Alex Eisenberg, the brains behind baseball-intellect.com has provided me with tons of good Phillies related bits in the past, and he reached out to me to provide this detailed scouting report, along with mechanical analysis, of Phillies prospect Brody Colvin. Eisenberg ranked Colvin 4th in the Phillies system and assigned him a B grade. His full thoughts will be outlined in the post below. In addition, he’s offering a special deals for access to his members only exclusive content by clicking on this link. He provides tons of excellent scouting reports, video analysis, and other goodies during the season, including coverage leading up to the draft. So check that out if you’re interested. Now, the full report from Alex on Brody Colvin, below the fold.
Alex’s scouting report is below
Body Type – Muscular with a great pitcher’s frame.
Fastball – Sits in the 93 – 95 mph range, touching higher. The pitch possesses excellent late life.
Curveball – Potential above average pitch, but needs to improve the consistency of the pitch. Its bite is sometimes softer than you’d like to see, and he’s prone to hanging it. But it’s effective when it’s on, especially against right handers because it comes in at an where the pitch looks like it’s coming at them once released from Colvin’s hand. He has an ability to backdoor the pitch to lefties. Has to make sure he stays on top of the pitch so it gets the depth it needs.
Change-Up – Another potential above average pitch with solid sink. Like the curveball, it needs more consistency.
Colvin was a guy I aggressively ranked last year, and despite an extremely rough April, he seems to have lived up to the high praise. To say Colvin’s April was rough is actually an understatement. He ended the month with an 11.15 ERA. However, Colvin made what was an impressive turnaround, which you could say speaks for his mental make-up. Such a poor performance can sometimes snowball on a player, so the fact that he bounced back is a great sign. Once May hit, his peripherals jumped around a bit, but fell into a fairly defined range. His K% ranged between 18.8% to 24.4%, and his W% ranged between 3.3% to 9%. This is compared to a K% and W% of 11.1% in April. In later months, not only was he throwing more strikes and missing more bats, but he was inducing more ground balls as well. The fact that Colvin was throwing strikes at as solid a rate as he was last year was something of a surprise. I and many others felt — at least initially in his pro career — he would struggle to throw strikes, and that he’d be able to get by with good stuff.
Part of my reasoning for thinking that way came down to his mechanics, especially regarding what he did on his front side. Here is what I said in his write-up last year, in comparing his mechanics to those of Justin Verlander:
And then notice the front side mechanics. That’s the big difference here…Verlander maintains a firm glove out in front of the chest and brings his chest to the glove. Colvin does firm up, but the glove is positioned to his side down by his knee and as a result, Colvin’s front shoulder is at risk for flying open. This is where I’m reminded a bit of Aumont. It’s also a mechanical attribute that hurts his command.
Well, here is how his 2010 mechanics (left) compare to his high school mechanics (right). See if you can detect any changes:
If you haven’t picked it up, watch the action of the glove arm as the front shoulder starts opening. The glove is firmed up, out in front of his chest, and he lets the chest meet the glove, rather than pulling it down by his side. Look at his adjustments from behind home plate:
I pause the graphics at the time of release. Now which version looks more closed to you? The benefits of being able to consistently keep his front shoulder closed is better command, more deception (by staying closed, he’s essentially hiding the ball better, making his release point more difficult to pick up), and a lower risk of injury.
The front side mechanics are not the only adjustments he’s made. He’s also smoothed out his arm action, and adjusted his leg kick and stride into foot plant, which is not as linear as it was before, and now is more rotational instead.
Because his stride is a little more rotational, and also because his back is turned slightly more away from the hitters, he lands closed, meaning he throws across his body. Cross body motions have their pros and cons, but one thing I do like from it is that the angle he releases his ball makes things very difficult for right handed hitters.
Colvin’s stuff is better than his stat line lets on. Based on his upside, his improvement over the course of the 2010 season, and with a year of pro experience now under his belt, Colvin is one of the better candidates to breakout next season.
Best Case Outcome – No. 2 starter
More Likely Outcome – No. 3 starter
Alex Eisenberg runs the site Baseball-Intellect, where he breaks down prospects using video analysis. He offers a Premium Membership for readers to join and has worked for the Hardball Times, Baseball Digest Daily, and has had work published for the Maple Street Press.
Thanks again to Alex for providing his insight and in-depth breakdown of one of our best prospects.