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October 4, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Scouting Scratch: Fall Instructs Part Three

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Each year, the Fall Instructional League provides us here at SoxProspects.com with the opportunity to catch 50 or so of the system’s young prospects in one place at the end of a long season. This year, Director of Scouting Ian Cundall spent four days at Instructs. These are more of his reports from Saturday, September 24, when the Red Sox campers took on the Twins across town at the CenturyLink Sports Complex.

Though right-hander Bryan Mata is the youngest pitcher on the Red Sox instructional league roster by eight months, he showed off an intriguing arm in his inning of work. Mata had a very solid year for the Red Sox DSL 2 team and seems to have carried what he was doing over stateside. He struck out 61 in the same number of innings over 14 starts, posting a 2.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP as a 17-year-old.

Mata has a tall, projectable pitcher’s frame, listed at 6-foot-3, 160 pounds. He is on the thin side at present, but has a frame that looks like it could support added weight as he matures, both in his lower body and upper body. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a low-effort delivery. He has some whip when he comes forward, but otherwise has solid mechanics and a quick arm.

Mata generates easy velocity and sat 92-93 mph in this outing. The fastball was heavy, with life, and given his delivery and projectability, he could add velocity as he matures. Mata complimented the fastball with a curveball and changeup. He threw his curveball 76-77 mph with the pitch showing 11-to-5 break and some depth. He threw his changeup 82-83 mph, but it was inconsistent. He threw it with good arm speed, the same as his fastball, and when he turned it over it showed late fade down and away from a left-hander for a swinging strike.

This was a quick look at Mata, as he made quick work of the Twins, but he is someone who will likely make the jump stateside next year and is one to watch for the future as he as intriguing combination of present stuff and projection. 


- 2016 fifth-round pick Mike Shawaryn sat 91-93 mph in his two innings of work. The right-hander’s changeup flashed above-average at 82-85 mph when he turned it over. He also threw one short, vertical slider at 80 mph. Long term, I am still not convinced [LINK] that Shawaryn will be a starter in the end, but he will developed as such and has the stuff that will profile in a bullpen role if necessary.

- Taken one round after Shawaryn, right-hander Stephen Nogosek (pictured) sat 93-95 mph in his inning of work. Nogosek has a quick arm and max effort delivery with violent head whack, likely part of why he looks to be staying in the bullpen as a professional. His fastball is on the straight side, which makes it hittable, especially when he leaves it up in the zone. His slider worked 85-90 mph with short, hard, 10-to-4 break and bite. He also showed the ability to bury it down and away from a right-handed hitter. Nogosek threw a few changeups as well at 83-84 mph, but they were on the firm side.

- Another DSL Red Sox 2 right-hander, 20-year-old Dominican Joan Martinez, sat 91-93 mph. He is heavier than his listed weight of 195 pounds but has a sturdy pitcher’s frame and some projection in his upper body. He slings the ball from a three-quarters arm slot with long arm loop behind. He threw one slider at 82 mph with 10-to-4 break, but it was loose and rolled to the plate.

- 20-year-old right-hander Juan Perez, who threw for the DSL Red Sox 1 this year, sat 87-89 mph in his inning of work. He has an average frame, listed at 6-foot-1, 198 pounds, with a thick lower half without much projection. His fastball had sink, but only fringe life, and he had a long, loopy arm action, throwing from a three-quarters slot. His slider at 80-82 mph flashed some potential, but was inconsistent. At its best, it showed two-plane movement and depth, but was often short and flat and he left it up in the zone. He did get two strikeouts and three swinging strikes with the pitch. 

Photo credit: Stephen Nogosek by Kelly O'Connor

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.