Notes on a few Minor League arms

Hey, everyone. Don’t worry, full scouting reports are coming. In the meantime, here are some notes on pitchers that maybe don’t warrant full reports but you might as well know about anyway. Just some little updates.

Brody Colvin– Colvin’s stuff is down, even out of the bullpen. The fastball is sitting 87-90 and he’s not repeating. The command and control are all well below average. While the athleticism and curveball are still interesting, the pitcher I’ve seen this year isn’t one thats looks like a future big leaguer. The velocity needs to come back for me to think otherwise.

Austin Wright– Wright’s move to the bullpen has been accompanied by an uptick in velocity. The fastball is now humming in at an above average 90-93 mph as opposed to last year’s 88-91 range. The curveball is an average offering, a useful upper 70s hook with decent depth. It’s not really a bat-misser, not consistently anyway, but it has decent depth. Wright’s done a much better job of keeping the ball down so far this year, though oftentimes he’s missing in the dirt. He has a middle-inning ceiling but is still a long way from it.

Jay Johnson– Johnson garnered some attention when he paced the Arizona Fall League arms in curveball RPMs but there are just too many issues here to be optimistic about things. Johnson’s exceptionally low arm slot is indicative of platoon issues as right-handed hitters will pick up the ball early out of his hand. The real issue, though, is control. There isn’t any. And Johnson doesn’t have enough stuff to overcome it.

Hoby Milner– The wire-thin lefty hasn’t added any weight since he was in Low-A, and is clearly just one of those guys who will always be skinny. While being skinny isn’t a death sentence, a 40-grade fastball can be and that’s about where Milner is sitting with the heater right now. The slider is fringe-average but too often is it an easy diagnosis out of his hand. Milner peppers the glove side of the strike zone, often running fastball off the hips of righties, forcing uncomfortable swings or looking strikes. It’s refreshing to see someone at this level challenge hitters inside the way Milner does but it’s not enough for me to consider him a prospect.

Nefi Ogando– Ogando was the return from the John McDonald trade last year and it appears the Phillies have stolen themselves a pretty serious arm. Ogando’s fastball has ticked up a bit, now sitting 95-97mph with more sevens than fives. He compliments it with a hard, mid-80s slider that moves pretty late and has more vertical drop to it than horizontal run. It’s an average pitch that flashes 55 here and there. The 24-year old righty has some control issues, but unlike other arms in the system, he has the stuff to overcome them. The fastball has some heft to it too, and I think Ogando will get his share of ground balls. I need more looks to pinpoint what I think Ogando’s ultimate role will be, but I absolutely think this is a Major League bullpen piece.

Cody Forsythe– The Lakewood lefty has a quick arm and fringe stuff. The fastball sits 88-89, he has a slider with two-plane tilt in the upper 70s and a show me changeup in the low 80s. I didn’t see enough to get a feel for the command and control, which will have to be spot-on since the stuff isn’t that great.


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  1. awh™

    May 08, 2014 01:51 PM

    Eric, Ogando’s K rate seems low for someone with that kind of stuff – even for AA. Am I missing something?

    • Eric Longenhagen

      May 08, 2014 02:39 PM

      It’s only 11 innings of work, first off. The fastball is hard but a bit straight. This isn’t closer stuff we’re talking about, but it’s enough that I think he’s a big leaguer.

  2. mark66

    May 09, 2014 07:35 AM

    Part of the problem continues to be excuses being offered for poor decisions made by the GM and front office. Make those changes and everything will take care of itself. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    • Eric Longenhagen

      May 09, 2014 09:28 AM

      I think the problem is that we fetishize bacon. Bacon is great, but its increasing omnipresence because of its perceived sinful, decadent nature is wearing on me.

  3. Sean O'Brien

    May 09, 2014 05:28 PM

    They traded John McDonald for a person? I thought they left him at the airport somewhere.

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