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Thread: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

  1. #166
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    To be fair, they thought he was, at the time, the best option they had for the number five starter role. Basically they thought that was enough of a finished product to fill the back of the rotation.

    I think, looking back, while Leake played a big role in the Reds first division win in 15 years, the Reds might be thinking that bringing him right to the majors wasn't the best idea, that he might have been better off in the long run to have started his career in the minors.

    We can argue whether he is actually learning on the job, but one thing we can't debate is that he should be learning, wherever he pitches. He's at the age and level of development where he is should still be learning and getting better. We'll see this year if he can do that at the MLB level.
    The thing is though his pitchability and command were his strengths coming in (that's why he was considered polished coming from college and why the Reds didn't send him to the minors).

    I'm not sure there is the room between his ball cap and ceiling on these aspects that some seem to be arguing gives him significant room to grow.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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  3. #167
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    The thing is though his pitchability and command were his strengths coming in (that's why he was considered polished coming from college and why the Reds didn't send him to the minors).

    I'm not sure there is the room between his ball cap and ceiling on these aspects that some seem to be arguing gives him significant room to grow.
    I guess I never thought of Leake as polished. Ever.

    I think the report on him was that he was smart, but that doesn't mean he was a smart pitcher. Being a smart pitcher comes from experience more than brain power. Ignoring the off the field stuff, and just focusing on his performance, he has done little to show me that he's that smart of a pitcher, in fact, he seems to make dumb mistakes all the time (homers).

    Just because he was smart and mature for a guy right out of college, doesn't mean that he was smart and mature for a MLB pitcher. He clearly has a ton of room to grow in terms of maturity and pitching smarts.

    The fact that he has done little of this in his first three seasons is worrisome, but that doesn't mean he is done maturing and learning.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    The thing is though his pitchability and command were his strengths coming in (that's why he was considered polished coming from college and why the Reds didn't send him to the minors).

    I'm not sure there is the room between his ball cap and ceiling on these aspects that some seem to be arguing gives him significant room to grow.
    There is a big difference between scouting reports saying his strengths (relative to other draftees) are his pitchability & command versus claiming a guy has no room for improvement before he even pitches his first pro game.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192 View Post
    There is a big difference between scouting reports saying his strengths (relative to other draftees) are his pitchability & command versus claiming a guy has no room for improvement before he even pitches his first pro game.
    He commands four pitches and knows how to use them. How much further can he leverage those strengths? That's kind of the point.... for those expecting him to morph, where is this change in true talent going to come from?
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    He commands four pitches and knows how to use them. How much further can he leverage those strengths? That's kind of the point.... for those expecting him to morph, where is this change in true talent going to come from?
    There are a number of possibilities.

    1. Perhaps he can do more to stay strong over the course of the year. Maybe he can start to average more innings/year.

    2. Perhaps he can refine a pitch or two. Perhaps learn a new one (as Arroyo taught himself a variation on the fastball a couple years ago).

    3. Perhaps he can learn the hitters better.

    4. Perhaps he can learn to minimize the risk of giving up home runs in certain situations.

    Maybe he's already maxed out in all these areas. But I doubt it.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    RANDY IN INDY (03-27-2013)

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I guess I never thought of Leake as polished. Ever.

    I think the report on him was that he was smart, but that doesn't mean he was a smart pitcher. Being a smart pitcher comes from experience more than brain power. Ignoring the off the field stuff, and just focusing on his performance, he has done little to show me that he's that smart of a pitcher, in fact, he seems to make dumb mistakes all the time (homers).

    Just because he was smart and mature for a guy right out of college, doesn't mean that he was smart and mature for a MLB pitcher. He clearly has a ton of room to grow in terms of maturity and pitching smarts.

    The fact that he has done little of this in his first three seasons is worrisome, but that doesn't mean he is done maturing and learning.
    He's a 25 year old with 485 MLB IP for a 4.23 ERA, and a record of 28-22, with a career 6.0 K/9 - what's he getting by with for so long if he isn't smart or polished?

    He also is underrated as he's an excellent hitter (which still matters in the NL) and an excellent fielder (led the NL in putouts in 2012, second in range factor), and doesn't allow many SB (18 SB, 11CS career | AJ Burnett allowed 38 last year)

    Leake's biggest problem is getting his first pitch over, he's not giving up HR's because of smarts, he's giving them up because of stuff. Compare Bailey and Leake over the past 3 years.

    Leake 1st 2 pitches: 658 AB, 39 HRs, 5.93 HR%
    Leake after 2 pitches: 1350 AB, 29 HRs, 2.15 HR%

    Bailey 1st 2 pitches: 475 AB, 20 HRs, 4.21 HR%
    Bailey after 2 pitches: 1388 AB, 35 HRs, 2.52 HR%

    Leake's problem last year is a lot more 1st pitch AB's against him, and decent 0-1 AB's, he may have to throw a few more early balls outside the zone to improve his success.

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    REDREAD (03-27-2013)

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    He commands four pitches and knows how to use them. How much further can he leverage those strengths? That's kind of the point.... for those expecting him to morph, where is this change in true talent going to come from?
    Yes, he does a decent job of commanding four pitches, but that doesn't mean he has no room for improvement. It's one thing to be able to consistently get your pitches into the strikezone. Consistently getting your pitches to a specific spot in the strikezone is something else entirely.

    Leake can hit his spots, but he also has moments where he just grooves a meatball. IMO, his issue maintaining his concentration from pitch-to-pitch, and that can be improved with experience. Leake has a slimmer margin for error than a flamethrower like Homer Bailey. Consistency in hitting his spots is way more important for him than it is for a guy like Bailey or Chapman. If he can get more consistent inside the zone and reduce the number of mistake pitches he throws, he can be effective even without a classic 'out pitch'.

  11. #173
    ZCTRMTP!!!!! texasdave's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    According to Baseball Cube he is using the slider less each year. And yet his slider is far and away the pitch that he gets the most swings and misses on.

    http://thebaseballcube.com/players/p...&Page=PitchesP
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    When he dials up his FB, and for him, that seems to be 92-93 it lacks movement.

    Paul Janish's wrists can hit a laser straight fastball.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  13. #175
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    When he dials up his FB, and for him, that seems to be 92-93 it lacks movement.

    Paul Janish's wrists can hit a laser straight fastball.
    I thought the consensus was that Leake had good run on his fastball, even historically good movement if I remember an article from his rookie year. Whether or not it is a decent pitch is one thing, but I never considered his a straight fastball.

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    RANDY IN INDY (03-27-2013)

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    When he dials up his FB, and for him, that seems to be 92-93 it lacks movement.

    Paul Janish's wrists can hit a laser straight fastball.
    I just finished watching several videos of Leake and I don't recall one fastball that was "laser straight." His scouting reports indicate his fastball is his best pitch and has good movement, something that was in many reports coming out of college. Here is just one of several I came across:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...ng-mike-leake/

    Leakeís fastball is said to be in the 88-94 mph range and it sits 89-91 mph. It is also said to have natural cutting action and good movement.

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    RANDY IN INDY (03-27-2013)

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    You guys who are seeing run on that fastball, well, your eyes must be betraying you......
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    He doesn't locate it so well sometimes, but his fastball is anything but straight. Learning to pitch within yourself sometimes takes time. Throwing harder for some doesn't mean better or more effective. Location, location, location. Dialing it up for guys who don't throw hard is dependent on location. Up under the hands or up out of the strike zone is usually effective. The change of speed in a great location is sometimes enough to get it by a hitter who isn't expecting it.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 03-27-2013 at 12:30 PM.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    jimbo (03-27-2013)

  20. #179
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    I hope he continues to hang with Arroyo. He is great at this.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  21. #180
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Buster Olney says scouts are raving about Mike Leake

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I just finished watching several videos of Leake and I don't recall one fastball that was "laser straight." His scouting reports indicate his fastball is his best pitch and has good movement, something that was in many reports coming out of college. Here is just one of several I came across:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...ng-mike-leake/
    And that report turned out to be rather wrong. Leake averages a fastball that is 89.1 MPH for his career. Maybe in college, throwing on Friday's each week, he was able to sit a little higher, but not anymore now that he is throwing every 5 days instead of every 7. His fastball certainly has movement. But from year 1 to year 3, it has gotten less run and less sink. That isn't a good trend.

    Perhaps they were actually talking about his cutter rather than his sinker with that last quote though. It has gotten less movement as well, but that is actually what cutters are supposed to do. And that pitch has improved over the years, going from a poor pitch to an above-average one.


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