Looking at Brad Boxberger: Pitch Mechanics Doug Gray February 1, 2011 25 Comments For this weeks topic I went back to a pitcher and wanted to look at Brad Boxberger and his mechanics between his fastball and his breaking ball. I would like to note beforehand that this footage is from a stint of him coming out of the bullpen, where sometimes guys will go a little more “all out”. Each clip was created by going frame by frame tot he point in which his knee was at its highest point, then going back the same number of frames (I believe it was 45 frames) and starting from there. Here is the breakdown, with the fastball on the left and the breaking ball on the right: Things to note: At frame 55 it would appear that he has a different glove positioning and that it could be tipping the pitches. He isn’t. He is simply milliseconds quicker in the breaking ball and his glove did the same thing two frames later for his fastball. Nothing stands out mechanically as an issue to me. Though I included video below that will give you more insight if you want to look deeper at it. The mechanics look the same between the two pitches (despite my crooked camera work on the left). Do you see anything that you dislike? That you like? Anything else worth noting? 25 Responses Alan Horn February 1, 2011 There is some across the body rotation in his delivery but not too extreme. He just needs to start getting results. The Duke February 1, 2011 LLooks pretty good actually. Hopefully his control and command this year. He and Joseph could be big additions to the bullpen in 2012. On a side note the Royals officially moved Will Myers off catcher (he is now a right fielder) so that would make Devin Mesoraco Baseball America’s 4th ranked catcher. 3rd really since there is little chance Jesus Montero sticks at catcher. David February 1, 2011 I think I must have missed their list, but are the other two catchers legit? I can only remember those two you just named being in Mes’ class or better on offense, while lower on defense. I imagine Santana graduated last year, and I dont think the guy for the Angels is better, so I can’t think of the other two from their list. Also I still hope Boxberger gets a chance, and can stay a starter, but if not then yes I hope it clicks for him and he can be in the bullpen when needed. David February 1, 2011 Also maybe I should save this till Wednesday, but OBM on RZ said he asked KLaw in achat about Guillon, and he replied that he was very high on him. I was wondering if Guillon has a good season this year, do you think the Reds will have to put him on the 40 man to protect him? Or do you think it would take a great season? I ask because I read he has some weird loophole. Doug Gray February 1, 2011 It will be interesting, but if he has a good season, I think they will have to. RobL February 1, 2011 The other two catchers are Gary Sanchez for the Yankees and I believe Willin Rosario from the Rockies I think. Both are are at least solid defensively. David February 1, 2011 Thanks. Unless I am wrong, aren’t both of those guys very young? The Duke February 1, 2011 Rosario is 21 and had 270 at bats in AA last year in 73 games played where he put up a .285/.342/.552/.894. He only played in AA last year and was 20 last season. Gary Sanchez is only 18 this year and had 173 at bats split between the low rookie ans short season rookie ball with a line of .329/.393/.543/.946 as a 17 year old in the states. David February 1, 2011 Thanks. Are they more Santana or Montero? The Duke February 1, 2011 Santana, both are supposed to be legit behind the plate, especially Rosario David February 1, 2011 Thanks again. Doug Gray February 1, 2011 I think it is way too early to suggest Gary Sanchez is a good defender. He has some defensive tools, but so does Neftali Soto (behind the plate). Right now Sanchez is a bad defender who has a strong arm who doesn’t know how to get the most out of it. Of course, he is 17, so that is certainly subject to change. MK February 1, 2011 Does throw across his body. However the glove/arm positioning you speak of, as a tip, and the fact that he seems to gets more rotation out of his hips on the curve ball, tells me he can probably get the curve ball down better in the zone thatn the fastball. This might be a transition thing from college to pros where he could get by with the high heat more often. Alan Horn February 1, 2011 A general rule I have is if you can read his number on the back of the jersey at any time during the delivery, he is usually pitching across his body to some degree. Another disadvantage to that (upper body rotation) is that the delivery takes longer and it helps the base stealer. Billy February 1, 2011 I wonder if the switch to the bullpen, along with some early struggles in AA hurt him psychologically. Its easy to hit a rough patch when your a young kid and you let things get to your head. I think he will be a good reliever if he can get into a good grove early in the year and see if he can ride that success throughout the year. MK February 1, 2011 I thought he was projected in the bullpen on draft day. That shouldn’t have been a big suprise. Doug Gray February 1, 2011 Some did, though some also saw him as a potential starter. It still isn’t resolved. The Duke February 1, 2011 You also have to think about if there is a spot in the rotation. That might force him into the pen. Cueto Volquez Leaks Wood Bailey Arroyo Even the 5th spot is tough as nails to get noways. David February 1, 2011 I think in fairness though, if he is going to be a starter, we could be desperate for one when he might be ready for a full season load. ( 2-3 years) Beard February 1, 2011 Man that would be disappointing if the Reds are ever desperate for a starter in the next 3 years. With the depth we have (listed in the Duke’s post) and possibly Chapman at some point it is going to be really hard for anybody currently in the minors to crack the Reds rotation in the next 3+ years. I hope. If not that means the injury bug is killing the Reds. sagevic February 1, 2011 Box seems to be a guy that struggles late in the year. He struggled in AFL in 2009 and struggles after teh All-Star break last year. I think the issue is the conditioning. He may have stuff that plays in the Majors but he needs time to develop into a full season pitcher. It took Johnny Cueto time as well. MK February 1, 2011 That is a little discouraging. Cueto was a lot less mature than you expect Boxberger to be. If he hasn’t got conditioning yet there might be a bigger problem. Cueto had a year in the Big Leagues at Boxbergers age now. Doug Gray February 1, 2011 Boxberger was also in a shorter college season for the time that Cueto was getting more innings in pro ball. MK February 1, 2011 Not that different really. Cueto threw 138 innings as a 20 year old. Boxberger had 98 for USC in Spring, 19 in Cape Cod League, and another 25 or so in fall scrimmages. It would pit him at about 142. In addition the amount of throwing done in the off season college conditioning would be comporable to what JOhnny did in the winter and spring sagevic February 1, 2011 Those are both good points. Cueto had more experience in pro basball at the same age, and Boxberger has a major league pedigree. I think Boxberger eventually becomes a quality full season guy, but I don’t know if it will be as a starter. Even if he throws in the eight and ninth innings, that’s still pretty impressive. I just hope he improves his breaking ball if he is sent full-time to the ‘Pen. The change is crucial to a starter, but the breaking ball is crucial to the closer.