Quick Looks: Boyd, DeSclafani, Montas

Matt Boyd (45 CV/50+ FV)
8/28 vs Blue Jays

Game Thoughts
• The 24-year-old lefty was very blahh in the start I saw.
• His fastball was 89-94 mph, straight and thrown high in the zone. It may even have a bit of “rise” to it
• His slider was 77-78 mph with 11-6 break and the only pitch he has which can create ground balls.
• His change was 78-80 mph and straight. It follows the same path as his fastball, but 10 mph slower. It eats up right-handed hitters.
• Finally, he threw a few curves which were at 69-72 mph with 11-6 break
• Boyd’s high fastball and change are going to give up some flyballs. Among starters with 40 IP, he has the 7th lowest GB% at 32.4%. He could end up with home run issues as he is this season with a 2.6 HR/9.
• He throwing away too many pitches which aren’t even near the strike zone. He gets into too many long at bats and ends up working from behind.
He lost a little velo as the game went on never getting over 93 mph on his fastball after the 3rd inning.

Final thoughts: I can see why the Blue Jays traded away the fly ball heavy pitcher. He would give up a bunch of home runs in Rogers Centre as he did in this start. I wish he had one good trait, but there isn’t one. Something needs to play up for him to be a reliable fantasy option. Right now, he is only good for spot starts in deep leagues in the right park.


Anthony DeSclafani (CV: 45/FV: 50)
7/29/15 vs Cardinals

Game Thoughts
• He has not improved since the last time I did a Quick Looks on him.
• The 25-year-old righty came at hitters with a basic 3/4 motion.
• He kept his pitches down in the zone.
• His fastballs were 89-93 mph. His 2-seamer broke down and was 89-91. The 91-93 mph 4-seamer broke release side. Both didn’t have a ton of movement and were tough to tell apart.
• His 1/7 slider was 86-89 and completely inconsistent. He hung a few which got crushed.
• He had a sharp, non-loopy 77-79 mph curve which just broke down in the zone.
• He also through what was labeled 86 mph a change. It was useless and rarely near the strike zone.
• The biggest issue with me is his fastballs and sliders, which make up ~86% of his pitches, are within 7 mph from the high (93 mph) to the low (86 mph). The way he was hanging sliders, they were getting crushed.

Final thoughts: Like Boyd, something needs to improve with DeSclafani. He needs some consistency with each pitch type and differentiation between the types. He needs to make the change or curve into a usable weapon.


Francelis Montas (CV: 50/FV: 60)
9/13 vs Twins
Game Thoughts
• I saw the 22-year-old righty throw three innings of relief.
• His fastball was between 95-98 mph with little movement. He can blow it by some hitters but not all of them. Additionally, he can’t always throw it for strikes as seen by his 46% Zone% with it.
• He had a plus 12/6 slider which he can throw for strikes (45% Zone%) or get some swinging strikes (17% SwStr%). The slider can be inconsistent at times and he can hang a few.
• He struggled with walks since he could get the fastball over.
• I based he his current and future values on his ability to be a closer. As a starter, I don’t think he has enough of an arsenal be effective. Reminds me of Kevin Gausman in that he can throw gas with a good breaker, but just those two pitches aren’t enough to be a successful starter.

Final thoughts: He can step in the bullpen now and be a nice closer, but the White Sox will look to see if he can make it as a starter. I am not sure he can with the two pitches and a fastball which only has speed.


Notes on process
I will continue to implement player grading on the scouting scales of 20-80. I will use Kiley McDaniels scale he discussed in this article.

Grade Hitter Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher WAR
80 Top 1-2 #1 Starter —- 7
75 Top 2-3 #1 —- 6
70 Top 5 #1/2 —- 5
65 All-Star #2/3 —- 4
60 Plus #3 High Closer 3
55 Above Avg #3/4 Mid Closer 2.5
50 Avg Regular #4 Low CL/High SU 2
45 Platoon/Util #5 Low Setup 1.5
40 Bench Swing/Spot SP Middle RP 1
35 Emergency Call-Up Emergency Call-Up Emergency Call-Up 0
30 *Organizational *Organizational *Organizational -1

I will give a value for where I think the pitcher could currently fit in on the average team (CV=current value) and where they could end up (FV=future value). I am sure I will disagree with some grades from others, but I am only looking at one game.

Note: If I say a pitch moves 11-5, it is from the pitcher’s perspective.

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 four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Pirates Hurdles
6 years ago

“He needs to make the change or curve into a usable weapon.” – exactly what Eno’s article today covered – Desclafani’s new curve ball usage.