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June 19, 2014

Eyewitness Accounts

June 19, 2014

by BP Prospect Staff


Will Lamb

Born: 09/09/1990 (Age: 23)
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 180
Mechanics
Tall; slender frame with long limbs; good extension; plane is average; does not hide pitches extremely well; arm speed is a tick above average; mild crossfire; compacts body too much on delivery at times; alters SL release point.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 05/22/2014
Affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High A, Rangers)
Dates Seen 5/21/2014
OFP/Risk 50/High
Realistic 40; Middle Relief
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 55 91-94 95 More control than command; command loose; mild arm-side run in 91-93 range; some deception at this speed; straightens out at 93+ and becomes very hittable; shows some inefficiency pounding left-handed hitters inside; fastball movement tailed over outside edge of plate against left-handed hitters.
CH 45 50 84-85 85 Only threw two; average fade with some arm-side drop and tail; looked a little firm; two swing and misses on the pitch.
SL 40 45 77-79 80 More of a slurve; 11-to-5 break with mild depth; hangs a little too much for my liking; better in 79-80 range as it has more bite; command is loose; compaction in delivery causes release points to vary.
Overall

Lamb has a three-pitch arsenal, but the ceiling is likely a middle reliever due to no pitch projecting solid-average or higher. His fastball can top mid 90s, but lacks the necessary movement to fool hitters at the major-league level. Lamb has some mechanical issues to fix, such as repeating his delivery and arm slots. These issues could make or break his chance at hitting his ceiling of a solid middle-inning arm.


Aaron Sanchez

Born: 07/01/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 200
Mechanics
3/4 arm slot; easy, efficient delivery; generates velocity via loose arm; short stride; struggles repeating delivery in stretches; tends to overthrow—speeds up delivery during second half; doesn't use frame well to stay on top of fastball; much more comfortable delivering curveball; quick to plate, but yo-yo's with pace; 1.28-1.39 out of stretch.
Evaluator Chris Mellen
Report Date 06/07/2014
Affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA, Blue Jays)
Dates Seen 6/03/2014
OFP/Risk 65/Moderate
Realistic 60; 3rd starter
MLB ETA 2015
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 65 92-95 96 Fringe-average command; got better as outing progressed; explodes out of pitcher's hand; hard arm-side movement from thighs down; showed some sink as well; tough to square up in lower tier; hitters consistently late on pitch and have trouble judging movement; get a much better look at the pitch when at mid-thighs and above; will drop wrist and come under the ball; inconsistent spotting pitch on the corners; had a challenge mentality with pitch early, but adapted mindset after being rewarded with quick third inning.
Curveball 65 70 80-82 Solid-average command; demonstrated tight spin, with hard two-plane break; easily created snap via a loose wrist; excellent feel of offering; threw for strikes and was trying to throw for strikes; knows it is a weapon; will alter shape to bend knees or get chases; misses bats; already shows as a big-league out pitch.
Changeup 45 55 88-90 Below-average command; firm action, but flashed arm-side fade and drop; wrist showed strong turnover on a few occasions; tried to throw pitch too hard and held on too long with majority; pitch got better as outing progressed; capable of throwing from same slot as fastball.
Overall

At the onset of the outing, it looked like Sanchez was going to let it get away from him. His fastball was all over the place, and he labored to get through the first two innings. The quality of his curveball was apparent from the beginning however. The pitch was crisp, with strong two-plane break and the pitcher had very little problem throwing it for strikes. The offering carried the righty past his early struggles. I point this out because once the third inning rolled around Sanchez's fastball emerged for the rest of the outing. It was almost like a switch flipped. The pitch was consistently spotted down in the zone and on the corners, leaving opposing hitters little chance of doing much with the offering due to the movement and velocity.

I liked the way Sanchez continued to battle in this outing, and didn't give up on trying to throw his heater. It could have been easy to continue to lean on his curveball. It also speaks to the quality of the offering that it got him through a difficult stretch. The grades are more than warranted for me as this pitch can get big-league hitters out right now on a consistent basis. The long pole here is the fastball. There's a Jekyll and Hyde nature to it. The movement and way the velocity plays because of it are a big ingredient for thinking about a front-line projection, but the inconsistent command holds that back.

This arm is athletic, young, and loose, which is usually a good indication that command growth can occur. The delivery isn't the most fluid, though, when it comes to staying above the baseball on a consistent basis. There's very little lower-half incorporation and leverage created. I don't see it progressing past "area command" because of that. There is a decent sized present gap for the pitcher to reach the projection, but I see it as achievable.













