Top 50 Scouting Report: #14 Nathan Vineyard

The New York Mets drafted the left-hander in the supplemental first round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Woodland High School in Georgia. Just months removed from the high school diamond, Vineyard showed his full compliment of pitches on his way to a fine rookie season. Here is a scouting report on GCL starter Nathan Vineyard.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Nathan Vineyard
DOB: October 3, 1988
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Throws: Left
Bats: Left

Nathan Vineyard, 19, was the second player chosen by the Mets in last summer's draft and quickly set himself apart as one of the best starting pitching prospects selected on the club's draft board. He is southpaw with a deep array of pitches already in his backpocket and he supplies talent not often found in his peers. Two weeks from draft day, he was in St. Lucie headlining the Mets' young rookie rotation.

Vineyard is by no means unfamiliar to success. During his high school days, he tossed a perfect game in front of an army of scouts at Turner Field in an all-star game comprised of young talent from across the country. He was a member of numerous showcase teams for high school talent, so when he arrived in the Gulf Coast League he felt prepared for the task at hand.

Yet the transition for Vineyard was not a smooth one. He struggled with his velocity leading up to the draft and some of that misfortune carried over into his first professional starts. In his first four outings, he pitched 9.1 innings, surrendering 12 earned runs. He still struck out his fair share of hitters, but was leaving the ball up in the zone more than he used to and hitters took advantage.

It may have been that Vineyard was so used to dominating hitters at the amateur level that he simply lacked the composure or processes to adjust from start to start or within the same game. Adjustments to his technique were certainly in order, forcing him to learn what it takes to pitch at the professional level. By confronting the problems head on, he became a better pitcher down the stretch.

Vineyard's worked closely with pitching coach Robert Ellis between starts to correct his flaws, and it was a July 19 start against the Gulf Coast League Marlins that turned his fortunes. From there he went on a tear and allowed just four earned runs over his last 18 innings, striking out 22 against four walks. He capped off his season with a dominating one-run, eight strikeout performance against the Gulf Coast League Nationals.

Shaking off early struggles was a significant step for a young pitcher who rarely faced turmoil in his amateur days. But his noteworthy turnaround showed the maturity that Vineyard carries. Loaded with a fastball that appears even stronger coming from the left side, and a slider that falls off the table, the changes he made allowed him to work over the inexperience hitters of the Gulf Coast League.

His overall numbers do not jump of the page, but they also do not speak as to what kind of pitcher Vineyard is and the pitcher he may be. A born winner and a pitcher with high confidence, Vineyard has the traits sought after within the Mets organization and by most talent evaluators. The next steps for both him, coaches and coordinators is molding all that promise into a force on the mound.

The Mets reached high on their draft board to snag Vineyard, but his ceiling is very high, and after one season he appears to be a keeper. He dove into the off-season with a fierce drive to improve his physical strength with plans to keep improving both his curveball and changeup. Come this spring, when Vineyard takes the mound, it will be as a much more mature and polished pitcher.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

GCL

0-3

0

27.1

30

9

33

5.27



Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Vineyard throws a very solid four-seam fastball in the low-90s, though he can touch 93 at times, with good movement and efficient command. He can locate the pitch down in the strike zone and both sides of the plate with tailing movement. He uses his fastball to set up his secondary pitches and infrequently throws it when ahead in the count, choosing to rely on breaking pitches. He is still young and has the potential to add a few ticks on the fastball as he gets older and strengthens his shoulder.

Other pitches: Vineyard's best pitch is his devastating three-quarters slider which he throws around 85 miles per hour. It has massive break that tails hard down and away to left-handers, dives under the bats of right-handers, and serves as his finishing pitch. His second breaking pitch is a mid to high-70s curveball which he tinkered with in high school but continues work on at the professional level. Lastly, he throws a reliable circle-changeup which he throws with good command and good arm action allowing, the ball to tumble through the bottom half of the strike zone.

Pitching: Vineyard has the type of stuff and the mentality to be a good fit in the Mets' pitching philosophy. He keeps the ball down with his full compliment of pitches, pounding the strike zone with his fastball and changeup before finishing hitters off with his slider. He demonstrated good control and will not often get beat by giving up too many walks. He is not a groundball pitcher in the traditional sense, but gets his share of grounders because of his command in the lower half of the strike zone. However, as he gets older and his pitches become even finer, he may become more of a strikeout pitcher thanks to his growing velocity combined with his tremendous slider and improving changeup.

Projection: Vineyard's deep repertoire, and the quality of those pitches, is very uncommon for a pitcher his age. There is little doubt the Mets envision him as a starting pitcher and he will be trained as such as he moves up the ladder. He has the arsenal to be a leading arm at the front of a big league rotation, most likely a sturdy number two.

