Why I watched: All over the place in 2014 with some potential.
Game(s) Watched: 9/23/14 vs Royals
• What a game to randomly pick, he got his first six outs via strikeout. He ended each at bat with a swinging strike on his change.
• Threw a 93-98 mph fastball which was straight except some glove side run at lower speeds. It is the only pitch he can throw for called strikes.
• His change was 83-86 mph with some great sink. It has an insane 28% swinging strike rate. This pitch is insanely good when paired with his fastball.
• Threw a 86-88 mph slider with some a sharp 2-8 break.
• Got BABIP’ed to death with some sketchy defense behind him (.309 BABIP for 2014 Indians vs .295 for the league). Even with the sketchy defense, hitters could eventually get to him because of his over reliance of his fastball. Here are his BABIPs each time through the order:
Final thoughts: So much talent, but just can’t seem to put it all together. I would be nice he developed another pitch which he could throw for strikes, but until he does, he will struggle as hitters become familiar with him. If he ever has to move to the bullpen, buy immediately.
Why I watched: Came back from injury with mixed results
Game(s) Watched: 9/23/14 vs Rockies
• His throwing motion is over the top, but he lands close to 1B and then twists his body towards home.
• He had two fastballs. His 88-90 mph four-seamer was straight as an arrow. His two-seamer was at the same velocity, but had some sweeping release side run with a bit of drop. The two-seamer is by far the better pitch by generating a bunch of swinging strikes (7% SwStr%) and popups (13%).
• His curve was really inconsistent. Sometimes in was in the dirt. Other times he threw if for strikes. It was between 71-74 mph with 11-5 movement with a gradual sweeping motion.
• His change was a little loopy and was at 79-81 mph. In the game I saw, he did not use this pitch enough. He used it 20% of the time during the season and it has generated 21% swinging strikes
Final thoughts: Nothing really stood out with him. A lefty with couple of fastballs and a curve which were all OK. His change is better, but not a lights out pitch. All the tools together may be better than the parts, but I was just not impressed.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.