10/12/21 : Looking for Potential Gems
Every team is always on the lookout for pitching, can’t ever have enough. With that being said here’s a look at some recent minor leaguers who’ve declared free agency that might just be “diamonds in the rough” if given a chance and “coached up” to either regain prior form or find untapped potential. Ya never know until ya don’t 🤔 … here are a few names from my crackerjack analytics department ( that would be me wearing a different cap is all 😂) that might be worth a look.
RHP Keynan Middleton ( 28 yrs old ) -2021 - Mariners - relies on 3 pitches - 4-Seam Fastball (57.7%) Slider (30.2%) Changeup (12.1%) … FB avg - 95 - reaches 96/97, slider - 85 & change up - 87. - Has pitched in 136 MLB games ( all in relief ) - 127 IP ( Angels & Mariners ) … he’s had flashes of showing strong stuff - had five scoreless outings in August for the big league club & posted a 1.17 ERA in 8 May appearances. Finished up the season with AAA Tacoma with four scoreless outings.
RHP Luis Madero ( 24 yrs old ) - 2021 - Marlins - relies on 4 pitches. Slider (50%) 4-Seam Fastball (36.9%) Changeup (10.3%) Sinker (2.8%) - FB range ( 90-94 ), Sinker - 91, Slider - 81 & Changeup - 84. He pitched well for Jacksonville at the AAA level posting a 2.84 ERA in 17 games ( 7 starts ) accumulating 57 IP. Was on the yo-yo this season with the Marlins being sent back and forth to the majors 6 times. Originally signed by the D’Backs as a 17 year old in 2014 he went to Giants as a minor league free agent in 2020 and to Marlins in 2021.
RHP Trevor Gott ( 29 years old ) - 2021 - Giants - relies on 5 pitches. 4-Seam Fastball (63.6%) Curveball (25.3%) Slider (7.8%) Changeup (2.3%) Sinker (0.9%) - FB - 95-96, Curveball - 82, Slider - 90, Changeup - 90, Sinker - 95-96 … was a big part of Giants bullpen in 2019 & 2020 … pitched for Angels & Nationals before that - 146 big league games - 140 IP - generally a strike thrower - pitched at AAA level in 2021 - was set up man for Angels in 2015 as a rookie. He’s got good stuff but has fallen off with command, bad location - if that can be fixed and maintained then he’s a viable bullpen piece.
RHP Jose Mujica ( 25 years old ) - 2021 - Rockies - relies on 3 pitches. 4-Seam Fastball (58.7%) Changeup (28%) Curveball (13.3%) - FB 93-94 - flashes 95-96, Changeup - 86, Curveball - 81 … originally signed by Rays in 2012 - was on verge of breaking into big leagues with them but underwent TJ surgery in 2018. Noted to have an “easy fastbal and velocity” & being a hard worker. Has added a slider - starting pitcher capabilities. Stats are not good but we’ve seen him as a Rays minor leaguer before TJ, worth a look at the least in my opinion.
RHP Jimmy Yacabonis ( 29 years old ) - 2021 - Mariners - relies on 3 pitches. Sinker (65.4%) Changeup (25%) Slider (9.6%) - FB range 92-94, slider 79-80, changeup 85-86. Has very high spin rate on both FB & Slider. He’s from New Jersey and pitched his collegiate years at St Joseph’s University. Drafted by Orioles in 13th round of 2013 draft. Has pitched in 57 major league games with Orioles and Mariners.
RHP Shawn Armstrong ( 31 yrs old ) - 2021 - Orioles/Rays - Armstrong relies on 3 pitches. 4-Seam Fastball (55.3%) Cutter (33.1%) Slider (11.5%) … FB ( four seam - avg 94 - touches 95/96 ), cutter ( avg 89 ) & slider ( avg 85 ). High Spin Rate - was ranked in the 99th percentile in spin rate. FB gets a solid amount of swings and misses, with a 30.4 percent Whiff rate. … has a "take charge" approach. Has pitched in 153 MLB games - 167 IP ( Indians,Mariners, Orioles & Rays )
RHP Jairo Diaz ( 30 years old ) - 2021 - Rockies - relies on 3 pitches. Slider (42%) Sinker (36%) 4-Seam Fastball (22%) - FB/Sinker - 95-96, Slider 85 … capable of upper 90’s FB and has reached triple digits.
RHP A.J. Cole ( 29 years old ) - 2021 - Blue Jays - relies on 5 pitches. 4-Seam Fastball (42.1%) Slider (23.7%) Cutter (19.3%) Curveball (11.4%) Changeup (3.5%) - FB -94-95, Cutter - 90, Slider - 85 , Curve - 78, Changeup - 88 … missed most of 2021 season with an oblique injury.
RHP Reyes Moronta ( 28 years old ) - Giants - Slider (45.8%) 4-Seam Fastball (39.6%) Changeup (14.6%) - FB - 94-97, Slider - 81, Changeup - 86 … was a dominant power reliever for Giants in 2018 and 2019 appearing in 125 games - control issues but overpowering stuff got him out of issues. Forearm strain in 2020 kept him out of action and struggled in 2021 with AAA Sacramento …but 🧐 … if he can return to form and maintain good health there’s a capability to be a high leverage part of the bullpen.