James Paxton's Mechanics
Mechanics 100% A-OK. Only issue left is Brain Targeting and Aim


We're runnin' a little bit low tonight.  We'll just give you the last page of the file, if that's OK with you.  This isn't comprehensive; it's just a sample, to give you a feel for what we've looked at on tape.

Here is the Kansas City highlight video.  We went through the full game on DVR, as we did the other games.

Here is the Brooks game log, Paxton vs. KC ... 95.5 MPH fastball, 9-for-13 curves for strikes, an 88 MPH changeup was weak ... he rolled out a slider, thrown like a cutter, but broke so hard you could call it a slider.  8 thrown, 8 for strikes.


At the Top

Here is K-Pax in his debut game vs. TB.  He's at (or near) "the top," floating his weight.  Baseball scouts are looking for posture, symmetry, tempo, and rhythm.  They want the head over the belly button and back foot, they want the pitcher to get as tall as possible, lining everything up on the centerline.  They want the hands to break in good tempo, etc etc.

At SSI we are wondering about his Center of Gravity (CG):

  • Where is it?  Is it as low as possible -- "keeping weight underside" -- given that he's "standing tall"?
  • Does it flow from his back TOE as he drives?
  • Does it gain momentum in a smooth fashion?
  • Does he tilt the back of his skull even fractionally backwards of his CG, creating vertigo?
  • Is the ball spiritually connected to his CG, as if he "likes" the baseball?
  • etc. 
  • etc.

From the first, Tampa game:

And from Tuesday night's 10K shutout of Kansas City (taken at a slightly different moment, hence the leg angle):

season, was his fastest one of the game.  98 MPH.  Effortlessly.

This is the power left hand pitcher the way you draw him up on the chalkboard.


Dr D





1. The heater on the inside black to RH'ers.
2. The backdoor bender to RH'ers.
3. The curve in the dirt for a K!
nice analysis Doc.
The only question is whether you give the guy some Tacoma starts in '14 to save a year.
We're locked and loaded with young arms. Let's not ship them elsewhere.

RockiesJeff's picture

Jeff, excellent as usual. Paxton has had his ups and downs through the minors but the potential has been there from the draft. I saw a few minutes of his game against the Tigers. I thought that was a very impressive game. He didn't have his best but kept hanging in there. That showed me a lot about his mental growth.
What I don't get is now he becomes trade bait from so many? I would love to see him in Seattle for years....we have the makings of what the Braves had in the '90's. Or the O's or the.....
Well said Mo!!!!!

TAD's picture

There was a time when I thought it was prudent to save a year before a player hits free agency, and there are times when it may make sense.
But I'm fast moving past that mindset. I just want the Mariner's to put the best possible players on the field, I've been a fan my entire life but geez is it to much to ask to put a winning team on the field at least 50% of the time (we are no longer an expansion team).
I want to see my team (the M's) win more than they lose; make it to the playoffs, and before I die win a world championship. This would at least provide some purpose and meaning of claiming to being a Seattle fan. I would rather be associated with a winner, who sets the bar high rather than a looser because its acceptable for business purposes its profitable.
I'm in my mid 40's and I'm rapidly becoming less tolerant of this ownership and their inability to develop a winning strategy. We are not a small market team - heck is there any reason we should not be at least as successful as the A's???? We typically have larger payrolls, and greater financial resources available.
I live in Illinois and there have been millions of Cub fans who have lived and died without seeing the Cubs win a world championship. I don't want to die before the M's win their first world series.
Thru most of the 90's and into the early 2000's I lived in NJ just outside of NY - you could say the Yankees during the Steinbrenner reign bought their World Championships, well for all the losing we've been subjected to throughout the last 26yrs it would be nice if the M's ownership would buy us a World Champion baseball team.


I had an idea from watching and from your previous analysis but this is newer and more complete.
Felix was ready despite poise and maturity issues and mechanical issues. Randy struggled for years because of mechanics, maturity and poise. Paxton has those things going for him now, not needing years to fine tune and stay calm no matter what. Not saying he'll never have a moment of frustration, just used to young pitchers having bad games because of poise and mechanics. Paxton has had no bad games (3 runs over 5 isn't really bad) and his poise and mechanics don't seem rookie along those lines. I get that that's only part of the equation, but inconsistency among young talented pitchers has to me often seemed related to mechanics, poise or both. If they don't have the pitches and upside there's that too, but the star pitchers who take years to slowly rise to that level seem to me to be often working on things that Paxton should not have issues with. I'd not be surprised for him to earn #2 or #3 coming out of spring.


Doc, I was looking at the tape from the Cardinals game.  It looks like Pax has two FBs?  One "rises" and tails armside (first several examples) but at ~0:39 he throws a 95mph pitch that looks like it moves very differently (cuts gloveside and drops).  What was that?  Looked effective.


It's not as cut and dried with pitchers. I agree this shouldn't be much of a consideration and absolutely shouldn't be the decision maker.
I'm dreaming of the World series buy because of the ownership situation plus probable budget room. If they want to sell the best time would be shortly after a good playoff run with a young core and a few veterans that will be back another year plus driving it. Seems the perfect time for the Mariners to go get what they need and get it going. It seems to me to make perfect sense from every angle except the lame duck GM status.


I share some of the same feelings. I don't think the M's will stretch their modus operandi to the point where they buy championships. But I do think we have hitched our wagon to a train going to the gold fields only to find ourselves overwhelmed by numerous others who come better prepared with more savvy and resources to strike gold.
And yes, as you get older and/or your health declines you start to get a WEE bit impatient for a grand rebuilding scheme that starts with 3-5 years, then stretches out to 7-10 years, the only features of that scheme evident so far are a boatload of debilitating losses, shriking payrolls, minor league baseball, and promises that sound like the campaign promises of politicians. Oh sure, things will get better than they are. We could even reach the level of a perennial .500 team. A few of the young players at some point will actually reach their potential, and there will be a few seasons where we play a few meaningful games, perhaps even luck into a playoff berth once every six or eight years.
But this organization will have no sustained, long-term success. If we take them at their word, they have the will. But they do not have the baseball savvy, the organizational savvy, and they do not have the riveting commitment to do what it takes to accomplish it.

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