Futures Game Report: Henderson Alvarez

The Futures Game gives the scouting world a strong overall feel for the current prospect landscape in baseball. While not every top prospect is on display, and the look at these players is brief, the event still allows clubs to file concise scouting reports on the each prospect's performance. Here at Scout.com we are doing the same. Here's a scouting report on Jays' prospect, Henderson Alvarez.

Name: Henderson Alvarez
Position: Pitcher
Team: Double-A New Hampshire (Toronto Blue Jays)
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 195
Bats/Throws: R/R

Event Scouted: Futures Game

Physical Description


Alvarez is strongly built and athletic. He's somewhat stocky and has a lot of strength in his lower half. This is about where he should be long term in terms of any projection he might have left. He's physically mature and I wouldn't expect him to be add much more bulk to an already strong frame.

Mechanics

A lot of that plus velocity Alvarez is known for appears to come from a good use of his lower half. He's very in sync mechanically and his arm follows his lower half nicely. It is a high effort type delivery, but his arm works well and there's nothing in there that's too worrisome. Much of the violence in his delivery actually occurs before his arm gets involved. The use of his lower half is very promising when it comes to his long term durability. There's some inconsistency there, however, in terms of release point, particularly with the breaking ball.

Fastball

The heat is the bread and butter for Alvarez and it's what he featured most in the Futures Game. He worked consistently at 93-96 mph and topped out at 97 a couple times, showing the velocity we've come to expect. He gets some nice riding life up in the zone and he shows that he can miss bats. His fastball command is spotty at this point and below average overall. I'd like to see him consistently get his fastball to the corner on his glove side and work down in the zone a little more effectively.

Curveball

Alvarez didn't show his best breaking ball in Phoenix, and from past viewings he's capable of much better in this category. In this game, the curveball was a below average offering that flashed average. He threw it at 79-80 mph and he consistently got around it, showing poor spin and command. Although it's typically better, there's clearly still some work to be done here.

Changeup

Aside from a warmup toss, we didn't see the typically superb changeup featured from Alvarez in this one. His curveball may never be a lights out type pitch so he'll need to bank on the changeup. In the past, it's showed potential to be a plus pitch.

Summation

The velocity is obviously very present from Alvarez, but there's some work to be done in other areas. Usually he has the changeup going for him, but he's going to need to show more progress on the breaking ball. From viewing him here and in past outings, he may never have the sharp command of multiple pitches to be a front end starter, but he has made strides since last year, so the Blue Jays can be patient and see how his secondary pitches continue to develop.

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