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Dodger Baseball

My First Half Analysis

The Dodgers had a physical/mental breakdown in KC last weekend.  They came home for the next 6 games to heal, winning 3 of 4 against Pittsburgh and swamping the Angels in both games.  They now have a 10 game winning streak against LAA.  In the 6 games the Dodgers allowed an average of 4.3 runs against.  Not great.  However, in those 6 games they averaged near Badger’s 8 runs, at 7.3 runs per game, and won 5 out of 6 and last 4 in a row.  That was a great way to finish off the 1st half.

IMO, this may be Doc’s best year as a manager.  At the 89 game mark, every originally planned starting pitcher has been on the IL, and with the exception of Clayton Kershaw have missed more than 2 games.  And Kershaw could be 1 missed start.

Dustin May will be out the rest of the season.  And no, Walker Buehler is not coming back (he should not).

Ryan Pepiot is MIA.  He is throwing, but not close to a rehab assignment.  Mid-August?  September?

Noah Syndergaard has been a bust. Doc had to keep throwing him out there.  Right?  Now he is going out on a rehab assignment.  IMO the IL stint was more for his head than his blisters.  Does he come back a pitcher, or a thrower still looking for that 100 MPH 4-seamer?

Julio Urías is supposedly back.  But is he?  Before his IL stint, he was mostly ineffective after his first few starts, and that was not due to a hamstring issue.  He pitched well in his 2nd game back.  Is everyone convinced he is back to his 2021-2022 pitcher?   I need more than 1 game to answer that for me.

Tony Gonsolin has the 2nd most starts on the team (13) behind Kershaw.  For his last 8 starts, he has not been a good pitcher.  43.2 IP, 5.36 ERA, 4.98 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 35 K, 17 BB.  He is 3-2, but the team is 3-5 in those games.  Obviously the bullpen did not help either.  His K/BB ratio is just about 2-1 (2.06).  That is not good.  He does not strike many out.  His K/9 is the worst of his career. I think a valid question is:  Is Gonsolin a high leverage or multi inning reliever who cannot pitch effectively the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup?  For this team he has to start.

Rookie Starters – 4 rookies have started 23 games.  I am not counting the bulk relief of Grove in Saturday’s game.  That is 27% of starts made by rookies who were not originally planned to be counted on as starters.

Four bullpen games.

And then there is Clayton Kershaw.  He went almost the entire 1st half without an IL stint.  He says he could have started if he was pushed back 1 day.  Maybe, maybe not.  But the team took that choice away and benched him through the Break.  IMO, that was the right call, but it still put more pressure on a starting staff that cannot seem to get past 5 innings.  Will Kershaw be okay for the 2nd half?  Shoulders and elbows will decide?  A lot of times, the shoulders and elbows win that decision.

Here is a chart for the starting pitchers.  No pitcher has average 6.0 innings per start, although Clayton Kershaw is only 0.0 IP away from that.

 

 

If the bullpen was loaded, this would not be a concern (say like 2022?).  But the bullpen has been a mess all year.  They have now lost their best reliever…twice.  Vesia and Almonte are not the same lockdown relievers they were last year.  Although both are showing some resurgence.  Evan Phillips has been good, but not as good as last year when he had help.  Caleb Ferguson is inconsistent.  When he is good, he is very good.  When he is bad, he is very bad.  I have never been sold on Brusdar Graterol as a high leverage reliever.  Someone who throws as hard as he does (without movement) needs a swing and miss secondary pitch.  Graterol has not developed that pitch…yet.  Shelby Miller has been effective when he pitches, mostly.  He still walks too many for high leverage relief.

Dodgers starters are averaging 5.00 inning per start.  And with a bullpen that has been suspect all year long, that is recipe for a losing record.  And yet, somehow, the team is 13 games over .500.

If the Dodgers can pick up 2 starters who can pitch innings at the deadline, two of the starters can move into the bullpen, making that a weapon as well.  Two of Sheehan, Miller, and Gonsolin could move to the bullpen.  Will they?  Probably not.

