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August 21, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Scouting Scratch: Teddy Stankiewicz and Daniel McGrath

- 2013 second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz (pictured) is on a very structured program with the Lowell Spinners. He is currently only throwing at most two innings per outing, depending on his pitch count. This schedule doesn’t provide an ideal look scouting-wise, especially since it limits his use of secondary pitches and it doesn’t show how his delivery and velocity will hold up deeper into games. It does, however, provide a good first look and a starting point of things to watch for going into his full season debut next season, likely with the Greenville Drive.

I have now had the chance to catch three of Stankiewicz’s outings and he has shown the makings of a solid four-pitch mix along with a projectable frame and workable delivery. Stankiewicz has an ideal pitcher’s build, listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. Still only 19-years-old, he has room to fill out, especially in his upper body, as he matures without losing any of his present athleticism. Stankiewicz has a loose arm and throws from a high three-quarters slot. His delivery is under control and repeatable, but he drops and drives and has a slight stab behind his body. In three outings scouted this year, he has had some trouble holding his arm slot and finding his release point, especially in the third outing on August 19.

Stankiewicz’s fastball sat 90-93 mph in the first two outings scouted, but was more 89-92 in the most recent one. He topped out at 94 several times and also sprinkled in a few 88-89 mph offerings on the lower end. The pitch has some late life, but is relatively straight and hitters seem to get a good look at it. When he has located the pitch it has missed bats, but he has been inconsistent from game to game with his command and control. He had his best fastball in the first of the three outings scouted, recording three strikeouts with the pitch and throwing quality strikes with it, especially down in the zone. As he matures, Stankiewicz’s velocity should take a tick up, and as he gets more consistent with the pitch and improves his command, it has the makings of a potential plus offering.

Stankiewicz hasn’t thrown many secondary pitches during a single outing, but the three outings scouted together provide a rudimentary look at his arsenal. Stankiewicz’s primary secondary pitch thus far has been his curveball. The pitch has worked 72-76 mph, with 11-5 shape. He has shown the ability to throw it for strikes, but he doesn’t always finish the pitch. It has flashed tight rotation, but tended to be more on the loose side. Stankiewicz also has mixed in a slider between 78-82 mph, but he has only used it sparingly in the games scouted. The pitch has shown good depth through the zone and two-plane, 10-4 break. Stankiewicz didn’t feature his changeup in the first game scouted, but in the last two he has integrated it more. He has thrown the pitch at 79-83 mph, but mostly in the 81-83 mph range with good arm speed. The pitch has shown some late drop but he hasn’t thrown it for many strikes, which is understandable given how little he has had to use it. He has primarily thrown fastballs in his first forays into organized ball.

- In his first season of professional ball, 19-year-old lefty Daniel McGrath (pictured) impressed enough in his short stint in the GCL to earn a promotion to Lowell. Due to rain and unlucky scheduling, he didn’t make his home debut until recently, where I was able to see him for the first time. Coming into the game I wasn’t sure what to expect and after watching him I’m intrigued, but I need to see him a few more times as he seemed to be a little off in the outing, lasting only four innnings.

McGrath has a good pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, but the body looked a little soft. He is relatively filled out in his lower half, but his upper body looks less developed with room to fill out has he matures. McGrath has a controlled but free and easy delivery. He has a slight pause from the windup during his leg kick and doesn’t have the quickest arm. From the stretch, he was inconsistent with his delivery in the outing, but he did show a solid pick-off move to first base as he stays closed until the last second possible to give him the option to throw over or go to home.

For a 19-year-old, McGrath showed off a relatively polished three-pitch mix. His fastball sat 86-88 mph, topping out at 89 during the outing. He struggled to control the pitch, walking two batters and falling behind others. He also struggled with his command, leaving the ball up in the zone, as he seemed to be struggling to finish his delivery. When he left it up in the zone, the pitch was very hittable and he gave up some loud contact. McGrath has shown better velocity in other outings, so this may have just been one of those days; he just couldn’t seem to get in a rhythm, taking a long time between pitches, and overall looked uncomfortable on the mound.

Because he was struggling with his fastball, McGrath relied a lot on his secondary pitches. On this day, his changeup showed more potential than his curveball, showing late sink and fade on occasion. He seemed to have good feel for the offering and was comfortable throwing it in any count. It worked anywhere from 77-82 mph, but was primarily thrown between 77-79 mph. Again, however, he was inconsistent with the pitch, at times slowing his body a bit and leaving it up where it tended to float to the plate.

McGrath threw his curveball between 70-74 mph and it is more of a work in progress. The pitch lacked tight rotation for the most part and tended to roll to the plate. It did show big 12-6 break and when he threw it for strikes it was effective, recording one swinging strikeout on a 73-mph curve down and in to the right-handed batter that showed depth in the zone. He struggled to throw it for strikes, however, and missed down, often in the dirt, as he was holding on to the ball too long.

Photo Credit: Teddy Stankiewicz by Dave Letizi

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