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.

...........

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.

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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

1

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.

2

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! :- )

3

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.

4
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".

5
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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Shoutbox

Chat: 8/28/15 1:16pm
Interests: Environment Money Technology Baseball Politics (212680)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-08-30 00:02

I like how you compare the downloading to the evolution of a player. Two very different things.

2015-08-29 22:11

Wow, got in the car after watching and listening to Randy Newman in a deluge at St. Michelle, to hear about the final inning. What a finish. Welcome to the bigs, Mr. Hicks. Appropriately, Randy played #Louisiana 1927 (Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline), followed by I Love LA, because, Randy Newman.

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:03am
That's pretty appropriate.
2015-08-29 19:42

ChiSox playing Macklemore against the Mariners. That's good ribbing right there.

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:03am
Of course it has to be Macklemore.
2015-08-29 19:39

Barharhar. Seager at Short.

2015-08-29 19:28

Which is exactly what happened. Go figure!!! Posted the first when Marte looked a bit dinged but before the inning ended. Badly played Lloyd!!

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:04am
Dang, too early of a call to make.
2015-08-29 19:26

Thinking about it, Lloyd's PH'ing #Jackson for Miller was a poor move. If Marte got dinged, then he would have to move Seager to SS and Hicks or Montero to 3B. If he wanted #Jackson in CF then he should have subbed him for Smith.

2015-08-29 19:14

Grumpy - that's exactly what I find perplexing. So many logical, sensible, apparently sharp moves just seemed to backfire for no reason that's easy to identify. (I would maintain the same was partially true in Bavasi's case.)
Have often predicted that if you, I, or Harry attempted a GM run, exactly the same thing would happen to us ... fortunately, a surgical procedure is (seems) a little easier to "capture" than is a GM's job in general :- )
Definitely easy to empathize with Zduriencik on that front ...

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:17am
Sometimes it feel like there's just no reason for an off night.
2015-08-29 18:53

I think Mather is right seeking an experienced leader, but not quite for the reasons he states. In fact, I think #Lincoln would be every bit as much of a barrier to progress as Scioscia was in #Anaheim by constantly questioning anything (most things) #Baseball that he doesn't understand. Someone in between that can explain things while letting/keeping the frustration-level of the GM be from team performance, not extraneous matters is absolutely required. #Lincoln represents the ownership, and, for better or worse, is entitled to understand what he's paying for. But I'm VERY skeptical the time he will need in explanation will help a GM get to his job.

2015-08-29 18:39

DiPoto is VERY interesting; a former player with a strong analytical bent. If the RedSox don't make him their GM, I'd love to see him here. BUT... he'd be exactly the kind of guy that would benefit, in my mind, from a "#Baseball guy" in an oversight role to buffer him from #Lincoln & Co. Whether they hired Beinfest or a Dan O'Dowd-type isn't really as important as the "translator"/"buffer" function to prevent the analytical insights being swamped by #Politics and administrivia from above. Beinfest's experience with Loria makes me believe that, along with a proven development background, he could really help a GM who has a forward-looking analytical background but lacks the "old-guy" experience in keeping people accountable and smoothing things upstairs.

2015-08-29 18:00

What about Jerry DiPoto? What do we think of him...he is reportedly a candidate in #Seattle.

2015-08-29 17:24

That said, having a good personality makes Mather way better than any other M's exec in a long time. Hoping that the evident humility he consistently displays will indeed lead him to consult someone wise to help him find a combo great #Baseball mind and strong leader. And then get out of the way and let that person fix this damaged org.

2015-08-29 17:11

IMO the best way to understand the Mariners as an org is that they're a case study of the Peter Principle in action. Every significant person is above their level of competency (minus one now that Jack is gone). So they all just sit there year after year and do...stuff. Mather admitting that he's "not a #Baseball guy" but don't worry because he has other people who he will talk to about how to find a good GM... Peter Principle. The only difference between him and the other PP poster boys #Lincoln and Chuck is that he's got a pleasant personality. -bsr

2015-08-29 16:40

And now the box is back...either something was really wonky on my end or the admins made a change. Apologies if the former...thanks if the latter. :)

2015-08-29 16:34

I'm sorry...but why on Earth did the admins here think it was a good idea to force you to open a pop-up window to shout? That is extremely #Mobile un-friendly, and, even on my desktop computer, is a major disincentive for me to post. The extra click, the pop-up window that deadens the rest of the site behind a gray wall, and the tiny box to type in...seriously...what were you thinking?

2015-08-29 14:32

One emphatic suggestion. The new Shout entry box is much too small both vertically and horizontally. It's suddenly as constricting as the old site's box.

2015-08-29 14:30

To me one of the really damning aspects of Jack's tenure has been the collapse of our top farm talent that was supposed to be the next wave. There were supposed to be some serious hitters in there, and NONE of them have panned out so far as I can tell. It's one thing to have a badly disappointing MLB season that was supposed to validate your regime. It's another to have that happen the same year your future base proves to not necessarily be the future base.

