Doing my part as a cog in the Rick Porcello hype machine

Rick Porcello’s Debut
It’s only one start, but the reviews couldn’t get much better of Rick Porcello’s debut. I hit the details in the minor league wrap last night, but those in attendance have since had time to post their reports.

Porcello threw 71 pitches over the 5 innings, which was right in line with a pitch count/inning limit of 75 and 5.

A newer blog called Saber-Scouting took in the effort and filed a full scouting report, complete with scores on the 20-80 scale. The change-up Porcello featured was his out pitch on this night. The summary is incredibly encouraging (emphasis mine)

You can see why teams loved him in the draft—he has all the elements you look for in a young pitcher. Tonight he showed a great projectable body, sound mechanics, great command for his age, great feel for a plus fastball, ability to spin a plus breaking ball, a knockout changeup, potential plus command, and the intelligence to know when and how to use these tools. Not sure what else you could want, really. I am confident he could pitch in the big leagues right now as a back-end starter, but allowing him to improve in the minors for a bit is the more savvy move. There’s been tons of hype tossed on this guy by about any writer that can spell his name, but it doesn’t look like it’s gone to his head and he’s everything that was advertised.

It also sounds like he’s got some pretty impressive awareness and an ability to make adjustments. When he got into trouble in the 5th inning, a quick conversation with pitching coach Joe Coleman got him back on track.

“I wasn’t tired in the fifth inning,” said Porcello, who was also charged with an error on a pick-off throw after hitting Battle. “My arm slot just dropped a little bit. I started to lose control a little. I just have to go back out there and get after it.

Finally, Deran and LFT Blog posted their thoughts on the game as well as some great pictures from the night (including the one seen above).


  1. Tbone

    April 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    All aboard Billfer’s Porcello train, choo-choo!

    The scouting report puts him in the bigs by All Star break 2009. That’s still too early in my book but if he keeps improving the clamor to bring him up will only grow.

    This is a nice start but its just one game. We need to be really careful with this kid. He’s the future of the franchise.

  2. Eric Cioe

    April 4, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    So based on this stuff, I’m picturing a better version of Bonderman – strikeout pitcher with a good groundball rate. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice the first part of that, though, in the name of “efficiency.”

  3. Ryan in Brooklyn

    April 4, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I was recently talking baseball with some guys at work who saw Porcello pitch a few times in high school. Granted he was facing high school competition, but they said he was amazing. Not only that, but they said he’s smart and even-keeled (supposedly had a strict upbringing). Maybe it’s the 0-4 start, but I’m starting to get really excited about this kid!

  4. Jeff

    April 4, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Just as long as Joe Coleman doesn’t teach him that Billy Martin spitball . . .

  5. Mike R

    April 5, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Very good news. And great link, billfer. Enjoyable read (to me, at least).

  6. Shane Temporarily in Toledo

    April 5, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Geez, I keep trying not to get my expectations too high about him, but it is increasingly difficult. I hope Porcello keeps it up.

  7. Joey C.

    April 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    So anyone think the situation on the big-league club gets grim enough that they start thinking Porcello to the pen?

  8. Mike R

    April 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Porcello to the bullpen this year would be the worst move a baseball team has made with a first round draft pick in the last 25 years.

  9. Joey C.

    April 8, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Sure. That’s supportable.

    The point is, if this club were to actually start getting decent starting pitching, and the pen stays as terrible as it’s likely to stay, wouldn’t they almost be forced to consider it if they truly believed that he could step into that role immediately? The premise is that if they believe a move like that would be the difference between contending and not contending, wouldn’t they likely consider it?

    So, my question isn’t would it be the right move. The question is do we start hearing murmurs that the club is thinking about it.


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