Notes from San Jose, 6-17-09

I was going to wait for Steve S's post, but since this turned out really long and the minor lines aren't ready yet, it's Fanpost time.

I went to San Jose tonight to interview Cal League All Star Roger Kieschnick. I stayed for the game, got comped BBQ, and saw a pretty damned good win. I took lots of notes and here's what I saw.

Thomas Neal

Neal smoked a ball to center on a flyout his first at bat. He made a strong throw to second base on a double. Stays on the back foot when he's driving the ball. He golfed one into right and got a run in on a bad cutoff play from the Rawhide, one of two oppo hits for the Cal League's leading batter. Runs well and not just for a guy with his size.

Buster Posey

Almost knocked out the opposing starting pitcher with a comebacker to the pitcher off McAnaney's calf in the first inning. Posey used great strike zone command and is really learning to work counts to walks. I spoke with a fellow here about purchasing Posey jerseys from the team store. They don’t have Posey jerseys, but they do have player shirts for Posey, and also Bumgarner. I'm sorry that I don't remember your username! Drop me a comment or an email and we'll work this out.

Roger Kieschnick

Kieschnick yanked a ball foul to right, then in a later at bat had a beautiful fluid swing that sent a three run homer over the wall in dead center. I watched some video on him from HWB this fall that showed him almost standing straight up at the dish. Compare that to his form now, with knees bent. It takes away a lot of stiffness in his swing that I can still see from time to time, but on that home run swing it was a thing of poetry.

Kieschnick is a fan of Mario Kart on the SNES and he likes Michael Crabtree. So I think he’s quickly becoming a favorite around here.

Conor Gillaspie

Made solid contact on a grounder to first and has pretty good foot speed but we knew that already. Has it been said that Gillaspie has trouble going to his left at third? I don't recall hearing anything about that but I saw some things that make me a bit concerned re: his D.

Nick Noonan

I was watching Noonan closely to see what was wrong with him. He turned away from an 88 MPH pitch that wasn't close inside. Ouch. Later he made a nice stop on a grounder and strong throw to retire the batter. He has quiet hands and closed stance in his swing. He salvaged a crappy day at the plate by drawing a four pitch walk late in the game.

Garrett Broshuis

Benefited from the generous strike zone tonight. Still, he worked quickly and played some excellent D, spearing comebackers and running one over to the bag himself. I saw a good curveball from him. He got corner calls on both sides of the plate consistently. He went to three ball counts only twice in seven innings.

Dan Runzler

Big Dan Runzler is fun to watch. He looks stockier than his listed weight of 215, but he's definitely tall. He throws hard too, consistent at 93 and reaching 94. His offspeed stuff in the 70s was not thrown for strikes. I counted three different speed guns on him among the scouts, and one Mariners scout took out his gun (not a euphemism I swear) just for Runzler. I asked him what he was looking for and he said just to check if the reports on Runzler's velocity were true.

He jammed Easley on a popup foul, got a called third strike at 93 against Cooper, induced a grounder that David Maroul misplayed at first and then retired the Rawhide by popping up Rumler. Now hear this: watch Runzler. He can do some things.

Steve Edlefsen

Edlefsen has a herky jerky motion and uses lots of effort, but he's consistent at 90-91 with a 78 changeup and a breaking ball in the low 80s, and throws strikes. He can jam right-handed hitters.

LHP Pat McAnaney, Visalia SP

The first pitch he threw was a home run to Tyler Graham. His velocity was consistent in the high 80s on the fastball and did not suffer after the comebacker off his leg. He was a little outside the zone in the third inning but keeps the ball down. He looks to be one of those momentum type pitchers; when he gets locked in, he's unhittable. He retired nine in a row at one point. He can get rattled, as he did after two errors and allowing home runs. McAnaney has been one of the best starters in the league and I was really excited about seeing him tonight. He's been pitching pretty badly over his last few starts, though, and did not help his cause with this one. He has a deceptive motion from the left-side, with a high leg kick and his wiry frame kind of flying all over the place. It hard to pick up the ball when it's working. Swingthrough stuff! zomg!

RHP Victor Capellan

Capellan is all kinds of ridiculous. He throws with a crazy amount of effort, submarine delivery RHP. He started out hitters at 89 but quickly ramped up to 92-93. He will pop the glove. His stuff was pretty nasty coming from that lower angle. He got a called third strike at the knees at 90 and I think I saw a breaking ball at 82 in there, infrequently. One of them broke down Posey, buckled his knees and made him miss badly. He was working with offspeed stuff at 84 as well.

Tom Layne has a slider blah blah.

Misc: Angel Villalona is day to day with a shin injury. He fouled a ball off the shin Saturday and it swelled up on him. He hasn't played since June 13. I saw scouts from the Mariners and the Mets there. The Mets scout was keeping tabs on the Visalia players. They honored the three All-Star bound Giants players in a pregame ceremony, complete with plaques. Aw.

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