2016 Draft Discussion, April 11th

The 2016 draft discussion continues here.  These discussions will be accessible under the draft menu for reference.

Florida’s A.J. Puk is scheduled to pitch in Sunday’s game against #10 Mississippi State.  He pitched one inning last Sunday.  He was removed from the game after throwing one pitch in the second inning. In the first, he faced 3 batters, struck out two, and retired the other on a ground out.  He threw 11 pitches.  He reached 97 mph in the first.  Early reports were that he was having back spasms.  On the season in 7 games, Puk has an ERA of 3.38, and a 1-2 record.  He has walked 12 and struck out 36 in 29.1 innings. Opposing batters are hitting .193 against him.

Oklahoma’s Alec Hansen pitched an inning in relief on Tuesday, April 5th after being removed from the rotation the preceding weekend.  He pitched against Dallas Baptist and threw 24 pitches while facing 4 batters.  He walked one and struck out one.  He threw a wild pitch and balked.  He didn’t allow a run and retired the other two batters on a ground out and a fly out.

With Puk’s back problem and Hansen’s pitching problems, other candidates may begin looking more attractive at 1:1, especially if neither is able to turn it around.  Maybe even these two, even though they are both prep pitchers.

Riley Pint was reported to have thrown 95-97 mph, T99 in his first inning against Blue Valley SW on Tuesday. According to multiple scouts’ radar guns Pint hit 99 mph at least 3 times in the first inning. Pint struck out the side in the second inning.  Of 19 pitches in the 2nd, only 4 were under 95 mph.

Jason Groome pitched in front of Matt Klentak, Joe Jordan, and Johnny Almarez on Tuesday.  He was on a 60-pitch limit and lasted one batter into the fifth inning who reached when hit by Groome’s 59th and last pitch for the day.  Groome’s line 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP. His FB was 91-93, CB 75-78 with bite. Afterwards, Groome commented that he hadn’t thrown many change ups.

  • Groome walked a batter in the first,
  • struck out the side in the second on 12 pitches,
  • allowed a soft single to the right side in the third,
  • and struck out the side in the 4th on 10 pitches (56 total at this point).
  • I got my info from BA’s Hudson Belinsky.  He had this to say about other reports …

Jason Groome wasnt up to 95 the other day, as others have written. I didn’t even have a single 94. I had the gun on him the entire game.

54 thoughts on “2016 Draft Discussion, April 11th

  1. Would like to see a bit more velocity from Groome but its still cold and still early in NJ. As a left hander he get away with less velocity and as of now he has to be the clear cut 1:1

    1. Yea, many said that he wasn’t throwing with full effort because it was so cold. His coach said that once it gets warmer he’ll start hitting 94-95 again.

      1. Four miles slower than his average? Hmmmm. That’s all I’m saying, people, and I’ll say it again. Hmmmm. Could his arm be fried? Hmmmm.

        1. He sits low to mid nineties but can touch 97. He didn’t “drop” anything he just didn’t ramp it up as much as he would’ve if it were later in the season and warmer. Even in the MLB pitchers’ arms get stronger as the season goes on, in some cases.

  2. The only criticism against Groome so far is that he’s a HS arm. Seems to be the consensus 1.1 and since the Phillies have the $$$$, let’s sign a legit FA ace in the next off season or 2, show patience and bring the kid along. Our present starting pitching at major league and higher minors is least of my worries though yes, you never have enough.

    …and how about that Vinnie Velasquez!

  3. I know Groome is the local boy but I love everything I’ve read about Pint. He was featured in a Sports Illustrated article and sounded very good.

  4. Another HS top pitching pick goes under the knife for a TJ…Tyler Kolek was the best in Texas just a few years ago.

  5. With our history of misjudgment in amateur drafts over these many years the collective eye test should determine who is taken 1.1. I am pretty confident the new regime won’t operate out of fear. At least there isn’t anybody’s lesser brother in the draft, is there?

  6. When ESPN televised the Phils-Reds game Keith Law said right now Groome is 1.1. Said he has the best HS curve he’s ever seen and that the weather prevented him from hitting the mid 90’s.

