POTD Hector Noesi - Toolbox


Q.  OK, how does the fastball grade out?

A.  He averaged 93.3 mph last year, which is precisely what Felix Hernandez did, 93.3.  If Noesi sustained 92-95 for a season, he'd be right where Felix is on velocity, about the 10th-hottest fastball in the league.

True, he was able to hump up in the bullpen, so maybe his velo will fall off some...

...but on the other hand, he's another year removed from TJ surgery, and reports are that he is sitting 93-95 in winter ball, hitting 98 according to Brian Cashman.

All these reports remind me of Freddy Garcia just before he came up as a rookie, and Freddy did arrive with Felix velocity.  It's wait-and-see as to whether Noesi has a top-10 fastball.  But Noesi's fastball is definitely very lively, and it's part of the reason that Salk reports baseball people who think Noesi will be better than Pineda.


Q.  Wait, what.

A.  Noesi is NOT going to be better than Pineda was in 2011, full stop, end of story.  That's a grave misassessment of what pitching is all about.  The guy was doubtless thinking, "Noesi has a live FB too, and Noesi has command too, and Noesi has four pitches."

We've discussed before why that does not add up to Michael Pineda.


Q.  Oh.  How's the slider?

A.  You can see lots of them on this video, including on the first two pitches.

They used to say of Walter Johnson, "He doesn't have a curve, just a wrinkle."  Noesi's slider is just a wrinkle.  Both the eye, and the F/X system, confirm that Noesi's slider does not have major league break.  

What it does have, though, is Pineda-class arm action.  Watch the head and arm snap as he lets it go.  He sells that slider huge.   In this respect Noesi has a type of Pineda slider, in that it functions as a changeup.


I'm not sure how this will play out in Noesi's second, third trips around the league.  Will batters get used to the ball not breaking, and put the barrel of the bat up into the center of the arc?  ... or is the change-speed action going to give the slider legs?

Maybe Noesi's slider will continue to improve?  We told you this guy was a moving target.   Noesi's slider is his go-to offspeed pitch, and it's possible that the pitch could be useless in 2012.  Or, it could be one of the ten best sliders in the league.


Q.  How's the changeup?

A.  That's the great thing.  It's thrown at the same speed as his slider, 85 mph, but it breaks the opposite way.  There's the Roy Halladay, Dan Haren, Cliff Lee snake-tongue game again.

You can see a change at the 0:30 mark on this vid.  The pitch breaks armside well, but it stays up more than an ML change does.  Also, on this pitch, he doesn't sell it nearly as well as he does his slider.  Watch the hand flick, or lack thereof, at the finish.


Still, it's a pretty big benefit that Noesi has two repeatable offspeed pitches that break either way, glove or arm side, as he chooses.  Considering that he's got a 92-95 fastball well located, that's tough.


Q.  How's the curve?

A.  Haven't seen one on tape.  According to this data, it is like his slider:  it lacks ML break.

And yet according to the same web page, he gets oodles of garbage swings with it, gets a hurkin' 75% grounders, and didn't give up an HR on a curve all year.  Huh!

In fact, you'll notice that according to that data, YankeeAnalysts.com, Noesi did not cough up on a homer on a curve OR a change OR a slider ... all year.  Only on two-seam fastballs, pretty much.




Taro's picture

Noesi is sort of like Campos in the present with a slightly lesser fastball. Lack of offspeed has hurt him since AA. Hes ran high LD/BABIP since, including the bullpen in MLB.
I was hopeful about the winter league reports as well, but then I saw that he was K'ing 5 per 9 again in 46 IPs.
Probable BOR, upside MOR.
Hes got value, but at the same hes not on par with a potential TOR starter in Campos. Monteros simply had more value in that deal than Pineda.


A very reasonable take Champ ... 
1.  Noesi's LD% was over the course of what, 40 innings, and just a couple of LD's here or there (maybe flared over the SS) could be the difference ... we don't want to treat Noesi's LD% as established, that's for sure...
1a.  That said, Noesi's slider has been mostly the culprit and that slider is admittedly a wrinkle ...
2.  If Noesi's FB is up to 95-96 mph and his K rate is down, that is a common stage to pass through ... consider Justin Verlander...
3.  That said, I don't think any of us think that Hector Noesi is going to the All-Star game ... whether he can gradually become Matt Garza is my question...


