Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Draft: Amir Garrett Thoughts

Time for some quick Amir Garrett thoughts.

Obviously, Robert Stephenson was the first round pick, but in certain respects Garrett is the pick that has everyone buzzing. Not bad for a 22nd round pick. Given his multi-sport background, Garrett is certainly the most intriguing pick.

First impression of Garrett? He looks better on the basketball court than on the mound. Judge for yourself:

And, here he is on the bump:

On the court, he's explosive and smooth in equal measure. Obviously, he possesses great athleticism, which could bode well for his pitching career. However, on the mound, he looks rough and unpolished. He obviously needs to refine a few things, but his less than polished mechanics are far from surprising given his divided focus. Even so, he does possess a live arm and generates very good velocity from his athletic frame. When watching him work, the first thing that caught my eye and what appears to be the defining feature of his delivery is that he seems to throw up hill.

If you watch him when he is at the apex of his leg kick, he breaks down his back leg before driving to the plate. When he does that, you can see the level of his shoulders change as well. His back shoulder necessarily drops, which results in him appearing to throw up hill. From that position, it will be a bit more difficult for him to work on a downward plane, which is surprising given that he stands 6-6. Basically, he gives away some of the advantage of his height.

Additionally, his plant foot has a tendency to land too far to the first base side, which leaves him in something of a closed off position. As a result, his momentum is forced to work over or around his body a bit, which could lead to inconsistency in his command and control and rob his delivery of efficiency. However, he does have good deception, as it's difficult to pick up the ball early in his delivery.

But, in the grand scheme of things, these problems aren't insurmountable and his off the charts athleticism would be a big advantage if he were to commit to baseball full-time. His body control is strong, which can only help him repeat his delivery and maximize his power without having to sacrifice balance. Garrett has a long way to go and simply needs to get more innings under his belt, but it's easy to see reasons for optimism. These aren't problems that can't be corrected and players with that type of athleticism simply don't come around very often.

As for the Reds, the risk/reward balance on this pick tips heavily in favor of the reward side of the scale. Garrett is an intriguing pick who has good upside. He has some development risk, but he came at such a low price that it's basically all upside for the Reds.


  1. I really, really like this guy and believe they need to do everything they can to lure him to baseball.

    on a side note, i see a lot of similarities between his delivery and chapmans... not quite as smooth and more in the upper body than the lower, however i can't help but see it in there. With some good coaching he could add quite a bit of velocity i believe

  2. Smitty,

    It would be nice to reel him in. I'm not sure he'll be able to add too much more velocity, given that he's already mid 90s.

    As you mention, Aroldis is much more lower body than Garrett. Aroldis has a very big stride and almost jumps off the rubber towards the plate. He generates a lot of velocity with the lower half. Maybe there's room for Garrett to improve in that department.

    Hopefully the Reds can entice Garrett to stick with the superior sport. If not, then this is all moot.

    Thanks for the comment!


  3. Hey Lark, are you going to finish the top 25 prospects list?

  4. VF,

    Yeah, I am. I'm going to crank them out if it kills me! :)