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May 26, 2016 6:00 am

Eyewitness Accounts: May 26, 2016

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BP Prospect Staff

Eyes on Rockies' starters Jeff Hoffman and Kyle Freeland, a red-hot Sandy Alcantara, two young Cal Leaguers and more.

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May 25, 2016 6:00 am

The Toolshed

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James Fisher

A look at what we're talking about when we talk about the fastball.

Going back to our formative baseball years, the fastball is where it all begins. Every pitcher has a fastball, even those quirky knuckleballers, and the velocity of the pitch has been on a steady incline for years now. Velocity is fun and easily identifiable to the most casual fan, but it is only one piece of the fastball equation. The velocity gives you a baseline grade for the fastball, but then you must take into account the movement of the pitch, how the pitcher controls or commands it, and how hitters react to it. I will delve into each aspect of the fastball below, as well as give you examples of grades 40, 50, and 60 so that you can start building your fastball library.

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Notes on Grant Holmes, Jeff Hoffman, and more.

Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (High-A Rancho Cucamonga)
The Dodgers’ first-rounder in 2014, Holmes picked a gnarly, damp night for his California League debut. That context may have contributed to a longer loosening than he’s used to, as he came out sitting 91-92 with his four-seam fastball and struggled to locate it in the first inning. He also hung a pair of curveballs at 82 and 83, costing himself a run. He quickly settled in, however, bumping up to 92-94 for the rest of his five innings and topping out at 95. The fastball has a tick of arm-side run and plenty of late life from his high-three-quarters slot thanks to premium arm speed. He worked in a two-seam complement at 87-90 mph with greater frequency as the outing wore on, and the pitch showed strong sinking action with greater arm-side run off the same plane. Holmes’ curveball wandered between 79-85 with consistent arm speed and action. He tunnels it well off his fastball, and the pitch shows 11-5 action with depth and hard break at the upper end of the velocity spectrum. He only threw a couple 86 mph changeups in this outing.


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10 prospects who will burst onto the prospect scene, or take a step towards a brighter future.

Desmond Lindsay, OF, New York Mets

“Team prospect lists are not that hard, tell him Wash.”

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Colorado's system features impressive depth whether you're at sea level or a mile high.

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If baseball were an arms race for right-handed power, the Blue Jays would rule us all.



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One last stab at projecting the top 41 picks in today's MLB draft.

Contributing: Allan Simpson, David Rawnsley, Todd Gold, Kendall Rogers, Nick Faleris, Jason Parks, Ronit Shah

2014 Draft content | Mock Draft v. 1 | Mock Draft v. 2 | PG Draft LIVE! pick tracker and chat

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One of the top collegiate arms squared off with one of the nation's best squads last weekend; here are eyewitness accounts of players who stood out.

I was down in Charlottesville this weekend for the highly anticipated matchup between Virginia and East Carolina, featuring one of the top arms in the draft class, Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina), and one of the deepest teams in the country in UVA. While there were plenty of 2014 draft eligibles on display, Virginia’s impact talent stretches to the 2015 and 2016 classes, as well. We’ll have some additional notes on ECU players, as well as further collegiate and prep updates, in next Monday’s extended Draft Ten Pack.

Player Spotlight: Jeff Hoffman (RHP, East Carolina)

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