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May 8, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitness Accounts: May 8, 2014

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


Steven Matz

Born: 05/29/1991 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Left
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 200
Mechanics
Smooth mechanics with little wasted movement and not max-effort at all. Gets out over front side well. Lands softly on front side. Quick arm and repeats mechanics well.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 05/01/2014
Affiliate St. Lucie Mets (High-A, Mets)
Dates Seen 4/24/14
OFP/Risk 60/Moderate,
Realistic 55, No. 3 Starter
MLB ETA 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 50 60 92-94 95 Command: average; better to arm side, struggled to come inside to right-handed hitters and frequently missed inside. Movement: relatively straight; exploding action.

Plenty of velocity to miss bats, and spots it well on outer half to right-handed hitters to get ahead in count. Once he proves he can come inside with it, fastball will play up even more. Velocity comes with minimal effort.
Curveball 50 55 76-78 Command: threw it consistently for strikes and to both sides of the plate. Willing to throw it to hitters of either handedness. Movement: hard, two-plane break, coming in at 76-78 mph.

It's not a power curveball, but the break is tight and sharp. Because he changes eye levels, he will get some swings and misses. Left-handed hitters will be uncomfortable. He was willing to go backdoor against right-handers early in the count, but then buried it at their feet once he had two strikes.
Change-up 40 50 81-83 Command: threw for strikes, kept it down in the strike zone. Movement: inconsistent; some had good arm-side fade, some had downward movement, others were flat.

Needs to gain consistency from pitch to pitch with changeup, but even the ones that didn't have much movement were effective because of the deception in his quick arm speed and because he commanded it well. Without consistent movement it will be a below-average pitch, but he shows a feel for getting it to move.
Overall

Matz's overall package looks like he's setting himself up well for a number of years in the middle of a major-league rotation. Injuries set him back, but now that he's healthy he's developing well and should move quickly through the minors. He has the potential for two above-average pitches and a third average offering. His fastball velocity should allow him to miss bats and his command of it doesn't have too far to go to be truly effective. His curveball will be effective against lefties, and he's comfortable throwing it to right-handed hitters to keep them honest. If the changeup continues to develop, he'll have three offerings he can throw any hitter at any time. His mechanics have been refined from previous reports to the point where they really help his stuff play up. He repeats his delivery well and there is little effort in the motion.

As he continues to gain experience and remain healthy, Matz has a chance to become a no. 2 starter while likely settling in as a mid-rotation guy.



Hunter Harvey

Born: 12/09/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 175
Mechanics
Listed height (6-foot-3) accurate; nice broad shoulders and beautiful frame to add good weight; great physical projection; very athletic; ¾ arm slot; uses high kick to create good momentum toward the plate; stretch: 1.4-1.53 range; has slight crossfire; also can open early and land toward 1B side; front-side glove can get big creating deception before throwing front side through; ball explodes out of his hand; hips and shoulders rotate in unison and arm comes through fast; easy release; low-effort delivery; stays over top of pitches well; uses tall frame to create plane; repeatable mechanics; presently more of a thrower than pitcher and needs work with pitchability; very good demeanor and killer mentality on the mound; also plus-plus hair flow.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/02/2014
Affiliate Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A, Orioles)
Dates Seen 4/16/14
OFP/Risk 70/high
Realistic 60; no. 3 starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 60 70 90-94 95 A lot of 93, 94s; uses tall frame to create downhill plane; arm-side life; can cut it at 90, 91; ball explodes to plate and gets on hitters quick; presently commands better to arm side; command profile overall is solid-average and will to get to plus; generated double digit swing and misses; could see a velo tick from where he sits comfortably with added strength.
CB 60 70 78-82 82 Power-breaking hammer; great shape with tight spin; hard vertical action; late, sharp hard snap coming from loose wrist; really snaps the breaker; shows great depth; comes from same arm motion as FB; has ability to throw for strike or as chase pitch; will become even more effective with FB velo tick and development of CH; true swing-and-miss pitch.
CH 45 60 82-85 86 Best when in 82-83 range; great arm action; plays well off FB; arm-side fade with vertical action; easy arm with loose wrist; can improve depth and deception; needs to improve command profile in zone but has bat-missing ability; present below average but work in progress.
Overall

There’s high risk here because Harvey is young and there’s a lot more development to go. His floor is lower than his fellow pitching prospects in the Orioles system, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. But Harvey was amped to go against fellow top pitching prospect Giolito. His fastball was explosive out of his hand and got on hitters quickly. He generates easy velocity from plus arm speed and a clean delivery. He would bust righties inside with 94 then cut it away at 91 with the fastball. His curveball is a true hammer and will be a weapon at the highest level. The changeup is a work in progress but I trust the development of it because of the arm action. The overall command profile needs refinement but Harvey has the skill set and determination to do that. The things that stood out to me the most were Harvey’s demeanor and mentality. He stayed cool and collected but was pissed when he gave up the hit and when he hit the two batters; not to the extent of it being inappropriate but at the point where he was mad at himself for not blowing it past the hitter. Killer instinct on the mound. He has a “here it is, come and hit it” mentality and that’s what I want from a pitcher. Give this boy the ball in Game 7 of the World Series.


