Giants at Athletics – Mesa, AZ – Fitch Field (1/2 Mile South of Hohokam Stadium)
Athletics video crew had Trackman up and running today in Mesa. After every pitch a member of the A’s video crew would call out the pitch type and velocity. This was really helpful as it allowed me to put down my radar gun and focus more of my attention on the field. To my surprise, I even heard scouts calling out RPM numbers.
Athletics RHP Dakota Chalmers has a pretty impressive arsenal. His curveball featured sharp, tight spin and RPMs in the 2900-3000 range. To put this into perspective there were 236 major league pitchers who threw over 100 curveballs or knucklecurves this season (source Baseball Savant). Chalmers would have had the 6th highest spin rate in this group, putting him in the top 2.5%. The importance of spin rate has been well-documented. http://m.mlb.com/news/article/161770876/how-spin-rate-affects-curveball-outcomes/ Chalmers also sat 93-95 with his fastball and was able to touch 96. His change was in the 85-88 range. Chalmers strikes me as a fiery guy. He shouted an explative (at himself) after throwing a curve in the dirt a foot or two in front of the plate. (10/23 Edit -There have been rumors that Chalmers has undisclosed character issues.)
Another interesting Oakland arm was Brett Graves. He kept a fast tempo and pounded the zone. The four-seamer was his primary offering. It sat 94-95 and touched 96 . A cutter was his most used secondary pitch. He threw some nasty ones in the 91-93 range with late movement. This pitch should help him generate weak contact against LHHs. Graves rounded out his repertoire with a low 80s curve and a high 80s change. Each were thrown more sparingly. The curve moved 12 to 6 and was located below the zone as a chase pitch. Graves was a fun guy to watch. I loved how he challenged hitters. It wasn’t surprising to see he is 24 and pitched in AA Midland this past season. He looked more advanced than his competition this fall.