CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

World Series time! Enjoy Premium-level access to most features through the end of the Series!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: Taijuan ... (09/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: A... (08/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: S... (09/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Mike T... (09/06)

September 6, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts

September 7, 2013

by BP Prospect Staff

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Direct Links to Individual Player Reports

Eddie Butler Luke Jackson Jonathon Crawford
Matt Barnes Ty Buttrey

Eddie Butler

RHP

Colorado Rockies

DOB: 03/13/1991

Height: 6’2”

Bats: B

MLB ETA: 2014

Weight: 180

Throws: R

Current Team: Double-A Tulsa

Date(s) Seen: 08/16/2013

Date Filed: 08/29/2013

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired: 1st round supp (#46); 2012

Filed By: Jason Cole

Mechanics

3/4 slot with slight drop and drive; prevents much downward plane on stuff; slight back turn to hitters; crossfire causes arm/body to have to work to reach inside corner to LHH/outside to RHH but did it often and with consistency; long arms and legs; long arm in back enables hitter to see it, lacking deception; good athlete; repeated well; overall delivery isn’t ideal but seems to make it work; excellent arm speed; late bloomer physically who’s adding strength and filling out frame; should be a durable body at full maturity.

#1 Pitch

Fastball, Velocity: 92-98 mph, sit 94-96. Command: fringe-average present, future average. Movement: plus-plus; huge arm-side run and sink. Notes: monster fastball; easy 70-grade velocity; held through five innings in this look, working 94-96 in final frame; bat-breaking pitch that should induce groundballs; prefers heavy two-seam in on RHH, four-seam in on LHH; similar velo on both; easily throws strikes with pitch; across body delivery likely to prevent plus command, but it should be average.

Grade: Present 70/Future 70

#2 Pitch

Changeup, Velocity: 85-89 mph. Command: average present, future solid-average. Movement: matches two-seam movement with heavy fade and sink. Notes: present plus offering; room to become plus-plus with refined command; repeats arm slot and speed on offering exceptionally well; deceptive pitch with big life; used with confidence to both left- and right-handed hitters; showed in all counts; like fastball, swing-and-miss and groundball pitch.

Grade: Present 60/Future 70

#3 Pitch

Slider, Velocity: 83-88 mph. Command: fringe-average present, future average. Movement: manipulates to vary velocity and break; sharp at 86-88 with slightly less length and good late depth. Notes: command was on inconsistent side in this look, but showed feel to pitch with it; manipulated velo and break; worked it in on lefties; flashed back-foot to LHH with two strikes; loose on occasion but flashed plus; more 5s than 6s in this look.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

Other

Also shows occasional curveball at 82-84 mph; hard with good depth; showed three future plus and all for strikes; attacked hitters with aggressive approach within zone; got in on hands of LHH with all three offerings, which is surprising given his delivery; many crossfire guys struggle to reach that corner.

Overall

Butler improved as his first full season progressed and finished with a highly impressive six-start stint in Double-A, giving up just two runs on 13 hits in 27 2/3 innings. His stuff is nasty; nobody doubts that. It’s a power arsenal with huge life. His delivery isn’t ideal and leads some scouts to believe he profiles best in the bullpen––where I think he’d be a potential elite closer––but he seems to make it work enough to stick in a starting role. He repeated, got to both sides of the plate, should be durable, and showed a plenty deep repertoire. With his long arm in the back, Butler does show the ball to hitters and lacks much deception; that could make him somewhat hittable at the highest level. His plus-plus life and resulting ground-ball tendency could make up for that deficiency to some extent, though.

Role Grade: 60; low no. 2/high no. 3 starter

Risk Factor: Moderate

***

Luke Jackson

RHP

Texas Rangers

DOB: 08/24/1991

Height: 6’2”

Bats: R

MLB ETA: 2014

Weight: 185

Throws: R

Current Team: Double-A Frisco

Date(s) Seen: 08/20/2013

Date Filed: 09/05/2013

Have Video? Yes

How Acquired: 1st round supp (#45); 2010

Filed By: Jason Cole

Mechanics

High 3/4 slot; strong 6’2” frame with some thickness in midsection; extremely fast arm; high-energy delivery with a fair amount of effort; creates good deception with it; lower half is repeatable and maintains direction to plate; has trouble repeating loud upper-body mechanics; rocks upper body back in high front side; creates big downhill plane when down in zone, but often struggles to get over his front side and works up with all three pitches.