The six relievers that I would consider safe for the remainder of the season:

  • Evan Phillips
  • Caleb Ferguson
  • Yency Almonte
  • Shelby Miller
  • Ryan Brasier (Looking a lot like his 2018 World Series season with Boston)
  • Brusdar Graterol

Pick from:

  • Phil Bickford
  • Alex Vesia
  • Bobby Miller
  • Emmet Sheehan
  • Michael Grove

AF/BG could also go out and get a closer type reliever.  Texas only converted 16 of 32 save opportunities, and they went out and traded for Aroldis Chapman.  Relief pitching was the Rangers one true weak spot, and they improved it with a proven closer.  Yeah, they are going for it this year.

The starting lineup has been struck by injuries as well.  The team has played 89 games, and only 4 Dodgers have played in 80.  Two of the four are rookies (James Outman and Miguel Vargas).  One of the rookies (Vargas) is hitting sub-Mendoza, and the discussion around the blogosphere is to whether send him to OKC or keep him on the bench and see if the game can slow down for him.  Three of the 13 position players on the roster are rookies (including OF Jonny DeLuca), and one seldom used utility infielder in his 2nd year (Yonny Hernandez).  This lineup is counting quite a bit on Jason Heyward, David Peralta, and Miguel Rojas who were all expected to be reserves or platoon.  The offense has four All Stars that have seemingly put this offense on their collective backs and carried the team (Mookie, Freddie, Will Smith, and JDM).

Max Muncy is the enigma. .198/.331/.476/.807.  But that isn’t the whole story.

  • Barrels per PA – 10.0 – 17th in MLB (2nd to JDM with LAD)
  • Barrels per BBE* – 18.0 – 13th in MLB (2nd to JDM)
  • Hard Hit % per swing – 17.0 – 69th in MLB (3rd on LAD – Mookie, Peralta)
  • Average Exit Velocity – 91.1 – 63rd in MLB (4th on LAD – JDM, Mookie, Peralta)

Max is barreling and making hard contact when he swings.  So what is the problem.  One look at his BABIP and that will tell a lot.  His BABIP is .192.  His career BABIP is .250.  So it is probable that Max is hitting into some bad luck.  If his BABIP was his approximating his career BABIP of .250, he would have 8 more non-HR hits.  If we just consider them as singles, his batting line would be .227/.349/.492/.841.  Not what Max is capable of, but certainly worthy of being in the middle of the lineup.

For those who care, BABIP is calculated as follows:  (H – HR)/(AB – K – HR + SF).  All Max needed was for 8 of those hard hit outs to fall in for singles.

He has 21 HR and 53 RBI in 72 games. That works to 47 HR and 119 RBI over a 162 game season.  I am keeping Max in the lineup hoping that those Balls In Play start to drop, especially with runners in scoring position.

The 40-man has been decimated.  The only 40 man players remaining are:  Justin Bruihl, Victor Gonzalez, Gavin Stone, Diego Cartaya, Michael Busch, Eddys Leonard, and Jorbit Vivas.  In effect, that is 3 pitchers (mostly ineffective at the MLB level this year) and Michael Busch.  There are other MiLB players who deserve consideration, but players have to be pared from the 40 man.

Some wanted to give Jahmai Jones a chance.  Who thinks that Jones is a better utility player than Yonny Hernandez?  Jahmai is a converted OF learning how to play 2B.  He cannot play SS or 3B.  Yonny can.  Neither would get many ABs, so I want the best defensive player in that role.

Devin Mann is an option.  He has proven himself at the AAA level.  Somebody needs to be traded or released from the 40 man to get this done.  Does Busch get traded and Mann take Hernandez’s spot?  I can live with that.

I am against changing catchers in the middle of a season.  But there are many out there that believe that Austin Barnes has to go for the 2023 LAD team to become WS Champions.  I think that is absurd, but I understand the argument.  Barnes could make my argument much better if he were hitting .200. He’s barely above .100.   Feduccia may outhit Barnes, but he cannot call a better game or have the pitcher’s trust better than Barnes.

You would have to be convinced that Fiduccia’s offense would make up for his game/pitcher handling skills.  Again I remind you that Barnes was a better MiLB hitter than Feduccia.  The Dodgers have 3 (4 when counting Busch) rookies who have not hit as well as many thought, and Feduccia is going to be the outlier and hit well at the MLB level?  I am not convinced that is a good idea for the middle of the season. 2024?  Why not.