    1. I’m glad to hear about Groome’s curve, but what I care most about is FB velocity, movement and command. Hopefully, that will be there too over the next few months. However much we fixate on the decision, the Phillies will fixate on it even more times 100 – it may be one of the most intense decisions in Phillies history (unless one player emerges over the next couple of months as the clear choice).

      As for whether it will be a pitcher or a hitter – given their comments, I think they will take the best player available, BUT if it’s close, their comments suggest they will likely go with a pitcher since their stated focus is to drafting and trade for pitching, pitching and more pitching. Personally, while I think it does make sense to have strong pitching depth, if you asked me to go with an elite young hitter or an elite young pitcher, I’d probably go with the hitter because the pitcher is, I believe, much more likely to suffer a serious injury or physically induced performance decline than the hitter. It’s been interesting to watch different teams and their focus on team building. The Mets are mostly about pitching and have been for 50 years. The Cubs are taking a serious hitting first approach, which, makes them pretty damned good overall and extremely entertaining to watch.

      1. a few counter points:
        1. Groome has already shown plus fastball velocity and command. not sure about movement yet.
        2. Most pitching injuries are not death sentences the way you make them out to be. many examples of great pitchers who had TJ and came back to be great.
        3. Groome might be a rare talent. it is very very hard to get a true #1 pitcher. they cost $200+ million in free agency. If Groome is that, then you have to take him 1:1
        4. I don’t think there is a batter even close to “elite” in this draft from what I have read.

        1. Even if Groome suffers an unexpected UCL injury….he will still be drafted in the top three. Guys like him, Giolito, Hoffman recover and teams see that.

  7. That’s good to hear about the two HS pitchers. One thing with Pint that worries me is his velocity. It’s good that he may push Groome for number one, but I do worry about his future health with how hard he throws.

  8. I had Groome’s game a buddy sent to my phone I sent to tablet and it wouldn’t open. It only opens in my phone, then I found out that’s the way he wanted it . He didn’t want anyone passing it on , I trade velo, facebook, youtube. There no back door either it’s friggin password protected . Then I found out he used a drone. I going to one near me a game that is. Funny that Groome moving up in everyone’s view .

  9. Corey Ray has OPS of 1020, 9HR + 28 SB. But 4 errors and just under 2 put outs per game for a center fielder made me wonder. I see he is getting starts in left and right fields as well as CF. His batting average is “just” 330, but he has a good combination of speed and power. The Phillies have many very intriguing choices. I think they will take a position player #1, likely an outfielder with power and speed like Ray, but I see the lure and potential of a very risky HS pitcher like Pint or Groove if the position players all are seen as risky too.

    1. Don’t agree. Ray is 21- will be 22 end of the season. Think Groome’s upside will be the deciding factor. but we will see

  10. My god it was the first game of the season and under 40 degrees and you want to see more velocity? He’s been as high as 97, won’t be 18 until after the draft and it’s the first game of the season. How about some credit to the coach and Groome for not trying to blow his arm out. 92-93 in 30 degree weather should translate to 95-96 in normal baseball weather if not more.

  11. Groome was just fine in start #2 today. 7 IP no-hitter with 19 Ks. Fastball 90-94 but touched 97 apparently.

  12. Once again don’t get too excited about the stats . . . I mean 19 K’s is eye popping but if you put up any of the potential 1-1 pitchers or even 1st round pitchers and you’ll see similar numbers (Maybe not 19 K’s but not far off). His stuff is more so what needs to be monitoring which is 1-1 caliber. Just keep that arm healthy and he’ll be 1-1, his stuff is a cut above the rest (mental make up included).

  13. More comments from BA’s Hudson Belinsky on Groome’s start today –

    Jason Groome was up to 97 in the 1st inning. Sat 92-96. #mlbdraft

    Groome worked 90-94 in 2nd. Pounding the bottom of the zone. CB is fire and ice, some good, some loopy. Has struck out all six batters.

    Groome has 8 strikeouts thru 3. Runner reached in 3rd on an error, but Groome picked him off. Has faced the minimum thru 3.

    Groome strikes out two more in the 4th. FB mostly 90-92, one at 88. CB is insane when it’s on… He’s only 17… Wow.

    Groome ramps it up to 90-93 in the 5th. All FBs in 5th Three more Ks. He has 13 Ks. Has not allowed a hit or a walk. #mlbdraft

    I have heard that others “only” had Groome up to 95 today.

