Archive for Hot .GIF Action
Right-hander Rafael DePaula has emerged as the Yankees top pitching prospect in his first stateside season, and on Sunday afternoon he threw a scoreless inning for the World Team in the 2013 Futures Game. He struck out the first batter he faced — Twins OF Byron Buxton, the consensus top prospect in all the land — with a 94 mph fastball on the outside corner, as you can see above.
DePaula, 22, allowed a soft line drive single up the middle on a 94 mph fastball to Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong, and he also hit Astros OF George Springer with a 79 mph breaking ball that didn’t break. He threw ten of 16 pitches for strikes, including two swings and misses. He even threw a (not good) changeup. A few more .GIFs after the jump.
After nearly two years in visa purgatory, right-hander Rafael DePaula finally made his stateside debut yesterday. He struck out eleven in 4.1 innings with the Low-A Charleston River Dogs, throwing a ton of fastballs, a handful of sliders, and just a few changeups. Forty-nine of this 71 pitches were strikes and there were a ton of swings and misses, like the one you see above. I didn’t count, but it was easily over ten whiffs and probably closer to 20.
Baseball America ranked the 22-year-old DePaula as the Yankees tenth best prospect a few weeks ago, calling him “the biggest X-factor in the system” while saying his “ceiling is as high as any Yankees minor league pitcher.” New York desperately needs some young impact pitching to emerge, so it sure would be nice if DePaula builds off yesterday’s start and climbs the ladder in a hurry. More .GIFs after the jump.
The Yankees spent $140k to sign right-hander Nick Goody as their sixth round pick last year, and he went on to post a 1.12 ERA (~0.89 FIP) with 52 strikeouts and just nine walks in 32 innings after turning pro. The former LSU closer is a low-90s fastball/slider guy who doesn’t have much of a changeup, but he won’t need one in relief. The combination of performance and stuff earned him the 21st spot on my Preseason Top 30 Prospects List.
Goody struck out two and allowed a single in a scoreless inning of work against the Orioles tonight, showing off all three pitches and a herky-jerky delivery that provides deception. A few more .GIFs after the jump.
Right-hander Jose Ramirez is on the mound for the Yankees this afternoon, facing the Braves in his third Spring Training outing. He made very quick work of Atlanta leadoff man Jordan Schafer, the first batter of the game. Here’s a fastball for strike one:
Perpetual prospect Dellin Betances threw a scoreless inning on the road against the Astros this afternoon, and to quote Houston’s announcers, he was “scary wild.” That’s pretty typical for the right-hander, who had a nightmare season a year ago and has struggled to harness his admittedly impressive stuff over the last six years. The 25-year-old ranked 23rd on my preseason top 30 prospects list, and today he walked two, struck out two, hit a batter, and uncorked a wild pitch. We’ll start with the good stuff, like the big fastball in the .GIF above. More to follow — click to embiggen — after the jump.
It seemed a bit odd when the Yankees added left-hander Francisco Rondon to the 40-man roster early in the offseason, keeping him away from the Rule 5 Draft. The 24-year-old pitched to a 3.93 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 42 walks in 71 innings across three levels last year, mostly with Double-A Trenton. Solid, but he wasn’t talked about a top (or even good) prospect and didn’t seem 40-man worthy.
Rondon threw two scoreless innings in this afternoon’s game, allowing a walk and a single while striking out two. As you can see, the kid has a pretty awesome slider. Downright CC Sabathia-esque, if I may. After seeing that, it’s easy to understand why they added him to the 40-man now, that breaking ball gives him at least lefty specialist potential. Some more clips of the slider after the jump. Make sure you click to embiggen.
Well, congrats to right-hander Mark Montgomery for becoming the first two-time hot-.GIF subject at RAB. He walked one in an otherwise uneventful and scoreless inning this afternoon, breaking out some sliders that made wolverines purr. More after the jump.
It was not a good Grapefruit League debut for left-hander Nik Turley. Not at all. The team’s 11th best prospect allowed five of the six batters he faced to reach base — in his defense, some hilarious defense contributed to that — and all five came around to score. The 23-year-old allowed those five runs (four earned) on three hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning. It was pretty obvious he was nervous given how he was overthrowing and wild. It happens.
Despite the poor showing, Turley still managed to break out a few .GIFable pitches, like the curveball you see above. He used both the curve and changeup in addition to the regular fastball, especially once all hell started to break loose and outs were needed. More .GIFs after the jump, and you can click them all for a larger view.
It feels like right-hander Jose Ramirez has been the Yankees’ organization forever, but he’s only been pitching in the United States since 2009. Injuries have hampered his progress, but he 23-year-old showed some big time stuff last year and really climbed up various prospect lists. I ranked him as New York’s 12th best prospect but Keith Law is a much bigger fan — he ranked Ramirez as one of the 105 best prospects in all of baseball.
Ramirez threw two hitless and scoreless innings against the Phillies on Tuesday, walking Ryan Howard and otherwise getting a plethora of ground balls. He threw a ton of fastballs as you’d expect from his first Spring Training outing, but he did mix in at least one slider and a handful of changeups. The defense made a few nice plays behind Ramirez as well, including that Robinson Cano catch you see above. More .GIFs after the jump.
That little right-hander up there is Corey Black, the Yankees’ fourth round pick from last summer and their 24th best prospect in my opinion. He pitched against the Orioles in Sarasota this afternoon and got hit around a bit — didn’t help his own cause with two walks — allowing two runs in an inning of work. He was very clearly overthrowing at times, which really isn’t necessary when you already live in the mid-90s.
Black is a big arm strength guy who is still working on his secondary stuff, but he did manage a 50/15 K/BB in 52.2 innings across three minor league levels after signing last summer. He’ll continue to work as a starter as he climbs the ladder, but his ultimate destination may be the bullpen. More .GIFs — which you can click for a larger view — after the jump. Read More→