And I do not want to hear about Barnes’ weak arm and inability to throw out potential base stealers.  Yes, Barnes has one of the very weakest (if not the weakest) catcher’s arm in MLB.  But for the most part, against LAD, the runners are stealing off the pitchers.  The pitchers have been better of late.  The Pirates are not the same running team without Ji Hwan Bae and Ke’Bryan Hayes.  Colorado and LAA are worse running teams than are the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are last in MLB in SB against.  They are averaging 1.17 SB against per game.  They are the only team in MLB that has allowed more than 100 stolen bases.  There are only two other teams with SB against at or greater than 1.00.  Part of that is on the catcher, but most of it is on the pitcher.  The same two LAD catchers had only .42 SB per game last year (6th in MLB).  Noah Syndergaard has not pitched since June 7, and he still leads MLB in SB against.  The multiple rookie pitchers with no experience controlling the running game at the MLB level also contribute to this.

Austin Wynns has thrown out 5 of 11 would be base stealers.  While the two Dodgers are a combined 6 out of 69.  One of the best catchers in MLB in this category is Connor Wong (remember him?) who has thrown out 13 of 35 would be base stealers.  Sean Murphy is 10 out of 35.  Other NL West catchers Patrick Bailey (SF) is 6 out of 19, Gary Sanchez (SD) is 5 out of 14 Elias Diaz (COL) is 13 out of 34.  While the best in MLB is Arizona’s Gabriel Moreno who has thrown out 10 of 16.  Nobody runs on Moreno.

No matter how many fans may clamor for it, Austin Barnes is not going to be released to bring up Feduccia.

Where am I with Doc?  IMO Doc is doing a fine job keeping this team going.  They are at a 92-93 win clip which is where many of us thought they would be, BEFORE the injuries. Does he make mistakes?  Don’t all MLB managers.  Is there any manager who could do better with this team?  Doubtful.

Would I rather have Bruce Bochy as the LAD manager in the playoffs.  YES!!  All I can do is hope that Doc pulls the correct triggers as he did in 2020.  Although he had Corey Seager and Julio Urías backing him.  Brilliance or luck, that WS switched momentum on one decision.  In Game 6, Gonsolin on the mound, down 1-0 in the 2nd inning with runners on 1st and 2nd, two out, and Randy Arozarena coming up. Doc went to Dylan Floro (in the 2nd inning!!).  Mind you that Arozarena already crushed Gonsolin with a HR in the 1st inning (his 10th in the playoffs).  Arozarena would jump on fastballs, so Doc thought he would bring in a changeup specialist, and Floro delivered with a 3 pitch K.  Tampa Bay’s offense went silent after that, giving the offense time to wake up.  Thank you Austin Barnes and Mookie Betts.

Did the Dodgers overachieve in the 1st half considering the pitching issues?  Did the All Stars carry too much of the offensive load for the team?  Can they replicate that in the 2nd half?  Will the rookies improve during the 2nd half to take some of the pressure off the All Stars?  Will Max Muncy and Austin Barnes?  Can David Peralta, Jason Heyward, and Miguel Rojas continue to produce?  The Dodgers cannot stand on their laurels for the 1st half.  When they come out for the 2nd half, they have a gauntlet against 5 playoff contenders.  The start with NYM (3), Orioles (3), Texas (3) all on the road.  When they come home, they play Toronto (3) and Cincinnati (3).  Arizona will also have a difficult schedule, but SF’s schedule will be less daunting.

 

Bring on the 2nd half, and proceed to the Playoffs and a WS Championship.

 

 

 

FIGHT ON CALEB!!!

 

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Badger

Went to post my question on the draft thread and found this new post. I’ll go ahead with my question here and address the new topic later.

I was curious about an MLB Combine. I didn’t even know if they had one, and if they did, what might go into it. So this morning I googled it and the first site that popped up was talk about creating one. Then there was a link with Rajai Davis as a test subject and what was tested was simple ballistics, shoulder flexibility, speed and cone drills. Found this which was recent:

https://www.mlb.com/news/10-standouts-from-day-2-of-2023-mlb-draft-combine

Anyway, my question to Jeff is, what do you know about an MLB Combine?

Sam Oyed

If stolen bases are primarily on the Dodger pitchers, I’m not sure how meaningful a comparison of other teams catchers cutting down the running game is. I think it’s safe to say that any of the catchers you mention would be worse if they were on the Dodgers. As bad as Smith/Barnes? Probably not, but there caught stealing rates would certainly go down.