2015-08-29 14:27

Here's some things that we have now that we didn't have on the previous site.

1. Fairly quick load times (this was a MAJOR problem before)
2. Much longer shouts available.
3. Something I tend to forget, but the ability to edit shouts.

2015-08-29 13:52

Why is the open window to submit a shout right from the main screen now gone and I have to click this stupid reply arrow and bring up a pop-up window to shout now? Really...not cool.

2015-08-29 13:35

No blame until this season from me, grump. I've actually supported the guy, for many of the same reasons you've laid out. I think he's made one good managerial decision and that was in hiring Wak, who I liked. That ended quickly when he chose Figgins over his manager. That was a fruit loopy decision, I felt. But we're 7 years into his reign and we're nowhere, right where we were. He had a good shot. He made some good callas and some poor ones. But in the end...he didn't get it done.

2015-08-29 11:58

Playing Guti regularly in Tacoma through May on a minor league field while he was crushing the ball was a real headscratcher. We saw what happened to Flores.

Why management wouldn't let Jack sign Cruz last season was another head scratcher. Ffor steroids violation? We're talking the Mariners here. Boone, Monahan, half the minor league system, it's part of our glorious heritage! For all we know, Guti was juicing, but how would anyone know? He was inactive for so long there was probably no chance to test him. With all his maladies, it would have been a cruel joke as well.

2015-08-29 09:30

There is a lot of talent assembled here for 2016. Definitely find someone who knows how to establish order and confidence right off the bat. But we're going to have to really luck into it.

Failure to sign Cruz last season was the telling blow. Give Jack authority to do the move and we're talking something completely different this season. At worst, we're discussing how hard it is to maintain top level success. Jack learned from the Leuke fiasco (heck, he got us Jaso out of it). But ownership freaked on him - stupidly.

But leaving Gutierrez to marinate in Tacoma (playing in a AAA field no less) while we shuffled through Weeks, Ackley, and traded our catcher stoploss to pick up Trumbo, etc. - I didn't get that. We waited too long and the answer of what to do while Cano went through his thing was a short drive away - and freely available.

Reply - IcebreakerX - 8/29/15 7:41pm
Gutierrez seriously made no sense. Almost EVERY TIME he came back from injury, he'd hit like he'd always hit and put a few in the seats. Why waste his limited swings to AAA?
2015-08-29 08:56

Looks like they will be looking for youngish, analytical, super nerd brainiac to fill the void. luckily they are in #Seattle. This should help in the quest.

2015-08-29 08:14

OTOH I really didn't like the way he handled:
-The Morrow trade
-The Fister trade
Nor can I really speak to the interoffice #Politics Baker comments on.

2015-08-29 08:10

I don't get the Z hate (maybe hate is too strong but you know what I mean). He's been terribly unlucky.
-Guti woukd have been a multiple allstar at at glove position if not for illness.
-Really at least one of Ackley/Smoak/Montero should have worked out. These guys were universally recognized as top flight prospects (well Taro did have his doubts about Smoak). If even one had worked out or if a couple of them had become ML average we'd be in good shape.
-He tried to bring in Cruze in 2014. That would have put us in the playoffs last year.
-He brought in role players like Morse and Morales that picked their time with the Ms to have career worst/injury years sandwiched between years where they were solid contributors to playoff teams.
-Yes you can expect pitcher injuries, but *all three* of Hultzen/Walker/Paxton have spent significant time down which has also hampered their development.
-In a make or break year Cano has a career worst illness impaired 1st half. Back to normal now but too late.

Reply - anonymous - 8/29/15 8:13am
Ya, I'd day this goes far beyond 2014 though. Definately has had bad luck, but not the first year the team underperformed
Reply - IcebreakerX - 8/29/15 7:38pm
Sometimes you have luck... Sometimes you make it. Much like Snelling or Saunders getting hurt all the time, Z never had an inkling of luck. He'll get lucky somewhere, but a black hole would appear somewhere else. I don't attribute that to luck. I attribute that to Z.
2015-08-29 04:57

“I expect a better brand of #Baseball accountability, acceptance of young players" That's from Z's letter to Wak, a month before he canned him. Yet in '09 the only young (less than 26) fulltime players we had were Lopez (who had a very nice year in 613 AB's) and Wlad, who was given a chance and didn't come through. 22 year old Saunders came up late and had a 45 OPS. BTW, we were 10 games over Pythag that year. In '10, Saunders had LF handed to him, we got Smoak late and even Tui had 138 AB's. It was the veterans Figgins and Bradley who were deadly! Fister was youngish at 26 that year. I suppose Wak mishandled him, Z?

2015-08-28 18:55

Baker weighs in. Wow. http://www.seattleti...

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/29/15 8:16am
Really outlined the issue.. constant changes within regimes will not lead to prolong success
2015-08-28 16:52

Ah, thanks for clarifying, okdan. I understand what you're saying.

