Stephen Pryor Scouting Report 6.2.12 - Offspeed Stuff

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Q.  Will this article be the final word on Pryor's slider and change?

A.  We're going off four (4) sliders and one (1) change.  Asked and answered, mon cherie.  This is a single-game "virtual crosscheck," as it were.  Subject to alteration, to correction by G-Money, or to revocation at any time.

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Q.  Do you like Pryor's slider?

A.  I do not, though Stephen Pryor obviously does.

In his debut game Saturday, Mr. Hyde grabbed Paul Konerko in two arms and ripped him in half at the waist.  He chewed out a stogie, swallowed it, and ground Alex Rios under his heel.  He retired Mr. Personality for a third out, and then....

... facing Dayan Viciedo, THE Dayan right handed Viciendo, started him off with a 90 MPH slider waist high.  You could sense Blowers' confused blink over the TV ... Pryor on 0-1 came back with another slider, low away.  The polite Blowers couldn't contain himself.  "Wow.  Starts him with two sliders."  He didn't say it admiringly.

Third pitch?   92 MPH slider, actually probably a changeup but the point is the same, right down the heart, knee high.  Somehow Viciedo fouled it off; 1-2 count.  Blowers didn't say a word.  It was like the guy who watches a drunk knock all the glasses off the table into his date's lap and there is stunned silence.  That kind of silence.

Pryor came back with two completely unhittable fastballs, one fouled off, 2-2 count, and then sped up Viciedo's bat with a SLOWER slider, and this was the location, pitch #6:

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Q.  Pretty hittable pitch, eh?

A.  Pretty hittable pitch, no.  It's quite literally a batting-practice pitch, maybe with 5 MPH on it.

Did you know that in the 1800's, major league hitters could call for the pitch in the location they desired?  Tell me where you'd call for a pitch?

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Q.  Describe the slider generally?

A.  Below average movement, as you can see from the chart in the previous article.  It moves more like a cut fastball.  It's not going to get anybody out because of its movement as such.

Average arm action, from what I could see, and more importantly from the White Sox' reactions.  It ain't Michael Pineda's arm action by any stretch of the imagination.

Naturally, the slider "plays way up" because the hitters have to start the bat when the catcher's signalling for the fastball.  But taken in isolation I'd call it very mediocre.  It needs to be kept out of the hot zones, that is for sure.

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An asterisk applies if hitters are way cheating.  If (in any given outing) they're just swinging as Pryor releases the ball, then of course any offspeed pitch is a garbage strike.  That's the catcher's job, to decide when that is.  He's sitting two feet away from the hitter who is grinding the bat handle into sawdust.

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What's the fix for the fact that Pryor gave up a hit?

A.  Number one, to realize that 0.00 ERA's don't exist, except in Cincinnati I guess.  Pryor will give up hits, including on 100 MPH fastballs.  But how many?  People see hitters go 2-for-25 on 100 MPH fastballs and they go, "See, they'll hit it no matter how hard you throw it" ....

But secondly, STEPHEN PRYOR NEEDS TO THROW 80%-90% FASTBALLS.

Matt Thornton last year threw 87% fastballs - that's all year long, gumby.  Aroldis Chapman threw 84%.   Joel Hanrahan threw 81%.  Neftali Feliz threw 80%.  Look, when Neftali Feliz throws you something other than a fastball, he's doing you a favor.  Mariano Rivera throws (cut) fastballs every pitch, literally 96.8% in 2003, for example.

The slider does complement the fastball when used as a sucker pitch...

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NEXT

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Comments

It's a wonder that he got through the minors without someone teaching him a different bendy pitch. He would be devastating with something that breaks down - a split or curve or something. That slider is meh..

1

How do you slow down a pitcher who can't be hit? I believe they were trying to get him to throw a changeup, but I'm with you, a split would be better. Still, I think he'll survive somehow.

And his slider can get better action than it did last night. Overthrowing a fastball due to adrenalin is survivable, but flattening out a slider is bad. It's not a great pitch, but I've seen it look better than that. And "better than that" is about all he needs for greatness.

~G

2

.... to critique a type of pitch of a player who was extremely amped up on adrenaline is a complete waste of time. It's not that the sample size is too small, but that the pitcher we saw yesterday will not be the same pitcher that we will see today.

