OPEN THREAD - Control Pitchers and Contact Hitters


You might have seen the tweet that ex-Mets reliever, John Magliola, put up on Twitter:

My first full summer coaching and watching travel ball and let me tell you I’ve never seen so many walks in my life, the obsession with “velocity” has taken over the value of “PITCHING”.


The question is...

Just as velocity gets pitchers noticed and promoted in the minors, so too does power help hitters.

What then can control pitchers and contact hitters do to get themselves noticed?


Jack Flynn said...

They just need to maximize their skill sets and be good teammates, so that the parent organization doesn't get rid of them too quickly. The rise in new analytics means there are more talent evaluators than ever who are intelligent enough to identify successful minor leaguers that don't fit the currently coveted profile. If you're a nice guy who keeps his head down and just goes out and keeps contributing, you'll keep getting promotions until you hit the point where you are no longer effective.

Seth Lugo is only now averaging 94 MPH on his fastball (the highest rate of his career), and he's one of the best relievers in the league because someone realized a few years ago that his curveball had an elite spin rate. Jeff McNeil couldn't unlock his power until his Age-26 season, and now you have a legitimate All-Star wrecking the league.

Lugo and McNeil are here in Queens; talented guys like Jordany Valdespin are ... *checks Baseball Reference* ... last seen as a Triple-A farmhand for the Twins. It's not a coincidence.

Tom Brennan said...

Low WHIP, low ERA, and an abundance of different "look" pitches to keep MLB hitters guessing. That and pinpoint control would get a lower velocity guy to the big leagues.

Tom Brennan said...

Also, a guy who is unflappable under pressure. Edwin Diaz seems to have suffered under pressure this year - but the season still has a third of the way to g, so he still has time to be great down the stretch.

I liked what I saw of Stroman, because he looked unflappable.

Viper said...

An unflappable pitcher? Jeuris Familia obviously. He has the gravitas of Armando Benitez and the brain of Valdespin.

I thought it was a great pickup by the Mets. Boy, was I wrong on this one.

If you use movement, quality of pitches, gravitas and brains to make a decision on who the closer should be, Lugo wins it hands down.

Mike Freire said...

This goes back to the conversation(s) we have had about fundamentals and how they are vanishing in today's game.

McNeil is a perfect example of a hard nosed player who can give you solid defense at a number of positions, while also contributing with the bat. Yes, he has some pop in his bat, but I would call him a pure hitter (not consistent with today's stars) and I would take him over most other players, to be honest.

He reminds me of a more accomplished (defensively) version of Daniel Murphy.

Viper said...

Here is another name of a high contact player who could play multiple positions and I for one, was not happy to see him go. TJ Rivera. Loved this guy.

Tony said...

the control pitcher should just focus on pinpoint & spin type of pitches & being crafty, a contact hitter knows that the best swing is a level swing so they should just focus on meeting the ball & keeping the ball in play & they will be a tough out

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