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Scouting Taylor Jungmann (updated for latest start: May 25th @ Tennessee Smokies)


I just signed up for milb.tv this evening as an add on to my mlb.tv premium package ($10 for the remainder of the season, can't beat it). So, this will afford me the opportunity to scout several of our top rated prospects. I'm looking forward to contributing to the forum in any way I can, and would be happy to watch any games as requested (as they are available). I obviously have no professional scouting experience, but have been watching the game of baseball for 33 years, and spend much of the year reading scouting reports. My primary sources of information are Baseball America and Baseball Prospect Nation, as well as MLB.com and Milb.com.

 

I'm going to kick things off this morning having just completed watching Taylor Jungmann's second start since coming off the DL (May 4th, 7 day, injury). Jungmann, the first of two first-round picks for the Brewers in 2011, is 3-5 on the season, with a 5.09 ERA. Taylor has made 8 starts thus far for the AA Huntsville Stars in 2013, throwing 40 2/3 innings, striking out 20, and walking 20. His WHIP is 1.352, and he is allowing 7 hits/9 IP.

 

The game I am reviewing took place on May 14th, as the Stars visited the Mississippi Braves. Huntsville does not participate in milb.tv, so I am restricted to games where they are on the road against an opponent that does broadcast their games through milb.tv.

 

The line: Taylor Jungmann won this game to go 3-4 on the season, completing 6 innings without allowing a run. He gave up four hits, walked four batters, and struck out two. This is the second time that Jungmann has faced the Braves, his last start on April 27th. In that game, Jungmann took the loss allowing 8 runs (7 earned) in 2 2/3 IP.

 

Impression: This marks the first time I have seen Taylor pitch since becoming a member of the Brewers organization. Living outside of Dallas, I was afforded the opportunity to see him pitch as a member of the Texas Longhorns several times. The pitcher I saw on the mound tonight did not have the command, or the makeup that I'd seen when Taylor pitched in college. Most noticeably, his fastball velocity is down 5-6 mph from where he was at his peak.

 

Taylor struggled with his command, especially in the first two innings. He threw 16 pitches in the first, 9 of which were balls, and 12 pitches in the second inning, 7 of which were balls. His fastball in the first two frames topped out at 90 mph. For the six innings the 6'6" Jungmann was on the mound, he threw a total of 89 pitches, of which 50 were thrown for strikes. There was no on screen display of pitch velocity, but going by the announcers, it looks like his fastball topped out at 91, maybe 92 mph this evening. Not only was his velocity down, but he was having a hard time placing his fastball, missing his spots frequently (especially early). Twice he walked players he was ahead on 1-2. Multiple times he went to a full 3-2 count. Jungmann was helped out by some excellent defense, turning double plays in the second and third innings (4-6-3), and another on a bouncer to the mound in the 6th (1-6-3). Jungmann showed his athleticism in the fifth inning, knocking down a soft fly ball to the first base side that would have likely resulted in an infield hit. Jungmann was able to recover the ball, and flip to the first baseman for the out.

 

Though Taylor's numbers have improved dramatically since coming off the DL (2-1, 19 IP, 1.89 ERA, 1.105 WHIP), he's still not pitching at the level you'd expect from a first rounder. During the broadcast, the announcer for the Braves mentioned that Jungmann had lost some feeling in two of his fingers before going on the DL, and was experimenting with a new fastball grip. That's a possible explanation for the drop in velocity and strike out rate. In his last start May 19th against the Montgomery Biscuits, he did not strike out a single batter in 7 innings pitched. Time will tell if he's able to regain velocity, or improve his command, but I am somewhat concerned by what I saw in tonight's game. Jungmann clearly lacked a put away pitch. Additionally, both his curveball and changeup were somewhat inconsistent the few times he showed it (though one of his strikeouts was on a nice changeup). It did appear to me that the fifth and sixth innings were his strongest. He seemed to attack the hitters more, and his fastball was placed more consistently along the outside of the strike zone. I feel that he could have pitched the seventh inning if needed. He did not appear winded.