    Three more punchouts for Groome in the 6th. He has 16 Ks.

    No-hitter for Jason Groome. 19 strikeouts. Last pitch was 94. I think this kid is a prospect. #mlbdraft

  14. OK I know it’s only 2 starts and I don’t want to get ahead of myself but if they don’t select Groome 1.1 I’m becoming a Mets fan.

    1. BTW … Law has the three guys I like for 2.1 as likely first rounders.

      21. Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford
      Quantrill might have been a 1-1 (top overall pick) candidate if he hadn’t blown out his elbow last spring. He could be pitching in games by the beginning of May.

      26. Reggie Lawson, RHP, Victor Valley High School (Victorville, California)
      Lawson’s delivery changed for the worse this spring — he now has a shorter stride that has cut his velocity and reduced the power in his breaking ball — but he was so good the past summer and fall that I think he’s still a first-round-caliber arm. Any organization’s player development crew should be able to restore his old mechanics and get him back into the mid-90s while taking advantage of his tremendous athleticism.

      27. Joe Rizzo, 3B, Oakton High School (Vienna, Virginia)
      Another polished high-school bat, Rizzo is clearly a first-rounder, if you think he can stay at third base, and probably a second-rounder, if you think he has to move to first base or left field.

      Others of interest:

      13. A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida
      Puk was pulled from his April 3 start because of “back spasms,” then he missed his April 11 start. That injury might be accurate, but we’ve had enough college coaches mislead us about pitcher injuries that I no longer trust any report until I see the player back on the mound. If healthy, Puk would likely be a top-five pick, with mid-90s velocity and a good changeup.

      Some possibilities for 2.1:

      34. Alex Speas, RHP, McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Georgia)
      If you want to roll the dice on an upside arm, Speas has the present stuff and the loose, athletic body you want to see in a high-school arm, but without the polish or command or even the consistent delivery that would make him an easy top-10 pick.

      38. Alec Hansen, RHP, Oklahoma
      Hansen was a potential 1-1 guy (top draft pick) going into the school year, missed fall ball due to a forearm injury, lost his rotation spot after a dismal start to the season and now could slip out of the first round. It would not surprise me if something more was amiss with his arm, based solely on his performance and the issue last autumn.

      39. Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt
      Older brother of Cleveland farmhand Justus, Jordan is a six-foot righty with an electric arm but the command and size of a reliever.

      40. Jesus Luzardo, Douglas High School (Parkland, Florida)
      Out for the year following Tommy John surgery, Luzardo was a likely first-rounder before he got hurt and likely will get offers to sign an over-slot deal after the first round from a team that believes in the high (though not 100 percent) recovery rate of TJ patients.

  15. Oklahoma’s Alec Hansen pitched an inning in relief in the Sooners’ 15-7 win over Wichita State. Hansen entered at the start of the eighth inning with the score 15-6.

    Hansen’s line – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 5 BF, 1 GO, 18 pitches

    1B up the middle (1-0 pitch), walk (3-1), FC at second (1-2), K looking (0-2), WP run scored, K swinging (1-2).
    1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

    1. At this point, it would be better for him to announce he has some sort of arm injury, and have surgery. At least that would explain why he has gone so far south. Looks like the Phillies could have their choice of over slot injured pitchers at 2.1. Would you rather they take a chance on Hansen or Luzardo ?
      For me, my hope would be:
      1. Quantrill (in a Daz Cameron like deal)
      2. Joe Rizzo
      3. Reggie Lawson
      4. Luzardo
      5. Hansen

  16. I figured that this was already taken care of. It’s a pretty well known rule but with that being said This is such a BS rule. It’s not intended for what happened with Groome, it should be case by case. Again rule was not made for what Groome did.

    1. He will miss two starts…IMO, not a big deal for him or his draft status. May prove to be beneficial for him if the weather stays too cool thru April.

  17. I had heard a report after the Phils’ game that his draft status was affected. Is that bogus? Is he still eligible for the Draft this year?

  18. It appears that he is still eligible for the Draft and will pitch May 1, so all it really does is rest him. He is still 1.1 in my book.

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