3

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Gordon GrossAssuming we can get Montero there. He's out of options.3 min 25 sec ago
SpectatorAll coming off of Shawn Kelley. Amazingly, with Kelley, Morrow and Maurer, I think the Pods have more Bavasi draftees than the M's. In fact, that might be half of the Bavasi draftees left in the majors. (Though I think there was a Anthony Varvaro sighting recently ...) (Aumont maybe?) (OK Tillman, Fister and Josh Fields I guess + Condor of course.)3 min 43 sec ago
MtGrizzlyKivlehan, DJ and Montero in middle of that Tacoma lineup aught to be something.7 min 19 sec ago
Gordon GrossRomero walked! That's about as impressive for him as a HR would be. Do more of that, son.12 min 34 sec ago
Gordon GrossDJ grabs a single up the middle, much like Kivlehan was doing yesterday - seriously, with one of Taylor/Miller relegated to the Rainiers, and the returning Blash to join DJ, Kivlehan, Marte, Hicks, possibly Pizzano or Paolini... that lineup should hit. Whoever has Tacoma tickets might wanna go take a peek. Dunno how their starting pitching will be (depending on who makes the Ms rotation), but the offense shouldn't let you down.14 min 45 sec ago
Gordon GrossGlad you're on board, Matt. Kivlehan and DJ are both verrry good prospects. They just need to separate them positionally so that both of em can stick around. Kivlehan can replace Seth Smith shortly, and DJ can be in line to take over for LoMo. And if LoMo steps into being a full-time stud, then either of the two prospects can be traded. We'll see where that goes - but man, Tacoma should be an interesting lineup.18 min 29 sec ago
okdanHa, how did you beat me to that G? I came here to post the same thing :P20 min 10 sec ago
Gordon GrossKivlehan blasts one out. Because it's Spring and he wants to lift my spirits. I do love that dude.20 min 35 sec ago
SABR MattCall me a major KIVLEFAN!20 min 40 sec ago
SABR MattBy "good year" for Jackson...I didn't mean .265 with 25 dings. I meant the kind of year that gets him listed in the top 20 prospects per BA29 min 8 sec ago
Gordon GrossLOL if Alex Jackson DOESN'T have a big year, that will be among the biggest disappointments in the minors, Matt. Morgan scuffling was something I expected. Jackson needs to do basically what Buxton did at 19 - at least be in that ballpark. Assuming he's in full-season A-Ball anyway, which I fully expect.43 min 9 sec ago
SABR MattBring the heat guys...I'll be subscribing to all of your channels at the start, to give you all your shots. :) I will also be launching one, so I need to dedicate some time to setting up a stats DB again...44 min 24 sec ago
Gordon GrossSpec, I am incredibly stoked for this season and seeing what comes out of the Mariners - and our conversations about them. DOV2 aka The Mystery Van will be a lot of fun.45 min 40 sec ago
SABR MattLet's hope Alex Jackson has a big year too, G1 hour 3 min ago
SABR MattAnd...I feel you, G...my Grandmother is still hanging on and semi-conscious on occasion, but I feel like I already lost her, since she can't talk or move much anymore.1 hour 4 min ago
Gordon GrossAnd yes Matt, that's my thought too - we lost our fallback position, both on trading Elias (because that's what Sanchez was) and trading Deej (since now there is no Choi). Maybe Lara steps up, or Landazuri stays healthy and we get that secondary piece back to enable more flexibility at the deadline. That's what this Spring and Summer are for. Let's hope to see some progress for some of our minor league talents, and more health than many of them had for last year (lookin' at you, Wilson and O'Neill and Lando).1 hour 5 min ago
SABR MattWell, let us hope we haven't lost Victor's Vector forever. Even if he never pitches again, if he lives through this, who knows what he might accomplish?1 hour 5 min ago
SpectatorNo sweat, G. Don't disagree. Glad to have you back as a regular contributor.1 hour 5 min ago
Gordon GrossNot you, Jim - it's an anniversary of sorts for me w/r/t losing someone, so I took the way you wrote it in a way that you did not intend. Like I said, I know you wouldn't mean it that way. :) I'm just in an "everyone is important and losing someone does damage the fabric of the universe and the tapestry woven thereon" sort of mood, I think.1 hour 9 min ago
mojicianHeh!1 hour 14 min ago