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We have a lot of players to cover, so let's invoke the rule of “more rock and less talk” in our introduction. We will shed the requirement of 250 plate appearances that were in effect last week in part one, but the overall grades will follow the same rules as in part one, with player scores based only on the four baseline grades and with Repetition taken out of the equation.

Cliff Pennington

October 20th vs. KC

0.3 IP, 3 batters faced, 0 R, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB

Max Velocity: 90.8 mph

Pennington just missed the cut last week, falling one plate appearance shy of the 250-PA threshold, but he set himself apart from the pack when he set a new record in Game Four of the ALCS by becoming the first full-time position player to pitch in a postseason game.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

60

Momentum

55

Torque

40

Posture

60

Overall

C+

For an explanation on the grading system for pitching mechanics, please consult this pair of articles.

Pennington displayed a solid, simple delivery that was more mechanically efficient than many of the full-time pitchers in the bigs. He had the power and athleticism to break 90 mph on the radar gun, as he exemplified strong momentum in the early phases of his motion and maintained a steady burst to the plate. His balance remained strong throughout the delivery, and it's a testament to his arm strength that he was able to break the 90 mph barrier with subpar torque, considering his minimal upper-body load and the brief delay to his trigger.

Ryan Raburn

June 17th vs. CHC

0.7 IP, 4 batters faced, 2 R, 1 H, 0 K, 1 BB

Max Velocity: 89.0 mph

The June 17th ballgame was the second that Raburn had pitched in the big leagues with the first having been in 2013. He wore out quickly, cruising in the mid-80's for his first dozen pitches or so, then spiking 89.0 mph on his 15th pitch of the night, after which Raburn's velocity plummeted to the mid-70s.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

65

Momentum

45

Torque

30

Posture

60

Overall

C-

Raburn's torque spiked a 40-grade but was inconsistent, more often falling in the depths of 30-35 despite some extra load with the upper half. He looked like he was throwing knuckleballs at times, with the steady approach with low-powered highlights that often defines a knuckleballer's delivery. He was very high on stability but very low on power, in what is becoming a theme among position players that pitch, and it's refreshing to see these players concentrate more on hitting targets than lighting up the radar gun.

Nick Franklin

June 16th vs. WAS

1.0 IP, 7 batters faced, 2 R, 3 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HBP

Max Velocity: 92.1 mph

The Rays used a pair of position players in their 16-4 beatdown at the hands of the Nats on June 16, as both Nick Franklin and Jake Elmore entered the game to chew up some outs and spare the bullpen. The 92.1 mph pitch that Franklin through was a complete outlier, as his next-fastest pitch was clocked at 86 mph and he averaged just 83.3 mph on the fastball for the ballgame. The pitch in question came on an 0-2 offering to Danny Espinosa, as Franklin was clearly bringing the ruckus in his attempt to get a strikeout. Instead he triggered late, causing the pitch to sail up and to the armside, as he plunked Espinosa (who was already five-for-five in the ballgame). The high-speed pitch may have resulted from some extra adrenaline, or perhaps the gun was tilted by the HBP, but it was by no means repeatable.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

55

Momentum

40

Torque

30

Posture

55

Overall

D+

Franklin had very little torque, relying almost purely on some upper-body twist as he brought the ball near his ear prior to foot strike, a factor which adds further credence to the idea that the 92-mph pitch was an error on the PITHf/x system due to the HBP. He had a very low arm slot that was close to sidearm, and though the quick lift-and-stride left little room to fall off-kilter, Franklin still dealt with issues in his X-plane (left-right) balance by leaning toward third base during his stride and then veering to the first base side from foot strike into release point.

Brendan Ryan

August 25th vs. HOU

2.0 IP, 8 batters faced, 0 R, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB

Max Velocity: 86.1 mph

Ryan faced eight hitters across two frames against the Astros in what was the first pitching appearance of his nine-year career. Of the 28 pitches that he threw, 21 were classified as sinkers, with a bit of drop along with a touch of arm-side run on most of his fastballs.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

60

Momentum

55

Torque

50

Posture

55

Overall

C+

Ryan had a more exaggerated delivery than most of the other players on this list, including a high leg lift and rhythmic swing of the arms that reveal a player who has spent considerable time honing his delivery. The momentum was particularly impressive, directing a path to the plate directly from first movement and leading with the hip in a continuous burst of acceleration toward the target. He maintained excellent balance throughout the motion, culminating in excellent posture that was sustained even as he turned up the power. He also had solid torque with a well-timed trigger, utilizing less brute force to hit the mid-80s on the radar gun. Of every pitcher that has been covered thus far, Ryan's delivery looked the most like that of a big-league pitcher.