The real question for me is why are Dodger pitchers so bad at holding runners? I recall when Urias was about to be brought up, one of the last things they made sure he could do was hold runners. I almost get the feeling that this part of the game is not being taught/ emphasized.

Badger

 “I almost get the feeling that this part of the game is not being taught/ emphasized.”

In my opinion that has to be it. It’s fairly well accepted that bases are stolen on pitchers. We’ve had some pitchers that I think I could steal on. Jansen and Syndergaard come immediately to mind. It seems like the Dodgers are better at holding runners of late. I don’t know that’s the case, it just feels like it.

Our starting lineup is as good as any. It’s our bench depth that has me concerned. It will be a long hot summer. The first string will need days off. Mann? Sure, I guess. Vargas needs to be here though. If he isn’t? Huge hole in the 26.

I still think every one of our starting staff would benefit from a 6 man rotation. I have felt this way for a few years now. What has happened, and is happening to our staff supports this premise.

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
Bluto

I thought when Urias was brought up he had a very good move. One that was on the edge of a balk

Sam Oyed

Yes that’s correct. In fact during the playoffs some years ago he picked off Bryce Harper and Harper was livid it was not called a balk.

Scott Andes

Why is it always blamed on the pitchers because Smith and Barnes don’t have good throwing arms? It’s just not part of their game. Although it should be.

Ron Fairly fan

If you watch the games you can see the runners getting two, three and sometimes four steps from the time the pitcher starts towards home and he releases the ball. Not many catchers can make that up. Most Dodger pitchers are 1.4 to 1.6 or more to the plate, the best catchers have about a 1.8 pop time. Smith and Barnes are about 1.9 to 2.0 pop time. That doesn’t give you much of an advantage in stopping the running game. I read somewhere that the Dodger minor league teams just start to emphasize the slide step for their pitchers about 2 weeks ago. It appears management was caught flat footed on how the new rules would affect base stealing.

Scott Andes

As I was reading this, I was wondering about the slide steps, because I have not seen any of the Dodger pitchers use those. Although I still think the catchers should shoulder a lot of the responsibility no matter how slow to the plate the pitchers are.

Ron Fairly fan

I Agee a little the catchers have some blame but they’re bucking a stacked deck with the leads and jumps the runners are getting. I would like to see more pitchouts and back picks to just keep runners honest. I just think the organizational philosophy wasn’t concerned with the running game going into the season and have been unable to come up with a response to limit the stolen bases.

Jeff

From my seat on the couch, you fix both parts of the equation. Awareness on the part of the pitchers that becomes part of their process when runners are on, and getting catcher(s) with better than average throwing abilities.

Sam Oyed

I wonder if the Dodgers picking Kendall George highlights a new appreciation for something other than the three true outcome approach. It will be interesting to see what AF does before the trade deadline and whether they pick up someone who is more of a bat on ball/speed player.

Bobby

That’s what I thought as well. Maybe the Dodgers thought “in this new age, THIS DUDE will be super valuable at the top of the order!!”

Maybe. Or maybe he’ll be Kendall or Vogel or Kody Hoese. Who knows.

Bumsrap

I think the Dodgers timed the Vargas move to get him at bats during the all star break and then keep him down for a couple of more weeks.

Whatever the Dodgers do regarding trades it won’t make much of a difference if 3 of the existing rotation pitchers don’t pitch well whether in the rotation or in relief.

Until Muncy becomes more than a home run hitter it would seem smart to bury him in the lineup. Hitting him 3rd or 4th because he might wake up is weird when Heyward and Peralta are doing so well.

If the 36th pick were to stay in college and gain weight/strength he might be selected earlier and get a bigger signing package. Hopefully he will gain that strength in the Dodger system and be a win for the Dodgers. He won’t ever hit for power but could get more doubles. If pitchers can gain mph on their fastballs maybe #36 can be more than Juan Pierre.

Does Cartaya have back issues?

If one of Cartaya or Rushing were traded which one would everyone want to keep?

Dionysus

Good question.

I would have to take Rushing.

Possibly with the thought that we already have Smith.

Badger

Good thought about Vargas. So I checked. He didn’t play the last two games and OKC is off the next 4 days. I think he’s sitting in hot tubs and getting massages.

I keep both. Let Barnes go and get Smith out from behind the plate.

