Here is G-Money's first serve on Brandon Maurer. It kicks up chalk at 125 MPH. The return of serve thusly:
=== Gil Meche ===
There is hardly a word in Gordon's scouting report that couldn't have applied to Gil Meche in the day. The 4-pitch arsenal, the command, the velocity on each pitch, everything is Gil Meche to a tee ... which made me laugh when I skimmed down and hit the section where Gordon said he WAS a Meche comp.
Maybe you're thinking ... "Gil Meche? To which I can confidently say, 'Mehhhh who carez'."
Get your head on straight. As a prospect, the shoulder question was the only thing between Gil Meche and top-5 prospect status.
When Gil Meche was in the low minors, 'net legend Inside Pitch ID'ed him as a kid who could become the best pitcher in the American League - Mike Mussina level or better. "We used to sit in the stands and say all the batter needed was a mirror on his shoes, so he could see where the catcher's mitt was, and he'd have the location."
I stood 3' away from Meche warming up one time and he had THE best right hand delivery I have EVER seen.
Meche ran into issues: (1) he developed shoulder problemos, which held him back, and (2) there was something mystically wrong with him -- the ball very easy to see out of his hand, or pitchability, or something.
Still: did Meche turn out to be a waste? Of course not. His first two years away from Seattle, he ran ERA indexes of 125 and 109 ... fanned 180, walked 70 in 210 innings. Would you take that from Maurer? 14 wins and 5th in the league in strikeouts? That's where Gil Meche wound up, even with the problems.
The question now becomes whether Maurer is Gil Meche Done Right.
=== Aiki-Doc on the Mechanics ===
I do not like Brandon Maurer's delivery.
He finishes way too high. He's max effort. Worst of all, his ACCELERATION is too jerky and sudden -- he hits his top speed way too early in the delivery. Watch here and see what we mean.
It's not really acceleration; it's just a hand grenade going off. Meche was the ultimate in smooooooth accel and effortless delivery.
In other words, it looks like Maurer would have a hard time developing a starter's rhythm, and therefore have a hard time developing his best command during the course of a game.
That said: mechanics are only one variable among dozens. There are star pitchers with funky deliveries. Maurer (reportedly) already HAS excellent command in the strike zone.
BaseballHQ concurs: "Has effort in delivery, but repeats it, and shows good command." That's how good HQ is, gentlemen. You're not going to read any scouting stuff that is so accurate and to the point, anywhere but there and here. Ahem.
Maurer's delivery is jerky and max-effort, but so was Bob Gibson's. And the accel/decel aside, Maurer's vectors are good. He comes down the centerline with good organization. I don't LIKE his start and stop, but the overall motion is workin' for him. Pass on.
Don't even GO THERE, Brandon Maurer to the bullpen just because he's got a bullpen delivery. He's also got four pitches. And command. This is not a kid who needs to be heaving the ball down the middle for two or three batters.
We want you guyz to remember that we don't just jump on guys' bandwagons because they're Mariners. If a Brandon League or a Blake Beavan or a Casper Wells is a mirage, we're glad to say so. Charlie Furbush is NEVER going to start in the American League. His mechanical issues are different from Brandon Maurer's.
=== Dr's R/X ===
Pitchers in this template include who? For comps you would want ML-ready minor leaguers with these attributes:
- Right hand, six foot five, 200 lb, perfect pitcher's body (negotiable on the body, but y'know)
- Four (4) sharp pitches located at will - throws them all with superb mound presence
- Plus fastball, real plus, and with location while yer at it
- Track record of K's and BB's
Go find me all of those guys, write them up, and lay your report on my desk. By the time you've finished writing the report, you'll have an understanding of how common this kind of pitcher is.
When we had a garage band, we asked an agent how we could become unique. He said, "If you got a guy who can sing, a lead guitarist who can shred, a bass player who does catchy bass lines, and a drummer who can kick tail, YOU ARE UNIQUE." (We didn't.)
People talk about 4-pitch guys, with giddyap, with command and confidence. People talk about Sasquatch too.