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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rick82Outside of Felix, and maybe our defense (although every little bobble is killing us), the bullpen has actually been our strongest suit. It's just that the high leverage situations are going to those who perform poorly. And our best performers are in the low leverage situations. We are basing our bullpen on 2012 performances. I want to see Danny and Dominic handing the ball to Rodney. It's too bad Tommy and Charlie haven't stepped up, but it's been that way for about a year now. Charlie's getting out pitched by Beimel. Tommy is all over the map. Yoervis continues to look over his head. The pen just looks backward to me. But, yeah, the offense is the real problem.57 min 6 sec ago
Gordon GrossThe idea was that we'd be able to put Pryor and Maurer and others out there as well. The rotation isn't the only thing getting pounded. We had pitching depth and we've needed all of it. But my 240 million dollar man isn't breaking .700 OPS yet, and too many of my blue chip hitters (young and older) are belly flopping. They have to turn it around or we're going nowhere. Needing the pen to throw 5 innings of zero run ball every night that Felix doesn't pitch just won't work.6 hours 16 min ago
Gordon GrossNo, I get it JD, but their actual ERA figures are mostly fine too. We have 4 guys in the pen with an ERA under 2. If the whole pen was a dumpster fire I might feel differently, but the pen as a whole isn't really bad. Maybe it will GET bad (again) through overuse or whatnot, and it's not Oakland's pen, but it's not bad. It's just being asked to do the impossible, since it can't score runs after the 6th inning - and neither can our offense. The team OPS of .576 in innings 7-9 with 14 runs scored isn't cutting it. We're not getting to the other team's pen - understandable when it's Oakland, abominable on other cases.6 hours 26 min ago
IcebreakerXG, that's an interesting stat. However, I feel like the M's continuously torch games by sticking bad FIP/xFIP pitchers in high LI situations. Though, I'm sure there's a way to calculate a cross-stat of LI and xFIP...6 hours 36 min ago
rick82Noesi today: 1 IP, 7 ER8 hours 23 min ago
JDDubSorry G, not trying to attack you. Just frustrated.8 hours 55 min ago
JDDubWild pitchers seem to carry great FIP, only to underperform in real life. Woo Hoo, guy K'd the side in two different blowouts. Then walked 2 and gave up 2 singles with a 4-3 lead when it mattered. Looks great on paper, not in the standings. No offense G, but it has felt this way most of my time as a Mariners fan. Only Gillick and Lou paid good attention to locking down a game you have in hand, the only 2 times the franchise showed much life. Lou managed to somehow get Charlton. Gillick piled up the bullpen arms. If FIP and xFIP are so great year after year why is our bullpen constantly coughing up the game and not the other team? The stats are misleading I believe. We tied for 6th in Blown Saves last season. That doesn't factor in ties or other close games torched.9 hours 12 min ago
Gordon GrossOur top 5 bullpen FIPs go: 1.39, 2.48, 2.75, 3.19, and 3.87. The As: 1.44, 2.15, 2.75, 3.80 and 4.00. Their bullpen is not demolishing ours, JD. It only feels that way. Mostly it's their starting pitching giving their entire team an ERA+ of 150 (!). But they've gotten the victories out of that they've needed to. We haven't.9 hours 34 min ago
Gordon GrossCorey Hart doesn't exactly look like a busted-up retread in the early going, and his defense is fine now that he's in the OF every other day. I agree, tho, the overall plan leaves something to be desired thus far.I understand the arguent that goes "why have a #3-4 starter like Matt Garza (85 ERA+ so far for 4/50 mil) when Paxton and Walker looked so good?" I admit, I want the arm NOW, but I'd take Paxton and Walker over Garza every day of the week. I'd have taken that shot at Kazmir for 2/21 like the As did, but a lot of #3 guys are really #4-5 guys in disguise who wanted big cash. We just need to catch a break. I hate that every year we need to catch a break we don't catch.9 hours 47 min ago
JDDubIt's too bad an idiot like me could see last September that our bullpen was going to continue to kill us without addressing it. Such a small amount of money and we wouldn't be having these conversations. Instead I got charts showing all the bullpen guys underperforming their xFIP and lots of "spending money on the bullpen is the biggest waste there is! The $/WAR value is not prudent.". I don't know about you guys but it always killed the teams I was on when one guy sucked at defense. 4 lock down defenders on the court don't matter if the 5th guy is giving up blow by layins all night. On my hoops team it was always the same guy, for the M's bullpen it's a new guy every night!9 hours 48 min ago
Tacoma RainAs upset as I am... I take solace in the fact we have had 2 good starts in a row from rookie pitchers... yeah, Elias was left in two too many batters due to the bullpen, and everything else really sucked... but Elias and Maurer pitched with their hearts on their sleeves... We are getting to the point of just trying to figure out what works, and then deciding whether to keep or torch the rest.9 hours 54 min ago
phxterryA tale of 2 cities, er, 2 teams: Billy Beane finds good young pitching and then fills the 25 man roster with ball players whose specific skills fill all holes; then, despite limited funds in the2013-14 offseason, spends big to bring in a fleet of lock down relievers to hold every late lead and win the majority of 1-run and extra inning games. He hires a manager who utilizes players skillfully and maximizes their strengths. GMZ spends $240M on a special player, but who plays at the M's position of greatest depth/strength - middle infield. GMZ does not fill the most glaring holes: RH OFer who can hit and play defense & veteran #3 starter. He adds only 1 lock down reliever while relying on retreads like Wilhelmsen and Furbush. Then he hires a manager who can't tell a bad reliever from a good one. Mix and stir: voila - A's are winning (again) and M's are losing (again).10 hours 29 min ago
IcebreakerXI can't wait until the Astros sweep us.11 hours 35 min ago
rick82There's a reason Farquhar passed all these guys up last year and became the closer. He asserted himself. Why he takes a back seat to Tommy, Charlie and Yoenis is a mystery to me.12 hours 35 min ago
Gordon GrossOur pitching has actually been pretty decent in the early going, Rick. It's our offense that is - once again - betraying us after that opening series. Gotta get the bats on track. Losing a couple close heartbreakers has changed the complexion of the early season for us. The Rangers have walked off at least 4 times in victory, and we've suffered 3 walkoff losses and a couple other heartbreaking late inning defeats. We pull those out and it's all roses while we wait for our pitching reinforcements. Now, though, we need hitters to hit - a lot. Gotta take this Astros series.13 hours 40 min ago
GLSI don't mind Furbush so much, but he's never been that guy, that when he comes in the game, that you really feel good about it. I think he has a role, but to me he's more of a 6th/7th inning guy. I really don't Furbush, Wilhelmsen, or Medina showing their faces in the 8th inning of a close game.13 hours 42 min ago
Gordon GrossI like Charlie, but he's been a slow starter in the past and is continuing that this year. It's okay that it takes him til May to get his sea-legs, but that doesn't mean I want him pitching a bunch of important April innings then. He's also never been great against righties, though he was decent last year. I don't pivot my pen around Furbush in the early going, that's for sure.13 hours 44 min ago
rick82But yeah, if you'd have told me that Elias would by default be our #2 starter on April 20, I would have expected a 7-11 record.14 hours 38 min ago
rick82Thirteen: I don't see it. It's been a while since he's been "one of the best". He's been pretty middling for about half a season at least. And I don't see any evidence of him returning to 2012 form. He has earned his way to long relief.14 hours 41 min ago
ThirteenGuys, calm down! Furbush hasn't even thrown six innings yet, and over the last two years he's been one of the best LH setup men in the sport. Don't bail on a LH setup man after six bad innings!14 hours 56 min ago