Over the course of the 2011 baseball season, I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the better prospects in baseball. One of them is a bit raw and not yet in the top tier of baseball’s prospects, but he was still darn impressive to watch. That would be Parker Bridwell.
I saw Bridwell and the IronBirds a few weeks ago in Hudson Valley in a match up that most would consider to be a future ace against a possible future ace. It was Parker Markel against Parker Bridwell, and it was the best NYPL game I’ve seen this year — and I’ve seen a lot.
Parker Markel was real impressive, but not as impressive as his opposition. Bridwell, standing at 6′ 5″, pitched five innings allowing two unearned runs. He accumulated five strikeouts, all of them on his breaking ball and was consistent with his velocity.
As most know, you could throw 95 MPH consistently and if it’s straight, it’s hittable. Bridwell threw 92-94 mph with movement and touched 95 mph throwing at a consistent arm slot and downhill. A tough plain for hitters to react to gave him the upper hand in that outing.
Basically, the scouting report on him before I saw him described him almost exactly the same. He’s extremely advanced for his age and it wasn’t hard to see.
His delivery was solid and he threw all of pitches with the same form. He wasn’t a NASDAQ guy in that outing — a guy who is up and down throughout the game — either, which can be told similarly by his consistent velocity.
I spoke with a few scouts about him who had nothing bad to say, and raved most prominently about his composure and the fact that he challenged hitters throughout the entire start.
I talked to Bridwell myself after that and he described his feel for pitching, noting that he’s not trying to overthrow and he’s only doing what his catcher says. That’s something young pitchers have a hard time figuring out until a few years down the line.