Stephen Pryor Scouting Report 6.2.12 - Pitch Mix

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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.

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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.

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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

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Chat: 8/30/15 9:20am
Interests: International Baseball (214407)
Experience, by moethedog

Mather has mentioned that he wants someone with GM experience. That's all fine and good, but for me I'd prefer if they had experience in a winning organization. Someone who came up through the ranks, or spent significant time in a winning culture. Not someone who worked for the Rockies...Show more.

Experience, by moethedog

Mather has mentioned that he wants someone with GM experience. That's all fine and good, but for me I'd prefer if they had experience in a winning organization. Someone who came up through the ranks, or spent significant time in a winning culture. Not someone who worked for the Rockies / Padres / Diamondbacks for years. How would they know what it takes to win?

...Show less
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-09-01 20:15

With you on Kivlehan

2015-09-01 17:54

How odd is it that Choi came back from his suspension and all of a sudden, he's a switch hitter? I mean, I don't think I've ever heard of someone that started switch hitting at 24, let alone at the AAA level.

2015-09-01 17:35

I'd like to see Choi get called up. Boy could we have used an Olerud-lite bat this year. Get Kivlehan up here too... he seems to need some time to learn/adapt to a new level (though he learns fast). Might as well have him start the process this year.

2015-09-01 17:21

Zych has a gun... but I fear it is pretty close to straight arrow.

2015-09-01 16:42

I like Zych, actually...great AAA numbers based on an interesting pitch mix...possible sleeper?

2015-09-01 13:46

Thanks Griz. I highly approve of Romero and O'Malley getting shots. I love the versatility of O'Malley: Plays everywhere and brings a vL bat that is .330-.387-.450 this year and .340-.398-.489 last year. He can play on my team any day. A Bloomquist (versatility) with a decent bat.

2015-09-01 12:55

I still get excited for Elias starts.. am I alone? Really love his repetoire of pitches. When he is on he is on. Hopefully a better game in store from that last one. Think it was good for him overall coming back from Tacoma getting his feet wet. Hope he has a good game/ and can contribute in future

Reply - mickiholley - 9/1/15 1:19pm
Elias is fun to watch...when he is on his game. I think he will be steady.
2015-09-01 12:29

@shannondrayer: First wave of callups are here. Romero, O'Malley, Jose Ramirez and Tony Zych all in #Houston.

2015-09-01 10:46

Blash and yesterday's huge opposite field dinger: http://www.milb.com/...

Kivlehan is quick and simple to the ball: http://www.milb.com/...

Reply - Browns8625 - 9/1/15 12:39pm
Love that opposite field power
2015-09-01 10:35

That's where I am, Matt. He is significantly improved this year in terms of BA. He's hit a heck of a lot of homers in not very many AB's. He K's like Gorman Thomas in the majors, but Thomas only K'ed on 20% of his AAA AB's....not 33%! Thomas was .225-.324-.448 over his MLB years. OPS+ of 114. He hit .241 at AA but .291 in AAA (#Sacramento). Hit below .200 his 1st two significant years in the bigs. Then Thomas figured it out a bit. He was 27 before he was very successful. And that was after another full year stint in the PCL (after two years in the bigs). Blash doesn't have that kind of MiLB pedigree....but this year indicates some sort of plateau leap. Well, maybe. He's a bit of a long shot, But if he can hit .240 he's will be a finie player. Thomas has 4 seasons above .240 (.246, .244, .259, .245) in those seasons his OPS+ was 142, 138, 146 & 137. Thomas didn't really walk more in the minors that Blash has. At .240 Blash is a player, regardless of the K's. But .240 will be tough for him to hit, based on his large AAA K rate which is still above 30% even in this "plateau" year. He may not make contact often enough. Kingman was a productive player when he was north of .235, even early in his career. He was above .260 4 times and in those seasons he was a tremendous hitter. But he Ked in only about 25% of his AAA AB's. The TTO guy can be productive. Trumbo never has walked enough to be a true TTO (55 pts in AA/AAA & 50 pts in MLB) but he is a "similar" guy. When he's in the .240 range he's decently productive. However he only K'ed in about 24% of his AAA AB's. Blash is over the line, K-wise, but way over the line, in a good way, BB-wise. As such, he's a guy that will get a chance.

2015-09-01 09:05

K rate dooms almost everyone when north of 25% in the minors. I said ALMOST everyone. Decent walk rate says something a bit different...he merits a real look.

