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Excerpts

I sent my newsletter subscribers a scouting report on what I saw in Des Moines. Here are some excerpts for you, about Bobby Brownlie of the Cubs and Josh Willingham of the Marlins.

Bobby Brownlie, RHP
Started Sunday. Former first-round pick has faded from his college glory. Fastball 85-87, slower than Koronka (I confirmed this with other radar guns, it wasn't just mine). He got it up to 89 a few times but it was an obvious maximum effort on his part; his working velocity was 85-87. Threw a slider at 75-78, a curveball at 70-72. None of his pitches had any sort of impressive bite or movement. The slider and curve were OK, but not as good as the reports from when he was in college. I saw nothing in the "plus" category from him the entire game. It was just one start, but he wasn't fooling anyone, and seemed reluctant to use his fastball at times, relying too much on the slider.

Josh Willingham, C
Very selective; the word about his plate discipline is quite accurate. He doesn't swing at anything out of the strike zone. He also can get behind in the count too easily. . .he has to find the right balance between excess passivity and excess aggression. I'm not sure he has that just yet. He has some trouble hitting the slider, but hit the fastball well and held in well against curves. Main question is defense behind the plate. He seemed to boss the pitcher and the infielders around well, and he has good "field awareness." But his reactions were just a hair slow. His arm is strong but his release wasn't very quick. I don't think Willingham is someone that teams would trust to catch 120 games, but as a Matt LeCroy utility type (1B, catcher, DH), he would be very useful.