My take? Doc has his reasons for going this route. We just don't know what those reasons are. Perhaps if we DID know we would understand, perhaps we would even understand that it's best we don't know.

And there are real people behind the creation and maintenance of this site who you've gotta figure are doing the best they can. Admittedly they face some challenges.

2015-08-28 15:52

That was me - okdan.

2015-08-28 15:52

I am as big of a supporter / fan / devotee / reader of Doc as anyone. SSI has been one of my top 5 websites for nearly a decade. It makes me sad to see how the site has deteriorated. The frustrating part is that the quality of the #Technology and infrastructure doesn't do justice to the effort and quality content that Doc churns out. If anything, my frustrations with this site are *because* I respect Doc so much. There is no shortage of free website templates out there, that with simple configuration would be light years better than this one. And when you're talking about a simple blog, the hosting costs per month are not significant. I bet just between the frequent posters here we could easily cover it.

2015-08-28 14:48

And we both recognize that Doc is not following the dominant model. It's part of what makes Doc...Doc.

I agree with you that the new Klat site has brought some frustrations and unexpected complications. But to me (and to many, I hope) those hiccups are worth enduring because of the unique offering that is SSI. Of course, everyone has to decide that for themselves, and it's reasonable for someone to make a different choice.

I'm not trying to pick on you, just sticking up for a friend who I've never met but much appreciate.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/29/15 8:19am
Well put daddyo, I have not been on here long to see the changes and hiccups you are all outlining, but I'd stick with and see what happens
Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:25am
I'm usually just lurking, but I think it will keep getting better. It's always changing and improving.
2015-08-28 14:40

DaddyO, when I say "free" I mean free to users. That's the dominant model. Even if ads are part of the financial side and pay for the operating cost of the service, users mostly don't pay on the internet. There are some exceptions here and there, but mostly that's how it works.

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:24am
Very true, and I'd rather see an ad on the site than have to pay for it, myself.
2015-08-28 14:36

And they have a big Netflix banner ad at the top. My "notice things" skills are definitely deteriorating!

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:22am
That's kind of annoying. Is it based on ad preferences?
2015-08-28 14:35

Well now that I scroll further down on SB pages they do have ads buried down there.

2015-08-28 14:34

Well, now that I look at SB Nation it looks like they do provide ad-free service. More power to 'em. More power to Doc too.

2015-08-28 14:32

All I'm sayin' is, Doc pays good #Money out of his own pocket to provide this place. No ads to offset his costs, or his labor. He provides his insightful and unique commentary for free. And it's a good thing he does, because I couldn't afford it if he did! I can't imagine anything appropriately called a "social media service" doing that.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/29/15 8:21am
Sounds like, from what I'm reading, I should read more Doc articles. Still learning ins and out of site.
2015-08-28 14:15

Almost all social media services are free. I don't think SBNation would just delete people's comments at random.

2015-08-28 14:11

HEY! Some really high class commentary by superior minds like us (heh heh!). Just GONE!

'Tis the WORLD's loss! 'Tis a cruel fate! 'Tis...'Tis...(DaddyO composes himself)...Aw, it's just some stuff we wrote off the top of our head that will be forgotten tomorrow anyway.

We have a RIGHT to demand more from a site where ... where ...umm ...uhh ...we don't pay ... a nickel...for so much...enjoyment. Hard to complain bout that!

Last evening in the sixth inning of a crucial game in the LLWS our cable went out for a few hours. And we pay a BUNCH for that service.

It's all good! Thanks Doc for the #Environment you provide for all us. For nuttin'.

Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:27am
Ha! That's a pretty accurate assessment for content lost on the web. I get irritated when something I post somewhere is lost, but you're right. If you want it, think about backing it up.
Reply - crackerjack - 8/30/15 12:28am
There's also Internet wayback, but it only captures pieces here and there. They say once it's on the net it's there forever. Maybe not?
2015-08-28 14:04

SSI used to be my first stop every morning, even before checking my email. Now, well... this site has made me not want to visit nearly as much as before. And that is saying a lot, considering how much I love Jeff's writing. I thought the initial clunkiness might be resolved, but apparently I was mistaken. Sorry to be so negative, and I realize that it is a free site and I am not entitled to anything, but seeing so many of today's shouts vanish sort of pushed me over the edge.

Reply - Richard - 8/28/15 3:52pm
Thank you for letting us know about the issue(s). We are working hard to improve performance and remove the clunkiness... I hope that you'll continue to let us know how we are doing.
2015-08-28 13:16

You can bet things will speed up.from here now that he is gone

2015-08-28 13:16

Yeah right today's shouts vanished.. was excited to see reaction to the Jack farewell tour

Reply - Richard - 8/28/15 5:32pm
The "lost" shouts are in the previous conversation - they were accidentally moved to last year. Sorry sports writers - we will try to not have this happen again!

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