#1 Pitch

Fastball, Velocity: 92-98 mph, sit 93-96. Command: below average present, future fringe-average. Movement: good weight to pitch with hard, late wiggle. Notes: aggressive look on the mound; attacks hard, hard, hard; held velocity through five IP in this look and had 96 whenever necessary; monster pitch when he gets it down in the zone; works belt and above most often due to delivery/front side issues; Double-A hitters struggle to square it even when left up due to mixture of deception and weight; up-down misses a much bigger issue than side-side.

Grade: Present 70/Future 70

#2 Pitch

Changeup, Velocity: 83-87 mph. Command: below average present, future fringe-average. Movement: average fade and sink. Notes: can play up due to hitters sitting on big fastball; lacks plus life but is highly deceptive; matches fastball arm speed with it; shows tendency to lower arm slot slightly when throwing change at times but has improved; shows confidence in the pitch, using it to both left- and right-handed hitters; present average and should become plus as he repeats arm slot with more consistency; command spotty and, like fastball, up in zone too often.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Curveball, Velocity: 78-84 mph. Command: below average present, future below average. Movement: varies; good depth at times but lacking at others; sharp two-plane break at times and more 12-to-6 at others. Notes: has flashed plus more consistently in the past but taken a step back this season, with change moving forward; still shows plus on occasion with good depth and late snap; gets on the side of it occasionally; misses above zone often; showed little feel to command it in this look; should be a quality pitch but I question whether there’s enough consistency to be a legit bat-misser.

Grade: Present 45/Future 55

#4 Pitch

Showed one slider in final outing of season, first he’s thrown in pro ball; pitch was 90 mph with bite; given inconsistency with curve and power arsenal, I believe it’ll become a bigger part of his repertoire going forward; slider may be more commandable and should play off fastball plane more effectively than curve; will be interesting to peek next season and see how often he uses it; it’s a factor in my 55 grade over a straight 50.

Overall

As mentioned, I believe Jackson’s slider could potentially bring his arsenal together and raise his ultimate ceiling. His command holds the pure stuff back from a starting grade, in my eyes, and it may always given the delivery. While he’s 22 and there’s time to clean it up a bit, the delivery hasn’t changed much to date. His change and overall sequencing have improved. Still, it’s a lot more power than ​pitchability at present with a late-inning mentality and approach. The fastball power/weight combination reminds me of Tanner Scheppers. and I think he could become a similar reliever with a little more potential and better secondaries, especially if the slider is an asset. If I went role 5, I’d say it’s a low risk factor, but I’m bumping it up to moderate for the 55/closer potential.

Role Grade: 55; setup relief with closer potential

Risk Factor: Moderate

***

Jonathon Crawford

RHP

Detroit Tigers

DOB – 11/1/1991

Height – 6’2”

Bats - Right

MLB ETA - 2015

Weight – 205

Throws - Right

Current Team – SS-A Connecticut Tigers (New York-Penn League

Date(s) Seen – 6/21/2013, 7/3/2013, 7/30/2013, 8/13/2013

Date Filed – 9/5/2013

Have Video? No

How Acquired – Drafted 1st round; 20th overall; Detroit Tigers 2013

Filed By – Mark Anderson

Mechanics

Traditional ¾ slot; very quick from rocker step through finish; consistent approach to balance point; arm slot is consistent; landing foot and release point can vary from pitch to pitch; showed some ability to adjust across starts and stayed more in line with plate at times; delivery isn’t smooth but doesn’t look like max effort; power delivery with everything fast and hard; smoothing out may cause drop in raw stuff; can make it work to start but will never have refined command profile.

#1 Pitch

Fastball, Velocity: 93-96 (T99); aggressive with velocity; likes to attack; showed limited feel for adjusting speed at will; knows velo gives him a chance to miss bats and likes to shove it down hitter’s throats. Command: fringe-average; during longer outings showed willingness to stay within himself and pound both sides of the plate; short bursts led to more aggressive velo and less command; overall profile may be average; will always come and go. Movement: lively FB; lacks significant plane because of height and arm slot but makes up for it with hop on the pitch; very difficult to square in upper third of the zone; has enough life when down to induce weak contact; doesn’t lose movement when reaching for extra velo. Notes: loves to pitch off FB; attacks with it and will throw it in any count, to any hitter; limited physical projection results in limited projection for velocity range, but a professional routine could result in sustained 95-96 more consistently throughout starts; holds present velo well; excellent headline pitch.