Gabriel Ynoa

Born: 05/26/1993 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 158
Mechanics
Long, lean frame; long, loose arm action. Ball comes out free and easy. Repeats his release point and mechanics despite a long delivery.
Evaluator Jeff Moore
Report Date 06/13/2014
Affiliate St. Lucie Mets (High A, Mets)
Dates Seen 6/12/14
OFP/Risk 55/Moderate
Realistic Number 3/4 Starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 60 92-94 94 Easy velocity, does not have to sell out for velocity. Little movement on fastball. Command was erratic, but with consistent mechanics and arm action, he should be able to improve.
SLD 45 50 84-85 85 Hard sweeping break; more horizontal than vertical; not a big break. Average command. Will be a good pitch against right-handed hitters; froze many right-handed batters when started at their hip and breaking over the plate. Also used as a chase pitch with two strikes. Left-handed hitters were able to square it up unless he buried it down at their feet.
CRV 35 40 77-79 79 Below-average pitch that he just started throwing; 12-6 action, but break is not sharp; throws it for strikes, but very hittable when up in the zone; telegraphs it in order to get on top of the pitch.
CHG 45 55 84-86 86 Changeup was inconsistent on this day, but he flashed a few extremely good ones, which means he can do it; with long, quick arm, the change of velocity keeps hitters off balance with ease; command was off during this start, but he missed down in the dirt with it rather than up, which kept it safe; when he threw it well, it featured good arm-side fade; potential above-average pitch.
Overall

Ynoa struggled with his command on an incredibly hot day in a noon start, but he showed flashes of what he can do so I'll give him some leeway for the lack of consistency. His fastball jumps out of his hand with a free, easy motion and he has no trouble generating velocity. His command should continue to improve as his legs fill out and help to better stabilize him. His slider was better in this start because he was more consistent with it, but the good changeups he threw were better than his best sliders. The changeup has the potential to be a better pitch. He'll need it to combat left-handed hitters, who had no trouble squaring up his slider.


Lucas Giolito

Born: 07/14/1994 (Age: 19)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 225
Mechanics
Terrific body; large frame; muscled; athletic build; long arms; sturdy legs; high 3/4 arm slot; arm stab; great arm speed; long extension; terrific plane; one of the best planes in the minors currently; excellent drive off back half; able to stay tall until last moment; delivery is slow and deliberate in windup; able to speed up without sacrificing stuff with runners on base; delivery times 1.35-1.41 range; toes right side of rubber with finish pointed toward RHH box; mild leg kick; stays balanced for the most part; some exertion; will occasionally fly open and drifts toward first base.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 06/15/2014
Affiliate Hagerstown Suns (Low A, Nationals)
Dates Seen 6/14/2014
OFP/Risk 80/High
Realistic 65; No. 2 Starter
MLB ETA 2016
Video Yes
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 65 80 93-96 98 Explosive offering with elite velocity; sits comfortable at 93-96; ball has terrific and natural arm-side run up to 95; straightens out at higher velocity; boring action; late life that is hard to pick up out of hand; velocity and movement is heightened due to extreme plane; ball looks 100 out of hand; hitters struggled to catch up; absolute weapon running inside on RHH; shattered two bats with run; command is currently average; struggles at times on release points; command tightening and extra stamina could lead to the FB becoming an elite offering and one of the more dominant pitches in the game.
CB 70 80 79-81 83 One of the best secondary offerings in the minors; extremely hard spin; deep depth; 11-5 with great rotation throughout the entire action; easy strikeout pitch; ability to throw in any count at any time; two-plane break; command can waiver at times due to release points; no contact on the pitch through first three innings; has full confidence in the CB; only aspect holding this back from elite is repetition of release points and command; absolute hammer.
CH 45 55 81-84 85 CH needs work; flashes solid-average; shows ability to throw with same arm speed as FB; replication and release points are biggest issue; grip seems too firm at times; releases too early at other times; floated a few in; pitch has some fade but is not a true weapon; command is not quite there; will be a solid pitch once he gets a full year under his belt working on it.
Overall

Lucas Giolito is one of those pitchers who can alter a franchise. He has two elite offerings which could work in the majors very soon. The FB is a true weapon that will carry Giolito very far. The CB is one of the best strikeout pitches I have seen watching minor-league games. Both pitches need minor refinement in terms of consistency and command, but they will be weapons in the majors. The CH is further away, and I do not view it as a true weapon by itself. However, it works with the rest of the arsenal and Giolito shows ability to nearly replicate the pitch out of his hand like a fastball.

