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Let talk about the draft  

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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 110
07/06/2020 10:53 am  

Yes, Espino has added some strength and probably about filled out. He has altered the delivery the arm is shorter and knee lift less prominent. Word is he has maintained his velocity.

Tyler Freeman, Steven Kwan and Johnathan Engellmann have move to Texas to train together. Freeman has clearly added upper body strength and video I have seen his arm looks stronger and he is displaying more power. How does it all translate?

Big questions that remain to be seen.

Btw, McKenzie has added a SL too. Giving him 4 pitches. Nothing firm but I've heard he's had nice spin on the SL.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/06/2020 11:04 am  

I apologize for posting my comments on Espino and Freeman in The Draft Room, when the topic was more appropriately included in the Down on the Farm Forum.


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 110
07/06/2020 11:16 am  

@detdawg

I think we all forget where we are at times. I know I have, lol.

No worries. Feel free to copy and paste there or just leave it here.

Just so theres some draft discussion here, lol...

Tanner Burns was rumored to be near a deal with the Tribe over the weekend. Still no word.

It is expected he signs but it makes me wonder if there was an issue with his physical or if this is just bc of travel limits, etc. Trying to be safe / smart.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/06/2020 11:20 am  
Posted by: @willhoo99

Yes, Espino has added some strength and probably about filled out. He has altered the delivery the arm is shorter and knee lift less prominent. Word is he has maintained his velocity.

Tyler Freeman, Steven Kwan and Johnathan Engellmann have move to Texas to train together. Freeman has clearly added upper body strength and video I have seen his arm looks stronger and he is displaying more power. How does it all translate?

Big questions that remain to be seen.

Btw, McKenzie has added a SL too. Giving him 4 pitches. Nothing firm but I've heard he's had nice spin on the SL.

Yeah, I want to see that SL.  Although there have been differing reports on this website regarding McKenzie's CH, I've been concerned about the lack of development of the pitch, particularly when he only has 3 pitches.  So, the addition of any new pitch would be encouraging, as long as it's at least an average offering.  That said, a SL normally won't help much against opposite-hand hitters, unless the pitch is a quality offering or if the pitcher has plus control of the pitch.  And that's what a good CH can be used for.

 


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 110
07/06/2020 11:25 am  

@detdawg

FG has McKenzies CH as a 45

MLB has it at a 55

BA has it at a 55

I have him at a 50 with 55 potential. Now take it with a grain of salt bc my views were old. I'm told it got better as the 2018 season went along. I saw him a pair of games later on before the shutdown. He used and spotted it well. That said, someone else I spoke to said its avg at best that person has more views than me. So avg is probably high and that he's adding a 4th pitch could be an indicator that the change has not come along as desired.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/06/2020 11:55 am  
Posted by: @willhoo99

Yes, Espino has added some strength and probably about filled out. He has altered the delivery the arm is shorter and knee lift less prominent. Word is he has maintained his velocity.

Tyler Freeman, Steven Kwan and Johnathan Engellmann have move to Texas to train together. Freeman has clearly added upper body strength and video I have seen his arm looks stronger and he is displaying more power. How does it all translate?

Big questions that remain to be seen.

Btw, McKenzie has added a SL too. Giving him 4 pitches. Nothing firm but I've heard he's had nice spin on the SL.

It would be interesting if Freeman's body building has had the derivative effect of improving his arm strength, which has generally been viewed as about fringe average.  If true, it might have the added benefit of allowing him to stick at SS, which by some has not been assumed to be a given.

 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/06/2020 3:21 pm  

One more thought on the change in Espino's delivery.  His old delivery was extremely long, which was considered a flaw, as it allowed hitters a longer look at his pitches.  One aspect of that delivery is that it appeared that his plant foot landed far down the mound, and presumably this resulted in his release point being closer to the plate than most other pitchers, which if true, likely resulted in a higher effective velocity than that measured by velo guns.  So, the fact that he released his pitches closer to the plate may have helped offset the fact that hitters got a good look at the ball prior to its release.

This is similar to McKenzie, whose FB velocity is only about average, but because he releases the ball closer to the plate than most other pitchers, his pitch seems faster than his measured velocity.  It also helps that his delivery has some deception.  The combination of these 2 factors result in hitters reacting to McKenzie's FB as though he's throwing around 95/96 mph instead of 93.

Conversely, Espino's new delivery looks like his plant foot falls closer to the rubber, which would likely cause his release point to be further from the plate, resulting in a lower effective velocity vis-a-vis that measured by velo guns.  Also, it's not clear whether his new delivery gives his pitches any more deception.  We'll only be able to tell when he starts thowing to live hitters and observe their reaction.

 


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 110
07/06/2020 3:30 pm  

Good stuff. 

I've been told Espino has held his velocity which is encouraging to me. That's the first thing I wanted to know, lol.

Great points on his delivery, and batter perception. I'm curious how the secondaries play.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/07/2020 3:09 pm  
Posted by: @willhoo99

Good stuff. 

I've been told Espino has held his velocity which is encouraging to me. That's the first thing I wanted to know, lol.