 

Up next: Taylor Jungmann is scheduled to start on the road against the Tennessee Smokies, Saturday the 25th (5:15 PM CT). Tennessee does participate in milb.tv, so this game is available for viewing.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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thanks for the great write-up. I apologize for my ignorance because I haven't been paying enough attention lately, but whats up with the loss of velocity? An injury? A change in mechanics? Purposefully taking something off in order to have better control?
The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!
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It was an excellent write-up, nice work Stache!

 

His 2 seamer sat 88-91 when I saw him pitch in college. I would guess he's almost entirely scrapped the 4 seam which topped out in the mid 90s and just goes with the sinker these days.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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3and2, it's pure speculation at this point. I've not seen anything specific as to why he was on the DL for seven days (I'll look for that tonight). His last outing before his short stint on the DL was really bad, so they may have decided to shut him down for a bit to assess his arm health. He's certainly been better, if not slightly inefficient, since coming back.

 

TheCrew, ya, the games I watched him play at Texas, he'd be in the low 90's on average, but he could reach back for more when he needed it. That's something I wasn't seeing in the game I watched last night. He couldn't reach that extra gear.

 

He was getting a lot of ground ball outs, which is encouraging. Jonathan Mayo speculated that both the fastball and the curve could be plus pitches, with the breaking ball at least an average offering. Last night, I didn't see the secondary pitches all that much. If he's been experiencing any kind of arm issues, it would make sense he'd be throwing the curve less often, as that stresses the arm.

 

Glad you guys liked my little write up, thanks. ;)

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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His 2 seamer sat 88-91 when I saw him pitch in college. I would guess he's almost entirely scrapped the 4 seam which topped out in the mid 90s and just goes with the sinker these days.

 

That sounds like some inferior scouting on the part of the Brewers unless his 4-seamer had some unusual movement to it. Plenty of examples of kids who threw mid-90's 4-seamers in high school or college who never made it as pitchers because the 4-seamer was straight as a string (JJ Hardy being a great example of that: All-State high school pitcher in Arizona who threw mid 90's and straight as an arrow)

The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!
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Brewer Fanatic Staff
I've not seen anything specific as to why Jungmann was on the DL for seven days

 

Per the J-S' Todd Rosiak at the time:

"Asst Brewers GM Gord Ash says Taylor Jungmann on the DL in Huntsville with a nerve issue affecting fingers on his right hand. Team is being proactive prescribing rest and treatment in the hopes of nipping Jungmann's issue in the bud."

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I've not seen anything specific as to why Jungmann was on the DL for seven days

 

Per the J-S' Todd Rosiak at the time:

"Asst Brewers GM Gord Ash says Taylor Jungmann on the DL in Huntsville with a nerve issue affecting fingers on his right hand. Team is being proactive prescribing rest and treatment in the hopes of nipping Jungmann's issue in the bud."

 

Thanks, Mass Haas. That reinforces what the announcer said about Jungmann trying a different grip on his fastball because of the finger numbness.

 

He's scheduled to go tomorrow, so I'll watch the tape, and see how he looks.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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His 2 seamer sat 88-91 when I saw him pitch in college. I would guess he's almost entirely scrapped the 4 seam which topped out in the mid 90s and just goes with the sinker these days.

 

That sounds like some inferior scouting on the part of the Brewers unless his 4-seamer had some unusual movement to it. Plenty of examples of kids who threw mid-90's 4-seamers in high school or college who never made it as pitchers because the 4-seamer was straight as a string (JJ Hardy being a great example of that: All-State high school pitcher in Arizona who threw mid 90's and straight as an arrow)

 

It would be worth lopping a few mph off the fastball and going with the 2-seamer exclusively if it has some movement to it. I'll take a fastball with movement and slightly lower velocity over a fastball that stays on a line any day of the week. I know that Shelby Miller (Cardinals pitcher) experienced some similar issues in 2012 where his fastball was down a few ticks when he moved to AAA. He made some adjustments, and his fastball picked back up again.