Grade: Present 6+/Future 7

#2 Pitch

Slider, Velocity: 84-88 (T89). Command: fringe-average. Movement: extra-tight rotation; very hard to pick up; extreme tilt; darts down and away from RHH; movement is sharp and late; can be unhittable. Notes: at times showed as the best slider I saw all summer; true knockout pitch; perfect complement to FB; maintains similar arm slot as FB; consistently uses as chase pitch on outer third, frequently finishing out of the strike zone; needs to move into the zone occasionally and showed intermittent feel for doing so; frequently approached plus-plus range this summer.

Grade: Present 6/Future 7

#3 Pitch

Changeup, Velocity: 82-85. Command: below-average. Movement: showed both fade and sink separately on occasion; dual movement was rarely combined; pitch was at its best with sink; not a pitch that’s going to miss bats because of movement. Notes: thrown infrequently across multiple shorter starts; showed limited feel for the pitch; needs considerable work to approach fringe-average level and allow for use at MLB level; has some potential because of quality arm speed resembling FB; needs innings to throw it a lot more.

Grade: Present 3/Future 4

Other

Strong, thick build; can handle innings; arm works well without a ton of noticeable stress despite perceived effort in delivery; ultra-aggressive on the mound; pitches with attitude; challenges every hitter with his best stuff; can ramp up when he needs to; relatively fresh college arm with only two years of significant use and limited mound experience prior; tight usage restrictions this summer; nuances after the pitch is thrown are still developing; hard worker on off days; intense competitor; overall makeup appears high-end during observations this summer.

Overall

Really impressive debut; looked like a first-round pick during every viewing; carries himself with confidence and a little bit of swagger; knows he has good stuff and trusts it to beat hitters; FB and SL are excellent pitches now with some consistency still to develop and really make them stand out; changeup needs to come to sustain the starter profile; believe he has just enough feel for pitching for both CH and command to come to useable levels; will put in the work required to improve; recognize and really like the aggressive mentality; reminds me of Jeremy Bonderman in build, repertoire and ceiling; can see mid-rotation starter with electric late-inning reliever as last-ditch fallback.

Grade: 6; no. 3 starter

Risk Factor: High

***

Matt Barnes

RHP

Red Sox

DOB: 07/17/90

Height : 6’4

Bats: L

MLB ETA: mid-2014

Weight: 205 lbs.

Throws: L

Current Team: Double-A Portland

Date(s) Seen: 7/23 and 8/23/13

Date Filed: 8/28/13

Have Video? No

How Acquired: 1st Round; 2011

Filed By: Zach Mortimer

Mechanics

¾ arm slot; 3B side of rubber; excellent posture; arm is fast; rigidity in arm stroke; wrap at the back end of arm stroke.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: Velocity: 90-97; Command: solid-average; Movement: riding armside life.

Notes: Effectively throws to both sides of the plate with plane; works in the bottom of zone; consistently works 94-96.

Grade: 70/70

#2 Pitch

Curveball: Velocity: 77-79 Command: below average Movement: two-plane break with bite.

Notes: Does not consistently finish; hitters pick it up early out of the hand; wants it to be his strikeout pitch.

Grade: 45/50

#3 Pitch

Changeup: Velocity: 84-88; Command: fringe-average; Movement: will show armside fade when thrown at lower velocity.

Notes: will consistently throw to firmly; low-volume offering.

Grade: 40/45

Other

Large athletic frame that should be able to log innings; relies on fastball early in counts; can add and subtract from fastball.

Overall

Strength: Fastball can dominate inferior hitters; curveball has good shape; ideal pitching frame.

Weakness: Secondary offerings are highly inconsistent; hitters can read curveball early.

Overall, Barnes is a future major-league starting pitcher, in the back end of a rotation. The curveball shows signs of life, but will play down because of command issues. The changeup will be usable, but it is not a bat-missing offering.

OFP: 50; No. 4 Starting Pitcher

Risk Factor: Low

***

Ty Buttrey

RHP

Red Sox

DOB: 3/31/93

Height: 6’6’’

Bats: L

MLB ETA: 2017

Weight: 230

Throws: R

Current Team: Short-season Lowell

Date(s) Seen: 8/26/13

Date Filed: 9/04/13

Have Video?: No

How Acquired: 4th Round, 2012

Filed By: Chris Mellen

Mechanics

High ¾ arm slot; repeatable delivery; lot of body to control; loose arm; inconsistent with release point; balance drifts during landing; starter’s body; easy delivery – not a lot of wasted effort; frame to create downward leverage.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: Velocity: 88-92, Top 93; Command: below average; Movement: run in lower velocity band; cut when thrown glove-side; occasional downward angle. Notes: inconsistent with release; tends to overthrow; hides ball – sneaky fast; can miss bats; struggles to work east/west; will reach for extra; velocity dropped after third inning; in the early stages of learning how to harness.

