Brandon Maurer - a Big FIVE?!
C'mon you punk Angels, he sez, lessee what you GOT

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Some things, you buy them, get them in the mail, tear them open ... they're exactly as advertised.  And disappointing.  

Other things, you tear them open, and they're exactly as advertised, and ten times better than you thought.  

That's one of the joys of life for me, getting something that's what somebody said it was, and I like it a lot better than I expected to.  I'm going to sell a spray can that does this to things.  $19.95 per can, buy now and we'll send the second can for the cost of shipping and handling.  You can spritz down Brandon League and turn him into Tom Wilhelmsen.

..........

Somebody bought my product.  He grabbed the can with gusto, crushed it in a powerlifter grip, held it at arm's length and buried Gil Meche in a cloud of magic mist.  Turned him into Brandon Maurer.

One Pitch F/X series and I can tell you right now that Brandon Maurer is what they said he was, plus the magic mist.  By "they" I mean Gordon Gross and, following him, the national sites that have Maurer lurking maliciously at the bottom of the Fab 100 lists.

..........

Just as a f'r instance, here is the first AB from Monday:

Now BaseballHQ had Maurer on the fringes of their top 100 based on -- grok this, now -- an "average-solid" 91-95 fastball that he "throws with confidence and command."   Top 100 based on that.

 

WHOA WHOA WHOA hold on.  Full Stop Right There Kid.  If you're calling that Average-Solid you need a dictionary.  94 MPH right out of the bullpen?  96 MPH right above the hands for swinging strike three?  What are you talking, average solid?

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HQ had Maurer as a borderline-elite prospect based on three pitches, FB, slider, curve, but "74-77 MPH changeup needs work."  

77 Change needs work?  Say WHAAAaaaaat?  Maurer threw an overhand power yakker on pitch 2 that dropped straight down ... and now look at the shape on that 85, not 77, MPH changeup.  That's a ferocious change, baby.  Right down the heart, thrown with shape, location and sequence that says "how many pitches is this going to take."

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Next AB below.  We trust you don't need Dr. D's interpretation as to whether the locations pass inspection.

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Next AB.  Fastball UP, where manly men throw it, in on the hands.  JAM PITCH.  Let's take this fight to the enemy.  I like how this kid thinks.

Did you grok the way that Maurer threw his fastballs real high?  INTENDING to miss bats rather than hit them?

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

We don't say that one inning proves Maurer a TOR starter.  But there was a vibe you got when Michael Jordan came out before his first game and bounded around the court for his first layup drill.  Maurer is more than advertised.

After watching 500 pitcher debuts in the past, we know the difference between an oversell and an undersell.  This kid looks scary.  If I didn't know better, I'd wonder whether he was #2 after Taijuan, ahead of Paxton and Hultzen and Erasmo.

Eyes Slideways.  A Big Five?  This is getting ridiculous.  Cut Jon Garland Right Now.

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Comments

1
Lonnie of MC's picture

...that Maurer made it a Big Four? Regardless, one thing that having a Hultzen, Paxton, Walker Cerberus is that some of the other guys are going to fly in under the radar and make a huge splash when they arrive. I just hope that other teams are paying attention to the Maurer, Fernandez, and Carraway's in the system so that they might have an idea of what it would take to get them.

2

At least Maurers getting attention. We couldn't even fit all of the big 4 very easily so it is pretty important that other clubs value the pitching we have. There's so many ways to go with the rotation this year, but it's hard to believe they don't trade away about 3 starters between now and this time next year and if you include the next wave maybe more than 4. Heck, Garland, Bonderman and Saunders could be 3 then we're still looking at Noesi, Beaven, Ramirez, Felix and the 4. Say they keep Noesi at AAA and trade the 3 new vets, there's still a likelihood they trade 1 or 2 more before counting Carraway, Fernandez, Sanchez, etc.. The bullpen is looking at similar depth too, Tacomas pitching it's going to be a fun show this year. I'm certainly not complaining, but it looks like they will have to make some choices on who to keep very soon.