 

I might go back and watch Jungmann's fifth and sixth inning again. It seemed to me as if he had just a little more pop late in the game.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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You can get away with throwing 95 straight provided you have one other plus pitch or two other pitches you can throw for strikes to keep hitters off balance. The problem Axford had was that he couldn't throw his curve for strikes, so hitters sat on the FB and crushed it. Now that he's finding the strike zone with his curve, he has a 3.38 ERA since April 16th.

 

What is encouraging with Jungmann is that, excluding the start where he had the nerve problem and went on the DL immediately afterwards, he has only given up 1 HR in 38 IP. This likely has a lot to do with throwing a 2-seam instead of a 4-seam that is 3-4 MPH faster. As groundball pitchers get better defense behind them their runs allowed gets lower. As Jungmann gets better command of his secondary pitches, sneaking a 4-seamer back into his repertoire occasionally could make him a very effective pitcher and increase his K totals.

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Saturday May 25th, 2013

 

Huntsville Stars (21-26) @ Tennessee Smokies (24-22)(AA Chicago Cubs)

 

Taylor Jungmann's 9th start of the season

 

The line: Taylor pitched 6 complete innings tonight, earning his 4th win of the season (4-5). He allowed three hits, one a two run home run to second baseman Arismendy Alcantara (7). Jungmann struck out a season high six batters, and walked three. Since returning from the 7 day DL on May 4th, Jungmann has gone 3-1, allowing 6 earned runs in 25 innings pitched for a 2.15 ERA. During that span he has allowed 18 hits and 9 walks for a 1.08 WHIP.

 

Impression: While his box score looks impressive, Taylor Jungmann is still having some command issues. He is not allowing a lot of hits, but he is susceptible to walks, allowing 3.24 walks/9 IP since coming off the DL. One of the batters he walked tonight, the starting pitcher Alberto Cabrera, scored on Alcantara's line drive home run to right field in the 5th inning. Most disheartening is that he walked Cabrera on five pitches.

 

Jungmann's velocity seemed low again tonight (the announcers were not mentioning his fastball speed often, but I heard 87 and 88 mph), and he was visited by the pitching coach in the fifth inning when he seemed somewhat gassed. He did come back out to pitch the sixth, however at one point he appeared to be throwing sidearm. The conditions for the game were ideal. At one point the home announcer commented that he felt like the game was being played in San Diego. So, I'm not sure what was going on towards the end of his start. He had a few pitches bounce before the plate in the sixth, but seemed ok coming off the mound.

 

Taylor's pitches tonight were a mix of fastballs and some curve balls. The camera work caused me to miss several pitching sequences, so I can't get a precise pitch selection count. At least two of his strikeouts were on curves, including a gorgeous 12 to 6 breaking ball that he made Elliot Soto look absolutely foolish on.

 

Pitch count: Taylor threw 90 pitches in total, 56 for strikes. 15 pitch -per-inning average

 

1st inning-14 pitches (7 balls, 7 strikes)

2nd inning-17 pitches (7 balls, 10 strikes)

3rd inning-16 pitches (2 balls, 14 strikes)

4th inning-16 pitches (7 balls, 9 strikes)

5th inning-13 pitches (7 balls, 6 strikes)

6th inning-14 pitches (4 balls, 10 strikes)

 

Up next: Assuming there are no changes to the pitching rotation, Taylor's next start should be on Thursday June 30th at the Jackson Generals. Game time is 8:05 ET.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Thumbs up!

 

I very rarely post in the MiLB forum, mostly because I have little to offer when compared to the often excellent, informed stuff like this.

 

Thanks :) I'm still trying to get my system down. I have to remember to chart each at bat. I always end up going back to the box score for something.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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You can get away with throwing 95 straight provided you have one other plus pitch or two other pitches you can throw for strikes to keep hitters off balance. The problem Axford had was that he couldn't throw his curve for strikes, so hitters sat on the FB and crushed it. Now that he's finding the strike zone with his curve, he has a 3.38 ERA since April 16th.

