Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 2/17/1992 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2009
Ranking History: #184 (2011), #48 (2012), #15 (2013), #9 (2014)
Background: Signed just before the 2009 season, Briceno spent two years in the VSL posting a combined 4.73 ERA in 78 innings before coming stateside and posting a 5.34 ERA in the GCL in 2011. Though his ERA was still over 5.00 in 2012, Briceno made tangible progress toward realizing his potential with Connecticut. He continued that progress in 2013 with a 4.47 ERA in 25 starts for Low-A West Michigan.
|2013 Stats - Pitching|
Body: Very long; extremely lean; exceptionally long arms and legs; sloped shoulders; won't add much more mass than he already has; solid strength despite lean frame; showed signs of durability with increased workload in 2013; minor elbow injury early this season but no present long term concerns.
Delivery/Mechanics: When right, delivery is smooth and easy; minimal effort; ball jumps out of hand; mechanics from balance to release can vary at times; doesn't always have consistent arm slot; good athlete that will have long streaks with excellent mechanics; should clean things up with more experience.
Fastball: FB will range from 90-97; consistently sits 92-93 and can work 94-95 when he wants to; natural sink on ball; induces weak contact; very difficult to life; highly leveraged pitch thanks to length and high-3/4 arm slot; angle and sink combine to make pitch play up beyond raw velo; learning how to add and subtract from FB; can pound zone but still learning to command; easy plus pitch with velocity and movement now; potential to be even better. Grade – Present 6/Future 6+
Curveball: Lacks feel for pitch; doesn't snap it off consistently; rotation is loose and inconsistent; pitch gets slurvy all too frequently; hasn't made much progress with pitch over last two years; needs pitch to develop to miss more bats; may be fringe pitch at best. Grade – 3+/4+
Changeup: Really good feel for offering; precocious pitch for player of his experience level; can really turn it over; natural arm speed deception; pitch has some sink and fade when at its best; plays well off sinking FB; consistently average now and regularly shows as above-average pitch; potential to be better than plus if he continues working it and throws it with conviction; impressive offering. Grade – 5+/6+
Control/Command: Ease of delivery screams control/command projection; will paint for stretches; lacks consistency; still finding delivery from pitch to pitch and game to game; once he finds it, FB/CH command should be impressive; plus potential.
Other: Learning nuances of pitching; has to learn to set hitters up more; must learn to be successfully without dominating breaking ball; can nibble too much; at his best when he attacks; works hard.
Summary: Still raw despite being 22 years old; breaking ball may never progress to average level; FB and CH could both be near plus-plus pitches; two impact offerings is impressive; delivery is clean and repeatable; command will come; raw potential to be mid-rotation starter; more likely back-end starter profile; still needs innings and to prove he can handle full starter workload.
Risk: High risk; Has yet to reach upper minors; still developing breaking ball; elbow injury has him on shelf right now.
Projection: One of the higher ceiling arms in the system; #3 raw potential; more likely 4/5 starter; could fall back to bullpen role with FB-CH combo if it doesn't work; needs at least two full years in minor leagues before he approaches big leagues; late 2016 ETA.
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