Tracking Tampa's top prospects
April, 19, 2013
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioTampa is counting on Wil Myers and other top prospects at Durham.Durham hosted an 11 a.m. "Education Day" game on Thursday against Charlotte, giving me an opportunity to see a few of Tampa's top prospects, including the two major names they acquired in the James Shields/Wade Davis trade.
• Durham starter Jake Odorizzi showed four pitches, but nothing was plus or even truly above average. His fastball was straight at 89-92, touching 93 in the fourth, and he struggled badly with command throughout his outing. Early in the game, he worked mostly with an 83-85 mph slider, trying to backdoor it to lefties, and an 80-82 mph straight change. Later in the outing, he flipped a few slow curveballs, with good depth but perhaps too slow to be more than a show-me pitch.
Unfortunately, none of the other three offerings is a swing-and-miss pitch -- he took advantage of a bad Charlotte lineup more than anything else. He had some success when elevating the fastball, but that's a bad formula against big league hitters who hit mistakes out of the park.
Odorizzi's delivery is very clean and simple, with a little deception from how long he hides the ball and very good extension out front when he releases the ball. He stays online to the plate with a consistent landing spot. There seemed to be a plan in place to work hitters side to side and up and down, but his trouble locating the fastball meant he couldn't fully execute it.