Thursday, September 8, 2016

A trip to Cedar Rapids: Pitchers

Tom Hackimer comes from down under.
 (Photo by Linda Vanderwerf)
As with the hitters, the Cedar Rapids roster I saw over the weekend was light on high draft picks and ranked prospects.

Indeed, the most impressive arm I saw in the two-plus games I attended was Luiz Gohara, a Brazilian lefty who started Saturday for Clinton, a Seattle farm club. He was clocked on the (suspect) stadium gun in the upper 90s regularly. He also had difficulty with the strike zone -- five walks and seven strikeouts in six innings.

Gohara is a prospect -- a guy you can watch and imagine becoming Fransciso Liriano, a power starter. The guys the Kernels started Saturday and Sunday, not so much. Brady Anderson and Sam Gibbons seldom if ever broke 90 on the stadium gun.

I had a comment last year about Gibbons having too much "pitchability" for the Midwest League, and I was a bit surprised that he didn't move up the ladder this spring to the Florida State League. His numbers last year suggested he should move up; his numbers this year suggest that the Twins were correct in leaving him in low A. His numbers deteroriated across the board.

Anderson was signed this summer after going undrafted as a fifth-year senior, and Saturday was almost certainly his worst start as a pro. But his ERA (1.89 for the Appy and Midwest Leagues combined) doesn't mean much to me; he's 23 and has an idea of what he's doing with an offspeed pitch, so he ought to be dominating those levels.

Eduardo Del Rosario started Monday; I saw him throw one inning and liked what I saw. He was in the mid 90s with his velocity, and his delivery appeared smooth and efficient. But he only pitched two innings, and I don't know why it was such a brief outing.

An interesting arm I saw in relief Saturday was Tom Hackimer, who the Twins took in the fourth round out of college. He throws low-sidearm/high submarine. He faced four hitters, got them all out, stuck out two. The Twins haven't had many unconventional deliveries on their staffs over the years.

I didn't see probably the two best pitching prospects on the roster, Michael Cedaroth (who I mentioned in the Tuesday post) and Lachlan Wells, a lefty who was to start the playoff opener last night. Wells, 19, is an Australian (like Gibbons) who put up a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts.

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