Throughout the outing, Giolito displayed his athleticism on the mound, showing excellent PFP skills and ability to become an extra fielder. His arsenal was impressive, but I was nearly as impressed by the makeup on the mound. He gave up a well-hit HR on a 96 mph fastball to Carlos Asuaje in the second, and then decided that was enough for the day and dominated the rest of the outing.

Giolito is a high risk prospect simply for the fact that Tommy John surgery is on the resume, and the Nationals are making sure he does not become overworked this season. Once the training wheels come off, Giolito will soar high. The only other aspect of his game that might hold him from becoming a complete beast is the CH.







Chris Anderson

Born: 07/29/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 215
Mechanics
Over-the-top arm slot; arm is quick and loose; arm action can get lengthy; shows ball in the backside; long stride; slow delivery that takes time to develop; can get off-tempo; inconsistent finish; more comfortable out of the stretch; physical body to handle big workloads; loses composure whenever a close play on the bases doesn't go his way.
Evaluator Ron Shah
Report Date 06/16/2014
Affiliate Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High A, Dodgers)
Dates Seen 04/03/14; 06/09/14
OFP/Risk 55/High
Realistic High Leverage Reliever
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 60 60 93 96 Four-seam fastball; arm side run at 92-93 mph with control; offering gets flat at higher ranges; lacks command; struggles to spot the fastball glove side regardless of velocity; one reason is due to cutting off finish on fastball; doesn't get out in front to hit glove side; tendency to overthrow; questionable approach when attacking hitters; tries to get away with leaving balls up; held velocity through five innings.
Slider 55 60 85 86 Present above-average offering that flashes plus; vertical bite with cutting action; better command of slider than fastball; creates extension to hit glove side; fights arm slot at times, but can create angles; occasionally gets caught in-between with curveball.
Changeup 40 40 87-88 89 Below-average offering; didn't turn it over; consistently thrown hard and firm; issue of overthrowing; left up and flat; didn't throw many in either look.
Curveball 40 40 79 84 Below-average offering; 12-6 vertical action; can spin it some; loose offering; used sparingly; might be better off pocketing it.
Overall

I gave Anderson a mulligan in my first viewing, as the righty failed to make it out of the first inning. He showed all four of his pitches as well as an intriguing combination of stuff and size, but had absolutely no command of his arsenal.

In my second viewing, he found more success in the box score, but the stuff from his first start might have actually been better. He had several issues in the second start; letting his emotions get to him after plays didn't go his way, constantly missing glove side, and overthrowing. His secondary offerings became firm, including the changeup that registered in the upper 80s in this look.

After these two starts, I haven't seen enough to believe this player can stick in a starting rotation. Instead, I see him becoming a power reliever in a bullpen, where a team can let his arm loose for an inning.

While he can hold his velocity, he's clearly more comfortable out of the stretch. I don't think he'll ever be able to hit glove side due to his delivery. The overthrowing won't allow for development of the changeup, or for answering reliability questions. Lastly, it might be best for him to pocket the curveball, allowing him to work on the aforementioned issues rather than working on throwing all four offerings at High-A.



Christian Binford

Born: 12/20/1992 (Age: 21)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 6" Weight: 217
Mechanics
Tall; athletic; lower half is thick but muscular; able to establish good drive off legs; can become too stiff on delivery; arm action is long; high 3/4; falls off to first base often; some mild exertion in delivery; mechanics can become flustered; arm slot and release points will vary throughout game.
Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 05/31/2014
Affiliate Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A, Royals)
Dates Seen 5/30/2014
OFP/Risk 55/Medium
Realistic 50; Middle Reliever
MLB ETA 2016
Video No
Pitch Type Present Grade Future Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
FB 50 55 88-92 93 Good plane; arm-side run; explosive at times; command was sporadic; plus for some of the outing and then was leaving pitch up in zone; pitch will flatten out at 92-93. Shows ability to pound inside to both left- and right-handed hitters.
SL 50 55 79-81 83 Good tilt; sharp enough break to get swinging strikes; was dominant against righties; struggled against lefties and had to end up going with the CH due to inefficiency; sharp bite on good ones; will cast at times; slowed down his arm on one SL.
CH 40 50 79-83 85 Firm for most of the night; lacks pure depth; threw a few in 79-81 range that were average; fade is not enough against righties and they pick it up; release point was all over; telegraphed a few.
Overall

This was my second time laying eyes on Binford this season. He has a solid-average arsenal, but I lean toward him being a future reliever due to the CH needing serious improvement. The FB/SL combo works, as he is able to arm-side run the FB away and then throw the SL front door on lefties. Binford was pitching in front of his hometown crowd in Frederick (he is from Hagerstown, which is 25 minutes north), so it looked like he was amped up and was pressing at times.


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