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Monday, June 07, 2004

JERED WEAVER!!!
Holy cow!!! I don't pay much attention to the draft, not being a prospectnik so much, but most of us have heard of this guy, who some have said has unseated the hated Mark Prior as Best College Pitcher of All Time (TM). I'm not sure I really believe that either one of them is, to be honest, but anyway ...

... Weaver's a terrific prospect by all accounts, and I'm shocked, shocked that he was still available at the twelfth pick. (It is apparently due to expected bonus demands.)

Here's MLB's scounting report on Weaver (sorry about the all-caps, it's from the website, which includes video footage):

VERY TALL, LEAN, WIRY PHYSIQUE. LONG, LOOSE, SINEWY MUSCLES. SQUARE SHOULDERS. LONG ARMS, LEGS. THIN HIPS, WAIST . RM TO CARRY MORE WEIGHT. BUILT SIMILAR TO BROTHER JEFF WEAVER. NO WINDUP, 3/4 ARM. SIDE STEP TO START. BIG HIP, SHOULDER TURN. FLASHES PLUS FB, MOST 90-91, SOME TAIL, SINK WHEN DOWN. DECEPTIVE DELIVERY, TURNS BACK TO HITTER, TOUGH TO PICK UP PITCHES. SPOTS ML SLIDER. GOOD MOTION ON SINKING CHANGEUP. PLUS CONTROL. TOUGH COMPETITOR WHO PITCHES W/ CONFIDENCE. HAS THE SIZE, MAKEUP, & PITCHES FOR A FRONTLINE ML STARTER.


The video available at MLB.com demonstrates what is written above. He's got (what appears to be a two-seam) fastball that hover around 90, and his off-speed (it was hard to tell, from the angle, if it was his slider or change) would routinely hit 76. If he added a four-seamer, things could get pretty interesting. Check out the video.

Jered Weaver ranks as the #1 college pitcher in the game this season according to Craig Burley's invaluable ratings, and there is speculation he might be ready for the majors as soon as late summer. His ratios are just off the charts: around 10:1 strikeouts-to-walks, about 13 strikeouts-per-nine innings.

I consider this exciting news.

Comments:
There's simply no way Weaver's pitching for the Angels this year. He's had a complete season with the Dirtbags, which might be extended if they make it further in the postseason. Asking him to go through the minors and come up to the big club this year is a Herculean task.

There's some talk that he might ultimately make a nice middle relief guy. I don't know whether that's based on his ceiling (which most reports say isn't all that much further up than he's at now), or on his "signability" issues (i.e., he's being talked down as a negotiating ploy), or on his psychological makeup being similar to his (rather shaky in tight situations) brother. Remember, he's used to having about a zillion strikeouts; what happens when he can't get away with bad pitches and starts getting guys on base? We'll see.
 
... and that all assumes he's going to sign at all. I believe he could play for the Dirtbags for another year.

As I wrote on Richard's blog, if he sees $4M I'll be shocked. Boras has overestimated the market consistently.
 
Yeah, I agree that Weaver probably won't, and shouldn't, see major league action this year, but I have read (in days preceding the draft) that many consider him ready and that it is a possibility.

I do think the Angels will sign him, however.
 
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