even less. His motion brings to mind the famous reaction of Tom Seaver watching Gary Nolan pitch when they were very young All-Star teammates:

"Oh my God, he's going to break his arm!"

I can't remember where I read that originally, but it still sticks in my mind -- and we all (at lesat of a certain age) remember what happened to Nolan (his arm blew up almost immediately afterwards).

I can't imagine the guy possibly staying healthy enough to be an effective major league pitcher.
   17. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2410398)
Yeah, I'm high on LaPorta.

There's a story that made the rounds his sophomore year that during a BP session he nearly killed an osprey that was nesting on the light towers outside McKethan Stadium. It's sort of hard to describe how far away that is.

This is the best photo I can find. The osprey was in the light tower between the left field wall and the large white dome in the background.
   18. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:11 AM (#2410424)
Part 2 of the analysis is due out tomorrow. I mention LaPorta and Mills, the 13th pick as excellent examples of the hitting mechanics that I like to see.
   19. Biscuit_pants Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2410731)
He does and that's OK. That's just how Vitters "loads his hands."
Since I could not see the pitcher I was assuming that he was picking up his hands for pitch location which to me would say he would not be able to catch up with faster pitches that were high in the zone. But if I read you right you are saying it is part of his set up before the swing, right?
   20. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:18 AM (#2411381)
Yup, and it's actually a good thing. It's a "power" trigger and momentum builder, done correctly.

FYI, for LaPorta fans, there is a comparison between Kozma and LaPorta on part 2 where you can hear my BBTN ready? voice..LOL
   21. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 24, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2452859)
Vitters appears to pick up his hands as he is swinging, is this just this clip or is that his swing?

I think this is exaggerated in the clip because he was hitting a high pitch?

Chad, as far as teaching goes would you say that getting out in front of the ball is one of the more easily corrected bad habits?

I'm a big fan of the compact swing. It seems to me that a lot of the toolsy hitters who don't pan out are guys who have big, long swings and can't adjust them to professional pitching (looking at you, Corey Patterson).
   22. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: July 24, 2007 at 04:17 PM (#2452978)
Chad, as far as teaching goes would you say that getting out in front of the ball is one of the more easily corrected bad habits?

IMO, the short answer to that is (unfortunately) "no." Of course, it depends on the player's skill level and how ingrained the "Extension" cue is in his swing. I've been working on my swing as well, especially on not getting the ball so out in front. I still push the hands out and "go and get" the ball. Of course, I'm not a great hitter, but I do have O.K bat speed (got to 93 mph with an aluminum bat, 83mph wood bat), even with my many hitting faults.

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