Hitter Scouting Reports: Coming Soon
Salt River-Scottsdale, Wednesday
Rays LHP Grayson Garvin started against Braves RHP Aaron Northcraft Wednesday night in Scottsdale. Garvin had a night to remember that one scout said was among the best pitching performance he'd seen in over 10 years scouting the AFL, throwing just 65 pitches through 5 one-hit innings. Northcraft was also good, relying on his command to work around his below average fastball.
Garvin's performance and stat line obscure what is pretty ordinary stuff. He sat 88-91 and hit 92 mph with an ordinary fastball, also using other pitches that ranged from fringe-average to solid-average: an 81-83 mph changeup, a 79-83 mph slider and an 84-86 mph cutter. Garvin is 6'6/225, a solid athlete, works fast, gets his front foot down early and is very controlled, giving him at least solid average command and a little projection to his velocity. The upside is only a back-end starter, but it's high probability off of this look at the sandwich round pick in 2012 that only threw 28.1 innings before the AFL due to elbow trouble.
Northcraft has good size at 6'4/230 but gives much of that advantage away with a drop-and-drive delivery and near sidearm release point. He recently toned-down a very high leg kick in his delivery and Northcraft's command is also a little above average. He works 87-90, hitting 91 mph with consistently above average two-seam life thanks to his low slot. His 81-82 mph changeup is solid-average with his 78-81 mph slider flashes above average potential. Pitchers with less stuff have carved out nice careers as back-end starters turned swing men and the Braves have done well recently at squeezing all the talent out of what arms they have.
Jake Barrett is a reliever, as the video shows. The delivery is not great and the arm action is just okay, but the effort doesn't make those determinations very important as it's clear command isn't a priority here. Barrett sat 94-97 closing out the game and also used a solid average 86-87 split change and 86-88 mph slider that flashes above average potential. There's setup guy potential here if Barrett can stay healthy and keep his command and delivery manageable as he has so far.
Barrett's teammate LHP Andrew Chafin had some good buzz leading into and just after the 2011 MLB Draft, where he went in the sandwich round out of Kent State after recovering from a 2010 Tommy John surgery. That post-surgery velocity slowly diminished as Chafin's star has faded and he sat 87-90 for me, hitting 91, about 5 ticks off of his previous highs. He has some feel to spin a breaking ball, with a 79-80 mph slider that was solid-average, but Chafin didn't have much feel for his 80-81 mph changeup that was below average. Cardinals LHP Anthony Ferrara has some similarities to Chafin as Ferrara's velocity peaked before his senior season in high school and some arm issues led to him now working at 87-89. Ferrara's 71-76 mph curveball flashed above average potential and his 74-75 mph changeup is usable but was fringy in this outing. Both are medium-sized lefties that had premium stuff at one point and still have a shot to make the big leagues but look more like org guys at this point.
Giants teammates righties Cody Hall and Derek Law along with Yankees teammates LHP Fred Lewis and RHP Brett Gerritse round out the interesting arms from this game. Hall is yet another typical AFL power arm, sitting 91-94 mph with a solid average low-80's slider and fringy at best command while Law also sat 91-94 with his own delivery issues undermining command but a solid average low 80's changeup that got some swings and misses. Lewis is the most interesting of this group because he worked 91-95 from the left side with the cleanest arm action and delivery. Lewis worked mostly off his fastball but flashed a low-80's slider that was solid-average at times and a usable changeup. Gerritse has good size at 6'4/200, some feel to pitch and sat 90-92 mph with an average hard downer curveball at 79-80 mph and a fringy changeup at 82-83 mph. Lewis has the best chance of this group to get more than a cup of coffee but all four have a chance to get there.