Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19 for July 18 Update

I went to Y-D on Saturday to watch Y-D play Chatham. On paper, the pitching matchup should have been a good one, but Y-D right-handed starter John Leonard from Boston College and Chatham right-handed starter Matt Harvey from UNC didn't have their best stuff and Y-D won 9-4.

Leonard is an All-Star with good numbers who I had heard good things about, but by the last inning of his outing Saturday a few scouts were muttering about how they hoped Chatham would get a couple more hits so Y-D would take Leonard out and put in a pitcher they had more interest in seeing. Leonard is average height with a solid build at 6'1" 200. He throws easy with good arm action and he generally has good balance on the mound. Leonard's fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range with some tailing action in on right-handed hitters. He threw a good 73 mph curveball with sweeping movement and an average 78-79 mph slider with tighter break. Leonard also threw a 78 mph changeup that was good when he kept it down in the strike zone. All-in-all Leonard was a decent pitcher and he probably just had a bad day and got hit a little on Saturday. See how he does the rest of the season and next spring.

Harvey is a really interesting case to me. He was one of the nation's best pitching prospects out of high school in 2007, dropped to the third round of the draft because he had signability issues, didn't sign, and then watched as his stock has dropped dramatically over the past two years. His mechanics are really out of whack right now, but he still has the potential to be really good and a team might take a chance on him with a high draft pick next June anyway. One scout said he should have signed in '07, and another agreed and said it must "leave a mark" every time Harvey watches fellow '07 high school phenom Rick Porcello pitch for the Detroit Tigers. Harvey is big with a solid build at 6'5" 225. He has poor arm action and a strange hitch in his delivery toward the top of his motion. He falls off toward third base and sometimes throws severely across his body. All of these things affect his command and velocity. I saw Harvey throw 94-95 for Chatham last summer, but his fastball sat in the 86-89 mph range on Saturday. He has a really good 73-75 mph overhand curveball with big break, but he tends to leave it up in the zone. He also throws a good 77-79 mph changeup with good downward movement when he throws it well. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Harvey next year, but ultimately he could have saved himself a lot of stress by taking what would have been big money in 2007.

Right-handed reliever Taylor Hill from Vanderbilt looked really good for Chatham. Hill is tall with a solid, athletic build at 6'4" 225. He has raw mechanics in which he wastes some movement and he throws with some effort, but his stuff is really good. Hill's fastball sat in the 89-92 mph range with late sinking movement. He threw a very good 80-82 mph slider with late frisbee-like movement that was his most effective, impressive pitch. He also threw a very good 78-79 mph changeup with downward movement and some tail in. All of his pitches have late life. Hill is one of the better relievers in the league.

Three East Division All-Stars stood out among the position players. Y-D first baseman Mickey Wiswall from Boston College had three singles, and each went to a different part of the outfield. Wiswall swings hard but he is always in control and he really handles the bat well. He has also greatly improved at first base since the beginning of the summer when he made the switch from his usual college position at third. He made a couple of good scoops on throws in the dirt Saturday.

I wrote the other day Y-D infielder Tyler Hanover from LSU could have been replaced in the All-Star Game, but he really impressed me Saturday. He's really undersized at 5'7" 165, but he has such a nice swing he was able to drive a grand slam out of the park off Harvey. He's really just a solid all-around player, but it's possible his size will be too much to overcome as a professional.

Chatham catcher Mike Murray from Wake Forest also had a good game. He has a really quick bat, and he got around on a high fastball for a home run early in the game. He also moves really well behind home plate and has a good stocky catcher's build at 6'0" 205. Murray is really slow running to first base. Catcher is a weak position this year on the Cape, with late-arrivals Cameron Rupp from Texas and Cotuit and Micah Gibbs from LSU and Y-D the best prospects. But Murray is a solid all-around player.


Orleans 11 Bourne 1: Shortstop Devin Lohman went 4-for-5 with a home run and rightfielder Jeremy Gould from Duke also homered for Orleans. Centerfielder Scott Woodward went 3-for-3 for Bourne.

Cotuit 4 Harwich 1: Centerfielder Zach Cone from the University of Georgia, designated hitter Zack Cox from the University of Arkansas and rightfielder Kevin Keyes from the University of Texas each had two hits for Cotuit.

Wareham 6 Falmouth 2: Centerfielder Ryan LaMarre from the University of Michigan went 3-for-5 for Wareham. First baseman Brett Eibner from the University of Arkansas homered for Wareham and first baseman Hunter Morris from Auburn homered for Falmouth.


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