3

is the big brother in the big 5, right? Those 5 and Felix can't even all coexist in a rotation, let alone Iwakuma, Beaven, etc.

4

I'm not down on Maurer, but super-high on Tyler Pike, ultra-polished low-90s teen lefty.  Stepped right out of high school and put up a 1.78 ERA and 10.1 K/9.
And you can't ask for much more than Victor Sanchez did at 17, first time in the states.  First 17-year-old to pitch for Everett since ... kid named Felix in 2003.  Note: Everett is above rookie league, where almost all teenagers start.
And the scouting types seem to prefer huge Brazilian lefty Luiz Gohara (6-3, 220 at age 16) to any of them.
Wonder if the trademark has lapsed on "Big Eight"?
 

5

I've read about them all too , but they're still a ways out. Sanchez could push into that conversation this year but by the time the others really do we could be talking 10 or 12 with others having been drafted. Should the M's start another MLB franchise in Portland or Vegas so they can fit them all into rotations?
The rotation is really still thin though...oops, thought it said Marlins.

6
Lonnie of MC's picture

I'll be able to give you a better grasp on where Gohara fits in the great scheme of things in a couple of weeks when I'm down in Peoria and putting "eyes on". I'm very intrigued with the kid and from what I've been hearing he may be in the top 5 of arms in the system.

7
Lonnie of MC's picture

Isn't it great when you consider a kid of 22 as the "big brother"?

8

to your posts at MC. You've been covering it well with pics and video. Hoping to hear more about Pike, Brazis, Elias, Sanchez, Fernandez, Shipers, of course Smith and whoever stands out. And those are just the pitchers.

9

Is something I'm pretty curious about too. His bat profiles pretty well there and he definitely has the speed to cover some ground but how he's adjusting and his defensive reads haven't been covered anywhere that I've seen. It seems he could be the 1st callup if CF is the need and he's adjusting well enough.

11
Lonnie of MC's picture

...for this opportunity to geek it up.
First off, Martinez played CF in 11 games last year for the AA Jackson Generals, so at least he has his feet wet. In those 11 games he had 24 opportunities and converted on all 24 to give him a fielding percentage of 1.000. While in the process of gathering in those 24 chances he showed a range factor of 2.18. In the Southern League in 2012 the median RF/G for the top 10 centerfielders was 2.31, so he would appear maybe not have quite the range as an average starting centerfielder in the Southern League. This, of course could easily be chocked (chaulked?) up to learning the position since it is so vastly different from 3rd. The only way it could be more different is if Martinez had been a catcher, or a base coach...
Good Lord.... will somebody please make tomorrow be April 1st so that we can get this season started????

12

That if his first stint there was already approaching average it seems that he could surpass average at least with work. Hard to say with that small of a sample but that's still positive. I'd imagine he stays with the club through the first couple cuts so there should be some opportunity to see how he looks. Speaking of which, the first cuts may come before Felix even gets in a game.
I'm with you on getting going. Very exited for the season to start.

13

in case you missed it. He caught Maurers last start last season where there was a65 pitch limit but he cruised through 6 innings.
"This guy is the real deal.' He throws everything. He's got a power fastball, and he locates it really well. He's got a good curveball he can throw for strikes at any point in the count. And he's got a good cutter/slider -- whatever he wants to call it -- that he can really put guys away with. And he's got a good changeup. So he's really got a well-balanced four pitches."
Maybe his change is slightly better than reported? Might have just been good that day, but that would be a sign of progress anyway. OK, it could just be fluff or that Zunino hasn't yet seen much better. Worth noting he still listed it last.

14
ghost's picture

The reason his range factor was low was (a) partly random chance (how many balls did he have any chance to catch and how many of them fell in for hits? some of that is luck in such a short number of games) and (b) the Jackson Generals were a *VERY* high-K team. So the chances were low for ALL of the fielders in Jackson.

