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Prospect Watch- Early Appalachian Stando
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TOPIC: Prospect Watch- Early Appalachian Stando

Prospect Watch- Early Appalachian Stando 21 Jul 2017 11:48 #1337

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note thatAgedenotes the relevant prospects baseball age (i.e. by July 1st of the present year);Top-15, the prospects put on Marc Huletspreseason organizational list; andTop-100, that same prospects rank on Huletsoverall top-100 list.
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Reymin Guduan, LHP, Houston Astros (Profile)Level:Rookie-Advanced Age: 22 Top-15:N/A Top-100:N/ALine:7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6/4 K/BB, 1.29ERA, 3.97 FIP
SummaryCan you are feeling the heat?
Last year, I saw Astros righthander Jandel Gustave (whom I discu sed here, for those curious) hit 100 mph twice in a start for that Rookie-Advanced Greeneville clubhes still the only starting pitcher Ive ever witne sed hit triple digits more often than once. Partly of my ensuing discu sions with other prospect hounds about Gustave and the premium heat, I was told that the Houston organization were built with a lefthander a level lower who threw evenharder.
Needle s to say, Chris Conley Jersey when this years Appalachian League rosters arrived on the scene, I made it a very high priority to determine Reymin Guduan pitch. As it happens I didnt even need to wait a week into the Appy season. Listed here are his four shutout innings from June 25, presented entirely:
What semblance of name recognitionhehas stems from his velocity, so lets get the obvious taken care of first: yes, Reymin Guduan throws hard. In this outing, he worked mostly at 92-94 mph for that initial few batters before beginning to sit down more comfortably within the mid-90s. Overall, he worked mostly at 93-97 mph, touching 98 once. Hes the only lefty Ive ever seen hit 98, and hes the only person Ive seen hit 97 more than once. No, its not quite the triple digits hes been rumored to touch, but after seeing him, I find those reports entirely believablehe seemed like he was holding back a little at times, maybe because hes getting stretched out to start. Hes highly projectable physically, so I could definitely see him consistently sitting in the upper 90s, touching 100+, from the bullpen in a few years.
So, he throws hard. Thats expected. Another thing that I was expecting was that Guduan is raw. After all, hes a 22-year-old having a premium fastball in the left side, and hes not really in full-season ballheck, hes away from Houstons highestshort-season affiiateso somethings gotta give. Its readily evidentparticularly in the first half of the videothat Guduan doesnt always know where the ball is going. He gets very good extension towards the plate, but his delivery includes a fair amount of effort in it, and he doesnt finish his pitches consistently, especially in the stretch. Hes definitely much more of a thrower than pitcher at this stage, however in the ultimate two innings of his outing, he soon started to get in much more of a rhythm and spotted the ball more consistently. It wasnt like his results indicated a trainwreckhe only walked one and didnt allow any runsso while he clearly has rawne s and consistency i sues, hes not too far in the woods as to negate the positives.
And the interesting aspect of the positives is thatwell, theres more than one. Unlike Gustave, whose skillset within my viewing this past year reduced to can throw the ball in the upper 90s over the heart from the plate (whichlooks more damning in writing than I mean it, but still is without a doubt limiting), theres more to Guduan at present than his capability to light up radar guns.
First off, his fastball sinks. He threw several pitches during the game that I initially acknowledged as changeups due to the hard vertical action, simply to lookup at the radar gun and find out the familiar mid-90s readings. On several occasion, he got a swing and mi s on the pitch through getting it to dive underneath the bat, similar to a changeup would. His height and high arm slot make him extremely tough to lift as he has got the ball down in the zone, and unlike lots of young flamethrowers, he seems more than willing to work downhill with the offering.
Second, hes got a solid second pitch already in the 82-87 mph power slider, a pitch that flashes some big sweeping bite and already grades out around average. Its an inconsistent offering, however it might get to some plus grade over time, which would make him a wipeout bullpen option against lefties at the very least. The truth that he's a pitch with some swing-and-mi s capability, obviously, helps the fastball play up to its velocity readings (a place where Gustave has already established a lot of problems, in comparison).
