SoxProspects News

July 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Ty Buttrey, Sergio Gomez and Taylor Grover


- Right-hander Ty Buttrey (pictured) has plenty of upside, but the gap between his present and his future is significant. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, Buttrey received an over-slot bonus to forgo a commitment to the University of Arkansas. He made his 2013 affiliate debut recently with Lowell, and I had the chance to see his first two starts. The two starts were a mixed bag, with him getting hit around in the first one against a polished, college heavy Tri-City team (HOU) but excelling against Vermont (OAK) whose lineup left a lot to be desired.

The first thing that stands out with Buttrey is his size. Buttrey has a great pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds. He is relatively filled out, but has room to add muscle as his body matures. Buttrey pitches from a high three-quarters slot and has a smooth delivery with clean arm action. He works quickly — getting the ball and throwing it — and he is quick to the plate from the stretch, coming in anywhere from 1.15 to 1.35 seconds. At this point, however, Buttrey has trouble repeating his delivery — especially in keeping his line to the plate. As a result, he had a lot of trouble locating glove side in both outings.

As an amateur, Buttrey was able to get the pitch up to the mid-90s, but during most of his senior season he worked in the low-90s. In both games scouted, Buttrey sat 89-92 mph with his fastball, topping out at 93. When he finished his delivery, he was able to get good downward plane on the pitch. However, he was very inconsistent in doing that, especially in the first game scouted. In that game, he really struggled with his control, walking four and overthrowing at times.

In the second game, he worked at a much better tempo and was able to control the offering, but his command was inconsistent. In both games, he struggled to miss bats with the fastball, getting one swing-and-miss in the first outing and two in the second. Both swing-and-misses were for strikeouts in the second outing, first on an 89 mph offering away from a lefty and second on a 90 mph fastball running down and in to a righty.

In the second outing, he also did a much better job keeping the ball down, getting eight groundouts. Presently, the pitch grades out about average, but with the combination of his frame, delivery and loose arm, it is easy to project that he could add velocity as he matures and for the pitch to become more of a plus offering.

Buttrey featured two secondary offerings, a curveball and a changeup. His curveball was the better of the two offerings flashing plus potential, but again he struggled to finish the pitch, missing up and glove side. At its best, the pitch showed good bite, and he was able to bury it down in the zone. Other times, it was loopy.

Buttrey’s changeup is also a work in progress. He threw it 82-86 mph, but was able to throw the pitch more consistently for strikes than his curve in the two outings scouted. The pitch was deceptive as he threw it with similar arm speed to his fastball, and showed drop especially when he threw it down in the zone. Overall, with Buttrey, the pieces of the puzzle are all there; the question is now, whether he can put them together. He’s someone who will take time to develop, and patience will be key, as he is still pretty raw overall.

- Sergio Gomez (pictured) has been in the Red Sox system since 2010, but his frame is still very slight. Gomez is listed at 6-foot-3, 155 pounds and while in many cases these figures are inaccurate and haven’t been updated since they sign, that is not the case here. Gomez is extremely skinny, and I’m not sure how projectable he is. His frame doesn’t look like one that can support much more weight, especially in his lower half.

Even though Gomez doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, he has an idea of how to pitch and simply put, how to get batters out. From the outset of the game he was in control. He worked quickly and showed a fluid, repeatable delivery. Gomez sat 88-90 mph most of the time with his fastball, topping out at 91 mph a handful of times. His command of the pitch was good, and he could locate it to both sides of the plate. The pitch showed arm-side run, and hitters also had a lot of trouble making solid contact on the offering.

Gomez mixed in two polished secondary pitches, a curveball and a changeup. He worked 76-79 mph with his changeup, and he threw it with excellent arm speed, consistently fooling the hitters. He had confidence to throw it in any count and missed bats with it. He complimented that offering with a 70-74 mph, 12-6 curveball. The pitch showed huge break and when he snapped it off it showed tight rotation and depth. He got one strikeout with pitch on a 71 mph curveball that froze the left-handed batter.

- 2013 10th round pick Taylor Grover (pictured) only got a $10,000 signing bonus, but the Red Sox might have found something with him. Grover has a jerky delivery, but he pounded the strike zone, throwing 15 of 17 pitches for strikes in his two-inning stint. He worked quickly and sat 91-92 mph, topping out at 93 mph with his fastball. He gets great drive off his front side and hides the ball well. As a result, the pitch jumped on hitters who seemed to have trouble picking up the offering and he got some really bad swings against it, especially in on the hands. He was in control with his fastball, thus he only needed to throw three secondary pitches — two changeups and one show-me curveball. He threw one changeup for a called strike and the other for a swinging strikeout, on a well-located offering down and away from a righty. The pitch served as good compliment to his fastball. While his ceiling isn’t high, Grover has the arsenal to move quickly if need be, and could potentially pitch in a major league bullpen one day.

Photo Credits: Ty Buttrey by William Parmeter, Sergio Gomez by Kelly O'Connor and Taylor Grover by Dave Letizi

Ian Cundall is a Northeast Scout for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.

 
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