 

What is encouraging with Jungmann is that, excluding the start where he had the nerve problem and went on the DL immediately afterwards, he has only given up 1 HR in 38 IP. This likely has a lot to do with throwing a 2-seam instead of a 4-seam that is 3-4 MPH faster. As groundball pitchers get better defense behind them their runs allowed gets lower. As Jungmann gets better command of his secondary pitches, sneaking a 4-seamer back into his repertoire occasionally could make him a very effective pitcher and increase his K totals.

 

Hell, Mariano Rivera made a nice living throwing only a fastball! :laughing

 

Taylor's been somewhat successful since coming back, throwing in the high 80's, low 90's. I'm still wondering if he's not trying to work through some issues. The curve is supposed to be his second pitch (and according to Jonathan Mayo, has plus pitch upside), and I'm just not seeing it as much as I might expect with lower fastball velocity.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Alex, the Stars' announcer, suggested that he had his best curveball of the year on this day. I remember him saying that he was around 91-92 in the 5th, I think, inning. If he is switching more to a 2 seam, it is harder to throw for strikes because of the extra movement. May take some time to get used to that.
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Alex, the Stars' announcer, suggested that he had his best curveball of the year on this day. I remember him saying that he was around 91-92 in the 5th, I think, inning. If he is switching more to a 2 seam, it is harder to throw for strikes because of the extra movement. May take some time to get used to that.

 

And I'm fine with that. There shouldn't be a rush. Taylor should be allowed to develop at his own pace. Let him get his strength and stamina where it needs to be, and when he's ready, then we'll call him up.

 

To compare, I am very concerned for Jose Fernandez's future. I think the Marlins are going to ruin him because they brought him up way, way too early. I'm sorry, sacrificing his health in order to sell the tickets that the owner's fire sale lost is disgusting to me.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Well, of course I jinxed him with the HR comment, goes and gives one up yesterday to make me look bad.

 

LouisEly, now's the time for a "The 'stache never gets a date with Kate Upton" comment. :laughing

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Maybe you can diagnose Thornburg too? 0-6 with a 6.99 ERA. 60 hits against in only 46 innings. I guess there could be a hangover from failing to make the big club. Scouts have always suggested he would be a bullpen guy. He will be 25 in September. Starting to get worried.
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Taylor won again on Thursday night to even his record at 5-5. I haven't watched the game yet (will likely do it tomorrow night), but it looks like he's getting some of his strikeout numbers back. In his last two starts, he has 13 K's in 12 IP. And in his win Thursday, he only walked 1.

 

I am cautiously optimistic based on the numbers, but I want to see how he looked.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Well, the game isn't available on milb.com. Shoot. I wish Huntsville would televise all their games with them.
There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
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Another nice outing for Jungmann last night. 7IP 2hits 1R 0 ERs 3 BBs 5 Ks.

 

Over his last 6 games he's gone 38IP 23 hits 9 ERs 13 BBs 22 Ks. That's good for a 2.13 ERA. I'd like to see more K's, or at least a bigger gap between Ks and BBs but these are very encouraging numbers. And it's in Huntsville too so it's not like he is dominating at Low A ball. Does anyone know what his velocity is? Has it gone up since he's come off the DL?

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He looks like the same guy to me, ground ball innings eater type. The 2 hits over 7 innings is fantastic and he did it against one of the top offenses in the league, though the SL has been pretty awful offensively from both a team and individual level now that I look. Our own Brock Kjeldgaard and Kentrail Davis are #8 and #10 respectively hitting wise. BK wasn't in our top 30 prospects last year and Davis was #28.

 

Yasiel Puig was obviously just promoted and Christian Yelich has been awful recently, only hitting .171 over his last 10 games, but he still has an .861 OPS good for 3rd in the league. The only other prospect in the top 10 I'm guessing most people on the minor league forum will know is Arismendy Alcantara of the Cubs who's currently tied for 5th with an .848 OPS.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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