Lucas Giolito

Born: 07/14/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 225
Mechanics
Big boy; muscular build throughout; dreamer’s body for an innings-eater/horse; elite arm strength; stays tall throughout delivery; arm stab in back to a high ¾ arm slot; creates extreme downhill plane; has high leg kick but momentum varies to the plate from the windup; stretch: 1.2-1.3 range; has extremely long stride and keeps good balance throughout delivery; hips and shoulders rotate and explode fast toward plate; can land toward 1B side and hips open early; ball explodes from hand; delivery has a bit of effort; can get violent at times when reaching back for extra velocity.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/02/2014
Affiliate Hagerstown Suns (Low-A, Nationals)
Dates Seen 4/16/14
OFP/Risk 80/extreme
Realistic 70; elite level starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 70 80 92-97 98 Sat comfortably at 92-95 but could reach back for 96, 97 when needed, hit 98; extreme plane; late, late life and bores on hitters; explosive out of hand; changes eye level an extreme amount; command is below average presently; with command improvement could be elite level pitch based on extreme plane and life making it nearly impossible to square.
CB 70 80 80-83 84 Wipeout pitch; extreme depth; looks like a fastball halfway through then dives; has true hammer 11-to-5 shape; tight, tight spin; massive snap and bite with two-plane break; can throw for a strike and as a chase pitch; elite level offering.
CH 50 65 82-87 88 Comes from same arm motion as FB; arm-side sink with deep vertical action; bottom falls out; very loose command; presently can get firm and lose effectiveness at higher velo; mostly effective because of FB fear; needs to throw in strike zone more to become effective swing-and-miss pitch; presently average with development to get to plus-plus.
Overall

The extreme risk here is obvious, with a TJ on his resume. Giolito could very well be the top pitching prospect by year’s end. That being said, he’s not perfect. The command profile is fringy and needs work. Giolito could very well have the most elite arsenal in all of the minors but tends to nibble too much around the plate instead of attacking hitters. His fastball is an elite offering that he will dominate with at the highest level. An elite curveball. The changeup is a work in progress but when gets it, it might be his most effective pitch, based on hitters' fear of the others. Giolito is something special.


Hector Veloz

Born: 02/01/1994 (Age: 20)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 192
Primary Position: 3B
Secondary Position: 1B
Physical/Health
Every inch of 6-foot-2, larger than 192; likely 215-plus; thick lower-half; large hips; upper half has been nurtured into better shape; strong and bulky but not an ideal body.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 05/01/2014
Dates Seen 3/8/2014 - 3/11/14, 4/12/14 - 4/13/14
Affiliate Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A, Orioles)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2018 High 40 30: Organizational Player No
Makeup

Goofy kid; loves to fool around; sometimes does not take the game seriously; does not always provide his highest effort in batting practice or warmups; maturation issues in the past; do not think he is uninterested or a bad makeup player, but might have some issues with focus.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 20 Zero recognition of pitches with break or spin; free swinger; expands the zone; chases anything high; often fouls off mistake pitches in zone; Load is soft and allows for lessened noise in bottom half; swing is quick through the zone but slight arc results in not barreling the ball. Will struggle to hit for average or make contact at any level.
Power 60 70 raw power; plus-plus; Likely not enough contact to play up in games. Strong body; plus bat speed; slight arc in swing; soft load; violent hips with extreme torque. Hits the ball hard when he makes contact.
Baserunning/Speed 30 Not a good athlete; feet are slow; sluggish; lacks burst and agility. Routinely clocked 4.4+ out of the box.
Glove 30 Mechanical at third; lacks awareness; often out of position; feet are choppy; poor charging on ball; range to left is poor; plays the line well; first base is likely his eventual destination; stone hands.
Arm 50 Strong arm; poor accuracy; will occasionally drop his arm angle; results in errant throws.
Overall

Veloz is a one-trick pony at this point, with minimal tools outside of the plus-plus raw power. Currently, the power is 5 o'clock and he often fails to display it in-game. There has been minimal growth with the bat since 2012, but the glove has slightly improved. He likely needs to move away from third base, but he will not hit enough to play at first.


