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April 15, 2007

Chase Wright

Who is Chase Wright?

I was just reading up on young Mr. Wright in John Sickels' The Baseball Prospect Book 2007. Here's what John had to say:

"...component ratios [in 2006] were just slightly better than league average...fastball is average...good curveball...keeps the ball low...some sleeper potential."

Baseball Prospectus says:

"Chase Wright, FSL pitcher of the year, has a great curve and little else."

Baseball Amercia says:

"Chase Wright has one of the better changeups in the minors."

And, what did Wright have to say about himself just the other day, in terms of his stuff? Read on:

"I throw a lot of two-seamers, so I usually get a majority of groundballs," Wright said. "I am actually kind of surprised with the strikeouts I have been getting [in Double-A this year, to date]. In this cold weather, I have been going right at them. I was trying to get them to put it in play and work as fast as I can. I am effective when I am getting groundball outs."

Summing it all up, it appears that Wright is a lefty who relies on a curve and a sinking fastball to get hitters out. If you're asking me, at this point, I say "Think 'Erik Bedard' for a likely comp."

Posted by Steve Lombardi at April 15, 2007 10:52 PM

Comments

Well, except that Erik Bedard is infinitely more talented than Wright. This isn't the next great Yankee pitcher that's being called up, he's a stopgap.

A better comp is Ron Villone...when he was on the Reds.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2007 11:43 PM

Well, he certainly seems to be in a groove; so, who knows, he just might jump in and have a couple of solid starts. As for optimism, that's all I've got for now. Losing two of three this weekend - especially the way in which they lost them - sort of feels like an enormous punch in the gut right now. Better days to come, I'm sure.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 02:22 AM

Wow...Erik Bedard, I'd LOVE that. But I have to agree with Mike A. and I don't share that same optimism. But I would love for you to be right.


Man that loss sucked yesterday, I can't believe how well everything was going and then BAM. Last year, probably right around this time, I remember Mo blew a game against the Twins and the Yanks went on to do fine. I hope the same happens this year. I can't stand when games go exactly to perfection, and then boom...a Yankees loss.

Let's go Yanks!!!!

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 09:48 AM

~~~Well, except that Erik Bedard is infinitely more talented than Wright. ~~~

Mike, in what ways? Size, handedness, types of pitches thrown, speed? Experience levels met before first big league game? They look alike to me.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 10:55 AM

I saw Nate Robertson was second on his list of PECOTA comprables, that's not so bad. Bedard seems like a best case scenario given his wider array of pitches. At least they got a good start and a day off to give them a full pen tomorrow night.

Posted by: Joshua Alper [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 11:02 AM

I was in Trenton last Thursday evening and saw Chase Wright throw 7 innings of 1-hit, 1-walk, shutout ball and he was truly impressive.

I don't know what the speed gun said but sitting in the 7th row between home plate and the third base dugout, I can report that he was really dealing. The curve was as advertised and he was spotting his fastball very well. His command was excellent. The one hit he gave up was to the leadoff batter in the first and the one walk was later in the game as he tired just a bit. In between there was total dominance with few of the Harrisburg (Nationals) hitters making solid contact of any kind.

Granted that this was just AA ball, but I would imagine that the Yankees have to be tempted to promote Wright quickly. Having seen him myself, I know I'm really curious to see how he will do against better competition. After watching a game like that (which was easily as good as anything I saw in the two games I saw Hughes pitch last year), I'll be disappointed if Chase turns out to be a dud.

By the way, the Yanks aren't the only ones who never comment on no-shows. The wire reports on this game said the attendance was 4,000+ and if there were more than, say, 700-800 people in the stands on a cold and windy April night, I'd be astonished.

As for the Yanks, this has been a mostly disappointing first two weeks. It always hurts whenever Mariano blows one. But since he is but a human and not really a god, it is inevitable that he does this once or twice a year. Unless it becomes a habit, it's just an aberration.

Posted by: MMTDad [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 11:04 AM

***Mike, in what ways? Size, handedness, types of pitches thrown, speed? Experience levels met before first big league game? They look alike to me.***

The comp ends after size and handedness.

Comparing types of pitches is useless unless you compare how good they are. Bedard throws harder, has a more consistent change and better breaking ball. He also fields his position better.

It took Wright until his 7th pro year to make it out of A-ball (that's not a typo), Bedard had 150+ big league innings under his belt by that time. Bedard also came out of college, so he's got that extra experience also, whereas Wright came out of high school.

Those scouting reports you mention all say different and contradicting things: one says he's got a great curve and little else, another says he's got one of the beter changeups in the minors. He's more or less average across the board, with a better-than-average changeup, though not that much better.

I mean, if he's got a good change, a 88-90 mph fastball, is lefthanded, and is about 6'1, 190 why not just compare him to Tom Glavine?

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 11:33 AM

Does Glavine have a great curve?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 11:41 AM