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Chat: 6/30/15 11:58pm
Interests: Health (185903)
A question:  When was the last time a ML...Read more.
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-07-04 04:40

Just took a look and the M'S gotta take 8 of 9 to be above 500 at the break.. here's to dreaming

2015-07-04 04:36

Ya, hate when that happens. It was good with 4 homers in all

2015-07-03 23:42

Of COURSE the M's put on an offensive show tonight. I didn't get to watch a snitch of the game. Happens every time.

2015-07-03 22:45

Elias, Nuno, Bartender to AAA.

2015-07-03 20:34

Hell of an offensive show tonight. But....what will tomorrow bring

2015-07-03 17:47

Kind of forced to listen to a guy with that offensive track record. Zunino sure looks like he's buying in.

2015-07-03 17:37

They *are* playing to be the tailenders aren't they? If they hit last place in a 1-division league, just keep in mind. Edgar. Is. Good.

2015-07-03 17:19

Got a shot for last in the AL tonight. Are the Mariners considered an addiction for those of us who follow so close? Not sure how I can still get excited to spend my Friday night watching this team, but I do!

2015-07-03 17:04

Lil video on espn ap on non-stars.. guy picked Cano number 1. Hard to blame him, and that's the national attention this team has. He definately isn't playing up to par or his paycheck, and it seems to be contagious. On paper....hmm wow not bad, but on field...ummm? Big changes coming up ahead.

2015-07-03 16:34

robinwilliamsmovietitle...quite sweet. It's #Independence Day, it's hot, and clearly my brain is a little addled this afternoon.

2015-07-03 15:34

Rollins has been looking dominant in Tacoma. Decisions, decisions.

2015-07-03 10:59

On Taijuan, edit to add that he looked terrif after 76 pitches but the NL strategy played in to it. And so happened to pay off in a full nickels bin, as it were ...

2015-07-03 10:57

DaddyO … but how sweet is it to have the Taylor/Logo combo in, and Willie out … got to give it up that the M's ate the contract. Politically it's not easy either; you make a decision to give a "reach" contract and then next midseason you admit it was a reach. Very tough to do in a boardroom.

2015-07-03 10:56

Kazmir would have shut out any lineup in the majors on Thursday … not to say our offense doesn't have problemos but Kazmir could not miss the glove, even with his curve ball. If it were bowling he'd have scored 301.

2015-07-03 10:55

Taijuan gets quick hooks in lieu of / in addition to an IP count. Probably has its benefits. The last 10-20% of your reps cost as much wear-and-tear as the first 80-90% ...

2015-07-03 10:24

I question the quick hook on Taijuan more than Felix... 72 pitches and done? Did he look that bad after so few pitches?

2015-07-03 07:02

#Jordan Pries needed 33 pitches to get one out in the 1st w/Tacoma last night. 5 ER's, 2 BB's, 3 hits and two homers. Rollins, now on rehab, threw two innings of zero run ball. 1 hit and 4 K's. Beimel is likely gone soon.

2015-07-03 06:51

Yup zERO consistency.. they we're going for their first 3 game shutout in 7 years. Honestly.. where is the all star break

2015-07-03 06:07

This team is just sad.

2015-07-03 00:05

The Mariners are incapable of winning streaks. Losing streaks maybe, but not winning ones.

2015-07-02 21:04

The worst part of tonight... Billy Beane will now get more for Kazmir when he trades him, so today's lack luster game will haunt us for years to come.

2015-07-02 18:40

As expected, the first five minutes of the pregame show were spent gushing about Willie Bloomquist and what a shame it is His Belovedness has to move on. And my worst fear was realized. They opined about how once he hangs 'em up, perhaps he might come back and join the M's media team. Again, he's probably a nice guy. But I don't wanna see him. To me he represents all that is wrong with the Mariners.

2015-07-02 17:21

I think we, and alot of people, just expect so much of Felix. It was a rare game overall for him. Def disapointing, and he got hit up early. He will need a big bounce back that's for sure. I think alot of it is the high expectations any elite pitcher, or player in any sport,faces

2015-07-02 16:32

Thank you Matt. I feel better now.

2015-07-02 15:10

The change: his Pitches per inning ratio has dropped from 15.2 in 2009 to 14.5 in 2014. He's actually having a bit of an off year in 2015 overall, but that is largely due to getting absolutely shellacked twice at random.

