BLUF: Big left-hander that has enticed scouts but left them wanting more.
The Player: Brett Mooneyham (LHP, Stanford University) – Posted 3.32 ERA and 5-3 record in nine starts this spring. Allowed 49 hits and 28 walks while striking out 67 hitters in 57 innings as weekend starter for highly ranked Cardinal club. Missed 2011 season with a finger injury. Finished 2010 season with a 5.07 ERA in 17 starts with 62 walks and 99 strikeouts in 87 innings. As a freshman, walked 54 and struck out 72 in 67.1 innings, en route to a 6-3 record and 4.14 ERA.
Basis of Report: Industry Contacts
Body (6-5, 235): Big kid with good natural strength. Has thick legs and a pretty high waist. Doesn’t have the broad shoulders you would expect from a guy his size. Not overly athletic and can look a little clumsy coming off the mound at times. Has some room for additional strength in his upper body, but close to physical maturity.
Delivery/Mechanics: Very simple windup leading to the balance point. Stays over his back leg well, using a high leg kick and coils some away from the plate before driving to the plate. Doesn’t always stay on line to the plate, impairing his control and command. Arm drags behind his body at times, particularly in the stretch. Primarily employs a slide step from the stretch, and his lower half gets too quick. Has enough athleticism to repeat his delivery, but hasn’t had things click yet.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 86, Low – 94, Average – 89-91, Grade – 50/50
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 87, Low 93, Average 89-91, Grade – 50/50
Fastball (FB) Movement: Has intermittent movement, ranging from sink and cut on the ball, but doesn’t appear to have ability to impart movement on command or with consistency. When he shows sink, it is very effective against both lefties and righties. Grade – 40/50
Overall Fastball: Has shown velocity high as 94 mph at times but lacks any consistency. Given the rarity of that velocity, hard to believe it can be coaxed out consistently. Could still have a solid-average to above-average FB with pro instruction and more consistent mechanics. Needs additional movement to help velocity play up. Will need work with FB as a pro. Grade – 50/50
Slider (SL): Switched from a CB over the last year or so, trying to get a sharper breaking ball that he could rely on. Lacks ability to locate pitch, but can get hitters to chase it out of the strike zone. Shows intriguing two-plane break at times but not consistently enough to grade as an average pitch. Needs to stay on top of it to ensure consistent, tight spin. Could be a solid-average pitch with work, but may also stay a little looser and less reliable. Grade – 30/40
Change-up (CH): Best secondary pitch with arm angle similar to FB. Has good arm speed that lends to some deception. Trusts the grip most of the time. At its best, has good sink and can miss bats in the bottom of the zone. Particularly effective against right-handed hitters. Grade – 50/60
Control: Improved strike throwing and can consistently work in the zone. Arm action and mechanical inconsistencies can still get in the way at times, leaving him missing the zone for portions of his starts. Should have average control long term but needs more innings to hone consistent release point and arm slot after missing innings the last two years. Grade – 40/50
Command: I have reservations about long-term command projection. Mediocre arm action, lack of athleticism and general inconsistency make locating his pitches a consistent issue. May have enough command to become effective, but will never locate with precision or plus ability. Grade – 30/40
Summation: Enigma. Has flashed some really nice stuff at times but is generally average at his best. Some concerns over arm action and athleticism, despite outstanding pitcher’s frame. Primarily a FB-CH guy that needs work with his SL. Good bloodlines. Father was first round pick of Angels in 1980. Potential as number four or five starter with durable body and inning-eating possibilities. Has some breakout potential given raw physical gifts, but he’s a long shot to be better than a back-end guy. Given mediocre breaking ball, limited potential as a reliever.
Relative Risk: High. Enigmatic player with enticing physical gifts, but a lot that could go wrong.
Draft Projection: No drastic change in draft stock. Projects as second or third round pick.