Quick Looks: Corbin and Wisler

Sorry for not having as many Quick Looks this off season. Instead of watching games inside while exercising, I have been exercising outside. I will try to get some more once spring training games start up so let me know of any pitchers you would like to see my thoughts on.

I will continue to implement player grading on the scouting scales of 20-80. I will use Dan Farnsworth’s scale he discussed in this article.

Grade Hitter Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher WAR
80 Top 1-2 #1 Starter —- 7
75 Top 2-3 #1 —- 6
70 Top 5 #1/2 —- 5
65 All-Star #2/3 —- 4
60 Plus #3 High Closer 3
55 Above Avg #3/4 Mid Closer 2.5
50 Avg Regular #4 Low CL/High SU 2
45 Platoon/Util #5 Low Setup 1.5
40 Bench Swing/Spot SP Middle RP 1
35 Emergency Call-Up Emergency Call-Up Emergency Call-Up 0
30 *Organizational *Organizational *Organizational -1

I will give a value for where I think the pitcher could currently fit in on the average team (CV=current value) and where they could end up (FV=future value). I am sure I will disagree with some grades from others, but I am only looking at one game.

Note: If I say a pitch moves 11-5, it is from the pitcher’s perspective.

Matthew Wisler
10/4/15 vs Cardinals
(45 CV/50 FV)

Game Thoughts
• His fastballs were at 92 to 95 mph early in the game, but lost a few tick as the game went one. The speed did come back a in the last couple innings. He normally threw his four-seamer which can get some swings and misses, but it got crushed at times.

• His slider was between 81-85 mph with 2-7 slurvy break which he couldn’t throw for strikes. It was his one swing-and-miss pitch at a 15% SwStr% on the season.

• He also threw a straight to slightly sinking 86-87 mph changeup. Not a good pitch.

• He seemed to give away pitches out of the strike zone.

Final thoughts: His stuff seemed OK … maybe. I just can’t see the upside. Looking over his stats (4.71 ERA with the estimators to match), he was even less productive than he looked in this game. Hopefully, he can make some improvements to his game.

Patrick Corbin
8/15/15 vs Braves
(55 CV/60 FV)
Game Thoughts

• I wanted to see how Corbin pitched after his Tommy John surgery before making a 2016 investment. I was impressed.

• The left-hander threw a two and four-seam fastball. The 91 to 94 mph two-seamer broke late with some release-side run. It induced quite a few groundballs in the game and was at 51% on the season. The four-seamer had a tick more velocity and was straight. It tied up a few hitters since they were looking for the two-seamer.

• His bread-and-butter pitch was his slider. It was at 80 to 83 mph with 10-5 break which he could throw for strikes when needed. In 2015, it had a high 24% swinging strike rate.

• He also threw a change-up. It was at 83-84 mph with a 12-6 break. It is just a swing-and-miss pitch since it is rarely in the strike zone (34% Zone%). It didn’t produce good numbers over the season (below average in GB% and SwStr%), but it was better in the past. If he takes a huge step forward, I expect this pitch to be the key.

• He worked quickly on the edges of the strike zone with plus command.

• He owns lefties with a 2.27 FIP and a 3.67 FIP against right-handed hitters.

Final thoughts: I plan on owning a few shares of Corbin going in 2016. I like his upside, but I do have concerns about how many innings the Diamondbacks will allow him to pitch. I will try to read between the lines during spring training to get an idea of his work load.

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Jeff, I don’t know if you explained before and I just forgot, but how do you decide which game to watch for a player? just picked at random? Just curious, and I love this series.