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Brandon McCarthy

Born: 07/07/1983 (Age: 31)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6-7 Weight: 200

Mechanics
Long limbs; very slight stab and a small shoulder drop before arm rotation; keeps his hands together until last moment; arm has appropriate deceleration; keeps his hips in unison and receives a balanced rotation; high leg kick; slight pause in delivery before a moderate drive; lands with front foot pointed towards batters box; slightly firm delivery but is smooth and causes minimal exertion; long extension plays up his average fastball; arm drags some when tired; will cause him to fly open at times and not finish all the way; struggles at times with release points up and away and pitches will sail; 1.37 – 1.48 delivery times; average pickoff move; likes to use a pause approach to keep runners honest.


Evaluator Tucker Blair
Report Date 10/20/2014
Arm Angle 3/4th
Windup Full
Rubber Left side
Present Role Years expected to
perform at current level
Future
50 2 years 50; back-end starter that will occasionally play higher; lacks a true out pitch, but is not the style of pitcher that needs velocity to orchestrate an outing; will need to rely on mixing it up more as he ages, but has the ability to do so with three different types of fastball and a curveball that shows an entirely different view relative to his other pitches.

Pitch Type Present Grade Sitting Velocity Peak Velocity Report
Fastball 50 89-93 95 Uses his four-seam mostly as a setup pitch; likes to throw pitch high and outside zone so he can follow up with another pitch within zone that has movement; lacks horizontal movement; can become straight and easy to recognize out of hand; above-average command and control; not enough movement on offering to miss location up; sometimes loses release point and will sail up and away; can pump the velo if necessary, but comfort zone in low 90's; 14.63% whiff
Sinker 55 89-93 93 Two-seam with heavy arm-side run; most used pitch and has the greatest movement of his hard stuff; effective due to height from good plane and ability to drop off through the zone; pitch creates top-spin contact from hitters; above-average command and control; used most effectively when located low and inside on RHH; they will swing over and roll over to the left side of the diamond; 8.44% whiff
Cutter 50 89-92 93 Used in smaller percentage this season due to time with Arizona; time with New York saw an increased percentage in use; quick horizontal movement that has a slight darting action; good plane and hitters' identify the offering similar to his four-seam fastball; not a pitch meant for heavy whiff rates; best used when rides in on the hands of a LHH or thrown to the outside zone against a RHH; typically uses later in counts or when he is ahead of the batter; 8.53% whiff
Curveball 50 79-82 83 11-5 offering with mild depth due to his height and plane; tight spin but will hang within the zone; needs to keep down in zone for effectiveness; replicates arm speed well but does have a slight stutter in delivery that will occasionally tip the pitch if he loses his mechanics; commonly tries to sneak in for a strike at the beginning of an at-bat; commands the pitch well but it does not have enough movement to miss a moderate amount of bats; will use as a get-me-over pitch to start out an AB; 11.36% whiff
Changeup 30 86-88 88 Rarely thrown; used solely against LHH if he ever does use it; firm grip and lacks much horizontal or vertical movement; replicates fastball arm speed; redundant to use with his sinker due to lack of velocity difference; uses the curveball as his slow secondary offering.
Pitch Usage*
vs LHH vs RHH
SI CU FC FA CH SI CU FA FC
Usage 39.88% 24.47% 18.94% 15.40% 1.30% 53.39% 23.16% 14.34% 9.11%
Strike 70.72% 69.54% 68.85% 66.53% 38.10% 69.97% 67.68% 78.33% 66.67%
Swing / Miss 5.76% 11.68% 7.54% 14.92% 0.00% 10.71% 10.98% 14.29% 10.85%

* Only showing top 5 pitches by pitch count. Stats are for the 2014 season

Approach

Master mixer; does not solely rely on one offering and changes the movement on his pitches often; will add and subtract velocity on his fastball; uses the four-seam to set up his other three pitches.

Makeup

Vocal player; not shy in regards to voicing his opinion to the media or within the clubhouse; has evolved over the years into a veteran that can be relied on to run a clubhouse; has an adept level of situational awareness and does not lose his temper; keeps a good mound presence.

Strengths

Pitchability; able to manipulate his arsenal against the hitter with the setup of his fastball and then use the sinker and cutter to finish them off; great plane allows for his sinker to drop off and the curveball to look deeper than its reality.

Weaknesses

Lacks a true out pitch; can become an issue when a hitter sees too much of his cutter and sinker; likes to set up his sequences with a high four-seam and then go to the sinker and cutter to get the rollover or strikeout; fine line between how high he can throw the four-seam without it becoming a wasted pitch.

Means of Exploitation

Tries to sneak a curveball or fastball in for a strike early in the count; wants the hitter to swing at his sinker and cutter, which are meant to move out of the zone or into a location where the hitter cannot get the sweet spot of the barrel on the pitch; hitters should be prepared for the fastball and curveball and adjust accordingly to everything else.

Overall

McCarthy has an arsenal largely based on altering the movement of his three fastballs. When at his best, he is spotting the fastball, cutter and sinker around the outside portions of each quadrant while mixing in the curveball. McCarthy lacks a plus pitch, but is cognizant on the mound and demonstrates an efficient approach in his sequencing.

McCarthy is a safe bet relative to performance, and there are no signs of regression in the immediate future. He has missed portions of his career due to injury, so there is an inherent risk involved with him moving forward. A team could look to sign McCarthy as a potential back-end option that should provide value for the next few years, assuming he is healthy.


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