Stephen Pryor Scouting Report 6.2.12 - Pitch Mix

 .......................................................................................

Q.  This 85% fastball challenge prescription ... does this contradict your complaint about Brandon League "not thinking out there"?  Thought you didn't like predictable 1-0 fastballs.

A.  It doesn't, thanks for asking.  Contradict anything, that is.

Stephen Pryor's fastball passes a point of critical mass.  It's a Goose Gossage, an Armando Benitez fastball.  Pryor's fastball is overwhelming; Brandon League's is most definitely not.  

.

Q.  Why?  Both fastballs are around 97 MPH.

A.  League's fastball reads 97 sometimes, but it's thrown from a low arm slot, it's thrown EVERY BLINKIN' PITCH at knee level, and it sinks.  The result is a flat sidearm fastball that "keeps the bat in the zone a long time."  The hitter dips his back knee and then the bat is on a plane with the pitch the entire time it's in the air.

Pryor's fastball comes over the top, runs downhill and then WHOOOOP shoots back up off the BMX jump.  It's more reliably fast.  It's a different conversation.

"Thinking" for Pryor involves this:  (1) moving the fastball around the zone the best he can.  (2) Throwing as hard as he possibly can.  (3) Making sure he gets strike one.  (4) Throwing 3-4 sliders an inning, total, all right on the black or preferably off the black.  Like the first two sliders he threw to Viciedo.

.

Q.  Will batters swing at a slider even though the advance scouting says he likes to throw it outside the zone?

A.  The strikeout of Konerko, how far was that off the plate?  About two first downs' worth?

If an Aroldis Chapman throws a ball 100 MPH, remember, that adds seven feet to the "length" of the pitch.  Ever been to a batting cage?  Even a broken-down old pug like me can hit 90, 95 MPH if the speed is the same.  

You hear the pop and you swing your bat in rhythm and the ball's there.  That's what they mean by "cheating," simply swinging in time to the release of the ball.  ... now picture yourself swinging in time to 90 MPH, pop, swing ... except this one was 100 MPH.  You know how far it was past your bat?  7 feet!

Now remember, also, the hitter doesn't get to decide to swing when the ball's 10 feet away.  Even if he can swing in 0.20 seconds -- one eyeblink to get your bat into the strike zone!! -- he's got to decide whether to swing when the ball is 30-40 feet away from him.

............

Ever watch the final strikeout of Randy Johnson's no-hitter?  The ball was like 7 feet off the ground.  Joe Morgan, commenting on Randy Johnson in the playoffs in 1995, remarked sadly "You just don't have enough time to decide whether to swing.  You. Just. Don't. Have. Enough. Time.

.

Q.  Don't get beat with your second-best pitch, eh...

A.  The above is a baseball cliche that, a lot of the time, sends Dr. D screaming out into the night... Tom Wilhelmsen will crack off a 12-6 curve and somebody will line a GWRBI.  You'll hear somebody say "you need to throw your best pitch there" ... what is TW supposed to do, throw the same pitch every time?

............

But every cliche has a grounding in truth, and Stephen Pryor is the guy they were thinking of here.  His fastball is amazing, just amazing, and the other pitches need to run with ribbons around the maypole of his fastball.

Pryor don' have a Daniel Bard slider, and he don' have no bidness throwing waist-high sliders down the middle ... or at the very least, he's got no business "showing" a batter his slider twice in one AB.  Not for strikes.  One called strike, first pitch, MAYbe... any further sliders gotta be where they can't hurt him.  Make them beat him on the fastball.  Don't worry, they won't.

Slap me silly, once Pryor goes to the 12 fastball, 3 slider pitch mix, all the sliders on the black or off the black, they're going to make new rules.

.

BABVA,

Dr D

Klat Categories: 

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <i> <b> <img> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <div> <strong> <p> <br> <u>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Shoutbox

Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
MtGrizzlyDrayer: • LHP James Paxton is with the team and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. While a Saturday starter has yet to be named, it most likely will be Paxton if the bullpen session goes well.31 min 25 sec ago
IcebreakerXStill need to catch up, but if the Kemp-as-backup rumors are still around, I wonder if Plan A is actually Tulo?1 hour 43 min ago
rick82Ackley played some very good defense tonight as well. He's rated the #2 defensive left fielder in baseball over at Fangraphs.7 hours 5 min ago
Bat571Gordon Edes now says Cardinals. Dodgers, Pirates, BlueJays, Orioles, and Athletics are in on Lester. Others saying BlueJays/Orioles offers would have to be clearly better than others for Boston to trade in the division. How Oakland can compete with Pirates, Dodgers, or Cardinals on the prospect front (or the M's) is beyond me. Interesting. But this sounds like M's are out of it, never were in it, or are stealthily in the weeds on it. I'm betting they're closer to in it than the A's or the AL East teams, but that Boston is trying to get a St. Louis - Pittsburgh bidding war going and are ignoring the others for the most part.7 hours 7 min ago
bsrWasn't me who said that. Really we think that? I thought it was a pretty comical and lighthearted (and honest) comment. I mean...our lineup is by far the worst in the league, like they don't know it? If anything I'd see them wanting to prove the guy wrong for ragging on them. “I don’t know how we’re doing it. We’re just so offensively challenged. Other teams have a shotgun. We’ve got a BB gun. So we shoot them between the eyes, and try to get the hell out of town before they know what hit them.”7 hours 11 min ago
mojicianLloyd is possibly the most fun Mariner. You may be right that his BB gun comment deflated the team.7 hours 28 min ago
bsrSome interesting flavor on Ackley's hitting struggles in this Drayer piece. Both McC and Ackley say he puts too much pressure on himself and tries to do too much, especially when he's been slotted at the top of the lineup (do we still have to argue with the stat crowd about whether lineup position matters to player performance?). Supposedly he is making progress toward maturing and feeling more comfortable staying within himself. That would be wonderful. I have to say I really like Lloyd and his no nonsense honesty in interviews. Seems to relate well to the players too. (http://mynorthwest.com/374/2574155/Notebook-Second-time-might-be-the-charm-for-Ackley-hitting-No-2)7 hours 36 min ago
rick82Name the bat(s) you'd take, straight up.8 hours 43 min ago
SABR MattStill think Walker is wildly inconsistent mechanically. Would gladly trade him for a worthwhile bat.8 hours 47 min ago
rick82Walker had a good number of swinging K's tonight. Gave up a couple homers. Of course, when Montero hits homers in Salt Lake, people say it don't count, so, take it either way, but be consistent.8 hours 54 min ago
SABR MattI just wish the Mariners would get something done somewhere8 hours 55 min ago
Bat571Rosenthal says Cardinals, Pirates, Dodgers still in it, but per Peter Abraham of the Globe, Boston still hasn't received a proposal they like. Squeezing the lemons.9 hours 10 min ago
SABR MattCardinals and Dodgers also still in the mix...9 hours 14 min ago
SABR MattBOOOOOOOOO9 hours 16 min ago
Bat571Gordon Edes reminded his followers that the last time Boston traded a star for prospects at the deadline was Heathcliff Slocumb for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Ouch, that hurt !9 hours 27 min ago
SABR MattLast teams standing for Lester - Pirates and Mariners. Could be a long evening.9 hours 41 min ago
Bat57193 pitches.9 hours 53 min ago
Bat571Walker now out, but 5 IP, 96 pitches looks like normal end of turn.9 hours 54 min ago