Body: Projection left in 6’5″ frame, particularly lower body, which he currently does not engage well in delivery. Strong and athletic. Oblique injury cost him most of 2017.
Delivery: semi-windup, three-quarters slot, waist-high leg left, lands closed w/ minimal effort; balanced, remains tall through delivery; can lose timing and bring through arm late causing FB to sail. Head still, repeatable w reps, plus athlete. Slow to plate but should hold runners reasonably w lefty delivery.
Arm Action: Plus arm speed, free and easy arm with clean arm action. Nothing to suggest future injury.
Plus velo from LHP, more in tank out of pen, w/ projection and more leg engagement could add several ticks. In this velo band, delivery exceptionally quiet. Two-plane life w/ more run than sink. Height creates plane. Was up and struggled w/ glove-side command when lost timing. Moves it in/out well w some ability to change eye-level. Gets on hitters bc of fast arm, will generate swing-and-miss in combo with other pitches.
1-7 shape; has feel and conviction, will throw in any count, trusts it. Late-breaking and currently go-to secondary. Thrown down as chase pitch most often, backdoored a few.
Developing still, needs consistency but has good late fade. Did not show confidence in this offering compared to FB and CB, location fluctuated, but when located to outer third, generated swing-and-mass. Will take patience but future above-average pitch
Hearn could move fast out of the pen, but everything is there for the rotation and there is no reason to move him now. The rotation role comes with significant command and change up projection and development. Optimism stems from Hearn’s incredibly loose, easy, quick arm and plus athleticism. Continued reps and physical maturity (particularly firming up and engaging lower half) will aid repeatability and consistency– physical tools and feel to pitch are there. Effort is not a concern; Hearn stays online through release. Without CH dev, Hearn will get outs from both sides out of the pen with FB/CB combo. If market suggests Hearn is RP, there is value to acquisition as potential rotation piece.
Body: Well proportioned, strong lower half stabilizes delivery, physical for height. Plus athlete; smooth, low effort actions. Could have a little projection left in upper body.
Delivery: full windup, three-quarters slot, brief sidestep, chest-high leg left, tall at max lift w excellent balance, full leg extension, stays closed. Spine tilt adds to plus momentum but can pull follow-through to gloveside. Spine tilt allows him to hide ball from batter from behind head, and with super-fast arm, ball gets on hitter quickly. Some effort in delivery, but keeps head mostly still and will repeat for long stretches (esp May outing). Starter’s delivery. Average move to first; may need to vary timing to hold runners.
Arm Action: Clean break, slight length to arm action w/ slight shoulder tilt; arm is loose, works easily and fluidly; plus-plus arm speed. Nothing to clearly suggest elbow strain.
Plus velo, hard run down in zone w/ some sink, flat up in zone w/out plane is hittable. Movement allows margin for error side-to-side, when good is bat-misser to both LH and RH. Inconsistent command (all up) in AFL looks but other 2017 looks moved in/out, pitched to corners, raised eye-level. Command inconsistency plays pitch down to 6, but athleticism bodes well.
At best, 11-5 hard two-plane breaker; will get a little sweepier at 10-5, flat when up. Breaks hard, bat misser, haven’t seen him lose feel for any length of time, gets chases, command still inconsistent in zone, problems up. Thrown in dirt as chase or anywhere in bottom of zone it is an outpitch.
Pitch is firm and lacks movement, blends too easily w/ FB. Maintains arm speed but lacks feel (grip) to slow pitch down. Have seen some 40s w some fade but rare. Projection based on Alzolay’s plus athleticism, compact delivery, and ability to maintain arm speed.
Alzolay has a starter’s delivery in a reliever’s body with a change-up that could push him to either role. Currently, the pitch is not playable to turn over MLB rotations, but he could right now get outs from a bullpen with his FB/SL combination, playing to higher end of velo band in short stints. The relative quietness of his delivery given his size, a result of plus athleticism and a strong lower half that stabilizes his delivery. I project change up and command improvement enough to keep Alzolay in an MLB rotation.