Grade: Present 55/Future 60

#2 Pitch

Curveball: Velocity: 73-78; Command: Fringe-average; Movement: alters between big bend and slurvy break. Notes: has feel for the offering; can create hard snap; will wrap around pitch to cause slurvy break; inconsistent keeping wrist on top of ball; deep break, with bite when executing properly; potential is there to develop into big-league pitch.

Grade: Present 45/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Changeup: Velocity 83-86; Command: below average; Movement: arm-side fade. Notes: Will show flashes of feel; pitch presently tends to float, with firm action; separation between fastball needs improvement; inconsistent arm-speed; Room to grow with offering; more likely to induce contact than miss bats.

Grade: Present 40/Future 50

Other

Lean body; stamina needs improvement; presently crude and in early stages of development; competitive on mound; even body language; responded well to game challenges; adjusting to pro ball.

Overall

Buttrey is an arm that involves a lot of projection. Presently, the overall package is on the crude and rough side, but the type of ingredients are there to develop into a major-league arm. Buttrey’s frame is ideal for both creating leverage when delivering his fastball and also withstanding the rigors of starting as a professional. Presently, the pitcher is on the lean side, and despite being listed at 230 pounds, there is room for him to put on more good weight into his mid-20s. Lower body strength, along with time and repetition, will be a big factor for the enhancement of the overall stuff. Despite a low-energy delivery, Buttrey didn’t hold his fastball velocity deeper into the outing, and also wore down overall after the fourth inning. Signs to me that the stamina isn’t there yet and added strength will help.

I see both Buttrey’s fastball and curveball as having the potential to evolve into plus pitches at his disposal. There were a handful of times where the 20-year-old reached to touch up to 92-93 mph after consistently sitting 89-90 mph for a stretch. It indicated to me, given his stage of development, that he’s learning how to pace himself and there’s potential to elevate the sitting velocity range. While inconsistent, Buttrey’s curve showed flashes of quality break. The feel is there and I liked the potential of the pitch. The prospect’s hurdle will be learning to lock into a consistent release point, which tended to waver depending on how square he was landing towards home plate.

There’s a ways to go for Buttrey, but with time and repetition the rough edges can be sharpened into a more complete package. There’s a fair amount of risk here due to how much needed growth is in front of this arm so expect a high flameout potential. My feel is that the stuff can look much different down the line, but will take a good amount of lead time to potentially come to fruition.

OFP grade: High 5; no. 3/4 starter or late-inning reliever

Risk: High

Related Content:  Boston Red Sox,  Scouting,  Minor Leagues

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Raising Aces: Taijuan ... (09/06)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: A... (08/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: S... (09/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Mike T... (09/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the ...
Raising Aces: Ghosts of World Series Past
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game 3 P...
Playoff Prospectus: A Decade of Planning an ...
Playoff Prospectus: Never-Wrong Ned?
Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Fou...
Playoff Prospectus: Petit Comes Up Big

MORE FROM SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
Premium Article Raising Aces: Taijuan Walker, the Debut Ante
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Thursday's Wild Card ...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, September 6
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 24
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: September ...
The BP Wayback Machine: Locking it Up: Does ...

MORE BY BP PROSPECT STAFF
2013-09-23 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: Memorable Scouting ...
2013-09-16 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: Prospects Who Excee...
2013-09-09 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: The Prospects Who D...
2013-09-06 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: September 7, 2013
2013-09-03 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: Arizona Fall League...
2013-08-30 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: August 30, 2013
2013-08-26 - Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: August 26, 2013
More...

MORE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS
2014-05-07 - Eyewitness Accounts: May 7, 2014
2014-05-06 - Eyewitness Accounts: Eyewitness Accounts for...
2013-09-13 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: September 13, 2013
2013-09-06 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: September 7, 2013
2013-08-30 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: August 30, 2013
2013-08-23 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: August 23, 2013
2013-08-16 - Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: August 16, 2013
More...