Dionysus

Thanks to Dylan Floro, Dodger fans can finally say we ended the championship drought!

Bobby

Huge huge start for him! (whether because we need him, or because it raises his trade value)

Bumsrap

I hope we keep him. Great news.

Badger

Hasn’t he already proven he can get AAA hitters out?

bluto

Recent AAA starts were brutal.

this is interesting from the LAT:
The Dodgers’ infatuation with Shohei Ohtani spans two ownership groups, two front office regimes, and two pursuits over more than a decade. It goes back to when Ohtani went by “Otani” and two-way dominance was a fantasy.

Will the third time be the charm?

Oldbear48

Chart is unreadable

Badger

On Yahoo Sports:

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/strike-baseball-robots-rule-book-101303234.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9sYWRvZGdlcnRhbGsuY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFkH4eP0VBKheB6CLB1gniNb7IURnbdqNqZfJqBRw_ToMKxdUQECnWnMxgrA4WPSEP6Mf-lofut4fc36gO-ROhWZ-BiwQQAyicsa5L2ANNRGrL9AKfTM7ClsYK8VXxifE66OgxP0yIB8VL9Z6MCJPEKI1766PujG4qicqCFOvUWh

It’s not that complicated. The side view camera used could automatically adjust to each hitter. That would be simple. The overhead camera could easily accurately capture the 17” plate.

I find the arguments against weak. The point being avoided is how inconsistent umpires are. Everyone knows they miss a lot of calls. Plays in the field can be challenged. Strike zones need to be consistent.

Brady Smith.

Way above slot. (138)

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
bluto

Isn’t the biggest argument against the union?

Bluto

We are back from Santa Barbara, here is a little compilation of the comments I gathered from/on the Dodgers picks

7-220. Dodgers: Patrick Copen, RHP, Marshall
• college projection frame w/ good heat, pwr mid 90’s FB up to uppers, fringe SL w/ some vert/depth, frame/delivery for starter projection but blw-avg control and lack of third pitch give power relief outlook

Big 6’6” righty starter, fastball up to the high 90s. A lot of strikeouts this year (83 in 72.2 IP) but a lot of walks too (54).

Patrick Copen Pitch Arsenal Comps
FB: Jose Leclerc
SL: Dylan Cease
CB: Merrill Kelly

• Scouts could see Patrick Copen‘s mid-90s fastball any time, but what was under the Marshall University pitcher’s cap was of more interest to them: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/herds-copen-expects-to-be-drafted/article_2342acf1-1445-5b6c-a290-183cbe0ce7a5.html?utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

6-190. Dodgers: Bryan Gonzalez, SS, Carlos Beltran Academy (PR)
• undersized toolsy prep MIF, RHH w/ contact skills and phys projection to see fringe pwr, sound def at SS w/ long term potential (Illinois St commit)

Gonzalez is young for the class, as he turns 18 later this week. Being picked here, would imagine he’s signable.

• 5-163. Dodgers: Joe Vetrano, 1B, Boston College

• big-bodied power slugging LHH 1B, immense strength in swing w/ easy ability to drive ball to pull side, s/m will have to be dev focus to reach offensive upside, defense limited to 1B

• The @Dodgers
with a couple of personal favorite picks in the last round or so in Dylan Campbell and now @BCBirdBall
‘s Joe Vetrano. No one puts a charge into the ball from the left side quite like Joe Vetrano. Outrageously impressive raw power. #MLBDraft

He’s a powerful, left-handed typical bat first player. He hit 22 homers this season and was a third team all ACC selection

Another excellent pick from the #Dodgers. Killing it today. BC 1B Joe Vetrano. Plus power. Good eye. Great guy to have in the system. #HereToPlacomment image

Telling you right now, don’t sleep on Vetrano. Selfishly would like the Yankees to take him. His swing would play *perfectly* at Yankee Stadium

1B JOE VETRANO, BOSTON COLLEGE (NO. 134 ON TOP 400, 143 BAGS+)Vetrano’s only time on base on Friday against the Tar Heels was an intentional walk in the 10th inning. Despite the fact that he went 0-for-5 on the night, that one moment illustrated how dangerous he can be with the bat at any given moment.
Vetrano is a physical player with a maxed-out, extra-large frame and a strong build. He starts in a wide stance, stepping towards the pitcher before unloading his aggressive, uppercut swing that is geared for power and leads to plenty of swing-and-miss. The former two-way player is a very streaky hitter whose home runs come in bunches, and while he has improved upon his plate discipline since last season, he still chases out of the zone far too often. When he makes contact, it’s loud– he has effortless power to all parts of the park.
Vetrano is a decent athlete for his size, and he moves well around the first base bag, with good enough hands to stave off becoming a full-time DH. There is enough to like to make Vetrano a late Day 2 pick, but he doesn’t make enough contact to maximize his offensive upside.