~~~It took Wright until his 7th pro year to make it out of A-ball (that's not a typo), Bedard had 150+ big league innings under his belt by that time. Bedard also came out of college, so he's got that extra experience also, whereas Wright came out of high school.~~~

Mike - bottom line, how many professional starts at Triple-A, and below Triple-A (combined) did Bedard have before his MLB debut? How do those two numbers compare to Wright?

Also, Bedard throws harder? Really? How much harder? Do you have links to support each reported MPH mark for each pitcher?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 02:29 PM

I would go with the majority on this issue:

1. Up to this moment Chase Wright is no Erik Bedard, not even close.

2. This move is a terrible mistake by the Yankees. Wright is not ready for the big leagues in every way, his stuff, his mentality, no experience, etc.

3. Remember Sean Henn in 2005? I am afraid this is gonna be the same story.

Posted by: Deric [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 03:51 PM

I thought of Henn too. Wright just may end up that way this week. But, in the long term, I think he's a prospect - that could turn out like E.B.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 04:02 PM

Mike - bottom line, how many professional starts at Triple-A, and below Triple-A (combined) did Bedard have before his MLB debut? How do those two numbers compare to Wright?
=====================

Bedard had 59 starts at A & AA before making his MLB debut.

Their overall numbers really aren't all that close.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 04:14 PM

Seeing how most people haven't seen him pitch, why don't we at least let him have 1 start in the bigs before we decide who to compare him too.

Posted by: dpk875 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 04:45 PM

Seeing how most people haven't seen him pitch, why don't we at least let him have 1 start in the bigs before we decide who to compare him too.
================
You can look at his MiL numbers, and project them to the ML level, and get a somewhat reasonable picture of who his comps are.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 08:19 PM

It's funny but I feel like the scout versus the sabrmatricians in this discussion even though I am someone who is a believer that stats tell the tale almost every time in baseball. The comments I posted earlier in this discussion were written before I read this morning's papers and saw that Wright was being promoted and would pitch Tuesday night.

I'll admit I'm surprised and there's no question that all the doomsayers here have history and the facts on their side. But since I may be the only one here commenting who's actually seen the kid pitch, allow me to be a little optimistic.

The guy I saw pitch Thursday looked to have the command and the confidence to get batters out in any league. Making his MLB debut in Yankee Stadium with only 14 innings above A ball may reduce that confidence to jelly and the command to batting practice specials, but until that happens, I'm going to hope for the best. It's happened before and can happen again.

Let's all pull for Chase!

Posted by: MMTDad [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 09:41 PM

~~~Bedard had 59 starts at A & AA before making his MLB debut. Their overall numbers really aren't all that close.~~~

Tell me, how many starts has Wright made in the minors, to date? How not close is it?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2007 10:40 PM

Wright has made 89 minor league starts to date, so it really isn't close.

Then again, Bedard did have plenty of college innings.

Posted by: The Sporting Brews [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2007 09:00 AM

It took Wright until his 7th pro year to make it out of A-ball (that's not a typo),

Perhaps not a typo, but still incorrect. Wright graduated high school May 2001.

Posted by: banjo4306 [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 19, 2007 02:01 AM