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Joakim Soria / RHP / closer

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Soria owns a good four-pitch repertoire. He has a naturally cutting fastball that batters have a tough time making solid contact against. He'll spot his changeup away to LHs and sometimes mix in a very slow curve. Soria's slider has a late break that is very effective against RHs. Soria has the stuff of a starting pitcher, but has excelled in the closer's role in KC. The Royals stole Soria from the Padres in the 2006 Rule 5 draft. 7/23/10 CSJ

*fastball(90-95), slider(80-84), curve(66-72), changeup(81-85)

 

Gil Meche / RHP / starter

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Meche has done a couple amazing things. First, he got a $55M contract without having accomplished anything in his major league career. Second, after he got the contract, he became a better pitcher. Meche throws a complete four-pitch repertoire. He throws a low-90s fastball with a tight slider that can touch 90mph itself. His curveball is a hard breaking 12-6 type pitch. Lastly, Meche throws a straight changeup. His stuff looks filthy nowadays. 5/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-95), slider(85-89), curve(73-79), change(81-84)

Brian Bannister / RHP / starter

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Bannister creates a problem for hitters with his naturally cutting fastball. He has good command to both sides of the plate with it, breaks bats, and gets weak pop flies. Bannister's changeup is his only pitch that moves towards his armside. It gets decent movement, but its velocity varies only a few MPH from the fastball, which makes deception difficult. He throws a tight slider in the low-mid 80s that looks like an average pitch at best. Bannister has a curveball, and will vary the velocity on it dramatically. He'll throw it anywhere between 68-80mph. Bannister is also a smart man that studies his BABIP numbers and uses statistics to help his game. 4/29/08 CSJ

*fastball(86-91), curve(68-80), changeup(82-85), slider(82-86)

Kyle Farnsworth / RHP / reliever

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Farnsworth is a 12 year veteran that is still trying to figure himself out, despite having some of the best pure arm strength in the big leagues. He can dial up his fastball towards 100 mph, making for what should be an uncomfortable at-bat. Kyle's second pitch is a hard, downward breaking slider. Over the last few season's, the Farns has tried adding some new pitches to his repertoire. He has tried a 2-seamer, a cutter, and a changeup. The Royals were even considering making him a starting pitcher again. Yikes. In 2010, I've seen Farsworth throw his fastball in the upper 90s, his slider in the upper 80s, and a sinking changeup that has the velocity of an average 2-seamer.

Farnsworth was a 47th round draft pick in 1994 out of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. He has participated in a couple of famous brawls, making quick work of both Paul Wilson and Jeremy Affeldt with his patented tackle move. However, around Wrigleyville, Farnsworth will forever be known as one of the great "ScumBunchers" of all-time. 6/6/10 CSJ

*fastball(94-99), slider(86-91), changeup(91)

Luke Hochevar / RHP / starter

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Hochevar has the distinction of being drafted in the first round twice, including first overall in 2006. His stuff doesn't look dominant however, and I suspect he has already lost some velocity since his college days. He'll vary his fastball between his straight 4-seamer (91mph) and his running 2-seamer (88mph). The former Volunteer will drop in 12-6 curveballs and mix in plenty of sliders. His fourth pitch is a changeup that he'll show to LHs. Hochevar still has promise, but has lots to prove at the major league level. 10/20/08 CSJ

*fastball(88-92), slider(81-85), curve(72-76), changeup(81-83)

Bruce Chen / LHP / starter-reliever

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Chen began his baseball career as a big prospect in the Braves organization. He dominated the minor leagues and pitched well in his first couple years in the majors. However, something happened in 2001. Chen started getting pounded that season, and besides the abberation of 2005, he has been getting rocked ever since. Chen is Panamanian-Chinese.

Chen's velocity leaves a lot to be desired, so he mixes up his arm slot and throws a lot of junk to try and get outs. His fastball tops out at 88 mph, but it usually flies in the low 80s. When he drops down, I've seen the fastball get as slow as 76 mph. Bruce's best pitch appears to be his cutter, a pitch he'll throw over the top and get inside on RHs. Chen will also mix in a slow curveball at various arm angles, and a very soft changeup. 8/24/10 CSJ

*fastball(76-91), cutter(78-86), curve(67-81), changeup(73-80)

Greg Holland / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(91-97), split(82-85), slider(83-88), curve(79)

Phil Humber / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(90-94), curve(79-84), changeup(86-88)

Zach Greinke / RHP / starter

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"Greinke deals the basic four pitches, but they can be devastating for batters. His fastball sits in the mid 90s and he throws it with decent command. He has a tendency to work his arm side with the fastball (away from LHs, inside to RHs). Zach's changeup gets good movement and he'll throw it strictly to LHs. Greinke will vary his breaking pitches, throwing his curveball anywhere in the 70s and his slider anywhere in the 80s. Both pitches can break hard and miss bats.

Zach has had a crazy up-and-down career so far. He has gone from being high school Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2002, to minor league superstar, to major league bust, to suffering from depression, to his current status of Cy Young Award winner. The kid has always had lights out stuff, and it was inspirational to see him finally put it all together in 2009. 7/23/10 CSJ

*fastball(90-97), slider(83-89), curve(65-80), changeup(82-87)

Kyle Davies / RHP / starter

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Kyle Davies throws the standard four pitches. He throws a decent fastball, a good curve, and mixes in his changeup to LHs. Davies works quickly and tries to pound the strikezone. His 4th pitch is a tight slider that he seems to have used much less frequently in '08 than he had in past years. Davies also hit one of the longest homeruns I've ever seen a pitcher hit, a three-run bomb against the Mets in '07. He also threw 8 innings and got a win that day. 10/20/08 CSJ

*fastball(90-94), curve(74-77), changeup(82-83), slider(87)

Robinson Tejeda / RHP / reliever

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Tejeda has a live arm, but average command and awful secondary pitches. His slider is very flat at times, basically just spinning up to the plate. His changeup cuts and he pulls it towards his glove side often. He has been given many chances to succeed, but unless he dramatically improves his changeup or slider, it doesn't look like he ever will. 6/6/10 CSJ

*fastball(92-97), changeup(82-85), slider(83-86)

Blake Wood / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(91-98), slider(87-88), splitter(84-88)

Jesse Chavez / RHP / reliever

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Chavez is a hard thrower. He can bring a 95 mph fastball and puts everything he has behind it. Chavez has shown me a changeup and a very tight slider as his secondary pitches. Chavez appeared to have a future in late inning relief but he hasn't harnessed enough command to be consistently effective. 8/24/10 CSJ

*fastball(91-95), changeup(83-86), slider(85-90), curve(76-79)

Dusty Hughes / LHP / reliever

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*fastball(90-93), slider(87), changeup(83-84), curve(69)

Juan Cruz / RHP / reliever

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Cruz is a hard thrower and always has been. He has trouble locating his pitches and that has been his downfall in the majors. His fastball is in the mid-90s and moves a ton. He throws a big breaking slider that could end up anywhere. When he feels it's necessary, he'll also mix in a changeup or two. In recent seasons, he's added a cutter, and has begun to use it regularly. In the last Cruz outing I watched, he threw 28 pitches, 18 of which were cutters. Even with his more-than-occasional bouts of wildness, he seems to have settled into a bullpen role. 8/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(92-95), cutter (85-92), slider(79-83), changeup(82-83)


 


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