Cnati has video of Aroldis Chapman tossing live batting practice yesterday. Mark Sheldon says that the hitters were impressed; Bryan Price was even more enthusiastic:

“It was terrific. He was in the zone with all three of his pitches,” Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. “I thought he was sharper against hitters than he was in the bullpen.”

For all of the hype about Chapman’s 100-mph fastball coming into camp, it was his slider and changeup that drew the most raves Wednesday.

On his third pitch of the day, Chapman threw a changeup away to infielder Chris Burke, and people standing around the cage were heard saying, “Oooh.”

“That’s a nice little repertoire. Somebody should sign this kid,” Burke joked after leaving the cage.

Reports are that his slider and changeup have improved markedly since arriving in America. Maybe Price is earning his money.

(And since I haven’t linked this yet, Jerry Crasnick has a pretty good profile of Chapman over at ESPN.com.)

5 Responses

  1. RiverCity Redleg

    C Trent has been doing a pretty good job of chronicalling ST so far.

  2. RedinFla

    It’s the next best thing to being there. 8)

  3. TC

    C Trent is the man, but did you notice Gomez snubbed him a bit when he tried to rename the mohawk from rayhawk to redhawk?

  4. TC

    Oops. Gomes that is.

    I don’t mind the attention on Chapman, but I’d like to see more information on some of the other guys. I don’t recall if Boxburger got a invite, but if he’s there, I’d like to see how he’s doing. Cueto and Bailey have been reported on, but what about Lehr and Maloney (who in my opinion are the real front runners for the 5th spot.)

    The Chapman show is fun but it is just a dog and pony show. Even if he is the best candidate for the 5th spot, which I’m not convinced just yet, the money aspect is just to big to ignor. I think the budget, the team, and Chapman are all better served if you keep Chapman down until at least June or July.

    The Budget: As soon as he steps on the field at GABP the clock starts. If you bring him east with the team, that 6 year 30 million dollar contract turns into a 3 year 30 million. If he comes up at any point this year, but late enough he doesn’t qualify as a super two, the contract becomes a 4 year 30 million dollar contract. For every year he is in the minors you extend that contract a year up to 6 years (including 3 years in the minors). I’m not in favor of keeping him down just to extend the contract, but financially speaking, as soon as he is in the majors the 1.25 million you are paying for him this year becomes a pro-rated version of something MUCH bigger.

    The Team: It is possible Chapman could come up and dominate for the first couple of games. But scouts will figure him out. IMO, he is not a complete pitcher yet. Maloney and Lehr are as ready as they ever will be. Plus I think over a season, those two would have more wins.

    Chapman: He needs polish and a few months to perfect his two spanking brand new pitches. He’s got a 4-seam and curve. He just learned the splitter and changeup. He needs to learn how not just throw them, but how to use them. In addition, he should improve his 2-seamer. People are comparing him to Cueto skipping AAA. Cueto had several things going for him. First, there were only two spots taken in the rotation that year (3 spots were open). Second, beyond his 96 MPH 4-seamer, he also had a fully developed changeup and 2-seamer with A LOT of movement. Chapman does not have those advantages. From all reports Chapman’s curve is a plus pitch. Cueto still doesn’t throw a plus curve yet. Chapman’s top speed is above 100, where Cueto’s fastest ball tops out in the mid 90’s. Plus Chapman is lefthanded (always a plus). He’s close, but would be better served if he spent some time pitching where it doesn’t count to work on some stuff.

    If I was the GM, sometime mid March I’d announce, “We want him to work on a few things at AA. He’ll be working on polishing some rough spots so we expect his stats won’t look so great. Once we feel he is major league ready, we’ll move him to AAA to see how he does. If he looks good, we’ll find him a spot for him in the major league rotation.”

  5. Luke Price

    Aroldis Chapman is a very good ballplayer.