Kansas City Royals
James Shields / RHP / starter
Shields has been a great surprise for the Rays since reaching the big leagues. He threw like one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2007 and 2008 and has since settled into being a #2 or #3 starter. Shields signed with the Devil Rays after high school, turning down a scholarship to LSU.
Big Game mixes his tailing 90+ mph fastball with a disappearing changeup. The changeup is one of the best in the game, getting good sink and deception. At times, it appears that batters are looking for the changeup and still swing over top of it. James also throws two different breaking pitches. He owns a razorblade cutter that can break bats and also throws a big curveball with good command, making him a true four-pitch pitcher. 7/4/11
[fastball(90-94), changeup(80-85), cutter(84-89), curve(73-77)]
Wade Davis / RHP / starter
Davis, drafted out of high school, made the standard climb through the minor leagues, making at least 13 starts at each level. He pitched well at every stop but never quite dominated the competition. At the big league level, Wade Davis appears to be that same type of pitcher, projecting as a middle of the rotation type guy.
Wade pounds the corners of the plate with a fairly straight low to mid-90s fastball. He twirls a solid curveball as a strikeout pitch, or a "get me over" strike one. Davis also spins a tighter slider and a seldom seen changeup. Stuff wise, he could look like your generic right-hander, but I believe he has a little of that pitcher intangible that could make him successful. Another plus is that Davis has already thrown 767 innings in the minor leagues, and looks like he has a durable arm. 8/14/11
[fastball(87-96), curve(75-82), slider(84-88), changeup(85)]
Ervin Santana / RHP / starter
Santana seems to throw mid-90s with ease. His motion is relaxed and the ball just flies out of his hand. He also throws a slider that he can change planes with and vary the velocity on. Santana is basically a two-pitch guy, but he does have a hard, straight changeup hiding in his repertoire. The Dominican native has been strangely inconsistent throughout his career. 8/13/11
[fastball(88-96), slider(78-86), changeup(82-86)]
Luke Hochevar / RHP / starter - reliever
Hochevar has the distinction of being drafted in the 1st round two times, including 1st overall in 2006. However, his stuff doesn't look dominant and I suspect he has already lost some velocity since his college days.
He'll vary his fastball between his straight 4-seamer and his running 2-seamer. The former Volunteer will drop in 12 to 6 curveballs to all hitters. The curve looks like a plus pitch at 80 mph. Hochevar has constantly tinkered with his repertoire during his Royals career. He's now throwing lots of cutters and has added a splitter. The cutter is a big part of what he's doing in 2011, while the splitter basically flies like a straight changeup. Luke still has a standard slider as well.
I've seen Luke begin games with a fastball/cutter/curve combination, before mixing in his slider and splitter during the second time through the lineup. Hochevar is sloppy with his mechanics at times, giving the appearance that he loses focus. Hochevar would likely be best served by simply finding four pitches he could rely on, instead of attempting to trick batters with a full tool belt. Hochevar still has promise, but has lots to prove at the major league level. 6/9/11
[2-seam fastball(90-94), 4-seam fastball(94-95), curve(76-81), cutter(88-91), slider(82-87), splitter(80-84)]
Jeremy Guthrie / RHP / starter
Guthrie has good command of his four pitches. He can paint the corners with a fastball that bores in on RHs or he can also throw a 4-seamer that seems to cut in on LHs. He likes to mix his fastballs with a good straight changeup that deceives hitters. For breaking pitches, he'll drop in slow curves in the low-70s and a standard slider. The former Stanford Cardinal can maintain his velocity deep into games, and had made himself into a reliable major league starter. 6/24/11
[fastball(89-97), changeup(83-88), curve(71-76), slider(81-87)]
Aaron Crow / RHP / reliever
Crow was named the top prospect of the Cape Cod League in 2007, dominated the Big12 in 2008, and was a 1st round pick of the Nationals that June. Crow never signed with Washington, instead playing independent ball in Ft. Worth. Crow was eventually drafted in the 1st round for a second year in a row, this time by Kansas City, where he joined fellow former Ft. Worth Cat, Luke Hochevar.
Crow has a big arm and two different breaking balls. He's throwing in the mid-90s as a reliever. Expect to see a plus slider and plus fastball, with a downward breaking curve and straight changeup. 6/25/12 CSJ
[fastball(91-96), slider(85-87), curve(76), changeup]
Tim Collins / LHP / reliever
Collins is a little guy with big heat. He can throw in the upper-90s with his fastball and owns a curve with great depth. Tiny Tim also throws the obligatory changeup. Collins was drafted out of high school in Worcester, Massachusetts. 6/25/12 CSJ
[fastball(91-94), curve(73-75), changeup(81-84)]
Danny Duffy / LHP / starter
Duffy is one of the many young, hard throwers the Royals are counting on to be part of the KC resurgence. Duffy has great stuff, including a mid-90s fastball and vanishing curveball. He'll be given plenty of chances to succeed in the major leagues. 6/15/11
[fastball(90-97), curve(74-80), changeup(80-85), slider(80)]
Greg Holland / RHP / closer
Holland throws hard for a short right-hander. He comes over-the-top with a fastball that explodes onto hitters in the mid-90s. Holland mixes in a good amount of sliders as his second pitch. Greg also owns a standard curveball and a decent splitter that he shows to LHs.
