Rockies pitching prospect Kyle Freeland recently spoke with FanGraphs' Dave Laurila. Among other things, Freeland discussed his approach to pitching mechanics and the development of his changeup. Freeland appears to be the type of player who has troubling mechanics, but whose troubling mechanics are what lead to success. He told Laurila:
I've had the same mechanics as far back as I can remember . . . I've always had the same three-quarters arm slot. I just have to make sure it stays in that position. When I let it drop more to the side -- Kind of low three-quarters -- is when I get into trouble. I become more rotation, and that's when I start missing pitches and getting hit.
All players are different, but being self-aware not just of what works and what does not, but also why, is an excellent quality to have in a young pitcher. If things begin well for Freeland, it's not out of the question that the 2014 first rounder makes his major league debut in 2016.
Over at Rox Pile, Isaac Marks runs with an opinion expressed by Jon Heyman and asks whether or not free agent Ian Desmond would fit on the Rockies. He raises the possibility of Desmond being a super-utility player in the vein of Ben Zobrist. If the Rockies were to trade DJ LeMahieu, it could make some sense. Still, making a multi-year commitment to an aging infielder with red flags is not something that a rebuilding team should be doing.
Speaking of rebuilding, nobody associated with the Rockies has come out and said the team is rebuilding. Grant Brisbee asserts here, and I fully agree, that there doesn't need to be shame (or lost revenue) associated with rebuilding. By "rebuilding," he means trading major league players who are either getting expensive or are unlikely to be a part of the next winning team for prospects and not spending big money on the free agent market.
The Astros have turned into a pretty good team by doing that. I think that the Rockies are rebuilding—they are at least shining in the not spending big on the free agent market part—but it would be nice to get a bit more evidence that a rebuild is actually taking place in Denver.
And speaking of something to spur along the rebuild, the Rockies choose fourth in this year's amateur draft. The excellent new resource 2080 Baseball profiles eight names that might go first overall in the draft. Any of the players reviewed here could fall to the Rockies. My strategic view is that the Rockies should draft who they think is the best player available given the information at hand.
Whichever one of you is responsible for this, go update your website!