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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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.       
2015-07-03 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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