|Born: 09/02/1982 (Age: 32)|
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|Height: 6-6||Weight: 225|
|Stiff mechanical profile. Breaks hands far away from his body. Arm moves below belt and reaches back before coming through on a 3/4 arm slot. Slightly sinks into backside and rides that position out through his delivery. Lacks drive through lower half. Has a very tall frame but doesn’t use height in any significant way. Doesn’t create a steep plane to home plate. Shows timing issues in his lower half with release point. Arm ends up coming through late and he’ll miss to his arm side. Issues get exaggerated when he tries to slow down and place the ball. You can tell if his mechanics are locked in early in the game. If he is hitting targets to his glove side he’ll be fine. If he can’t find that release point he will struggle. His mechanics are best when he moves quickly through his windup. A late head jerk in his delivery and stiff landing leg contribute to to his overall lack of command.
Out of the stretch he uses a very small leg lift and stays quick to home plate. Quick pick-off move. Loses control out of stretch particularly with breaking balls. Walked almost the same number of hitters out of the stretch as he did out of the windup due to increased issues with repeating his delivery.
Mechanics rely a difficult timing pattern but has shown ability to lock in mechanics on a game-to-game basis.
|Present Role||Years expected to
perform at current level
|50 Number 4 Starter||2-3||Likely has two or three years left at current performance. Needs to refine command as age starts to catch up to his arsenal. Has struggled with injuries but was healthy for the entire season for the first time in four years during the 2014 season.|
|Pitch Type||Present Grade||Sitting Velocity||Peak Velocity||Report|
|Fastball||50||91-93||94||The four-seam is Hammel’s primary fastball. The pitch itself features solid velocity but doesn’t have any significant movement or life. He uses this pitch more to righties and tries to work mostly to his glove side. His lack of command brings the grade of the pitch down a half grade. Against lefties he uses the four-seam less often but varies his location. Even with good velocity his lack of deception leads to hitters not having problems turning on the pitch.|
|Sinker||50||90-91||92||The sinker is the biggest wildcard for Hammel. When he throws it correctly the ball features some vertical drop and arm-side fade. In 2014 he never seemed to get a feel for the pitch. His sinker wouldn’t drop although it still ran to his arm side. In previous years he could throw the sinker to either side but was only working arm side in 2014. His grade is reflective of the past years' success but current version struggles. When it’s right, the pitch is a 55, possible 6 offering.|
|Slider||60||81-84||85||The slider is Hammel’s best pitch. It’s more of a hard curveball. While it has some lateral break his slider’s calling card is it's hard vertical drop. He throws it primarily to one spot, low and to his glove side. Against lefties he will throw it to his arm side to get early strikes. He can get strikes looking and swinging. His slider is his put away pitch. When he can get early strikes consistently with his slider, it’s a sign he is locked in for that game. Similar usage pattern to pitchers like Ervin Santana.|
|Curveball||40||74-77||78||His curve has turned into more of a get me over pitch. The pitch lacks the movement to get swings and misses so he goes against traditional platoon thinking in his usage pattern. He shows the break early of out his hand. It's a soft break in an 11-5 pattern. He barely throws it to righties and when he does it’s usually in a hitter's count or an even count. When he’s ahead he will go to his slider. Against lefties he will use it first pitch to get a cheap strike or to get back into at-bats if he has missed with his other offerings.|
|Changeup||40||83-86||87||Really only uses this pitch to lefties. Tends to get too firm but doesn’t telegraph the pitch and actually commands it well. He’ll use the cambio only to his arm side. It’s just a pitch that hitters have to be aware of in the back of their mind. This is his worst offering but he doesn’t get beat on this pitch. He keeps it off the plate or low. He’ll maybe throw this pitch four or five times a game.|
|vs LHH||vs RHH|
|Swing / Miss||9.74%||5.01%||15.49%||3.70%||14.63%||15.62%||8.74%||7.89%||0.00%||0.00%|
* Only showing top 5 pitches by pitch count. Stats are for the 2014 season
Get ahead with the fastball, alternate with the fastball and slider in the middle of the count and finish with a low slider. Backs off his fastball the longer at-bats go. Works east to west with his fastball.
You can tell his mental state by his mechanics. When he's struggling or in a tough spot everything slows down and everything becomes forced. When he's rolling everything is smooth. Not a pitcher who can grind through a game when his stuff isn't working.
Slider can be a wipeout pitch. Good velocity to the fastball. Can get strikeouts in multiple ways. In the past, sinker was a weapon but may have lost that feel.
Lack of command on all pitches except slider. Walks aren’t a problem but his tendency to give hitters extra pitches at-bat to at-bat contribute to his pitch count and low inning totals. Has never gone 185+ innings in a season. Command worsens with runners on base.
|Means of Exploitation|
Unless hitters are down 0-2 they just need to spit on the slider and hunt fastballs. Gets loose in the zone with his fastball at any point in the count. Lefties can be very aggressive early as he will either come with his (currently) flat sinker or a get me over breaking ball.
A number 4 or 5 starter with size, velocity, and one good breaking ball. Consistency and command are his biggest issues. Will not lead a staff but is a solid depth piece for most teams.
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