Chris Balcom-Miller Scouting Report (2010)
I was in attendance for Chris Balcom-Miller‘s best start of the 2010 season. Over seven innings, Balcom-Miller was nearly flawless allowing no runs and only three baserunners. As impressive as he was, this report will be atypical of what I usually post. Fact is his stuff darts and dives so much, it has left me, and others scratching our heads as to what his repertoire actually is.
In the bullpen, he threw a fastball, cutter, slider, and changeup, but in game action, the only way I could tell a fastball from the rest of his arsenal was the velocity difference. For this piece, I’ll be breaking down his fastball and referring to his breaking pitches in a more broad fashion than normal. Make no mistake though, whatever he was throwing, it was awfully impressive.
Physical Projection – At a listed height/weight of 6’2″, 190 lbs., he looked to be closer to 215 out of uniform as he sat in front of me charting for a couple of games. Balcolm-Miller has a strong pitcher’s frame with well-developed legs and a trunk made for durability. However, he is going to have to watch his weight a bit as his body type is one which could become pudgy if not monitored.
When his front foot lands, his motion finishes up fluidly as he generates easy arm whip and follows through to a strong fielding position. His mechanical “funk” works with his repertoire and should suit him well going forward.
Mound Presence – Balcom-Miller does an excellent job of working quickly, keeping the defense behind him on their toes. With a GB% near 60%, he showed an excellent understanding of how to pitch to contact to maximize efficiency and bring down pitch counts. At higher levels, he should remain successful due to improved defenses behind him even though his repertoire is not likely to rack up strikeouts.
Fastball – At 89-91 MPH, topping out at 92, Balcom-Miller showed the ability to work the pitch to either side of the plate. More impressive than his apparent command was his ability to cut the pitch off the outside corner to right-handers while fading it away from lefties. With horizontal movement, also came just enough drop to induce bad barrel contract as Sand Gnats hitters repeatedly pounded balls into the dirt. However, with his advanced pitchability, the pitch is pretty much as strong as it’s going to be meaning it will not generate many swings-and-misses at higher levels.
Breaking Pitches – At 82-84 MPH, what I perceived to be a cutter/changeup combination was seen as a slider by a scout who had also seen him pitch. At any rate, his arm action was nearly identical to his fastball making it difficult to read. The pitches all included significant drop and with similar cut and fade to the fastball. Like the Sand Gnats, I had no idea what was coming on any count which was another indicator of advanced polish and knowledge of how to set up batters.
With a relatively high floor, but without more than average fastball velocity, Balcom-Miller is an excellent candidate to settle in as a back of the rotation innings eater with the Rockies. He’s certainly not flashy, but it’s pitchers like him whom organizations simply can not have enough of. If the Rockies were buying at the deadline, I suspect “CBM” would be high on many a wish list.
18 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
Tags: Red Sox
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