Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/10/13
Ninety-nine — a number rarely seen once, let alone multiple times from the same pitcher. In his last start, Mauricio Cabrera touched 99 mph enough for teammates charting in the stands to chuckle and shake their heads in disbelief. Video after the jump Of course velocity isn’t the only thing to consider when watching a prospect, but it’s a great starting point from which to build a profile. As Cabrera matures, his elite velocity will allow for a greater margin of error. He may need it. When not pushing triple digits, Cabrera’s fastball sat in the 94-97 mph range. From a three-quarters arm slot, the pitch featured tail in on the hands of right-handed hitters — especially when he didn’t release the ball out front. When Cabrera did finish correctly, his fastball featured late, explosive life. With seven walks in just 4 2/3 innings pitched, fastball command was a definite issue. Between Cabrera’s sling shot arm action and a tendency to overthrow, he had little idea where each pitch was going. At 19-years-old, Cabrera has time to refine his command and the build to maintain elite velocity. However, it will be a challenge, as the young right-hander seems content to let fastballs fly with reckless abandon. Cabrera’s primary breaking pitch was a “slurvy” offering at 81-85 mph. Its movement was sharp late, but lacked depth. At present, it’s a below-average offering with room for improvement. He also mixed in a changeup touching 91 mph. To throw the pitch, Cabrera slowed his arm action in an attempt to guide it over the plate. This caused him to leave the ball up, resulting in hard hit balls. Like his breaking ball, it’s a below-average offering at present. This lack of secondary offerings is responsible for his low strikeout totals. If those improve, punch outs will follow. With any semblance of command, Cabrera’s fastball is a big league pitch. Rangers Wilmer Font made his major league debut at 22 with less stuff — even after Tommy John surgery, so it’s not inconceivable that Cabrera could reach the majors. Another pitcher who looks to be cutting himself a path to the big leagues is Lucas Sims. The Braves’ 2012 first round pick, Sims pitched three scoreless innings the night before I saw Cabrera. After allowing eight earned runs in his first 9 1/3 innings pitched, Sims has thrown seven consecutive scoreless innings. Sims presents as an elite athlete for the position. His strong, compact frame and fluid movements will allow for better command as he matures. Also 19-years-old, the Georgia native will also grow into more velocity. This leaves him with excellent projection, even though his present velocity was less than expected. Similar to Cabrera, Sims has struggled with fastball command early in the season. Averaging 90-92 mph and touching 95, Sims’ fastball featured little movement early, but added run in on the hands of right-handed hitters in his final inning of work. He worked both halves of the plate, but was most comfortable working low-and-outside to right-handed hitters. Sims maintained velocity out of the stretch as he weaved in and out of trouble. At present, his fastball is an average pitch with room for improvement as he matures. Sims paired his fastball with a curveball that flashed as a swing-and-miss offering. At 76-78 mph, the pitch featured sharp, 11/5 break and froze multiple hitters. As with the heater, control of the pitch wavered. If Sims refines fastball command and works more curveball counts, his strikeouts will surge due to the strength of the pitch. At 82-84 mph, Sims’ changeup was flat and included a slight slowing of his arm action. It’s a below average pitch at present, but it’s normal for young pitchers to enter professional baseball without a good changeup, and this is Sims’ first crack at full-season ball. In Sims and Cabrera, the Single-A Braves haven’t had a pair of high ceiling right-handed pitchers since Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran in 2010. It’s a welcome sight after thin rosters in 2011-2012 left little about which to write.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker