Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 Draft, Players of Interest: Carson Sands and Scott Blewett

Carson Sands
North Florida Christian High School, FLA
HT: 6-3 WT: 205
Position: LHP
B/T: L/L

Carson Sands stands 6-3 and uses good mechanics with a clean arm action.

His fastball sits 90-92 and he commands it well to both sides of the strike zone. His changeup is solid average and has good movement. His curveball is inconsistent, but has improved over the last year and shows flashes of being an above average pitch.

Scouts feel like Sands might be maxed out, leaving him with minimal projection to his game. He has a good feel for all three pitches and can throw them all for strikes. If the draft doesn't fall to his liking, then he has committed to Florida State and could go the college route.

Here's a look at Sands in action, courtesy of Baseball Factory on YouTube:

Overall, Sands has clean and efficient mechanics and throws with minimal effort. His elbow maintains good position relative to the shoulder. He gets respectable differential between his hip rotation and shoulder rotation. though he could benefit from a delayed shoulder rotation and better incorporation of the lower half. He maintains good balance, due to good body control and tempo, throughout his delivery. Overall, his mechanics and lower effort level should reduce his injury risk.

Sands has a good feel for pitching and gets good marks for his makeup. He might be more "high floor" than "high ceiling", but if he refines his offspeed offerings or finds another gear on the fastball, then he could emerge as more than a mid/back of the rotation option.

Still, a southpaw with clean, efficient mechanics and good feel for three average-to-above average pitches has legitimate value.

Scott Blewett
Baker High School, N.Y.
HT: 6-6 WT: 235
Position: RHP
B/T: R/R

Scott Blewett is a cold weather pitching prospect who has a good deal of helium heading into the draft as more and more scouts get a look at him. He's one of the youngest pitchers in the draft class, which matters less for pitchers than for position players, as pitcher development is less linear, but it still bears mentioning.

Blewett is a tall, lanky, loose-limbed righthanded power pitcher. His height allows him to throw on a steep downward plane and release the ball closer to the hitter than shorter pitchers, which helps his 91-94 mph fastball play up. He also features a nice, tight breaking curveball that flashes plus and doesn't have the big waterballoon type hump to it, but remains inconsistent. And, like most high school pitchers, he has a show-me changeup for his third pitch that he hasn't used much and needs a good deal of work.

Blewett is a former hockey player who has good athleticism and coordination for a pitcher his size. That coordination gives him a bit more polish than one might expect from a prospect of his size and experience. 

Here's a look at Blewett in action, courtesy of Big League Futures on YouTube:

Blewett's size and stuff are intriguing, but the first thing I'd do upon drafting him is to extend the length of his stride. As of now, he's using a short stride that sees him almost walking towards homeplate on his follow-through, which doesn't maximizing the value of his height. The short stride prevents him from maximizing the generation of force from his lower half, as he's less aggressive driving to the plate and limited in his ability to get a full and complete rotation of the hips. So, I'd try to refine his lower half to increase his efficiency and allow him to generate the force with less effort.

That said, his overall mechanics are smooth and his arm action is clean. As a cold weather pitcher, he hasn't thrown a ton of innings, so he's probably a bit raw with a bit less wear and tear on his arm. There is a lot to currently like with Blewett and he has a great deal of projection to his game. As he continues to physically mature, he could add more and/or easier velocity to his fastball.

If things break right, Blewett could be an impact MLB pitcher. Blewett is high on my list. 

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