Name: Endrys Briceno
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 2/17/1992
Dates Observed: June 26 and August 20, 2015
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2009
Body: (6’ 5”, 171) Briceno features a tall, rail thin, wiry frame that lacks muscle definition. He is essentially the same size he was a few years ago. His lack of lower body strength makes me question his ability to eat innings. There is minimal projection remaining for added growth as he appears to be physically maxed-out. Briceno's injury history includes Tommy John surgery back in 2014.
Delivery/Mechanics: Briceno fires the ball from a high-3/4 arm-slot, with clean and quick arm action through the release point. His arm-slot and long levers help generate nice natural downward plane, yielding a fair amount of ground balls. Briceno's delivery is free and easy; the epitome of the term effortless. He has made great strides improving the consistency of his delivery, landings and maintaining his arm-slot and arm-speed. Briceno's move to first base is exceptionally well for a right-hander. He fields his position and holds runners well, despite delivering the ball to the plate in a well below-average amount of time, typically between 1.39-to-1.46 seconds.
Fastball: : Briceno's fastball held velocity throughout the outing, sitting comfortably between 89-92, topping out at 93 mph a couple times. It's worth noting though that in his shorter rehab outings in the GCL he was routinely touching as high as 95 mph. His extended release point causes the ball jump out of the hand, often making it appear much faster than the velocity on the radar gun indicates. The offering features heavy natural sink when he pounds it in the lower third of the strike zone. The ball explodes with late life when he reaches back to get the occasional mid-90s velocity up in the strike zone. Briceno commands the fastball exceptionally well, especially considering the fact that he is just over one year removed from Tommy John surgery. Despite featuring average sitting velocity, the command, coupled with its exceptional movement make the offering an above-average pitch with near plus-plus potential should he move to the bullpen. Grade: Present 5+/Future 6+
Curveball: : A work in progress, Briceno' breaking ball sits between 77 and 79 mph. The pitch routinely lacks proper tight rotation and desired velocity, yielding an often well-barreled cement mixer. Briceno occasionally snaps one off showing tight late-breaking 11/5 action, allowing you to dream on fringy to big-league average potential. At present, It's a well below-average inconsistent offering that needs significant fine-tuning to be a useful weapon in his repertoire. Grade: Present 3+/ Future 4+
Changeup: Briceno's best secondary pitch, the change-up features mid-80s velocity. He has a feel for the offering, maintaining both arm-speed and arm-slot to properly sell the pitch. At its best the change-up features downward tumble with exceptional fade. Briceno is comfortable throwing the pitch to both right and left-handed batters. Overall it's an above-average offering with plus potential. Grade: Present 5+/ Future 6
Control/Command: The profile has control, but command understandably lags a bit, as it's usually the last thing to return after Tommy John surgery. He flashed the ability to pump quality strikes on the black of the plate. Consistency doing so however would come and go. Briceno challenges the opposition, routinely getting ahead in the count by throwing quality strikes with his fastball and change-up. He navigates the ball around all four quadrants of the strike zone exceptionally well and he's not afraid to keep batters honest, attacking them inside. Briceno struggles to turn over a lineup because of his inability to avoid predictable patterns in his sequencing, largely in part to his lack of a serviceable third pitch. However, I firmly believe that issue sorts itself out, if and when he's utilized in a relief role.
Other: Briceno is a fierce competitor, but he appears calm and even-keeled on the mound regardless of the results. He is highly regarded by his teammates and coaching staff as a hard worker and a great teammate. He responds well to constructive criticism and has shown the aptitude to polish his craft throughout the years. There are no off-the-field issues or potential red flags, as Briceno features plus makeup.
Projection: Tommy John surgery took the majority of the past two seasons of development away from Briceno. He will enter the 2016 season as a 24-year-old with no experience above A-ball, so time isn't necessarily on Briceno's side. That being said, the profile is nothing to scoff at, as Briceno possesses the ability to throw quality strikes with two potential plus pitches. While some might continue to hold out for the possibility of Briceno remaining in the rotation, I'm more apt to believe that his potential future will be in a big-league bullpen where the stuff has already flashed a tick higher, potentially yielding a seventh inning arm.