2015-07-02 15:03

As for your question regarding pitch counts over time...Felix isn't losing 120 pitch games because he doesn't care to pitch deep into games and risk injury or because he's getting soft-shoed by the Mariners. He's losing 120+ pitch games because he's pitching more efficiently. His IP counts per season are steady and among the best in baseball.

2015-07-02 15:01

Neither, Tacoma. Felix was pulled from that game because he was visibly laboring late...throwing a TON of pitches and limping a bit on his bad ankle after having to field his position in the 6th. They yanked him because a laboring Felix who's struggling with his command can actually get really terrible really fast.

2015-07-02 14:48

I know I'm stomping on hallowed ground, but... is anyone else bothered by the last Felix start? Yeah, I know it was a no runs, 1 hit masterpiece in 100+ temperatures BUT.... leaving after 6 innings after throwing 96 pitches against a division rival in a game the Mariners really needed to win.
I realize the bullpen was fairly well rested, and Lloyd really mis-managed the bullpen to lose the game... BUT 96 pitches? And this highlights the fact that Felix has not thrown more than 120 in close to two years. Aren't aces / kings supposed to be horses that occasionally throw 130 pitches when it is needed?
Is Lloyd / Mariner's coaching treating Felix with kid gloves too much? Or has Felix decided that pitching another 7 to 10 years is more important than giving max effort this year?

2015-07-02 14:36

If he bombs like that Matt....in some extended trial....then I'm good with that.

2015-07-02 14:32

He'll at least get a September call-up. No reason not to.

2015-07-02 14:30

I am sure Guti gets at least 80 at bats before they cut ties with him... and based on the fact he can not play back to back days... that is easily well into August. I agree that Romero SHOULD get another significant look, but I doubt it happens until August... and possibly September.

2015-07-02 14:30

Most AAAA players get two shots at least. I'm sure Romero will too. And when he's finished hitting .198 with 5 HR and 100 K, hopefully we won't extend a third audition.

2015-07-02 14:00

Looks like the M's could get a young RHB who hit .352-.391-.599 at A+/AA and .321-.365-.559 at AAA. Well....I'm loading the dice. That's Stefen Romero, of course. And I dropped his first AAA year '13, which wasn't a disaster. In '13 Romero, in 411 Tacoma PA's hit .277-.331-.448 with 11 homers. Over 444 '14-'15 Tacoma PA's, he's hit .321-.365-.559 with 21 homers. Matt, I know you hate Romero based on the fact that he doesn't walk much and fizzled in #Seattle last year, but the guy has upped his game to the next level and can slug. If Guti doesn't hit, Romero should get a shot.

2015-07-02 13:20

The timing on this is weird just because it didn't make any sense to send him down lat time, but it is driven by this fact: Miller is hitting .143-.176-.153 vL this year, approx. .160-.215-.250 over the last two and .206-.260-.296 for his career. He's a hard hitting SS vs. RHP, but needs the vL help. Taylor isn't ripping up Tacoma right now (.701 over the last 28 days),but he's at .308-.370-.418 vL for the year, including his #Seattle stint. It doesn't make up a lot more flexible, but it helps us some.

2015-07-02 13:09

It had to be done. Taylor was hitting again in AAA, and we need someone who can actually play short up here to bench Miller against tough lefties.

2015-07-02 12:41

Oh no. They'll probably make Wille B the new manager, and all he'll want to do is talk about grit. jk. At least I won't have to listen any more to the incessant fanboy talk from the M's announcers and commentators.

I'm sure WIllie is a fine man personally. I'm just relieved to no longer be afflicted with his presence as a player taking the spot of someone who can contribute more.

I imagine there is a funereal atmosphere in the front office, where WIllie seemed to symbolize everything Fanboy Mariner-- overhyped and overrated.

2015-07-02 11:40

The end of Boom Boom. About...a year and a half too late

2015-07-02 11:33

Willie Bloomquist DFA'd and Chris Taylor brought up. Maybe some winning will break out.

