Tyler Wilson (4/4/14)
Wilson was solid in his season debut, putting together a line of 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. He still has a methodical delivery in which it looks like some effort is required to continually click on all cylinders. Nevertheless, Wilson has definitely improved his arm action since last year and shown that he can still continue on as a starter. Wilson has three pitches (Fastball, Curveball, Changeup), and he used all three well in this outing.
His fastball sat 90-93 and topped out at 94 mph. He was commanding his fastball extremely well, pounding hitters all over the zone. The change and curve are respectable offerings that he can command. They both are fringe, but he is able to mix and match appropriately. I think Tyler Wilson is a reliever down the road, with the delivery being the main concern. The overall arsenal is not great, but the command will get him to the next level eventually. Wilson is probably at his peak at this point in terms of growth and development in the minors. All he can learn at this point is how to become a smarter pitcher; and he is already a very smart guy on the mound. — Tucker Blair
Tim Berry (4/5/14)
Berry relied mostly on an average fastball that sat 91-93 MPH. He was able to command the pitch well throughout his outing, and he showed he could reach back for a little extra juice as he hit 96 on the gun a couple of times without losing his command, including on his last pitch of the game to strike out Senators left fielder Destin Hood (0-4, 2K). Though Berry’s fastball is a good pitch made even better by his command of it, the fastball is a little bit flat, which could be a concern as he moves up the ranks.
Berry’s second most used pitch was a changeup that was effective, but that he struggled to control, often missing low. When Berry hit his spots with the change and it was juxtaposed well against his fastball, the pitch certainly had its intended effect, making batters swing early for strikes and inducing weak contact for some easy outs.
The clear shining star in Berry’s arsenal, however, is his curveball. The curve has a nice long 11-5 break that starts deep inside on left handed batters. The more impressive aspect of the pitch, however, was Berry’s ability to command it inside and outside of the zone to get strikes. He can use it well as an out pitch to left handed hitters when he gets them in pitcher’s counts, but he also showed that he wasn’t afraid to sail one in on the first pitch of an at-bat. The pitch is a solid 60 on the 20-80 scale.
Berry’s delivery was also impressive. His motions are fluid and smooth and he repeats them well. He generates good momentum toward the plate and keeps his head over his center of mass throughout his delivery. He lands balanced and ready to field his position, which he had to do more than once on Saturday.
Despite his impressive performance, I think that Berry most likely projects as a reliever, with upside as a starter if he can fix his inconsistency issues. His three pitch arsenal is shallow for a Major League starter and, as I mentioned before, the fastball does not have much movement and is therefore susceptible to being connected with by Major League hitters. That said, I think the small arsenal and the average fastball can play in the bullpen if he can learn to command the changeup the way he does his other pitches. As a left handed pitcher with a plus curve and solid command Berry is a valuable commodity that—with some minor improvements—can certainly contribute at the Major League level. — Brad Clark
Zach Davies (4/6/14)
Welcome to Bowie, Zach. The young pitcher had a relatively solid debut in AA, putting together a line of 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K. To make things more interesting, Dan Duquette was in attendance.
Davies has a quick arm with good and clean mechanics. For his small stature, he is able to use his body to its max effort without exerting too much energy. His fastball has some late life and run on it, and he usually commands it well. The fastball was a little inconsistent on Sunday in terms of command, but I’ve seen him enough to know this is the aberration and not the common theme. His change looked the best that I have ever seen. He was sitting 78-81 with this pitch and it showed plus fade with pure sexiness. This is his best pitch by far, and he is able to throw it in any count, to any batter. He registered four of his five strikeouts on this pitch. The change will get him to the next level, and I think it has potential to be a plus pitch. The curveball was solid, with an 11-5 spin and some late tilt. It’s a good pitch that he can command very well for the typical inconsistencies of a curveball. I don’t recall seeing him throw his slider on the day.
Overall, Davies was very solid in his debut, even without the fastball command. He was able to use his changeup to off-set this problem and was very solid in the middle part of his outing. The margin for error with his game is typically small, as he does not overpower hitters. However, I think he is one of those pitchers that knows how to carve up a batter. I was impressed by his debut at Bowie and think it was a tremendous learning experience. — Tucker Blair