Quick Looks: Ross, Gray, Severino, Hultzen, Tanaka and Others

A couple of Quick Look changes for Spring Training. I am going to be doing more players, but with less information. Some pitchers I watch will only throw an inning or two. Also, some broadcasts don’t have radar readings. Finally, the camera angles are horrible to be kind.

Another change I will be implementing is grading the players on the scouting scales of 20-80. I will Kiley McDaniels scale he discussed in this article.

Scale 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). 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.


3/8/15 Padres vs Rockies (no velocities)

Tyson Ross (60+ CV/65 FV)

• He was the reason I picked this game. He has talked of the expanded the role of his change-up.
• He throws very over the top.
• His fastball was had some downward motion.
• His slider had a sharp 12-6 down breaking action.
• Now to the change. It looked to be same speed (I checked previous speeds and it was the same) and broke the direction as his slider. The break was less and not as sharp. It was basically his slider, but worse. I can see why he hasn’t used it.
• I wonder if he could add a cutter to give himself a third pitch.

Jon Gray (60 CV/65 FV)

• He hides the ball well with his release.
• He seemed to work only up to down in the strike zone with no horizontal movement. I may not have seen much movement because of the camera angle.
• His fastball was straight with some late sink.
• His 12-6 slider was nasty and he could throw it for strikes. Plus pitch.
• Finally, he had a loopy 12-6 change.
• He is ready for the majors with three average to above average pitches and plus control. I think he can be a good reliable above average starter, but not great. I hear some comps to good Verlander, but I really don’t buy them. He is some where between good Verlander and 2014 Verlander.


3/8/15 Phillies vs. Yankees

Luis Severino (60 CV-closer/70 FV)

• He threw some high heat at 96-97 mph. The pitches looked straight with little life. There almost seemed to have a rise to them which may make him prone to home runs.
• He threw a 88-89 mph slider which broke down.
• His change was 85-86 mph and also down (I am worried the camera angle kept my from seeing any horizontal break).
• He cruised through his inning on just fastballs.
• I think he cold step in and be a #1 closer with what I saw. I can see why people think he may have durability issues. His body type and arsenal reminds me bit of Yordano Ventura. I could see the Yankees start him until he breaks and then move him to the bullpen.

Blake Treinen (55 CV/60 FV)
Previous Report (9/24/14)

• His 94-96 mph fastball was a little straighter than I originally remember it. Not that it mattered as it induced three groundball outs.
• He also threw a 86 mph change.
• It sucks he is stuck on the Nationals with a loaded pitching staff. He could be a 3rd to 4th starter for some teams.

Adam Warren (45 CV/50 FV)

• His fastball was 91-94 mph with some arm side run and dip.
• His slider was 84-85 mph with 12-6 movement which looks like a hard curve.
• His change was at 81 mph and straight.
• His curve is 77 mph 12-6 and loopy.
• He seems like a pretty basic starter but his non-fastballs all rated above average in swinging strike rate. I am a little worried he will not make it as a starter since he only threw his fastball 41% of the time last year. I will watch him more if he makes the rotation.


3/11/15 Mariners vs. Rockies

Danny Hultzen (40 CV/60 FV)

• He was the main person I wanted to watch in this game. I watched his inning twice.
• His release is a low ¾ from the 1B side trying to get an angle.
• His fastball was between 92-95 mph. This value is the highest since the 2011 AFL.
• His 80-81 mph change was not there. He bounced two and airmailed other one
• He is an acceptable LOOGY right now. I didn’t see a second decent pitcher, not alone a third one to be a starter. It was nice to see the fastball velocity up though.

Erasmo Ramirez (40 CV/50 FV)

• His fastball was 89-92 fastball with sink.
• His slider was 83-86 mph with some drop.
• He threw a 81 mph change.
• Nothing he threw stood out, but he has had some good results. I should do a full game review on him.

Adam Ottavino (55 CV/55 FV)

• He was a little wild, but it works as a reliever.
• His fastball was at 96 mph with some dip and run.
• Also threw a 83-84 mph slider.
• He is an acceptable relief arm.

David Hale (50 CV/50 FV)
Previous Quick Look.

• His fastball was at 91-92 with some release side run.
• His change was 78-83 mph with some glove side run.
• I liked him before the move to Colorado. I think he could be a good pitcher for Colorado, but not sure if he is worth a look in all but the deepest leagues.

Wilin Rosario can’t catch a pitch.. His time behind home plate is limited


3/12/15 Braves vs Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka (70 CV/75 FV)

• He hides the ball well with his stop-and-go windup. For a Yankee, he works fast.
• He got his normal results with four groundball outs and two strikeouts.
• He was threw his sinker which did have some nice sink and was between 89-90 mph. These values are inline with this 2014 sinker velocities. His fastballs were his one weakness last season, especially the four-seamer. When players were able to hit it, they hit it hard. He needs it to set up his other pitches, but may just go with the sinker and its 51% GB% versus the 36% GB% for the four seamer.
• His devastating splitter was at 86-87 mph.
• He threw a couple of loopy 12-6 76 mph curves for strikes.
• He also threw his slider which was at 82 mph.
• All the breaking pitches were just as amazing as last season. The big issue will be the fastball usage and how much he can get away with throwing the below average offering. Or he can go with all the breaking pitches and hope his arm doesn’t break.

We hoped you liked reading Quick Looks: Ross, Gray, Severino, Hultzen, Tanaka and Others 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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Darren Zempel
Darren Zempel

Love the 20/80 scale for these updates. Can we please have many many more.