Body: Average build for height on the leaner side, average physicality. Full body delivery. Tommy John surgery in 2014.
Delivery: semi-windup, three-quarters slot, sidestep, waist-high leg left, stays closed; leans to glove side and is out-of-balance at footstrike from slight crossfire motion. Delivery begins slowly w/ pause before leg-lift and quick acceleration to release, falls off to glove-side. Effort in delivery; can lose timing (his acceleration fluctuates); when arm gets late, he falls off even harder to glove-side. Head remains still despite effort; repeatability will remain concern. Slow to plate but should hold runners reasonably w lefty delivery and timing variations from stretch.
Arm: Clean break, above-average arm speed, can be stiff on arm raise; when arm is late, the delivery could strain elbow.
Plus velo from LHP, hard run with slight sinking action, can miss righty bats away. Control/command waivers due to delivery inconsistency, including FBs up. Pounds RH away, better arm-side command at present. Pitch velo and movement is plus, command limits ultimate ceiling of pitch.
Varies shape from 12-6 to sharper 1-7. Breaks hard, bat-misser, can loose feel and back it up, but has confidence in pitch. Thrown in dirt as chase, backdoored, in zone for called strikes/weak contact. Out-pitch.
Pitch has fade to move off barrel, not a major bat-misser. Pitch works best in pitcher’s counts when FB is working too. Won’t get to it much otherwise. It is good enough to expose fastball hunting RH and is passable based on quality of CB to get RH out.
Fried is largely a finished product and appeared in the majors late-2107. His delivery and arm action provide some pause given his prior arm injury, but Fried has starter’s stuff with just enough command to keep in the backend of the rotation. When the fastball is on and located, it plays to plus, but Fried loses his spots too much for it to always play there. He needs to throw strikes with his fastball for his change-up to have a chance of keeping him in the rotation– he will require pitcher’s counts to use the pitch. The CB can be used in any count and will aid strikeout totals when the FB command is good enough to put Fried in 2-strike counts. Fried’s ability to stick in the rotation hinges on fastball command, and I see just enough for the package to play in a rotation. Fried could rack up Ks as a FB/CB RP against both RH and LH hitters.
Body: Filled out w/ little projection remaining. Some thickness to backside, strong lower half that he engages in delivery drive. Athletic, has good control of his body.
Delivery: semi-windup, three-quarters slot, waist-high leg left, lands closed w/ minimal effort; stays balanced, but inconsistently collapses backside after leg-lift; can lose release point and bring through arm late causing glove-side command issues. Head still. Average delivery speed to plate and nothing to suggest problems holding runners.
Arm Action: Explosive arm, clean break, keeps arm high through throwing motion (doesn’t lower ball below waist in arm circle), average arm action length. Arm is a bit stiff through backswing. Nothing to suggest future injury.
Plus velo that he holds late into starts. FB has average run down in zone but plays on straighter side when thigh-high or above. Command can falter for extended periods, including misses up and out over the plate (and side-to-side). Command of FB pushes grade down from 60.
11-5 shape; has feel and conviction, pitch quality can vary substantially from below-average pitches that back up or cement mix, to hammer 60s w/ late sharp depth that miss bats. Until consistency improves, the pitch projects to above-average w/ chance to be above-average or plus if he consistently stays on top of the pitch and repeats release point.
Pitch tumbles effectively; maintains arm speed and throws with confidence. At its best it can miss bats and is good enough for effective third pitch.
Abreu’s future comes down to command improvement, as his three pitches could all be above-average or better based on stuff alone. Despite a low-effort delivery, Abreu still struggles to repeat his release point, and there is inconsistency in his use of the lower half, collapsing his backside and sailing FBs above the zone. Abreu’s upside is quite enticing; depending on the outing you could see any of the FB, CB, or CH miss bats. The concern is that his command doesn’t take more steps forward, leaving him with a potential bullpen role where he should be able to run it up to the high 90s. Current projection has him staying in the rotation with enough command improvement (due to athleticism and lack of effort).