Brandon Maurer vs Gil Meche

Moshing G-Moneyball

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Here is G-Money's first serve on Brandon Maurer.  It kicks up chalk at 125 MPH.  The return of serve thusly:

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=== 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.

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=== 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.

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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.

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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.

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=== 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.

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Comments

ProspectInsider was high on him last August saying his fastball had location, movement, pitched aggressively but off the center of the plate, plus curve, slider that is plus at times and change that could launch his profile closer to TOR.

" Maurer has the stuff of a mid-rotation starter, perhaps better with more development of the changeup and continued improvement with his command, and should start next season in Triple-A Tacoma with a shot to see the majors later in the year.

The one knock on Maurer this season has been how he's handled situations where his defense lets him down or he starts to struggle and allow baserunners. Opponents are batting .266 off him overall, but .298 off him when there are two or three runners on base. This kind of thing generally works itself out with maturity and experience."

They hit on just about every point except for his delivery but still reported 91-94 on his fastball, so it seems he's added a bit in the offseason. PI was getting that from scouts so it's indicative of why he became a borderline top 100. Also he was a23 rd round pick in the last Bavasi/Fontaine led draft. Thanks for that anyway, Bill.

Some sources here and there have been saying all offseason that he was the most likely to make the jump to begin the season. I do daily google searches for anything Mariners but the main sources really haven't been on Maurer at all. Baker started to last offseason as soon as Zduriencik told everybody that he was a part of the big 4 though. Baker has been trusting what he said, but i don't recall him adding anything to the conversation of Maurer, just reminding everyone that "Jack said..." Him and Drayer.

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Everybody's high on Maurer.  He's a top 150 prospect.  ;- )

For HQ to nail the fact that his mechanics are bullpen style, but that this style is acceptable in his case because unusually repeatable, I put that on another level ...

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Daily Google searches eh.  Now I'm intimidated! :- )

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I may read as much as I can, but I only really comment here and PI. It's not every day that I check either, but the search is a favorite in my phone.

Yeah, here and PI were the earliest with explanations on Maurer that claimed more upside than #4 maybe #3. I agree the mechanical issue/non-issue hasn't really been talked about before these that I recall. It certainly adds to the conversation, but it seems like it's possibly a bit more negative than positive. Yes it can be overcome but it's hard to see that as a good thing. Maybe between that and that he was drafted before Jack came in he would be more likely to be in the Pineda path, opening day lineup then the one to go via trade.

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...because I've had my nose in the minor leagues for so long I'm not all that surprised to see Maurer getting the attention that he is. Gordon and I have been talking him up for quite some time now (gotta give Gordon his due though, he was higher on him than I).

I've always known that he had a funky delivery, but while watching him again something struck me. If you drop his arm slot down a bit further (and add to the funkiness), you'd have Carson Smith to a "T".

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ghost's picture

ghost

Just last night, Baker assured his readers that if anyone was going to come up early and start in this season's rotation out of ST, it would be Maurer. They see him as closer to his finished status. Command of all of his pitches, well developed off-speed game, mechanics that really can't be fixed without breaking him. Paxton, Hultzen and Walker all have things that they could be working on in AAA. Maurer really doesn't.

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moethedogI'm with you moj. Way in. Keep 'em both! Willie who?13 hours 27 min ago
Tacoma RainJordy Lara played a couple innings yesterday at 3rd too13 hours 39 min ago
SpectatorNow that I look at it, Blash hasn't been given a shot or Paolini in the first 3 games. But Cousino did. Guess that's a little tip about how they see the pecking order. Unless there's injuries or something.14 hours 3 sec ago
Gordon GrossI missed on Chris Taylor too originally, Spec. I thought he was a Bloomquist type, which has value but not great value. He certainly seems to be on a higher trajectory than that. Elias and Landazuri were big with me in spring of 2013, so I'm glad one of them has come through. Still have hopes for Lando. Also, Jordy Lara in the outfield is not really what I wanna see - and yeah, Kivlehan isn't slowing down yet. I really, really love that.14 hours 9 min ago
DragoHey I think we should get an SSI Fantasy Baseball league going! I have plenty of friends who are into fantasy football but I can&#039;t scare up anyone to play fantasy baseball!14 hours 14 min ago
SpectatorJordy Lara playing OF. He and Blash and Romero and Paolini would all be in the mix for RH OF reserve ... but Kivlehan is blowing them all away.14 hours 20 min ago
MtGrizzlyMarte on defense...yikes.14 hours 30 min ago
SpectatorHere's the 2013 spreadsheet used by the guy who compiles the consensus rankings. Credit to Fangraphs (and Gordon) for having Kivlehan at No. 11. I had him No. 33. Look in vain for the name Chris Taylor. It's not there. Nor Roenis Elias. Nor Dominic Leone. John Sickles had Carson Smith No. 18. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1anJblCbm3y3dQ9psaztJhjN-G1CGQ_-PpyLnCV_uXBc/edit#gid=014 hours 39 min ago
Gordon GrossI've now jinxed Marte, and he's returning to the form that makes me nervous about him. ;)14 hours 52 min ago
Gordon GrossMarte looks the part of a real ballplayer out there. Got a nice bit of muscle over the last couple seasons too. I can understand why scouts really like him - a tweak here or there at the plate might help boost him quite a bit.15 hours 11 min ago
mojicianSo why can't a bat first shortstop with wheels make a good benchie? Taylor? Miller? Why choose? use them both.15 hours 20 min ago
mojicianWho is Tyler Olson who struck out Kendrick, jam pitched Ethier and got a weak popout on Uribe? He is a native of Spokane, went to Gonzaga, and was taken in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He was apparently the 2014 Jackson Generals resident staff ace. After a quick scan of the blogosphere, it appears Spectator called Olson pitcher of the year before he had his 1 point nothing ERA in August. Its nice to hear about tomorrow's news nine months ago.15 hours 22 min ago
Gordon GrossNice home run by Taylor - that two-horse race between him and Miller should be fun all Spring.15 hours 24 min ago
mojicianErasmage on Gameday: Pitched all right but tubed several pitches, especially in the first inning. Given that McClendon has zero tolerance for centered fastballs or similar horse (manure), I think Erasmo is done as a Mariner.15 hours 42 min ago
SABR MattHeard about that yesterday, and don't find it the least bit surprising. Felix's home country is in a heap of trouble.19 hours 5 min ago
MtGrizzlyFrom the Times: "• Multiple sources in Venezuela are reporting that the Mariners have closed their baseball academy in Aguirre, Carabobo, because of political and social unrest in the country. The players, coaches and staff in Venezuela will be transferred to the Mariners’ new facility in the Dominican Republic. Organization officials would not comment on the situation."22 hours 8 min ago
SABR Mattsuch a shame to lose Choi...I thought he was the most mature hitter in our system...the most likely to succeed immediately.22 hours 33 min ago
GrumpyUgh. Worst case scenario for Choi. Other than breaking his back again at the same time.1 day 48 min ago
Tacoma RainDutton says the Mariners expect Choi to miss at least 4 to 6 months... thus this is a lost year for Choi. And unfortunately for Choi, he will have a tough time getting attention with all the others coming behind him. I was really hoping for better things for Choi.1 day 7 hours ago
Gordon GrossVery true bat. I meant that it didn't affect Choi at all, but it is the smarter roster move for staying alert and able to be active in Spring Training.1 day 7 hours ago