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Rating the Young Pitchers

I was wondering what everyone thought of the young pitchers that have started this year (not counting Ryu or Williams).


Rate each player (let’s keep it to Marshall, Marmol, Hill, and Guzman) on a point system (0-2, being the highest). Rating fastball, breaking pitch, and location.




Fastball 1.0 (88-92)- Uses the fastball mainly to setup breaking ball, also throws it chest high to get a swinging strike.


Breaking Pitch 1.5 (Curveball, Mulder-esche movement)- Is knee buckling at best, at worst it is still an effective change of pace. Can locate the pitch better than most.


Location 1.5- When losing, he tends to keep the fastball up in the zone, when winning his fastball come in on right handers or stays away nicely. On lefthanders he can consistently "bend" his curve ball out then into the strike zone.


4.0- A good prospect who should be the favorite to make the rotation next year. On a better team, his record is 8-5, not 5-8.




Fastball 1.5(90-97)- When he is locating well, his fastball can hit 94-96, knee high. Most of the time he needs to slows down his fastball to locate, but still hits 92-94.


Breaking Pitch 1.5(Slider)- Tight, late breaking and when it is "popping" down right nasty. Also throws it fast(85-87). Like most young pitchers, struggles to locate, but is still very hard to hit. This pitch causes a majority of the walks he gives up.


Location 1.0- Good for how young he is, and should get better. When he can consistently get a head of batters, he is unhittable. Walks are his Achilles heals. If he is not ahead in the count, he will either give up hits trying to locate his fastball or he will walk since his slider breaks down and out of the strike zone.


4.0- If he learns how to throw a changeup(or keeps working on it), and throw it for strikes, he will be a good mlb pitcher. With less walks(aka pitches thrown), he will consistently give them 7 innings, but right now he is good for 5-6. I think he is the best overall prospect the cubs have.




Fastball 0.5 (86-92)- His fastball makes me angry. Before these last two starts, his fastball was hitting the gun at 86-90 with little movement and generally belt high. In his last two starts, he has been outstanding with changing the speeds of his fastball, at a major league acceptable speed range of 88-92. His fastball can push into right handers, and like Marshall is a set up pitch for his curve ball.


Breaking Pitch 2.0 (Curve, Zito left handed "hammer")- It is legendary in AAA, and in his last two starts has matched the hype. His curve, most of the time, can look like a good solid off speed pitch. It rolls of the table at the batters shoulder or chest and tumbles, depending on the amount of spin he puts on it. When it is at his best it looks like Zito's in that its starts from a high point, like that batters head or neck, and drops down to the bottom of the knee or lower when it crosses the plate.


Location .5 - His curve ball is never the problem, but in the ML, you can’t throw 105 curve balls and be successful. His fastball, overall(taking into account all his starts) is slow and consistently floats to the middle of the plate. When he is pitching well he can locate the fastball and throw it harder.


3.0 If Hill is here to stay, his last two outings should be the norm. If he reverts back to the batting practice fastball of his other outings, the cubs should sadly show him door to land of Roosevelt Brown and Julio Zuleta.




Fastball 1.5 (94-98) He throws hard even when he is starting. It moves well, almost too well. Reminds me of early zambrano how it moves fast and from in and out of the strike zone. Location is key.


Breaking Pitch 1.5 (Changeup, Curve) All out pitches, all can be devastating. The changeup moves and can drop the pitch speed 8-14 mph. The curve ball does the same, and from what I saw loops into right handers or drops tighter against left handers. His ability to learn and almost master both is what makes him so special.


Location 0.0- When he is up to the majors, his location is terrible. Either his pitches move too much or he is just nervous or both. The problem is not that he walks consistently like Marmol(giving up a walk an inning), it that he will pick an inning to walk 3 or 4, or hit a batter, then give up a hit. He will get more chances to pitch but needs to work it out more in the minors.


2.5- He gets downgraded .5 because of durability. Had he been healthy the last three years he would already have been a staple in this rotation. Experience will knock out his wildness but because of his injuries he might need a Rich Hill like time table to get here.


Quick word on Mateo- Great location, should pitch faster as he gets more experience. Dusty is correct in saying he must have a definite second pitch. He will be good in long relief and another year in winter league and or AAA next year should get him ready for the MLB.

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I don't understand how Rich Hill gets punished for bad control last year. Angel Guzman gets punished for bad control in a couple starts in the majors, without a history of control problems before. But Marmol, who has had worse control than either of the 2 on the ML level, gets a pass for being young.


And if a 97 and 98 mph fastball with great movement, isn't a 2.0, I don't know what is.

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