• Steve Potter

11/24/2020 : Rule Five Possibilities

The Rule 5 Draft will be held on December 10th ... in my ongoing search for minor league “under the radar big arm” relievers that may be of help to our Phillies I’ve “on line scouted” a few here that are eligible for the draft. My criteria was to search for pitchers that might immediately help in the 2021 Phillies bullpen and not just be selections taken to be “stashed” on the MLB roster for future development. Here’s a few that might fit into that category ... haven’t seen any of them in person that I can remember so am totally reliant on my internet findings 🙃. I’m sure the Phillies analytics team is all over this endeavor ... just maybe a few names to consider 🧐.

Will Kincanon - RHP - White Sox - 25 years old - pitched at AAA level in 2019 - 2017 11th round selection - Indiana

“He has skills — i.e. a power arm — that are translatable into the majors, even prematurely. Kincanon is fast-rising, his is not an arm to let slip away.” - SouthsideSox

“Kincanon has a four-pitch repertoire, he mainly attacks with his heavy fastball and slider. His sinker operates at 92-95 mph and generates a lot of weak grounders, while he uses his mid-80s slider as a swing-and-miss offering. He can also employ a curveball and a changeup to give hitters a softer look. 

He presents a difficult angle for right-handers with his crossfire, low-three-quarters delivery, and he also has enjoyed success against lefties. He's tough to hit when he locates his sinker and slider, but runs into trouble when he can't find the strike zone. If he can develop consistent control and command, he could become a seventh-inning option.” - Jonathan Mayo - MLB


Maybe new Pitching Coach Caleb Cotham might have some inside intel on these two Cincinnati hurlers 🤫🧐

Ryan Nutof - RHP - Reds - 25 years old - pitched at AA level in 2019 - 2017 16th round selection - Michigan

“Ryan Nutof didn’t get on the field this year until instructs. In 2019 he split his season between High A Daytona and AA Chattanooga. He dominated in Daytona, posting a 2.61 ERA in 31.0 innings with 8 walks and 39 strikeouts. Things slowed down a little in Chattanooga as he posted a 5.89 ERA in 18.1 innings with 9 walks and 17 strikeouts. The right-handed reliever hasn’t been known as a soft tosser by any stretch, but hasn’t been a guy that’s been known as a particularly hard thrower, either. He’s reached back for 98 MPH over the past month out in Arizona, though – up about 2 MPH from where he’s peaked at in the past.” - Redsminorleagues

Jacob Heatherly - LHP - Reds - 22 years old - pitched at High A level in 2019 - 2017 3rd round selection - high school selection

“Personal issues and a shoulder injury while with Class A Dayton required Heatherly to go home and limited him to just four starts in 2019. But it's believed that the left-hander had a strong offseason of work to prepare for 2020.

While Heatherly was set back by a lost season, there is still reason to be bullish about the pitcher. He's consistently able to reach 95 mph with his fastball and has a big curveball.

A big, strong-bodied player with plenty of talent, Heatherly will have a chance to come back and prove himself again as the prospect the organization valued when it took him with its third-round pick in the 2017 Draft and gave him second-round money to sign him away from the University of Alabama.” - MLB


Jose Alberto Rivera - RHP - Astros - 23 years old - pitched at A level in 2019 - signed 10/19/16 as an amateur free agent.

“The Astros have excelled at finding older pitchers on the international market and helping them find more velocity. Another example is Rivera, who was 19 years and seven months old when he signed for $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic in October 2016. His fastball made a huge jump in 2019 while he averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings in his full-season debut.

Rivera's four-seam fastball sat at 89-93 mph during his U.S. debut in 2018 before rising to 94-98 and topping out at 100 in 2019. His secondary pitches have been slower to develop, though his mid-80s changeup with splitter action shows some glimpse of becoming at least a solid offering. His slider has similar velocity and stands out more for its power than its bite.

Rivera is yet another Houston pitching prospect who has been developed as a hybrid starter but is likely to end up as a multi-inning reliever.” - MLB


Oliver Ortega - RHP - Angels - 24 years old - pitched at the AA level in 2019 - signed as an amateur free agent 2/10/15.

“Ortega generates a ton of swing and miss with his fastball and curve, finishing last season with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. His fastball sits in the mid-90s now and touched as high as 99 mph last season, showing he can hit those upper levels regularly in relief stints. His curve also flashes plus and he took a big step forward in his feel for both pitches working off each other. While those two pitches are his bread and butter, he does have a slightly below average changeup.

His biggest area of focus going forward is his command and control. Ortega could succeed as a starter, even with a fringy changeup, if he can throw strikes because his other stuff is so good. If his control doesn’t improve, watching that fastball and breaking ball come out of the bullpen could be a lot of fun.” - MLB


Roel Ramirez - RHP - Cardinals - 25 years old - pitched at AAA level in 2019 - drafted by Rays in 8th round of 2013 draft - traded to Cardinals in 2018

“Ramirez attacks hitters with an explosive mid-90s fastball with natural cutting action. He complements his heater with a slider and splitter, both of which improved in 2019. While most evaluators think the latter is his better, more dynamic secondary pitch, Ramirez exhibits better feel for controlling and executing his breaking ball. He’s made strides as a strike-thrower since moving to the bullpen but needs to improve his fastball command.

That Ramirez can pitch multiple innings -- he worked more than one inning in 21 of 38 relief appearances in 2019 -- only enhances his value as a reliever. While he still needs to refine his stuff and command, Ramirez has all the components teams covet in a potential multi-inning bullpen asset.” - MLB


Paul Campbell - RHP - Rays - 25 years old - pitched at AA level in 2019 - 21st round selection - 2017 draft - Clemson

“Campbell has a very high fastball spin rate - a whopping 2700 rpm. He also has elite curveball spin.” - Fan Graphs.

“A good athlete with a clean delivery and quick right arm, Campbell shows four Major League-caliber pitches. He can exploit hitters’ weaknesses with his fastball command, sitting 92-95 mph and reaching back for more when needed, while his 89-90-mph cutter gives him a complementary above-average weapon. Campbell’s changeup is a swing-and-miss pitch against left-handed hitters and his curveball can be at times as well.” - MLB

Just sayin ... maybe some options to add an arm for the pen in the Rule 5 Draft.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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