Kannapolis Vs. Lucas Sims Part Two
Micah Johnson leads all of minor league baseball with 60, but was caught twice the night I was in attendance. On paper, his three hit performance was impressive. In person, he was a master of the dink and dunk. I like the way he stayed inside the baseball, but Johnson pulled his head off of a few pitches.
Some players are easy scouts. Others are hard. I’d consider Johnson to be a moderately hard scout considering his advanced age, compact build and so-so defense at second base. He’s a guy I don’t have a really strong read on. Regardless, Johnson is a steal as a ninth round pick even if he never reaches Chicago.
Jefferson Olacio, a 19-year old lefty started for Kannapolis. At 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, the young Dominican towered over opponents. However, his low, 3/4 arm slot doesn’t allow for a heavy downward plane.
Fortunately for Olacio, his arm slow allows his 89-91 mph fastball to dart and dive. This explains his 2.55 GO/AO. Plus, his 85 mph slider is also geared for ground balls.
Olacio’s primary off-speed pitch was an 81 mph changeup. He maintained arm speed and showed better than expected feel for the pitch. In all, the pieces are there for him to become a solid pitching prospect, but his 6.68 ERA is an indicator of just how big a project he is.
For the Braves, it was my second look at Lucas Sims, their 2012 first rounder. When watching him pitch, a comp popped into my head. It would have been high praise a couple of years ago, but now, not so much. If you ignore the delivery and focus on how his stuff plays out of the hand, Sims and Trevor Bauer are quite similar.
Sims’ fastball registered at 92-95 mph with an upper-70’s curveball, harder slurve, and mid-80’s changeup. His fastball was frequently flat and up in the zone, while he used other pitches to change eye level. This will result in big minor league numbers in the future, but struggles at the Major League level if he doesn’t learn to work down in the zone.
Beyond stuff, Sims and Bauer are also compact and athletic. Sims has a more powerful delivery, while Bauer relies more on leverage. It will be interesting to see how the Braves develop him.
30 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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