Saturday, February 9, 2008

Edwar the Great

We currently have a group equal to the populus of an island nation ready to compete for spots in the bullpen this spring. When all is said and done, I believe Edwar Ramirez will emerge as the stud 8th inning guy the Yanks have been lacking (sans Joba The Beast). Having a go-to, dominant, strikeout pitch is the main ingredient to being a dominant big league reliever, and Edwar certainly has one in his change.

First, PECOTA loves him. 76 ks in 60 ip and a 3.61 era are projections every Yankees fan would happily sign for. Scouts all agree that Edwar's changeup is a 'plus, plus' pitch scoring an 80 on the 20-80 scale. The quality of this pitch can be seen in the 31 ks in 21 major league ip in 2007.

Second, Edwar will be 27 in spring training this year. The 31 ip Edwar threw last year were his first in the bigs; he is the perfect age for a break out.

The best comp for Edwar is probably Keith Foulke. Foulke had (has?) the same kind of changeup as Edwar. Foulke likewise struggled a little bit early in his career as he searched for the proper complimentary pitch to go with his great change. Once Foulke was able to spot his 85-88 mph fastball effectively he became a dominant reliever. I believe Edwar will do the same. When you have the dominant pitch, your other pitches need only be average to keep hitters honest. A little Mo 'cut', a little Wang sink, or simply being able to spot his fastball better will give Edwar the secondary pitch he needs to be a top reliever.

Now that Gator has been replaced by someone who can actually make additive changes to a pitcher, and with the first year under his belt, I believe Edwar will become a dominant force in the Yankee pen for a long time to come.

5 comments:

MLBGM said...

Just once I'd like to see a balanced perspective.
How about these negatives -
1.) He's 27. If he hasn't developed that 2nd pitch yet, he probably won't.
2.) His production doesn't exactly scream out as a guy that can handle the 8th inning for a championship contender. An 8.14 ERA, 24 hits and 14 walks in only 21 innings scares me.
3.) BA rates him as the 29th best Yankee prospect - BEHIND the superstar Scott Patterson, a 29 year old reliever who came to the Yankees as a 6th year MIL free agent, and couldn't find a job for 4 years barnstorming around the independent leagues.

BA calls Ramirez's changeup a 'major league changeup', not a plus-plus pitch. They go on to say that Ramirez's other stuff is 'fringy'. Doesn't sound like a dominant reliever to me.

BombersGM said...

Carlos from basball think factory did a piece on Edwar last year after he was sent down. To quote Carlos;

"What he does throw is one of the best changeups in all of baseball. Not only does it have good movement and speed differential from his fastball, but what he does best is that he "sells" his changeup."

Anyone who has seen him pitch has to argee, the pitch is down right nasty.

Gomez also did a video analysis of his change

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/mechanics/discussion/edwar_ramirez_selling_the_changeup/

YankeeGM said...

Also, MLBGM, John Manuel from BA said in his prospects chat -

John Manuel: ...the minor (league) numbers are great, he has one 80 pitch, and then the fastball's fringy

Conveniently leaving out parts of quotes to help make your point will not make it any more true.

YankeeGM said...

Oh, and Todd...one more thing -

This is my blog...NOT a news site. If you are looking for balanced perspective check the MLB.com website; i you want my opinion, continue reading.

Big Apple Sports said...

I sure hope you're right about Edwar, because our pen needs some help. I love his change, but everything else he throws is so marginal. But if he steps up, that will be a huge boost. Keep an eye on the Albaladejo guy we picked up from Washington

- www.bigapplesports.net

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