Originally written 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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Geno Smith laughed at being ranked last in QB poll

Penn State trash talks Notre Dame Twitter over 'Rudy'

Report: Aroldis Chapman unlikely to be traded

Mets’ trade for Carlos Gomez called off despite reports

Report: Rangers to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies


WATCH: Tulo hits first home run with Blue Jays

NFLPA officially files Brady lawsuit, wants QB to play Week 1

Mariota’s lack of red flags was a concern for NFL teams

Tigers 'rebooting,' make David Price available in trade

Jerry Jones backs Roger Goodell amid Deflategate controversy

Brady, agent contacted AT&T in attempt to retrieve deleted texts

Texas QB commit has great anti-Oklahoma T-shirt

WATCH: Tim Tebow does monster leg workout

Farrell: Sandoval's conditioning 'continues to be addressed'

Revis won't wear Super Bowl ring around Jets teammates

Former NBAer Vin Baker now works at Starbucks

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Mike Leach compares Deflategate to Kardashians

All Panthers home games will also be broadcast in Spanish

Giants owner calls Pierre-Paul debacle ‘very disappointing’

Panthers WR cited for marijuana paraphernalia, had child in car

Bruins-Canadiens Winter Classic details announced

Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez: Twin trade chips

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker