Mike Minor Scouting Report (2009)
The seventh overall selection in the 2009 draft, the Braves organization took quite a bit of heat for what was considered to be a low risk, medium ceiling pick. With recent first round picks including high risks/high reward players Cody Johnson and Jason Heyward, along with high ceiling international prospects Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, and Christian Bethancourt, Minor was a definite break from their recent signing philosophy.
Physique and Athleticism – As expected, Minor’s SEC college pedigree has left him nearly fully developed, both physically, and in terms of “stuff”. With little projection left, Minor profiles as an innings eating lefty and has the physique and average athleticism to back it up.
Mound Presence – Before settling in and establishing his change up, Sand Gnats hitters were able to push a run across in the first. During the rally, Minor’s body language showed a bit of frustration in his lack of fastball command. However, after working out of trouble, Minor was pretty much flawless throughout his final three frames featuring a spring training-esque repertoire of fastball/change up only.
Fastball – Topping out at 91 MPH, Minor sat in the 88-90 range with easy, repeatable mechanics. He showed average to slightly above average command of the pitch throughout, although pitch movement left a bit to be desired. His fastball was rather straight for a lefty and lacked the tail typical to left-handers. A solid average offering, but little more.
Curveball – Minor kept both his curve and slider in his back pocket during his start, but I was able to watch him work on the pitch in the pen. With two to seven movement, it was a touch slurvy to be considered a true curve and the plane of the pitch was not enough of a variation from his slider for it to change a batters eye level.
Slider – Due to sharp, significant break down and in to right-handed hitters, Minor’s slider ranked among the best I’ve seen this season; Even in the pen. It can be a real neutralizing factor to lefties and should saw off quite a few right-handers as well. I was disappointed he did not throw the pitch in game action.
Changeup – As soon as Minor began mixing in the change, he began decimating the competition. Yes, any lefty with a change up will have success in the “Sally” (see Dimaster Delgado). And yes, Minor has a much more mature, developed arsenal than I’m accustomed to seeing, but this pitch was plain nasty. At 78-80 MPH, it featured perfect velocity separation from the fastball and had both fantastic drop and fade away from righties. Add to this near pinpoint command, and the change up clearly becomes Minor’s meal ticket to Atlanta.
While some pan the Braves selection of Minor, it was past due for the Braves to add a pitcher with his skill set to the organization. With young, projectable arms in Randall Delgado, Teheran, and Zeke Spruill likely to see a surge in prospect status entering 2010, a mature Minor can be fast tracked and allows their high ceiling arms to develop without being rushed.
Bet on Minor to be one of the first five players from the 2009 draft class to reach Atlanta. Should he move quickly and become league average by mid 2012, the Braves would most certainly be thrilled.
23 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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