Reply - Browns8625 - 9/1/15 12:56pm
K rates food teams more than given credit for
2015-09-01 07:05

That's PA's....not (A's

2015-09-01 07:02

BTW (again): Down on the farm, Zunino is 7-12 in 3 games w/3 HR's. He likes AAA pitching! Blash has hit 32 HR's in 403 AA/AAA AB's this year. He's also walked 61 times (100 pts worth!!). But he's struck out 122 times in those 403 AB's. 22 of those HR's have come in his 194 AAA AB's. Wow!! He's a TTO guy. In 225 AAA (A's this year, he's HR-BB-K'ed 112 times....50%) He'll get a #Seattle look-see this year. The whiff rate will be scary (33% over his AAA career = what in the bigs?) but he can certainly ride the ball. Were he a .240-.320 guy with 30+ HR's he would be quite interesting. But, oh my, the K's!

2015-09-01 06:46

Endy Chavez's career vL OPS is .638. He hasn't been a MLB starter in decades, it seems. If you had a ++ bat at SS, like Tulo or classic Jeter (especially if they were a RHB), you could run Miller out there vL. But without some Miller improvement in that category it is unlikely that you use him without a platoon partner. We were using him with a partner at SS, remember. BTW: Marte is 1-17 over the last 4 games. Has anybody noticed if he is being pitched to differently? Has the league adjusted? No BB's in 3 of those games.

2015-09-01 06:25

More depth for LA to make a push. Rugg can play anywhere in outfield. I know Puig has been battling hammy issues.

2015-09-01 05:22

Mariners sell off Ruggiano for cash...

2015-08-31 20:08

agreed...no reason to change managers at this point...we're not contending...why have an interim situation now? Only reason would be if you were going to hire your long-term replacement...no one good is presently available for that job. Might as well just play out the string.

2015-08-31 20:05

I agree with Grizz, Lloyd will be around till the end of the season...Jewett would be no help at all.

2015-08-31 19:47

Grizz...SS hits considerably worse than CF historically.

2015-08-31 17:41

I'm curious why that split would be acceptable at SS but not CF. They are both defense-first positions.

2015-08-31 17:20

In 311 MLB vL PA's, Miller is a .216-.261-.293 with 2 HR's. He better be a GG-type CF glove if he's getting all the vL CF starts. You can support that type of split at SS (because he hits RHP) but it is much harder to do it in CF. He'll likely get some platoon-ish help out there. Could be Taylor with Marte moving to CF, could be Kivlehan. I'm not betting on Landry or us using Jones much. Miller's throwing error the other night may have impacted #Kingston, who I would bet had a conversation with Lloyd.

2015-08-31 16:22

Definately no upside at this point..this is true perhaps..just surprised it didn't happen already I guess. When you got a team picked by some to go all the way, and you are 10 under most all the year, its hard to stick around. Un-inspiring #Baseball, errors o plenty, keeping around a clearly ineffective Rodney, and getting 0 at the plate. Surely not all his fault, but some things are starting to unravel up top. Wonder how involved he has been in all these moves recently.

2015-08-31 15:33

Lloyd is going to last until the end of the year. What is the alternative at this point in the season? Jewett? No upgrade there.

2015-08-31 15:26

Things really really heating up since the Rodney move.. I am beginning to think Lloyd is not getting to the end of the year.

2015-08-31 15:20

#Jackson to the Cubs for PTBNL, their last #International slot, and $211k

2015-08-31 15:16

That will be interesting. Maybe he has an #Austin #Jackson trade worked out.

2015-08-31 15:16

@GregJohnsMLB: #Austin #Jackson traded to Cubs for player to be named and possible #International slot.

2015-08-31 15:14

#Kingston isn't wasting time putting his stamp on things. @RyanDivish: #Kingston said that Miller will play CF for much of the rest of the season. Believes it's his best fit for the organization

2015-08-31 13:25

of the guys with GM experience who are currently unemployed, I like Cherington the best given what he was able to do in building up the Red Sox' farm system. But...even that is still not the best option

Reply - mojician - 8/31/15 1:39pm
What do you think about fried chicken gate and other Red Sox scandals during the Cherington regime? If they fired Z for "lack of leadership" whatever that means. Cherington might have the same rep.
Reply - Browns8625 - 8/31/15 3:23pm
I think they are more interested in who is going to make current roster work out plus additions. Farm certainly needs help, but window for Felix cano etc is shutting.
2015-08-31 13:23

Yeah, there is a glimmer of hope for a Girsch, a Forst, a Coppolella or a McLeod...but only a glimmer. I'm not sure that those organizations will grant permission to interview before the end of the season and Mather seems to want the hire to be made ASAP. We can hope.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/31/15 3:24pm
Yes, I think Mather said he wanted whomever in office by oct
2015-08-31 13:01

Really enjoying the increase of seahawks coverage

Reply - crackerjack - 8/31/15 1:15pm
I love jemanji's style of commentary.
2015-08-31 12:34

Heck, I'd take an intern from the Cards over Ken Williams... Kidding. Mostly.

