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

...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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

5

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"?

 

6

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.

7

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.

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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.

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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.

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...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????

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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.

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ghost's picture

ghost

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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MtGrizzlyHow did the revised mechanics look?7 hours 13 sec ago
Gordon GrossHe had trouble finding control of the breaker (no big surprise there) and was obviously jacked up, but he was a steady 94. Consider that a huge win for him - so glad he's able to take the mound. We'll get a nice long look at him in the minors as he works back.8 hours 56 min ago
rick82Hultzen at 94? - awesome!9 hours 14 min ago
moethedogThat's even better than the dinger!11 hours 40 min ago
merksHultzen throwing 94 mph so far on fastballs11 hours 41 min ago
moethedogSeager dinger!11 hours 49 min ago
SABR MattAnyone here know Python REALLY well? Preferably in Windows? :)1 day 4 hours ago
SABR Mattwhat happened to Leone today.1 day 10 hours ago
Gordon GrossBrad Miller is just tomahawking the ball around the field this spring. And out of the field.1 day 11 hours ago
SABR MattOh yeah!! Jimmy Graham is one of the top TEs in the game...that is a GREAT thing to give a creative, playmaking QB and beastmode.1 day 12 hours ago
SpectatorWe're all anxious to start playing in our new sandbox, Ben!1 day 12 hours ago
benihanaI'm not gonna judge Marte's ability to play short by a few spring training errors. The kid has to be amp'd up playing with his idol Cano and getting his first real taste of big league action. Let's see how he conducts himself, how he handles AAA, and beyond.1 day 12 hours ago
SpectatorAs it happens, there's a rising shortstop I like better than Marte and a slap hitter with speed who barely ever strikes out I like better than Marte. That's two spoilers.1 day 13 hours ago
Gordon GrossMaybe I'll do a Cousino vs. Marte post, with gifs and all. Verdict: I'd like a third option. Oh wait, I think that's a spoiler...1 day 13 hours ago
Gordon GrossCousino has a slow swing, no doubt. Chone Figgins always looked like he was hitting off a practice tee at the 14th green too though. Cousino looks like that kind of player to me. I don't think there's a lot more you can do with that swing. Considering Chone was a 20+ WAR player after a ridiculously unspectacular minor league career, there are worse outcomes to be aimed at. Problem is, if he's NOT a Figgins type in CF, then I don't know how he makes it.1 day 13 hours ago
SABR MattBTW...having seen Cousino take a few hacks this spring...I am not impressed. His swing is slow-looking...like he's swinging through water.1 day 14 hours ago
SABR MattMarte isn't exactly my Ketel of fish...but I suspect he would get a lot more valuable to us as a CF stopgap if we can't find one in FA next off-season or as trade bait under the heading "athletic CF with high stoploss offensively"...so yes...make it so.1 day 14 hours ago
OBFDang... We have 3 SS that ALL want to be on the major league roster! I Luuuuuuuve eeettttt! :)1 day 15 hours ago
SpectatorMaybe they're finding that there's not as much trade interest in Marte as they thought so they're looking at keeping him and finding a utility role for him? Maybe other GMs concur with Gordon and some of us that he's overhyped?1 day 15 hours ago