Results tagged ‘ Rick Porcello ’

Scouting the Top 50: The big finale

At long last, the final four Top 50 scouting reports. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. Stay tuned for some draft stuff in the coming week, particularly regarding the the Urban Youth Academy Showcase that they squeezed in around some rain in LA on Sunday. But more on that later. Now on to those final reports…

4. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers
rick_porcello.jpgSeen: April (Florida State League)

Fastball: 88-95 mph
Curveball: 78-80 mph
Changeup: 77-81 mph

Very advanced feel for pitching, polished on the mound. Excellent command of sinking fastball that darts, uses both halves of plate. A little quick with delivery, release point on curve was inconsistent, doesn’t throw consistent strikes. Does spin it well. Shows plus change at times. Secondary stuff will get there to make him a No. 1 or 2 starter, but shouldn’t be rushed.

3. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
jason_heyward.jpgSeen: June (South Atlantic League)

Hits ball hard to all fields with short, easy stroke. Can go with pitch. Sometimes can look bad an unorthodox, other times looks better than most at plate. Small dive-in on approach leads to hole inside, but adjusts, can open and turn to get hands in. Makes things look easy in right field.

2. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
matt_wieters.jpgSeen: November (Arizona Fall League)

Expect above-average to plus power. Swing is better from left side. Shows more power right-handed. Terrific eye at plate, will take a walk, doesn’t strike out much. Low-key demeanor, does job quietly, doesn’t waste energy. Plus throwing arm, receiving skills overall not as strong. Easy to see him as a Major League regular.

1. David Price, LHP, Rays
david_price.jpgSeen: July (Southern League)

Fastball: 92-95 mph
Slider: 81-85 mph
Changeup: 84-86 mph

Lanky frame. Loose arm action, small recoil on finish. Works fast, can throw strikes with all three pitches. Sinker/slider approach, relies on slider too much. Can move fastball with sink and tail in and out. Slider is short and hard, occasional bite, Sink on changeup as well.

The Start of an era

Rick Porcello will make his professional debut Thursday night in Tampa
against the Yankees’ affiliate in the Class-A Florida State League. The Tigers’
top pick in last year’s draft and easily one of the most talked about Minor
Leaguers this spring doesn’t seem fazed at all about stepping onto the mound at
George Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field). He might as well be back on
the hill for Seton Hall Prep up in the frigid temperatures of North Jersey based
on what he’s showing.
 
I got the chance to sit with Porcello for a few minutes yesterday afternoon out
in Lakeland – which by the way is even more of a ghost town now that Spring
Training has ended. When asked if he was nervous, he didn’t flinch.
 
“I’m more excited than nervous and I’m anxious to get the season started,”
Porcello said.
 
He admitted to being a tad star struck when he first arrived in the Detroit
clubhouse earlier this spring but that awe quickly disappeared as he began to
realize that Justin Verlander and Co. were now his co-workers and not just the
players he’d been watching on television.
 
“The first couple of days it was tough to focus,” he said. “You watch those
players for so long but you get used to it after a while. You adjust to it.
Big-league camp was a great experience. I learned a lot from being in the same
clubhouse with those guys. It was tough at the time to come back down.
 
“The days are long and you’re in the sun all day. But it’s good preparation
for the season and I’m ready to go.” 
 
Porcello’s dad, Fred, will be in Tampa Thursday night to watch his son’s
professional debut. 
 
I also got the chance to speak with Cale Iorg, the highly regarded
prospected Detroit grabbed in the sixth-round last season. He’s Garth Iorg’s son
and Dane Iorg’s nephew and his brother Eli is playing in the Astros farm system.
Cale is a bright, friendly kid who will start his first season in pro ball
Thursday night alongside Porcello. I’ll have a feature about him up on the
website next week.
 
Here, though, is a bit of info from my conversation. I like to ask players
oddball questions so
we don’t spend 20 minutes discussing only baseball. When I
asked Iorg which person from
George Washington 1782 painting.jpg history with whom he’d like to have dinner, his
answer surprised me. I get a lot of stock answers to that question and most
players usually just rattle off the names of former ballplayers but he said
George Washington.
 
“I’m a big fan of George Washington’s,” Iorg said. “He was an amazing man
to lead a new country into it’s biggest battles. Just the way he lived and
worked. All he wanted to do was help out. He didn’t want to lead. He just wanted
to serve.” 
 
Interesting, huh? Anyway, Iorg’s dad won’t be on hand for his pro debut
because he’s a roving instructor with the Brewers. But, he’ll be in Brevard
County in two weeks working with Milwaukee prospects and he’ll get to see his
son then. — Kevin C.
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