Reply - crackerjack - 8/31/15 1:15pm
Who said that? haha
2015-08-31 10:48

agreed...if I thought we'd have a shot at him...I'd be all for it...he would be able to tell the Mariners what they're doing wrong in player development

2015-08-31 10:45

I'll say this for the Cards (and anybody significant in that system), they are likely the best run sports franchise in America. I know notheng in particular about Girsch, but I'm not opposed to some of that Cardinal stuff rubbing off here.

Reply - jemanji - 8/31/15 3:10pm
As you say that, now we know why other NFL teams help themselves to the Seahawks' staff with both hands :- )
2015-08-31 09:46

Hm...perhaps not quite as cut and dried as the requotes I've seen...gives me a glimmer of hope...but just a glimmer...I'm 99% sure it's going to be someone like Ben Cherrington, Ken Williams, DiPoto...

alas.

2015-08-31 09:22

Mather's exact quote:

“I would lean toward an experienced general manager or an assistant general manager that’s had a heavy hand in the operation,” he said. “I don’t want to hire someone that’s going to learn on the job for the next two or three years. That is a candidate that I’m not interested.”

2015-08-31 09:22

Wow, never heard of Girsch before. I'm sold! One thing I'd like to see the Mariners talk about - they are located in the best tech market outside of Silicon Valley. It'd be great to hire someone who could pitch the city's software engineers on creating a world class statical analysis department.

2015-08-31 09:09

Zero chance for Girsch...they point-blank said they want a guy with GM experience.

2015-08-31 08:57

This is why I am hoping for Girsch. http://www.fangraphs...

2015-08-31 08:45

Wanting a GM in place before the end of the regular season certainly takes some guys off the table. The hot assistant GM's will need club permission to interview in-season. If the only guys Mather can get are those currently unemployed, I'm not enthused.

2015-08-31 07:11

Yeah can't imagine McCleod leaves Chi-town before the Cubs make the playoffs...

2015-08-31 05:07

I'd love to get McLeod...the question, though, is whether he's available immediately. The Mariners have said they want to hire someone before the post-season.

2015-08-31 03:37

There's a lot of confusing things about the layout and general design of this site.

2015-08-30 19:57

Why does the snippet above say "Experience, by GLS"? I didn't write that.

2015-08-30 19:04

From what I've read, Jason McLeod seems like the best choice. But what do I know?

2015-08-30 17:22

Doesn't DiPoto have a reputation for being good at identifying and developing pitchers but poor at identifying and developing hitters?

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/31/15 4:27pm
That's why we got The Edgar for.. :)
2015-08-30 16:41

I'm in favor of Jerry DiPoto as the new GM. He switches his teams up until it works. He does not let rookies flounder for months while they figure it out. Also, he has been micromanaged worse than they do in #Seattle.

2015-08-30 15:15

Hamstring, Moe.

2015-08-30 15:14

23 games lost on the opposition's last at bat. Craziness.

2015-08-30 13:46

What is the Marte injury report?

2015-08-30 11:13

@shannondrayer: #Montgomery down, Guaipe up. #Montgomery close to innings limit and M's need another RHR today. Wilhelmsen & Kensing most likely not available

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/31/15 4:26pm
Starting to give the edge to pitching in the overall worst luck this season. Hitting has been awful, but between injuries and awful pen..
2015-08-30 10:46

I'm a little confused. Why would we start a conversation, pushing the previous conversation off the main page, if we had nothing ot substance to post other than saying we're starting a (new) conversation?

This is not really aimed at you, okdan. I've noticed the admins do this as well. I'm just curious about the perceived purpose in doing it.

Reply - anonymous - 8/30/15 12:06pm
Hey DaddyO - I'm not sure what happened here. I thought I was just posting a couple of regular shouts. The normal interface was gone, and I just typed into the box that popped up... I was hoping the weirdness that I saw was just for me, but it appears that's not the case! Didn't mean to push everything out. No idea what happened...
Reply - DaddyO - 8/30/15 5:43pm
Ah, got it. Thanks for the explanation. Like I said, my comments were directed not so much to you as to the phenomenon. At least now we know it happens sometimes when the poster does not intend it.
Reply - mickiholley - 9/1/15 2:45pm
the interface seems to be a little touchy lately...don't know if it is just my computer or what but I keep getting script errors and then screen full of code and I have to back out of the wall and then come back in.
2015-08-30 09:20

Starting a conversation...

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