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Billingsley

I'm more of an AL person so I haven't seen him as much. Just now watching some 2009 tape of him, both good games against good hitting and bad games against bad hitting. In the next day or two will probably have a better feel for him.

 

My first reaction?

 

Fastball:

93-94 four seamer with good command. I don't care at all about control, command is what it's about.

88-91 two seamer thrown across his body with nice tailing action. I don't like the cross-body action but more about that later.

85-89 cutter/slider. He throws a hybrid cutter slider mix. This is an excellent pitch to LH hitters.

 

Curve:

78-81 curve, sometimes a hard curve at 85. I like the late spin on this pitch. It's not a hammer curve like Buch but it's much easier to locate. Right now Bills has some problems with locating it but I think this is mostly just being a young pitcher. I really think this will be his bread and butter. Hopefully he watches Verlander - how he will throw it on 0-0 counts when hitters pick a gameplan of sitting fastball. Unless you are a dominant pitcher teams don't try these approaches. I think Bills can be this guy though.

 

Change:

Don't really see much of this pitch. Maybe it's the starts I watched? Can anyone mention a start where he featured it so I can watch? It's always been in his scouting report but I'm not seeing it.

 

Slider:

See fastball / cutter

 

Health, etc.:

 

Chad has huge legs that he uses a lot. Last year he had a broken leg/ankle that affected him offseason. And this caused the groin injury in spring training. And in April/May I could see him being tentative in his landing. This is integral to his success.

He also throws across his body. No biggie for now but this wears on the shoulder. Without a solid change if he loses a few mph on the fastball it would really hurt him. IMO I would figure the next 4 years could be gold but after that is risky.

 

Prognosis:

I think this year will be a big one for him. Don't underestimate the benefit of being able to workout in the offseason. Injuries in the offseason are so much worse than what is written. Yeah, they are ready for spring. But they didn't do long toss or running or any other critical exercises over the winter. IMO anyone hurt over the offseason is a DND (do not draft).

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