Holland has been a full-time relief pitcher since his sophomore year at Western Carolina. Holland put himself on the map by dominating summer ball in the Coastal Plain League in 2006. 7/31/12 CSJ
[fastball(94-97), slider(85-86), splitter, curve]
Bruce Chen / LHP / starter - reliever
Chen began his baseball career as a big prospect in the Braves organization. He dominated the minor leagues and pitched well in his first couple years in the majors. However, something happened in 2001. Chen started getting pounded that season, and besides the abberation of 2005, he got rocked the entire decade. However, the Panamanian-Chinese lefty seems to have figured something out since arriving in Kansas City, and is producing in their starting rotation.
Chen's velocity leaves a lot to be desired, so he mixes up his arm slot and throws a lot of junk to try and get outs. His fastball tops out at 88 mph, but it usually flies in the mid-80s. When he drops down, I've seen the fastball get as slow as 76 mph. Bruce's best pitch appears to be his cutter, a pitch he'll usually throw over the top and get inside on RHs. Chen will also mix in a slow curveball at various arm angles, and a very soft changeup. 7/31/12 CSJ
[fastball(81-88), cutter(79-84), curve(67-77), changeup(75-78)]
Kelvin Herrera / RHP / reliever
Herrera is a young flame-thrower from the Dominican Republic. He can consistently crank his fastball into the upper-90s. Kelvin also owns an excellent changeup. The right-hander can sink el cambio and induce plenty of ground outs. Herrera will primarily pitch with that fast/change combination, but he does own a curve and slider to cap his repertoire. 7/31/12 CSJ
[fastball(96-98), changeup(84-87), curve(80), slider(90)]
Luis Mendoza / RHP / starter - reliever
Luis is a lanky guy with long arms and a fluid motion. He throws tons of sinking 2-seamers that produce numerous groundballs. He'll also throw a 4-seam variety that seems to get some cut. Mendoza's curve gets tons of downward break and his changeup is standard. 9/22/11
[4-seam fastball(90-92), 2-seam fastball(86-91), curve(75-83), changeup(79-83)]
Louis Coleman / RHP / reliever
Coleman slings the ball across his body, giving RHs a nearly impossible look at his stuff. He owns a sinking fastball, sweeping slider, and soft changeup. As a senior at LSU, Coleman was named SEC Pitcher of the Year, 1st-team All-American, and the Tigers won the National Championship. 7/4/11
[fastball(87-92), slider(77-82), changeup(77)]
Felipe Paulino / RHP / starter - reliever
Paulino is a hard throwing Dominican that has the ability to rack up strikeouts if he could just harness his talent. Felipe can throw his fastball towards 100 mph, and crank a slider that can touch 90 mph. Yet somehow, he still gets hit around and battles control problems in nearly every outing. In 2010, Paulino finally pitched some good ballgames for the Astros, despite having a terrible W-L record overall. Paulino may eventually settle into a role as a late inning reliever, where his pitches/inning isn't as much of a factor. 8/19/11
[fastball(93-99), slider(85-89), changeup(82-87), curve(74-79)]
Everett Teaford / LHP / reliever
Teaford is a hard throwing youngster that isn't afraid to change his arm slot or mix up his velocities to get an out. The left-hander throws the standard four pitches out of an unorthodox delivery. Teaford's breaking balls move a ton, giving him a distinct advantage against LHs. 8/19/11
[fastball(90-96), slider(86-91), curve(79-83), changeup(84-87)]
Dan Wheeler / RHP / reliever
Wheeler has never had dominant velocity, but is still able to produce as a setup man every year. He has a 90 mph moving fastball and mixes in lots of breaking balls. He's currently throwing a slider around 83 mph that gets some lateral movement. Dan is also throwing a curveball in the upper-70s that gets more drop. The former Met, Astro, and Ray will occasionally mix in split-fingers to LHs, a pitch that can drop under bats. In the past, Wheeler experimented with cutters and changeups, and might still try anything at any time. Despite his success, Wheeler is hittable and prone to allowing the long ball. 5/27/11
[fastball(86-91), slider(81-86), curve(75-79), splitter(80-84), changeup, cutter]
George Sherrill / LHP / reliever
George uses a naturally cutting fastball and sweeping curveball as his main weapons. He's been known to try a rare changeup, but has basically phased that pitch out. Sherrill has had random bouts with wildness, and his stuff is too hittable to be a dominant reliever.
Sherrill reached the majors at age 27 after a full college career at Austin Peay and five years of pitching independent leagues. 4/15/11
[fastball(86-90), curve(73-77), changeup(80)]
Brian Sanches / RHP / reliever
Sanches' signature pitch is his splitter. It can dance all over the place like a forkball, and/or dive under bats like a standard split-finger. Sanches uses a 2-seam fastball to both sides of the plate and a standard slider. Sanches is from Texas and pitched at Lamar University. 8/14/11
[2-seam fastball(85-90), slider(80-83), splitter(76-80)]