The Two-Timers

These four pitchers were each used on two occasions to pitch this year.

Ike Davis

April 21st at LAA and August 16th at BAL

Total: 2.0 IP, 8 batters faced, 0 R, 1 H, 1 K, 1 BB

Max Velocity: 88.9 mph

The lefty provided some out-crunching during a pair of blowouts, churning through an inning of a 14-1 loss to the Angels and then again four months later in an 18-2 shellacking at the hands of the Orioles. He had a clean inning against Anaheim, and then added all of the stat details in his second outing.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

65

Momentum

45

Torque

45

Posture

60

Overall

C

Davis lacked forward momentum at the start of his delivery, waiting until after the lift phase to charge toward the plate, though he had a decent pace once he gets it going. He was very well balanced, with near-perfect stability in both the X and Z plus. minimal drop. He does the typical lefty thing with a closed stride that is directed wide of the left-hand batter's box, but that angle appears to be part of his personal signature.

Adam Rosales

June 26th at TOR and July 28th vs. NYY

Total: 2.0 IP, 10 batters faced, 3 R, 2 H, 1 K, 1 BB

Max Velocity: 93.8 mph

Rosales pitched for the first two outings of his career this past season, and the returns suggest that the 32-year old veteran should have been given previous opportunities on the bump. He reached nearly 94 mph on his fastball and the velocity was relatively consistent, with a handful of pitches that broke 92 mph on the gun. That said, opposing batters didn't have too much trouble in hitting Rosales, with two of the three hits against him leaving the yard. On top of the hard stuff, Rosales also mixed in some very slow breaking balls, with a 30-mph difference between his hardest pitch and his softest.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

45

Momentum

40

Torque

55

Posture

50

Overall

C-

Rosales had a different delivery when he was throwing the heater or the curve, and though his momentum fell into the “slow” bin regardless of pitch type, his torque and balance were highly sensitive to whether he was trying to generate big velocity or a pitch with break (the above grades reflect the fastball). When throwing the fastball, he utilized both a larger trunk load and a more pronounced delay to his trigger after foot strike, as well as an exaggerated lean back toward second base during his slow stride. The breaking stuff looked almost lazy by comparison, with a simple stride and low torque but better stability, and he appeared to exaggerate the degree of shoulder abduction in order to get a higher release point on his breaking stuff.

Jesus Sucre

June 12th at HOU and August 15th at BOS

Total: 2.0 IP, 11 batters faced, 3 R, 6 H, 0 K, 0 BB

Max Velocity: 91.1 mph

Sucre brings legit stuff to the table, but the catcher was no deterrent to opposing batters who knocked him around for six hits in 11 plate appearances. He averaged 88.6 mph on his 25 fastballs this past season (he threw one other pitch this year, a curve). He gets a slight pass for giving up a deep fly to Jackie Bradley, Jr in the August game, as JBJ was channeling Mickey Mantle with three doubles and two bombs that day.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

60

Momentum

30

Torque

40

Posture

55

Overall

C

The velocity is mostly attributable to brute arm strength, as Sucre utilizes a hip-whip strategy to execute late hip rotation and most of his hip-shoulder separation comes from his twist of the upper-half prior to foot strike. The balance is solid, with slight dings in all three planes but plus stability when looking at the whole package. His momentum suffers due to a combination of his going backward to start the motion (before he moves forward) and a slow pace once he does get going toward the target. For a guy that throws as hard as Sucre does, it's surprising to see such low marks in both of the power categories.

David Ross

May 9th at MIL and July 26th vs. PHI

2.0 IP, 6 batters faced, 0 R, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB

Max Velocity: 77.7 mph

The 38-year old backup catcher had never taken the mound in a major league game prior to the 2015 season, but the Cubs threw him out there twice in games that were out of hand. He responded with two perfectly-clean frames, setting down the opposition one-two-three in each outing.

Mechanics Report Card

Balance

70

Momentum

20

Torque

20

Posture

60

Overall

D-

Ross pitches like he's throwing BP, exhibiting as little effort as possible as he lofts baseballs over the plate. He is completely bereft of power in his delivery, with merely a soft step forward constituting his momentum and an apparent disinterest in generating torque of any kind. With such minimal force to stabilize, one would expect absolutely perfect scores for his balance and his posture, and though his balance is s hair away from ideal, the posture actually suffers from a bit of spine-tilt as he attempts to manipulate a higher arm slot. It's not egregious by any means, but the posture-change becomes all the more blatant when paired with such incredibly low levels of power. It's the one time that I'll put a plus score on an attribute while also considering it to be a detriment to a player's mechanics.