Brandon Maurer vs Gil Meche
Moshing G-Moneyball


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


=== 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.


=== 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.


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.


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.


=== 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.







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.


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


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.

Lonnie of MC's picture

...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".

ghost's picture

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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