2015-07-02 11:23

Take Luis Gohara for instance. He's now in #Everett kicking off his 3rd minor league season. It seems like he's been in the org forever, but he's only 18 years old. How he performs for the next 10 weeks or so in #Everett and then next year in full season ball is what will tell us if we actually have something of value.

2015-07-02 11:16

Vargas is a big, strong 16-year old. He's a $1.7 million lottery ticket. We'll see first if he can even play and progress in the minors. Probably, we won't even know if he's a prospect for at least two, if not three, years. It's a lottery ticket, a draw at the deck.

2015-07-02 11:05

Who gets booted really depends on how well Elias does today

2015-07-02 11:04

Another big athlete with unorthodox swing with contact issues. Chances high he moves to the OF, where he may not have enough hand-eye skills to succeed.

2015-07-02 11:03

Iwakuma: 1 R in 5.2 IP in AAA, with 6 punchies. Got a blister (says that happens every year when he starts throwing after a long hiatus) and expects to make his next start...soooooo....who do you send out of this rotation when Iwakuma arrives? I'm gonna be TICKED if they boot #Montgomery, the way he's pitching...but that is probably what they'll do, since he has options.

2015-07-02 11:00

Mariners sign Carlos Vargas (Dominican) to 1.7 M bonus. Thoughts?

2015-07-02 10:58

That would be very nice...but even if Bloomy doesn't retire, DFA'ing him can achieve the same result. But if you take Rollins off the DL, he has to be called up or sent back to his club that very moment. Who in the current bullpen leaves for Rollins? (I'd send out Beimel)

2015-07-02 10:27

Best case scenario? Bloomquist retires, Rollins onto the 40 man, Taylor in #Seattle.

2015-07-02 10:25

that would also be fine with me (Bloomquist DFA)

2015-07-02 10:23

@shannondrayer: Chris Taylor on his way up. Mariners could have another move Sat. as they must make a decision on Rollins by then.

2015-07-02 09:56

More likely WFB.

2015-07-02 09:47

Sounds like the club has come up with a miraculous, imaginary Ackley injury to get him off the roster and get Taylor up...I hope that is what happens here.

2015-07-02 09:24

I was driving in to work a little while ago and on the radio Salk mentioned something about Ackley being overweight and injured. Is that true? Maybe there's an injury, but he's never looked overweight to me.

2015-07-02 09:02

@ProspectInsider: Not hearing anything about a trade involving #Seattle. Taylor's call-up appears to be about an option, DFA or injury.

2015-07-02 08:24

Taylor apparently called up

2015-07-02 06:49

I noticed the Pizzano absence, too...GLS> He was removed mid-game a while back and hasn't been back. Drats. I want him in Tacoma. I did not watch Walker throw yesterday as I was listening to the game while tying flies....but I'm assuming he's still on that Buehrle-like rhythm where he gets a sign and throws. Little has been mentioned of that since the first game he did that....which was the game that began this streak.

2015-07-02 04:16

WOW...that...is some serious data-oriented managing. It explains why they yanked him after six today, as well. They must be watching the radar gun closely with him...looking for signs of the sort of fatigue that can lead to micro-tears.

2015-07-02 04:10

Lloyd came running out of the dugout with the trainer for apparently no reason to check Taijuan's #Health; even Taijuan was confused. Later, cameras showed that he scapula-shrugged twice on the mound, as if annoyed at a pain, and later later, Brooks showed it was three pitches into a little velo drop on the graph. (I don't support or not support him more or less but) Lloyd has a V-E-R-Y sharp in-game eye. Even sharper than Piniella's, looks like.

2015-07-02 04:05

Taijuan's command continues to spiral upward universes away from his first several starts. *Reminded* you even more today of the young Curt Schilling template, using the fastball alone to totally dominate. … also, his spikeball was the best it has ever been for him, absolutely the best ever, and yet he threw it only 2x per inning. ?!

2015-07-02 04:01

Quick reminder guys: no language at all, including *#@#$ marks. Thanks :- )

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