Guduan doesnt genuinely have much of a changeuphe threw a couple of pitches at 88-89 that mightve been something besides oddly slow fastballs or overthrown sliders, but whatever they were, they werent playable at this time. Its highly unlikely hell remain a starting pitcher like a resultjust about everything in his profile screams bullpen anyway T.J. Barnes Jersey but getting him extra innings as a starter right now to gain experience may be beneficial, especially since hes not in full-season competition. Guduan will probably be a full-time reliever when he reaches Double-A, but when he can make even moderate steps toward harne sing his stuff, he could end as certainly one of MLBs more fearsome southpaw relief options.
***Daniel Mi saki, RHP, Seattle Mariners (Profile)Level:Rookie-Advanced Age: 18 Top-15:N/A Top-100:N/ALine:15 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 17/2 K/BB, 0.00 ERA, 2.10FIP
SummaryNot many teenagers have pitchability such as this.
NotesHeres a backstory for you personally: Daniel Mi saki was born in Japan, gone to live in Brazil at age 2, and wound up representing the second country on the planet Baseball Cla sic a mere fourteen years later, as the youngest player within the 2013 competition. Signed through the Mariners after the WBC, he threw thirteen innings within the Dominican Summer League last year, thus removing him in the spotlight, however hes popped up in the Appy whatsoever of eighteen many 8 weeks old, and hes got the most eye-popping amounts of any pitcher within the circuit. Small sample size, but nonethele s.
I saw Mi sakis second start of the season last night, because he came one out shy of a complete game. He went 8 2/3 innings on just 87 pitches, taking a no-hitter through 5 2/3 frames and just allowing two hits along with a walk while striking out nine. And heres all that:
Now, its simple to go ahead and take fun backstory and current production and get all hyped up and think Mi saki is a phenom. He is, in a way, however this isnt the 2nd coming of Felix Hernandez for Mariners fans. The quickest pitch Mi saki threw within the above outing was 91 mph, for starters. That puts a damper on a pitchers prospect status pretty quickly.
Lets begin that relatively low note. Mi sakis fastball measures 88-91 mph, and its fairly straightyou dont visit a lot of succe sful young righthanded pitchers whose arsenal begins with that. But there are a few positives about Mi sakis fastball. First, he held his velocity all the way through this long outinghe even hit 91 three straight times in the eighth inning, something which many pitchers who can touch 94-95 within the first cant do. Second, hes got some deception that can help the ball jump on hitters quickly, using a slight hip turn and fairly high legkick to a sist hide the ball. Finally, though hes (a po sibly generous) 60, he is doing po se s some room to complete and add strength. Hell never be an electrical arm, but I wouldnt be amazed if Mi saki is more consistently within the 90-92 mph range, perhaps touching 93, in a few years. 90-92 touching 93 with stamina, deception, and control isnt a world-beating pitch, but its around average. Which fastball may be Mi sakis worst pitch in the end.
Mi saki throws three different offspeed pitches: a turbo fading changeup at 80-84 mph, a hard splitter at 82-85, and a slurvy curveball at 76-81. All three are well-differentiated and also have at least average potential. The changeup is already much better than average and it is near plus already, a true rarity for a pitcher of Mi sakis youth. It's big fading action and good sink, and that he sells it with terrific arm speed and the aforementioned deception. The splitter is inconsistent, however it flashes late downer action and it is a fascinating change of pace from the regular changeup. Within this outing, Mi saki considered the modification early after which started while using splitter more afterwards when hitters were located on the modification. The curveballs shape isnt consistentsometimes its a downer 11-to-5 pitch, while other times its much more of a power slurvebut it always has a substantial amount of movement on it given its upper-70s velocity. Mi saki will need to have more in conjuction with the shape, but theres pointle s it cant be a highly effective offering too.
All of this comes from an easy motion that enables him hitting spots more frequently than most pitchers of his age, and Mi saki will finish track of above-average command because he gains experience. He clearly has very Terrance Mitchell Jersey advanced pitchability and may taking action immediately if he can keep more complex hitters off balance. Given that hes not an overpowering or imposing pitcher, it will be very interesting to see how he fares against more advanced batshow will hitters adapt to him, and just how will he adjust back? Whether it all fits in place, Mi saki could slot in like a good pitch-mixing fourth starter.
