"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Saturday, May 24, 2008

thoughts on drew naylor

this past wednesday, i made the trip to lakewood with the express purpose of watching drew naylor pitch. i was not disappointed. while his fastball only sat in the mid 80s touching 91, his curve was tremendous, and was well worth the trip. he showed the ability to both spot it for a strike, and bury it in the dirt. it is already a major league quality pitch.

naylor's changeup was mostly a show me pitch, but it did show the potential to be a quality major league offering. naylor was able to use it to record the most favorable outcome, as well as to generate missed swings. he was not yet able to consistently locate it in the strike zone, but that's a pretty minor quibble for a low A pitcher.

i could scan and post my charts, but i don't think i want to do that, so i'll just throw out the same information i gave for masterson last august:

total (65/95) 30 batters faced
pitch strikes total percentage
fastball 43 63 68
changeup 12 16 75
curve 10 16 63

vs. LHB (22/33) 10 batters faced
pitch strikes total percentage
fastball 13 22 59
changeup 5 6 83
curve 4 5 80

vs. RHB (43/62) 20 batters faced
pitch strikes total percentage
fastball 30 41 73
changeup 7 10 70
curve 6 11 55

i managed to get some video during the game, but it's not of very high quality, just good enough to make out some basic mechanics, but not good enough to view the track of the ball in flight.

lasting impressions were that if he gains 2 or 3 miles per hour on his fastball in the next few years, and sits easily at 88-92, touching 94, instead of 85-88, touching 91, he'll be a great pitcher. that's not an easy proposition, but give him 2 years to grow, fill out, and stay healthy, pitching in the minors, and it's not that far fetched an expectation.

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