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Chat: Harry Pavlidis

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday September 17, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Harry Pavlidis.

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Harry takes your questions on pitching, PITCHf/x, and baseball in general.

Harry Pavlidis: Regular season almost over?? Yikes. Tune in to the Braves/Nats game and let's talk baseball.

Cal Guy (Cali): Hi Harry, if you had to choose either Bundy or Giolito for their entire career, who would it be and why?

Harry Pavlidis: that's a tough question. I'll go with Bundy since he's already made it to the top levels, even pitching in the majors. Giolito's already over his TJS so there is uncertainty about how Bundy recovers ... but I'll still go with the more accomplished arm.

hotstatrat (yesterday): What happened to Mark Montgomery? Will he be a solid reliever on the Yankees next year?

Harry Pavlidis: if he's healthy, sure. But he hasn't been right--spent time on the DL and velocity is down.

Dan Rozenson (Washington, DC): What have you seen out of Tanner Roark that's made him effective so far? He appeared out of nowhere, it seemed.

Harry Pavlidis: he suddenly stopped walking guys ... well, he never had a high walk rate but he got it down under 2 per 9 IP this year in Syracuse, and it's barely over that in the majors. I suspect part of that is the partial move to the bullpen. I don't think his secondary pitches are anything much, so I think swingman is probably the longterm role for him.

Ray (NY): Thanks for the chat, Harry. What is your outlook for Patrick Corbin next season? I know it's unreasonable to expect the dominance he showed in the first half of this season but do you see the possibility of a #2, or something else?

Harry Pavlidis: He's more of a 3 for me. He has great command and is young with nearly two full seasons under his belt, so maybe he's a solid 3 with a 2 ceiling.

Ken G. (Princeton): What are your thoughts on Corey Kluber going forward? He seemed to come out of nowhere but has pitched pretty well, with solid peripherals, all season. Do you think his current performance is sustainable?

Harry Pavlidis: like Roark, he got his walk rate down quite low but took him a little longer. Along with the improved control he has actually added some velocity this year. Impressive for a 27 year old. I wouldn't be surprised if he kept this up for another year, or even two.

Kevin (CT): Not a pitcher but I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Leonys Martin. He seemed to be successful at the minor league level and showed a lot of promise at times this season, but his numbers at this point are meh (though he has a lot of SB's and plays good defense). Can he be an above-average OF or is he maybe just a 4th OF type?

Harry Pavlidis: he's more like a fourth, depending on how you value defense and what you've got (a) elsewhere in your lineup and (b) in the OF corners he could be a regular player.

Mark (Oakland): Can Sonny Gray keep this up? Can he be a #2 SP next season?

Harry Pavlidis: as much as I like him, I don't think what he's doing is sustainable. So I'll say no to both.

Ryan (KC): What are your short and long term thoughts on Carlos Martinez (STL)?

Harry Pavlidis: I like him. He's raw so it could be rough for a year or so but that arm is electric. Once he puts it together that K rate should jump.

Paul (DC): Verlander. Not at the top of his game this year. Mechanics off? Wear and tear finally catching up with him? He's been so outstanding the last 4 seasons he was 'due' an off year?

Harry Pavlidis: Seems like it was a mechanical flaw. Lots of Tiger watchers noticed a higher release point which has since been corrected. Probably just an off year, wear and tear hasn't caught up yet.

jlarsen (Chicagoland): Did Chris Archer throw any change-ups tod....oh, nevermind. In all seriousness, can you explain the weirdness going on w/ Chris Archer & Alex Cobb? They have pretty much the same ERA, but Cobb(who doesn't have the explosive repertoire of Archer) has more Ks and Archer(who can be a "nibbler") has a lower WHIP. Also, if you were Andrew Friedman and had the opportunity to sign 1 of these 2 pitchers to a long-term deal...which would be your choice?

Harry Pavlidis: Cobb has some deception working in his favor and his splitter > Archer's change. Making me pick one, eh? I'll go Archer on the upside.

jlarsen (Chicagoland): Kevin Siegrist, do the Cardinals really need another high-powered "fire-balling beast"?

Harry Pavlidis: No. No they do not. Signed, a Cubs fan.

Joe Bob (TX): Where in 100 ranking for Archie Bradley? Tyler Glasnow? Hunter Harvey? CJ Edwards? Thanks!

Harry Pavlidis: Ask Parks, that's his area.

Frank (KC): Looking forward to Yordano Ventura lighting up radar guns today??

Harry Pavlidis: Yes, he's exciting. He can hit triple digits when starting which is wicked. Tune in, folks.

Da Boss (Boss land): I can spend all day looking at these Pitch F/X charts, they are that awesome. How much work goes into that each day or does it function on its own?

Harry Pavlidis: A few hours a day of me tagging but the technical side is pretty smooth, takes a few minutes to do the data updates every night.

Tim (NYC): Heard you have a new job title now, what new responsibilities do you have?

Harry Pavlidis: to me technology is about user experience, so my main "new" responsibility is to improve our web site.

Matt (Chicago): Much has been made of EJax's less-than-stellar performance this year. Upon deeper inspection, it seems the peripherals look OK. What's your outlook for him?

Harry Pavlidis: 190 innings of #4 starting work. Flashes of brilliance, buckets of frustration for those with misplaced expectations.

MKPJ (Chicago): Should the Cubs sell high on Travis Wood?

Harry Pavlidis: of course, Wood for Wheeler. Done deal.

MKPJ (Chicago): A couple of prominent prospect raters recently threw CJ Edwards' name in with the cream of SP prospects and Parks responded that those opinions were without merit. I was wondering if you wished to enter the fray?

Harry Pavlidis: six months ago I liked him more than most people. Now most people have moved and I feel like there is a bit too much hype at the moment.

Ryan (Detroit): Who had the better fastball according to Pitch F/X? Aroldis Chapman or Joel Zumaya?

Harry Pavlidis: not sure what you mean by better ... but Zumaya's heater had a higher average speed than Chapman's does by about 1 mph.

garik16 (Shea Stadium (Parking Lot)): Amongst rookie pitchers this year, who's the easiest starting pitcher to classify?

Harry Pavlidis: Not Cole or Wheeler since they don't always have a clean four- and two-seam cut. Ryu is easy, Miller is pretty easy (his cutter is not hard to find). Archer and Fernandez are easy. Cingrani has a funny slider, but it's actually easy to find once you know that. So, in all, not a tough batch as far as I can think of.

Matt (Chicago): I always found Shaun Marcum's success as a finesse righty to be rather surprising. Are there any current minor-league RH SPs who might fit that type of profile

Harry Pavlidis: probably a lot, but without the command necessary to do it well. Or ability to change speeds, or whatever magic it is Marcum has used to succeed.

Uncle of the next Pedro (in my dreams): I have a 10yo nephew who wants to be a pitcher. His parents are not baseball knowledgable, but are both successful individual athletes. What sort of books/advise do I give? Focus now intently, to develop the arm, or barely do baseball until older to get proper instruction?

Harry Pavlidis: find a good youth coach and get some good professional guidance. I wish I had a better answer or a recommendation. Good luck to the kid, sounds like he's got a good uncle on his side already.

a-nathan (Champaign): Have you been able to figure out what makes Koji Uehara so effective?

Harry Pavlidis: I think it's (a) his velocity crept back up the past few years and (b) he's now throwing splitters as much or more than fastballs which is quite nasty.

Harry Pavlidis: and we're done ... to those left without an answer: "I dunno" applies to nearly all your questions. Except Jake, I'll deal with you later ;) See you all in October.


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