A short set of notes about the Suns game today, not in small part due to the fact that I missed the first inning and a half due to some accidents on I-70. I hope everyone was OK because I am not ready to deal with how incredibly petty my anger at missing those innings would be otherwise.
Riley Pint, P, COL
Pint was drafted 4th overall in the 2016 draft on the back his explosive fastball, which was routinely touching triple digits pre-draft. Pint has a classic tall & fall delivery and throws from a 3/4 slot. He has good posture when he delivers the ball, with his shoulders square to the plate.
That fastball was out in force this afternoon. It’s an explosive offering, obviously sitting in the upper 90s (I don’t have a gun but Ryan Sullivan reported it was 95-98 here) with some run down in the zone. He missed a ton of bats with the fastball. This pitch was too much for Hagerstown’s A Ball hitters to catch up with, and he was able to work out of a lot of trouble purely on the velocity of his fastball.
Pint also featured a slurvy breaking ball that he showed some ability to command to the glove-side, spotting it right on the low-outside corner to right handed hitters a handful of times. At times, the pitch showed more depth an looked like a power curveball, at others it looked flatter and more like a slider, but the shapes were rarely different enough that I could feel confident saying he was throwing two distinct pitches. The power-curve-shaped-breaker was the best iteration of the pitch, and featured serious bite. It could be a plus pitch if he’s able to develop the feel to consistently throw the version he flashed a couple of times today.
Anyway the big problem for Pint is, and always has been, his command. He was consistently missing with his fastball in two specific locations today: he’d either not finish the pitch and see it sail high and to his arm side, or pull it low and to his glove side. He only walked two batters today but it did not feel like he was commanding his stuff nearly that well. He was able to escape jams purely on stuff, including ending a bases-loaded situation by getting a Suns hitter to swing at a fastball in his eyes. He’ll need a ton of improvement in his command if he’s going to start in Colorado. It’s not immediately obvious what he could correct in his delivery to improve his command, but he’s fairly athletic and that, more than anything, gives hope he’ll be able to improve his timing and throw more and better strikes.
Only saw 4-5 PAs of any of the hitters, which isn’t nearly enough to make solid judgements, but here’s some early thoughts.
- Juan Soto was the most advanced hitter on the field today. Crushed a line drive to deep center off a Pint fastball, roped another liner off a lefty for his only hit of the game. Excited to see more of him.
- Carter Kieboom was on Pint today, smacked a single to the opposite field off of him.
- There’s an oufielder, Vince Fernandez, on the Asheville team that I wish I could get some more looks at. He’s sliiiightly old for the level at 21, but he’s a big dude with real pop who goes up looking to looking to elevate the ball. He hit 2 HR today. One was a cheapy, bouncing off the top of the 380 foot CF wall, but the other was a towering shot to right-center.