Great points on his delivery, and batter perception. I'm curious how the secondaries play.

I'm a little surprised that Espino has been able to maintain his velocity.  IMO, his old delivery was intended to maximize his velo.  Maybe it's because Espino is a year older and stronger and, as a result, is still able to throw as hard notwithstanding the fact that he's utilizing a less efficient delivery. 

 


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OhioBaseball
(@ohiobaseball)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 22
07/11/2020 10:59 am  

DetDawg, thanks for posting the video of Espino. To me it looks like he is fundamentally similar but has become more efficient with his levers -- less exaggeration in his levers (less moving parts for efficiency) and still getting the velo b/c he is no longer looks like a teenager -- physically he is a man now. This is what you hope to see with young pitching prospects. That arm stroke is still pretty long but is better and I think it will just be something that is always a weakness of his. Agree with your assessments.

I saw a couple of his MV starts on replay last year and I thought he looked really good. What he showed in those starts would have dominated the SEC in college baseball IMO. He had 5 walks in 10 IP in MV but that was misleading because his command was very good for his age. I think a few of those walks were late in a game when he had gone beyond 55 pitches and was beginning to tire due to a lack of pitching. He's got plus stuff, plus command and now he's already showing the more efficient delivery and physical maturation so this is all working very well so far. He's got subpar leverage which is something that will always hold him back in terms of SP upside but I think he looks good. Expect him to move quickly.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/11/2020 1:08 pm  

@ohiobaseball

OB3, thanks for your analysis.  Always appreciate your pitching insights.


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OhioBaseball
(@ohiobaseball)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 22
07/12/2020 11:00 am  
Posted by: @detdawg

@ohiobaseball

OB3, thanks for your analysis.  Always appreciate your pitching insights.

My pleasure.  For future reference, these are some high level things to consider when watching pitchers with Espino as an example:

1 - You can watch videos of Espino in HS on YouTube. Espino in high school had (i) a very high leg kick and (ii) a very long arm action. The goal in pitching is to hit your intended target and the more moving pieces you have in your delivery, the more difficult it is to sync everything up to get your delivery perfect. Espino is a very good athlete and he did a good job balancing, but in pro baseball you cannot afford to be off.

2 - In the video you posted, his leg kick is very much less exaggerated (in his wind up) and his arm action is also shorter (though still a bit long). When you shorten up your legs and arms, the lower the probability something is off in your delivery that will cause problems whether that be command, lower velocity or weaker breaking ball...or probably all of the above. This is the maturation of a pitching prospect toward the MLB level. Shorten up for more consistency. Adding physical strength offsets a more simple delivery as it relates to velocity. Also, there's a lot that can be done with optimizing deliveries using technology. There's really a lot of science behind it. The Indians apparently do this well and it is where my understanding stops.

3 - Command really matters when it comes to pitching effectiveness. To get strike outs, you have to hit spots with your FB and your offspeed pitches. You need a simple delivery for consistent command -- miss one spot in MLB and you give up a HR at a high frequency. Watching Espino last year (only 2 starts), he actually showed MLB quality command of his FB (CB and SL were definitely not MLB quality command though) in these games which is why I think he would have dominated the SEC as a 19-year old. For reference, Tanner Burns was very good in the SEC but he had a notch lower than MLB command but that is over a larger sample size than just the 6-7 innings I saw of Espino at MV. Espino's more efficient delivery will improve his command even more and if he is still 92-96 mph then he will move fast. Hitting spots with his CB and SL may be the last piece he needs and is often one of the last things to come with pitching prospects.

4 - A good barometer for looking at pitching polish is watching their head through the delivery. Some pitchers have a head jerk through the release -- this indicates inconsistent command and it needs to be worked out b/c it is not going to work at the MLB level except some rare cases. This is common with young pitching prospects. Espino does not have much of a head jerk (it can show up at times but most often its not there), nor does Tanner Burns for that matter. Both have really good polish. 

I have praised Espino a lot in this but Lenny Torres is also a really polished pitching prospect. He posted some videos of himself throwing indoors recently and I thought he looked good, too. A difference between Espino and Torres/Burns is Espino has longer arms which gives him more leverage advantages, which is one reason why I think Espino has more upside than both of them.


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Themaven
(@themaven)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 12
07/17/2020 1:37 pm  

@detdawg

Espino has definitely cut down on his stride,the motion he has now looks very repeatable and more under control.

Get the basics down and move on from there.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 102
07/17/2020 6:20 pm  

Indians finally sign Tanner Burns - for $1.6 million, a discount of $445K below his slot of $2.045 million.  I think this means the Indians ended up spending about $274K less than their total pool.

https://www.cleveland.com/tribe/2020/07/cleveland-indians-sign-2020-draft-pick-tanner-burns-of-auburn-to-16m-deal.html


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Marty Taber
(@mtaber)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 15
07/17/2020 7:52 pm  

Hey nice to see that we got our guys signed. I’m trying to ramp up my enthusiasm, but it’s rough this year. 


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