I will try to write-up some reviews on the players I wrote scouting reports on earlier in the year. I was going to start with Matusz but what with Porcello getting optioned I changed my schedule.
There are an awful lot of changes from the 2010 version versus the 2009 version of Porcello.
- Didn't throw as hard and didn't throw his 4 seamer enough IMO
- Threw a curve (but that changed as the season progressed)
- Was a lot more consistent
- Had better consistent movement on his fastball
- Throws much harder this year. This was a conscious effort from the beginning of spring training
- Has totally removed the curve
- The velocity has done strange things to his fastball. At times he is getting 94 or 95 with sick movement. And at times it's flat even when he is trying to move it.
Last year he was pounding the zone consistently and hitters were putting it into play but with weak contact. The curve he couldn't locate for strikes so I can understand him putting it away. For now.
This year his velocity is up and I've seen some really sick sinkers that make hitters look foolish. But too often two sick pitches are followed up by a flat fastball that is hammered. His slider is solid but hitters are already looking for pitches down that move down.
- He found success last year with a solid formula but wanted to change to become even better. He will have growing pains. This needs to be worked out in the minors.
- He needs to get consistency on his fastball. Know when it will sink and when he wants it to be flat. The flat pitches are important, love them in the bottom of the zone to steal strikes. That way next time a pitch is in the bottom of the zone the hitter is swinging, they hate getting called out on stolen strikes.
- He needs to bring back his curve. He can't really use it at the MLB level 4-5 times a game. Needs it where he can throw it for first pitch strikes. This will take time. Guys that are primarily fastball control/movement (like Halladay, Feldman, Webb, etc.) really need a consistent breaking ball. Doesn't have to be dominant, has to be very consistent though. People forget how good Doc's curve is especially for throwing strikes.
- It would be nice to improve the change. But I wouldn't be comfortable having him work on it in the minors. He has too much to work on right now. Getting that fastball under control is #1. Getting that curve to consistently throw strikes is #2.
- It would also be nice to have that slider a little better. Like throwing it at the top of the zone to drop in for strikes. I probably wouldn't have him work on that either.
I think he will be fine. If you can get him in a league go for it. I think the hype is justified.