Found January 11, 2013 on
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Cubs Den has a post up drawing attention to a Baseball America article on changes in the Cubs’ organizational philosophy related to developing pitching talent. The BA piece focuses on new pitching coordinator Derek Johnson, formerly the pitching coach at Vanderbilt, which famously produced David Price, Mike Minor, Sonny Gray, and many others on his watch. Johnson is of the school of thought that pitchers today generally don’t throw enough, and is an advocate of long toss as a method of building up arm strength. While I don’t know enough to have strong opinions on that matter, it did remind of Carlos Gomez, who in a brief stint writing for The Hardball Times in 2007 meticulously dissected pitching and hitting mechanics from scouting videos.
Gomez is currently the international scouting director for the LAAofAA, having also served in that role for the Diamondbacks. The BA article reminded me of Gomez because it was in one of his pieces that I first became aware of Derek Johnson.
Vanderbilt’s pitching coach, Derek Johnson, and I share many views on mechanics. By the way, Mr. Johnson knows what he’s talking about. Send your kids to Vanderbilt to get the best pitching instruction possible.
What exactly are Gomez’s views?
For the most part, I prefer “athletes who pitch.” Athletes move quickly. Athletes get it and go and don’t think about it too much…I like violence. I like aggressive, twisting ************ who “go after it.”
His scouting breakdowns predictably praised pitchers who drifted through their balance point, took long, aggressive strides toward the plate, and accompanied their approaches with short arm actions. This positive take on Jake Peavy is a typical example, as is this criticism of newly-signed Cub Dontrelle Willis. I don’t think it’s safe to assume that Johnson and Gomez agree on all the finer points of pitching, but I would guess is there is considerable overlap.
Gomez definitely has some retrospective misses in his prospect evaluation, but on the whole, he does pretty well. Take his top five pitchers from the 2007 draft, for example:
1) LHP David Price, Devil Rays (First overall)2) RHP Rick Porcello, Tigers (27th overall)3) RHP Jarrod Parker, DiamondBacks (ninth overall)4) LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants (tenth overall)5) RHP Casey Weathers, Rockies (eighth overall)
He also happens to be the first scout I read who at all criticized Josh Vitters‘s swing:
However, Vitters seems to get “extended” maybe even farther in front than Moustakas, and does not let the ball travel deep into the zone…(Bad in terms of power.)
If you have some free time, it’s worth browsing his archives. They are interesting in their own right, and may indirectly shed some light on the organization’s current take on pitching.
BEST OF MAXIM
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Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy announced Wednesday on Twitter that he's been selected and will play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March.
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Along with Braun, Lucroy, joins New York Mets...
Former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa is just one of the many retired professional athletes that has tried to get their name back in the spotlight by joining social media. He joined Twitter (@TheRealMr609) back in October, and he has more recently taken his talents to the popular photo sharing/social network site, Pinterest.
Naturally, hearing about Sammy Sosa joining Pinterest...
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#1 Tyler Thornburg (P) ...
Infielder Luis Valbuena has agreed to a $930,000, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, nearly double the $495,200 he made last year.
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Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. FAN Projection Targets: Basically Every Brewers Starter
2. Action GIF: Mark Rogers’ Slider
3. SCOUT Leaderboards: Australian Baseball League
FAN Projection Targets: Basically Every Brewers Starter
As is made apparent by the very recently released 2013 ZiPS projections for the Milwaukee Brewers...
Holy crap the Phillies have made a move. According to Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican baseball magazine Puro Beisbol, the Phillies have signed 37-year-old Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league deal. Lopez, who is signing on for his second stint with the Phillies, last played for the team in 2009....
The Milwaukee Brewers decided to take a chance on a blast from the past when they signed right-hander Kelvim Escobar to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Escobar, who will be 37 in April, has pitched in just one major league game since 2007 and none since 2009. He resurfaced this winter in Venezuela and was throwing the ball well again, so the Brewers decided...
The Milwaukee Brewers are taking a chance on a veteran pitcher making a comeback and have avoided salary arbitration with left-hander Chris Narveson, the club announced Thursday.
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Shaun Marcum is a pretty good Major League pitcher. He’s been in the show since 2005 and owns a 3.76 ERA and 4.25 FIP in a little over 900 career innings. That’s a 90 ERA- and 101 FIP-, respectively. Like most pitchers though, it took Marcum a few years to really hit his stride. Since 2008 he’s pitched to a 3.57 ERA (88 ERA-) and a 3.97 FIP (97 FIP-) in a bit less than 700...
Right handed pitcher Kelvim Escobar, who who hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009, signed a Major League deal with the Milwaukee Brewers he announced through his Twitter account.
Back in May, Escobar announced that he was planning to make a comeback and has been playing in the Venezuelan Winter League for the first time since 2009. In 11 innings for his team in Venezuela,...
It was said that Scott Hairston could sign with one of the NY teams any day but since that report which came directly from his agent the Yanks have backed out and the Mets don't appear to be budging from a one year deal. Based on players of similar performance, Hairston should get a two year deal but the market may have dried up. Ken Davidoff of the NY Post believes the...
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Milwaukee Brewers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.
Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Cubs / Giants / Nationals / Phillies / Rangers / Royals.
Chris Narveson missed almost the entire 2012 season after undergoing shoulder surgery early in the year. He made only two starts last season, but he will be fighting for a starting role this upcoming season, and he is expected to be healthy come spring training. Narveson was arbitration-eligible this year, but the Milwaukee Brewers avoided the arbitration process by reaching...
(Photo: Scott Rovak-US Presswire)
In what probably has been the most uneventful offseason in recent memory, the Milwaukee Brewers have reconfigured their bullpen but questions remain about the roster, primarily concerning the starting rotation and its lack of depth. The offseason’s developments have slowed to an agonizing drip for MLB as a whole. I remember...