Saturday, August 21, 2010

Piliere's Scouting Reports on Banuelos, Betances, & Brackman

Frankie Piliere wrote up these three scouting reports, one on Manuel Banuelos, another on Dellin Betances, and a third on Andrew Brackman. As you know by now, Banuelos and Betances are already headed to Double-A, and Brackman is already there.

I'll post the summaries of each report here, but I suggest you go read each report in full, you won't be disappointed. There's a lot of good stuff in each.

Look around the big leagues and find the left-handed starting pitchers that average 93 mph or better with their fastball. It's a very short list. Throw in the fact that Banuelos is a consistent strike-throwing machine with two above-average secondary pitches and you have a very rare commodity.

If you're looking for any negatives with Banuelos, it's his lack of size. But given the ease of his delivery, plus stuff and greatly advanced pitching aptitude, this is a particular talent that goes against the stereotype. If he can remain healthy and keep his shorter frame in check, he is a true front-of-the-rotation type pitcher.
Given some real similarities in their deliveries, as well as having highly similar arsenals and approaches, the best modern-day comparison for Dellin Betances is Josh Beckett. Obviously, Beckett may not still be that dominant pitcher, so this comparison goes more for the Beckett of old. Betances obviously is taller than Beckett, but other than that they are comparable in just about every other way, including the powerful mid-90s fastball, their deliveries, and the hard 12-6 hooks.

But since he was drafted, there's never been much doubt that Betances had potentially all-world type stuff. Thankfully, his elbow surgery has not robbed him of that. It may have, in fact, given him more time to develop his changeup and refine his delivery. Those two categories have both gone from potential weaknesses to strengths.

The bottom line here is this: keep Dellin Betances on the mound and healthy and his talent is as good as anyone at the minor league level. Health is the only thing that can hold him back.
Over the past year I've been primarily negative on Brackman. He had yet to show me anything resembling the stuff he had in college and his command and mechanics were a mess to say the least. As of now, he still has a lot to learn about pitching, about how to read the bat, when to be more aggressive, among other things. Taken on its own you'd think he has a very long, difficult road ahead learning to be more consistent.

But given the progress I've seen from last year to spring training to now, I'd have to say that the righty has shown the ability to improve rapidly. He now shows solid command in the strike zone, a smooth and rather effortless over-the-top delivery, and the dynamic arsenal of a top-of-the-rotation starter. If given the time and patience to develop, he now has all the ingredients needed to make an elite big league starter. Again, there is much work to be done, but Brackman now is much more than just a guy you can dream on, and instead is a pitcher making outstanding progress.
The future is bright, folks.

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