Quick Looks: Ross, Chapman, Fisher, & Kuhl

Very Quick Look: Tyson Ross

Tyson Ross made one start and his results seem acceptable with a 7.9 K/9 and a 3.18 ERA. Beyond those two stats, his line gets ugly. His fastball velocity is down to 90.1 mph which is ~2.5 mph less than last season and ~4.5 mph off his career peak. He walked three batters in only 5.1 innings of work. His swinging strike rate was just 5.3% which would be a career low.

With the mixed signals, I decided to take a quick look at his start.

• He started off the game with two pitches way outside and walked the first batter. This at bat set the tone for the rest of the game.

• Fastball: 88-92 mph and I’m not sure on the desired break. This pitch was a mess. He threw ten or so way off the plate. No control or feel for it. Here’s a pitch location graph to show how off he was in this start.

Besides the lack of control, I’m not sure how a 90 mph fastball will work with a fastball-slider starter. Without the extra velocity, his fastball will likely get destroyed.

• Sinker: 88-91 mph. It was a little tough to tell he threw this pitch with his overall inconsistencies. It may have some deceptive sink.

• Slider: 81 to 86 mph with 12-6 break. It was comparable to a hard curve at its best. The amount of movement on this pitch was all over the place though. Sometimes it broke straight down and generated swings-and-misses and other times they stayed up.

• Change: 81-82 mph, straight. Just threw a couple early in the game.

• Remember he is coming back from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which has shown limited success even before this season and the results haven’t gotten better as seen with Matt Harvey. Limit expectations.

Conclusion. I don’t think he is startable at this point in his return. He needs to show some improved control and velocity to be a reliable starter.

 

Notes

Chad Kuhl’s fastball velocity is up significantly along throwing a new curveball.

During his debut season with the Pirates, Kuhl had a fastball that averaged 90-93 mph, and he used his two-seamer to induce ground balls. Now, Kuhl is touching 99 mph with his four-seamer and has added a devastating new pitch to his arsenal.

“In his last two starts, he’s taken to the curveball like nobody I’ve seen in 43 years in the game,” manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday.

This evolution — call it Kuhl 2.0 — has been dramatic and significant. It’s also rare, according to Hurdle. Management is intrigued by the potential it has created, which is why it was Tyler Glasnow and not Kuhl 2.0 who was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room in the rotation for Jameson Taillon.

 Even with the velocity jump, Kuhl’s struggling with a 5.61 ERA because his BB/9 stands at 3.8 BB/9 (2.6 BB/9 in 2016) while his strikeouts have increased from 6.8 K/9 to only 7.1 K/9.

Matt Chapman (Oakland) and Derek Fisher (Houston) got promoted recently to the majors. Here are the players who had similar prospect grades.

Batters With Similar Prospect Grades to Matt Chapman
Name Year Report Publication Batting Power Speed Defense Arm
Matt Chapman 2017 MLB 45 60 40 70 75
Fernando Tatis, Jr. 2017 FanGraphs 50 60 40 60 70
Will Middlebrooks 2012 BA 50 65 40 60 70
Matt Chapman 2017 BA 40 55 40 60 80
Lucas Erceg 2017 FanGraphs 55 60 40 60 70
Seuly Matias 2017 FanGraphs 45 60 40 55 70
Austin Hedges 2014 MLB 50 50 40 65 65
Carlos Correa 2013 MLB 50 60 50 60 70
Jorge Alfaro 2014 MLB 45 60 45 55 75
Javier Guerra 2016 BA 50 55 45 60 65
Javier Guerra 2016 MLB 45 55 45 65 60
Cody Bellinger 2017 FanGraphs 45 70 40 70 60
Yandy Diaz 2017 FanGraphs 45 50 50 60 70
Hunter Renfroe 2017 BA 45 70 50 60 70
Matt Chapman 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 40 60 60
Sean Murphy 2016 MLB PreDraft 45 50 40 55 70
Justin O’Conner 2015 MLB 40 50 30 60 80
Austin Hedges 2014 BA 50 50 40 65 60
Taylor Ward 2016 BA 50 45 40 60 70
Will Benson 2017 FanGraphs 40 70 40 55 80

 

Batters With Similar Prospect Grades to Derek Fisher
Name Year Report Publication Batting Power Speed Defense Arm
Derek Fisher 2017 FanGraphs 45 60 70 45 40
Derek Fisher 2017 MLB 45 55 60 45 40
Anthony Alford 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 70 55 40
Anthony Alford 2017 FanGraphs 40 55 70 55 40
Taylor Trammell 2017 FanGraphs 40 55 70 55 40
Thomas Jones 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 60 50 45
Anfernee Grier 2017 FanGraphs 40 55 60 50 45
Mitch Haniger 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 60 50 50
Mitch Haniger 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 60 50 50
Shedric Long 2017 FanGraphs 45 55 60 50 50
Andrew Benintendi 2015 2080 50 60 60 50 50
Corey Ray 2017 FanGraphs 60 60 70 50 40
Brian Goodwin 2017 FanGraphs 40 55 60 50 50
Cedric Mullens 2017 FanGraphs 50 50 60 50 45
Lazaro Armenteros 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 55 50 40
Nick Williams 2016 2080 50 50 60 50 50
Stone Garrett 2017 FanGraphs 35 60 55 50 40
Garrett Whitley 2017 FanGraphs 40 60 60 50 55
Tyler O’Neill 2016 BA – Scouts View 50 60 55 50 50
Tim Anderson 2015 BA 50 50 70 50 55
Brett Jackson 2012 BA 55 60 60 55 50
Sean Coyle 2015 MLB 50 50 55 50 45
Forrest Wall 2016 MLB 55 45 65 40 45

The pair is similar in that they both may struggle with batting average (both can draw a walk) while hitting for above average power.

As for differences, Fisher has above average speed which has led to 25 to 30 stolen bases each season. I am a concerned the Astros will slow down his running since he’s only 14 for 25 in stolen base attempts this season (56%). On the other hand, Chapman is going to have some steals but he hasn’t shown the potential to reach double digits.

The other difference is projected playing time. Chapman looks to be the Athletics’s full-time third baseman with Trevor Plouffe off the roster. As for Fisher, his call-up is likely temporary. He’ll likely get demoted once Josh Reddick comes off the concussion DL.

• MLB.com Bryan Hoch explains why Luis Severino will likely not be on an innings limit this season.

Do the Yankees plan on putting Luis Severino on an innings count for this season?
— Daniel E., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Severino threw 161 innings at three levels in 2015, including 62 1/3 in the Majors, and tallied 148 2/3 last season between the big leagues and the Minors. Given his 2015 numbers, he would have been on track to pitch about 200 innings in the Majors, though he obviously never got close because his performance as a starter was so poor.

If their target is anything less this year — and they haven’t said so publicly — it should only be a slight dip. Severino has thrown 81 1/3 innings through 13 starts, so that puts him on pace for 187 1/3 if he were to make 30 starts. Given his age and strength (Girardi often marvels that Severino’s stuff doesn’t seem to taper off the third time through the lineup), that shouldn’t be an issue.

 

• Watch the Red Sox give up a triple to Drew Butera. Bonus hair flip.

We hoped you liked reading Quick Looks: Ross, Chapman, Fisher, & Kuhl by Jeff Zimmerman!

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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.

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In fact Fisher already has been sent back to AAA.