4c-137. Dodgers: Eriq Swan, RHP, Middle Tennessee St
• big-bodied power arm w/ triple digits among Stuff+ leaders, pwr mid/high 90’s FB up to 102, s/m SL w/ depth, usable CH, immense stuff/build for upside but limited control/command lean to power relief outlook

• The #Dodgers have taken Middle Tennessee State RHP Eriq Swan at No. 137 overall

He has touched 102 mph before on his fastball, but has struggled with command and life on the pitch

• Dodgers snag Eriq Swan in a comp round. Starter that struggled to consistently throw strikes but sat upper 90s, touched 102 with disgusting vert movement. If they can get more consistency out of him that’s a dangerous future weapon down the line

Dodgers betting on stuff with the 137th pick. Eriq Swan had a 6.49 ERA in college, but he throws 100. Their player dev system has had success in recent years with guys who underperformed in college but had good stuff.

• Watching JR Eriq Swan from MTSU vs UTSA. 6’6’ 240. 96-100 4/2, slider & a change. May as well say Stuff+ across his jersey.

Yeah, his command needs work (43 BB in 55 IP going into today) but I’d be very, very interested to make an investment.

Very loose arm with easy delivery, FB jumps out of the hand at 97-100 T101 with heavy life. Flashed CH in low-90’s with late diving action and SL at 82-85 with late sweep. However, command was not great.

The effortless fastball worked 97-100 and gave up the loan hit, a soft single. Fastball worked with tilt at the bottom of the zone from Swans 6’6 frame. Pure velocity should crest top of the zone success in future. SL 84-91.

4c-136. Dodgers: Dylan Campbell, OF, Texas
• model-darling hitting outfielder, simple/quiet RH cut w/ excellent barrel control w/ compact strength and quick bat give fringe pwr projection, abv-avg runner w/ plus arm could see CF dev w/ RF outlook

• He hit 13 homers and has a 60-grade arm on MLB dot com. He also set a Big-12 record this year with a 38 game hitting streak

• Impact-armed RF found sorely needed line drives in volume during ’23 to resuscitate a floundering batted ball profile. Else still pops up on infield often despite ’23 gains there, and hasn’t fully solved lefthanded pitchers yet.

I had a feeling Dylan Campbell would go earlier than most boards had him and I was right. Dodgers get a really nice all-around talent with pop, a good approach, and a great track record in the Big 12 especially lately. Also a cannon for an arm. Nice get for LA

Another personal favorite in Dylan Campbell goes to the @Dodgers
in the fourth round. There were murmurs today that Campbell might return to Texas, but he will sign in that range. Campbell had an expected breakout year from an offensive standpoint. Advanced plate approach.

Dylan Campbell was one of the more productive hitters in the country this year, I was recently talked my out of my negative issues with him this is a solid pick for Dodgers

Each time I’ve seen him in person or on tape, noticed the ball comes off Dylan Campbell‘s bat a little different. He just hit a two-run homer out to RCF on a high fly ball that just wouldn’t stop carrying. Impressive swing to drive it out that way. 7-0 Texas B6. #HookEm

4-127. Dodgers: Wyatt Crowell, LHP, Florida St
• TJ arm w/ relief upside/SP arsenal, mid/upper 90’s FB w/ run/bore, sweepy SL produces high s/m%, fringe CH dev will dictate future role, undersized w/ lack of third pitch and fringe command give bat-missing relief upside

• Crowell underwent Tommy John surgery in March, so he will be rehabbing for awhile. He has a mid-90s sinker with a devastating slider.