Hunter Dozier

Born: 08/22/1991 (Age: 22)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 220
Primary Position: 3B
Secondary Position:
Physical/Health
Dreamer’s build; tall, broad shouldered and filled out; muscular throughout his whole body; has size and durability to withstand the longevity of a season.
Evaluator CJ Wittmann
Report Date 05/04/2014
Dates Seen 4/8-14/14
Affiliate Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A, Royals)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2016 Moderate 60 50; major-league regular No
Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Wide base setup; hands start slightly above back shoulder; has a slight bat wrap at times but won’t be an issue; has great strength in wrists and hands; bat speed is plus; will use the whole field; very comfortable going the other way and comfort zone seems to be right-center; swing has natural leverage; very good feel for the strike zone; plate discipline and pitch recognition are strengths; hips get involved and uses whole body; picks up spin early and tracks ball deep into the hitting zone; very intelligent hitter, gets himself into hitter's counts often and takes advantage; have seen him make in-game adjustments consistently; can get beat with premium velocity down in the zone.
Power 60 Ox power; swing lift and plus bat speed are contributing factors; power to all parts of the field; displayed BP power to pull side and opposite field; translated to game well; will be lots of doubles with HR potential.
Baserunning/Speed 50 Athletic and stayed in athletic stance; long strides; consistently in the 4.25-4.29 range; smart baserunner and instincts on the bases; reads pitchers and balls in play well.
Glove 55 Clean actions at third; gathers himself well to get into throwing position; showed soft hands and clean transfers to hand; played two tough hops correctly and made athletic backhand play down the line; stays athletic and turns DP well; accuracy is a strength.
Arm 60 Strong, accurate throws across the diamond; ball stayed on a line, didn’t arc; clean arm action; arm is a weapon from left side.
Overall

I’m a big believer in this kid. He’s a very polished player and the tools are mature. He has such natural feel for the game that it seems it comes easy to him. He has a dreamer's build, which is muscular throughout, and is still a very good athlete. His defense is solid average at third and the arm is plus; he could definitely play there long term. He has a natural feel for hitting and his man strength contributes to his raw power. If he puts it all together as the season progresses, he could be a very special player.


Carlos Correa

Born: 09/22/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 205
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position: 3B
Physical/Health
Every bit of listed size; a body to dream on; super athlete; tons of strength potential; already gaining some muscle; looks like an 18-year-old Alex Rodriguez.
Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 05/04/2014
Dates Seen 4/8, 4/10, 4/12, 4/17, 4/18, 4/22, 4/24
Affiliate Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
MLB ETA Risk Factor OFP Realistic Role Video
2015 Low 70 60; first-division starter No
Makeup

Elite makeup; he's into every single play; bounces around in-between pitches; baseball rat; loves to compete; makes adjustment in-game and game-to-game; the type of confidence to make his potential a reality.

Tool Future Grade Report
Hit 60 Wide, square stance; small leg kick for timing mechanism; hands drift into hitting position; well-above average bat speed; lots of present strength in his wrists and arms; will only get stronger; generates plenty of leverage; fluid mechanics; hips fire and arms follow quickly behind; can allow the pitcher to dictate the at-bat; some swing-and-miss; swing can get long; struggled with his swing in early looks, but already has made improvements and shortened his path to the baseball; more aggressive recently as well; tracks pitches well; on-base could be above average at the highest level; all the pieces to have impact potential.
Power 60 Present strength is plus, and when he adds 20 or so pounds his raw power could become a 7; hits bombs in batting practice; slight uppercut swing plus bat speed = power potential; generates lots of torque very easily with good swing mechanics; dependent on how the hit tool actualizes; might take a while to fulfill the power potential due to adjustments to the majors at such a young age, but it's all there.
Baserunning/Speed 40 Fringe-average speed currently; clocked anywhere from 4.33 to 4.43 down the line; hustles out of box; once his body fills out, he'll slow to below average; good instincts on the basepaths; turned a single into a double when he saw the left fielder come in slowly for the ball.
Glove 50 Plus-plus instincts; has quick twitch muscles to have a fast first step and plenty of athleticism to set his feet and make all the throws; range is average; very solid at the bag and with the turn; can be a league-average shortstop for the foreseeable future; will most likely move to third later in his career where he has a much higher defensive upside.
Arm 70 Cannon of an arm; a joy to watch even during warmups; plus carry and on a line; there isn't a throw he can't make; left side of the infield all the way.
Overall

Correa stuggled early in the season with his bat, but he never took it on the field with him. That just shows you the type of makeup he has. He'll make a highlight-reel play and run back to the dugout without a smile on his face because that's what he's supposed to do. The bat will take some time, but you could make the case he's already best shortstop in the organization. Combine the tools and the ability to make quick adjustments as a 19-year-old, and the sky is the limit.




Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

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