ETA: 2012. Vineyard got his feet wet in the Gulf Coast League last season, but that could be his lone season in a short-season. Starting the new season in the South Atlantic League is probable, but his destination will be determined by his training camp performance. If he does start the year at the rookie level a mid-summer promotion to a long-season team will be likely. Nonetheless, he will play a major role in any starting rotation as he sets himself up to spend one season per level before breaking into the big leagues after four more seasons in the minors.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Nathan Vineyard
\r\nDOB: October 3, 1988
\r\nHeight: 6'2\"
\r\nWeight: 200
\r\nThrows: Left
\r\nBats: Left
\r\n
\r\nNathan Vineyard, 19, was the second player chosen by the Mets in last summer's draft and quickly set himself apart as one of the best starting pitching prospects selected on the club's draft board. He is southpaw with a deep array of pitches already in his backpocket and he supplies talent not often found in his peers. Two weeks from draft day, he was in St. Lucie headlining the Mets' young rookie rotation.
\r\n
\r\nVineyard is by no means unfamiliar to success. During his high school days, he tossed a perfect game in front of an army of scouts at Turner Field in an all-star game comprised of young talent from across the country. He was a member of numerous showcase teams for high school talent, so when he arrived in the Gulf Coast League he felt prepared for the task at hand.
\r\n
\r\nYet the transition for Vineyard was not a smooth one. He struggled with his velocity leading up to the draft and some of that misfortune carried over into his first professional starts. In his first four outings, he pitched 9.1 innings, surrendering 12 earned runs. He still struck out his fair share of hitters, but was leaving the ball up in the zone more than he used to and hitters took advantage.
\r\n
\r\nIt may have been that Vineyard was so used to dominating hitters at the amateur level that he simply lacked the composure or processes to adjust from start to start or within the same game. Adjustments to his technique were certainly in order, forcing him to learn what it takes to pitch at the professional level. By confronting the problems head on, he became a better pitcher down the stretch.
\r\n
\r\nVineyard's worked closely with pitching coach Robert Ellis between starts to correct his flaws, and it was a July 19 start against the Gulf Coast League Marlins that turned his fortunes. From there he went on a tear and allowed just four earned runs over his last 18 innings, striking out 22 against four walks. He capped off his season with a dominating one-run, eight strikeout performance against the Gulf Coast League Nationals.
\r\n
\r\nShaking off early struggles was a significant step for a young pitcher who rarely faced turmoil in his amateur days. But his noteworthy turnaround showed the maturity that Vineyard carries. Loaded with a fastball that appears even stronger coming from the left side, and a slider that falls off the table, the changes he made allowed him to work over the inexperience hitters of the Gulf Coast League.
\r\n
\r\nHis overall numbers do not jump of the page, but they also do not speak as to what kind of pitcher Vineyard is and the pitcher he may be. A born winner and a pitcher with high confidence, Vineyard has the traits sought after within the Mets organization and by most talent evaluators. The next steps for both him, coaches and coordinators is molding all that promise into a force on the mound.
\r\n
\r\nThe Mets reached high on their draft board to snag Vineyard, but his ceiling is very high, and after one season he appears to be a keeper. He dove into the off-season with a fierce drive to improve his physical strength with plans to keep improving both his curveball and changeup. Come this spring, when Vineyard takes the mound, it will be as a much more mature and polished pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n GCL

\r\n

\r\n 0-3

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 27.1

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 9

\r\n

\r\n 33

\r\n

\r\n 5.27


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: Vineyard throws a very solid four-seam fastball in the low-90s, though he can touch 93 at times, with good movement and efficient command. He can locate the pitch down in the strike zone and both sides of the plate with tailing movement. He uses his fastball to set up his secondary pitches and infrequently throws it when ahead in the count, choosing to rely on breaking pitches. He is still young and has the potential to add a few ticks on the fastball as he gets older and strengthens his shoulder.
\r\n
\r\nOther pitches: Vineyard's best pitch is his devastating three-quarters slider which he throws around 85 miles per hour. It has massive break that tails hard down and away to left-handers, dives under the bats of right-handers, and serves as his finishing pitch. His second breaking pitch is a mid to high-70s curveball which he tinkered with in high school but continues work on at the professional level. Lastly, he throws a reliable circle-changeup which he throws with good command and good arm action allowing, the ball to tumble through the bottom half of the strike zone.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Vineyard has the type of stuff and the mentality to be a good fit in the Mets' pitching philosophy. He keeps the ball down with his full compliment of pitches, pounding the strike zone with his fastball and changeup before finishing hitters off with his slider. He demonstrated good control and will not often get beat by giving up too many walks. He is not a groundball pitcher in the traditional sense, but gets his share of grounders because of his command in the lower half of the strike zone. However, as he gets older and his pitches become even finer, he may become more of a strikeout pitcher thanks to his growing velocity combined with his tremendous slider and improving changeup.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Vineyard's deep repertoire, and the quality of those pitches, is very uncommon for a pitcher his age. There is little doubt the Mets envision him as a starting pitcher and he will be trained as such as he moves up the ladder. He has the arsenal to be a leading arm at the front of a big league rotation, most likely a sturdy number two.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2012. Vineyard got his feet wet in the Gulf Coast League last season, but that could be his lone season in a short-season. Starting the new season in the South Atlantic League is probable, but his destination will be determined by his training camp performance. If he does start the year at the rookie level a mid-summer promotion to a long-season team will be likely. Nonetheless, he will play a major role in any starting rotation as he sets himself up to spend one season per level before breaking into the big leagues after four more seasons in the minors.
\r\n
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