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Rafael Cordova, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Profile)Level:Rookie-Advanced Age: 19 Top-15:N/A Top-100:N/ALine:6.2 IP, 4H, 1 R, 11/1 K/BB, 1.35 ERA, 1.12FIP
SummaryA sidearming curiosity whom no-one can touchyet.
NotesRafael Cordova is nineteen years of age and owns a career 46/6 K/BB ratio in 60 innings, in addition to a career 0.90 ERApretty snazzy, eh? Acro s his last two outings, hes struck out ten batters in 4 2/3 frames while walking only one. That may indicate that hes lightning inside a bottle, an untouchable reliever who could zoom with the minors quickly, or at best, a guy to look at.
Well, I saw the one outing of his this year where hewasntdominant (June 20 vs. Bristoltwo innings, one run, no walks, one strikeout). Even so, it wasnt hard to see why a) he could dominate Appy hitters and b) he may 't be a prospect:
Yep, the ol word that waves away any semblance of prospect status: sidearmer.
I mention Cordova for 2 reasons. The very first is, frankly, I didnt come with an obvious third person in the Appy League to write about for this piece. There were several interesting position players I sawincluding Cordovas Princeton teammates Nick Ciuffo, Riley Unroe, Manny Sanchez, and Thomas Milonebut I love to see position players multiple times before writing them up, and no pitchers besides Guduan and Mi saki have jumped out acro s my three Appy games. Cordovas tied for sixth in the leaguein strikeouts despite as being a reliever, and hes pretty young, so putting him in context isnt a bad idea.
The second is the fact that Cordova got me thinking about this whole sidearming thing. While I was watching Cordova make his US debut in Princeton, Ben Rowen was making his third big league appearance for that Texas Rangers, throwing 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Rowen, another low-slot pitcher (though more extreme than Cordova), is currently averaging 79.2 mph on his fastball within the big leagues, mostly working at 78-80. Cordova, on the other hand, throws mostly at 88-90 mph from the low slot, but hes a nobody.
Thats the funny aspect of minor league sidearmers: theyre gunning for marginal big-league roles. Sure, once in a blue moon, you get a Steve Cishek graduating to much more of a substantial job than situational work, but youve got a minimum of 50 Randy Choates for each Cishek. These sorts of pitchers are inherently fairly disposable, so in the world of prospecting, any minute flaw may cause an aspiring situational guy to be disregarded.
And, frankly, lots of minor league sidearmers just arent excellent. It takes place oftenyoure watching pitching of reasonable quality, and then time appears to stop so a group can bring in a guy throwing an 83-mph fastball and a 71-mph slider, with little idea where either pitch is going. As a result, the herd of sidearmers seems to be thinned more dramatically than more standard pitchers within the transition from, say, Low-A to Double-Athe gimmick could po sibly get guys in short-season, but unle s a sidearmer has a real weapon like Cisheks slider,Alex Claudios changeup, or Rowens sink and control, he sticks out just like a sore thumb even just in a Low-A bullpen.
In that context, Rafael Cordovas actually very good. Hes 19 and works in the upper 80s, up to 90 mph, his motion isnt unwieldy and clearly allows him to throw strikes, and he throws the Frisbee-est Frisbee slider youll ever see, a 72-75 mph pitch that seems to brush sideways forever (see 1:11 within the video to find the best example). Its the conventional sidearm one-two punch, except Cordova includes a little bit more velocity, a little bit more break, along with a a bit more of an concept of what hes doing than most practitioners of his craft (especially teenage ones). Also, he has a changeup at 79-82 mph that is a usable third pitch, though he slows his arm down on it and can want to get more in line with it for it to become weapon.
Clearly, thats enough for Cordova to befuddle hitters only at that level, and that he must get a shot to try this in Low-A like a 20-year-old next year. Will it lead to a big league career? The line of these guys is razor thin, soprobably not. Simultaneously, relief pitchers can come from the strangest places (see: Rowen), so succe s with this kind of guy cant be ruled out entirely if he is able to find some extra weapons within the years to come. Cordova must have more endurance than most sidearmers, but his future is probably being an organizational bullpen arm De'Anthony Thomas Jersey .
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