Florida State baseball is building a stable of power arms. Mike Martin Jr. and Jimmy Belanger expected to bring in a good group of arms in their 2020 recruiting class, but they didn’t expect them to be as good as they were this past fall. The most surprising arm was Wyatt Crowell.
Belanger described Crowell’s game with one word: “Power.” But that power wasn’t something that Belanger expected out of Crowell so soon. When I asked Belanger if he expected Crowell to be a power pitcher when he stepped on campus, he laughed and said, “No, not at all.”
Belanger saw the Georgia native throw in his junior year of high school. His fastball sat 87-88 MPH. In the fall, he sat 92-95 with his fastball. From day one at Florida State, Crowell wowed the pitching coach. “When he came out that first day and he’s throwing the ball 94-95 in a live AB, that was kind of eye-opening for sure,” Belanger said.
Coming out of West Forsyth high school in Georgia, Crowell was rated the sixth LHP in the state and the 454th overall player in the class. In high school, he sat mostly in the high 80’s with his fastball. The power wasn’t the name of his game in high school, but rather deception.

Crowell is another arm that fell victim to the injury bug, undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. When healthy, he has easy mechanics and the body screams projection. He’s been into the mid-90s with his sinker, but he sat in the low-90s as a starter this spring. The slider is the best pitch in the arsenal, a sweeping beast that has hard bite and high spin. The change-up is serviceable, as well. – Tyler Jennings

Dodgers will make Wyatt Crowell into a stud. Undersized lefty with explosive stuff in short bursts, the FB/SL can be special. Looked great in the fall, but velocity fell as a starter in the spring then he went down with Tommy John.

Bobby

did we just draft Billy Wagner??

Badger

Well done Bluto

tedraymond

Jeff, a very nice and accurate review of the season so far. As usual the pitching will be the key to a successful 2nd half and the postseason. The need for one, if not two, starting pitchers should be at the top of AF’s shopping list. I know it’s going to be expensive, but the injuries so far this year have been devastating. There seems to be no certainty who’s going to be available to pitch game to game. To be able to get at least one pitcher who has a good health history and can average at least six innings per start would be huge. Again, my choice is Giolito.

Not very excited about the Dodger draft so far (through round 8). There sure appears to be a large gap between the rankings and where the players are chosen. And, not just with the Dodgers. I guess signability has a lot to do with how the HS players are ranked or chosen. I assume the Dodger front office has a plan. It appeared several of the players they wanted to take at 36 got selected before their spot came up. I would think there will be an explanation after the draft. Of course, they’ll all be happy with every pick and things all worked out the way they had anticipated.

Singing the Blue

Andrew, using a strategy that has worked for him before, has taken pitchers in rounds 7 and 9 that have had recent TJ surgery. The word on both of them is that they have great stuff and one, or both, might be destined for relief.

Remember the names Patrick Copen and Ryan Brown

Singing the Blue

Correction – it was Crowell and Brown who had TJ

Oldbear48

Considering where they draft Ted, every player is a crapshoot. Remember, Piazza was a 62nd round pick and then only as a favor to Lasorda. Development is the key. And the Dodgers do that about as good as anyone. Seems to me like they draft a bunch of really raw talent with plus tools. How they develop is the question.

Bobby

Great stuff, Bluto. Thanks!

Bluto

The ludicrously great Andy McCullough on Ohtani:
https://t.co/CTYu2BYPK8

Singing the Blue

Here’s a brief rundown on the guys we’ve drafted so far, courtesy of Future Dodgers:

FutureDodgers Prospect Portal – Google Sheets

As far as I can determine, 4 of the 12 picks so far are from the area covered by scout Marty Lamb. He’s the one responsible for Buehler, Will Smith and Rushing, just to name a few.

The guys so far from his area (KY, TN, IN, OH) are Smith, Swan, Elkins and Brown. I always pay special attention to Marty Lamb’s picks.

Badger

Gotta admit. I don’t know any of these players, which means nothing.

Mookie out early. Frankly I’m just fine with that.

Oldbear48

I am happy, and a little surprised that they are where they are at the break. I really do not believe they will make any major trades unless of course one falls into their lap. White Sox seem willing to listen to offers on all but four of their players. Cease, Vaughn, Robert and Jimenez. Another online news report says the Angels might soften on trading Ohtani if they continue to falter. But they also think there is little chance he would get traded to the Dodgers. Not going to watch the All-Star game. It lost its luster for me a long time ago. Instead, I will be going to see the new Indiana Jones movie.

Oldbear48

I did not think Mookie had a shot in the Home run derby, 11 bombs? He was up against a heavyweight.

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