TomtheBombadil wrote:Hrubes20 wrote:He has less fastball than all of them, and doesn't even flash a plus secondary like each of those 3 you listed. Those are the big reasons why he was knocked around all year at the college level. It's not always a great thing to throw strikes when your stuff is as mediocre as Richan's.
From what I see when I read - his peak fastball velocity isn’t as high as the others mostly never showed that in the pros anyway. Otherwise those guys don’t really have anything over him that really really matters. Johnson had his breaking ball but a significant injury history and mediocre mound skills. Skulina was tall or something but didn't have any standout skills, tools, or performance. Stinnet's big skill was missing bats that one year but otherwise didn't have much going for him. Richan just seems more well rounded. He gave up hits in college but wasn’t really knocked around - not many XBHs or HRs (6 HRs his last two seasons over 166+ IP, including just 1 in 2017), and the quantity of hits could be a product of being a groundball guy in front of a college defense. I don't really see scattering some hits as a more damning flaw than lots of injuries, no discernible skills, or being a one trick pony. I believe there's more to work with here than is being credited..
Tom, I think your point is well taken.
Why are we sure Richan's a bad pick? Logic Premises: 1. Slow bad fastball 2. No good secondary 3. Overall mediocre stuff. Evidence to support premises: Proven bad ERA, lots of hits, several very lukewarm media scouting reports. Given the premises, the conclusion of bad pick and limited upside seem fair.
Tom, I think your comparison to failed picks is somewhat non-helpful. Saying he's no worse than a bunch of busts doesn't really help; we want somebody better! Still, those guys each had stuff to hope on. Johnson throws plenty hard, and has a plenty good secondary pitch, at times. Excellent stuff. Vandy coach-Cubs coordinator-Brewers coach loved him, and projected him as a high-end control guy with a plus/fast fastball and a plus slider, and a promising change. Skulina's reports had a big fastball and a very promising slider. So, based on what media reports told us, each of those looked to have promising big-league stuff, reason to hope. In each case, the control/command never came, and in Skulina's case the pro velocity declined. But, there were reasons to hope. Any prospect, the hope assumes they will develop and improve, and control/command is always part of the hope for pitchers; not that many draft-picks have big-league control already during draft spring.
Richan seems to have less velocity than any of them, and no single pitch that's been ID'd as excellent.... by us on this board or by the limited media scouting reports.
But I'm inclined to kinda trust the Cubs scouts.
1. They've got 20+ of them, and tools to be measuring spin rates and stuff. Maybe they see healthy spin rates and DO see already good secondaries with potential for plus secondaries?
2. Media reports were mediocre/slow fastball; McLeod talked about 94 regularly.
3. Seems like most of the good pitchers in the league are mostly working in the 90-93 range most of the time anyway, so while Richan's doesn't seem fast, it may be in the same standard range where most guys work, and probably as fast as Lange or any of the picks last year. Perhaps they feel his velocity is just fine, and not much different from Darvish or Chatwood, or the Brewers guys who have been shutting us out?
4. This will sound cheesy, but yeah, I do tend to figure that when the Cubs pick a guy, they do it with a lot of info and in a thoughtful, logical, well-reasoned way. I don't know what their scouting input was, but I just kinda assume they had thorough scouting that justifies the pick where it was made.
5. Think a lot of their recent college pitchers have been doing reasonably well. Lange, Abbott, Thompson, Uelman, all are doing pretty well, and Little was getting better too. Thomas and Lacy also. Hatch, Miller, Robinson, Rucker, those guys have been doing pretty decent also. So, maybe the Cubs scouting deserves a little benefit-of-the-doubt? I understand the converse too, though; not sure any of those guys have stuff to go beyond decent A+/AA pitchers. Not sure yet whether any of them will have enough stuff to win in the majors. So, I understand the logic that maybe the Cubs scouts do NOT desrve any benefit-of-the-doubt, at leat not yet....
I looked at Richan's numbers, and I may not be recalling right or maybe didn't calculate right but I think his BABIP-against was like >.350 this season. Crazy high. Perhaps that reflects really blah stuff; or that his low walk-rate is just because he'll groove a meatball fastball rather than allow a walk. Totally possible. But maybe he really did just have a lot of bad luck, and bad defense.
Hoping he works out well and the cubs scouts are vindicated.