Noesi was, indeed, 93-96 and touched 97.
Threw a lot of pitches in the 2nd inning, but got two swinging Ks.  Kila Ka'aihue on a 95 heater and Josh Donaldson on a 77 curve.  Gave up a walk in each inning, but no runs.


"We had our choice between him and Nova, and we preferred Noesi.  We really like this kid" or words to that effect.
We weren't just trying to get "another arm" or even "a starter" back from the Yankees.  If we were giving them Pineda AND Campos, then we wanted Campos back except moved up 3 or 4 years in his progress.  RH Jason Vargas (ie, Nova) wasn't the option we wanted.
I'm dying to see what improvements he can make to one of his breaking balls over the course of the season, but he can survive with fastball/change while he tinkers IMO.
Nova has the recognizable name, but Noesi has the stuff.
I'm sorry, but is there some way you CAN'T be giddy about a Felix / Noesi / Paxton / Hultzen / Walker future, with Vargas, Iwakuma, Erasmo and others in the mix while we refine our deployment and hedge against delay?
Especially with the offensive pieces we're adding.  Being a Mariners fan is getting more fun by the day.


This spring, in the context of the recent history of the M's franchise, it is great on a spectacular level, because for the first time in many years our preseason burst of confident enthusiasm as true believers actually resonates with the ring of truth.
Whether it takes another year or two to come to fruition or breaks out in 2012, there's nothing quite like the excitement of rooting for a team brimming with youthful talent, whose future tantalizes the imagination.
And we feel this way even BEFORE the first day of partly cloudy sunshine and 60-degree weather.
There will be some days ahead when veteran teams take advantage of our youth, but hopefully there's plenty of games coming when the kids stun the vets with "Take that...and THAT!"
Above all, we long for a return to the days when our team earned the grudging respect of it's peers.


-- caveat -- Facing mainly scrubs from the As and Pods -- caveat, got it --
Noesi: see above.  Decent command of mid-90s heat plus a solid offspeed game.  Hard to see how he wouldn't be at least pretty decent.
Vargas: 4.0 IP perfect.  Threw the fastball 90-91 like a machine, 29 times for 23 strikes (per brooksbaseball.net).
Furbush: forgotten man was flinging it 92-94 from the left side and throwing strikes.  Seems like a tick or two faster than last year, but he was mostly a starter (and could just be the gun).  Kuo, on the other hand, was 92-93, but he was not throwing strikes (Sat.). 
Snow: Came in at 95-96, just a tick below what League was throwing.
At least some resaons for some guarded optimism.


Now, I liked Forrest from the start in 2010.  He had moxie, and a decent fastball, and I figured there's nothing wrong with a short reliever especially if he can get a decent breaker and pitch Lowe-like in the pen.
Didn't see him as a starter long-term at all.  Situational arm maybe, but he didn't seem to have the right gameplan for a starter and you can't be a 1.5 pitch starter.
His changeup has come SOOOOO far since college.  It's nasty now.  His heater is getting hotter, and he's using it on both sides of the plate (can't throw inside to college hitters with those metal bats, so that's an adjustment most guys have to make, but still).  I remember him at 88-92 in college, and he's 92-95 now.
I thought his slider (or curve, I dunno what he was trying to throw) was sloppy and just for show, but they're saying he's tightened that thing up dramatically.
Forrest in college: Decent fastball, buncha junk secondary pitches, only works the outside half, walks a lotta dudes because of it.
Forrest now: Plus fastball, probably plus change, decent slider, works both sides AND has a plan of attack, lower-than-average walks (ie, half as much as his college #s).
And the Ms are talking about leaving him as a starter, even though he could be a relief arm now or a swingman easily.
He's legit.  He's gonna pitch in The League.  And I'm fascinated by his meteoric rise.
I would sell (someone else's) body parts to get an in-depth interview with Dr. Elliott about this and other things.  I'm fascinated that so many prospects in our system are adding 3 MPH to their fastballs or "surprising" power to their swings.  Makes me want to see Brad Miller after the offseason workouts for sure.
Forrest's worked hard.  He's upped his game in pretty much every area, and I'm happy to see good things happening for him.  And he's definitely holding down Pineiro-level (ie, second tier) arm status with Erasmo Ramirez and crew.
Fun stuff.


Was serious that in some other years, Forrest Snow would be the story of camp.  He's about as interesting as, say, Doug Fister was in his rocket-rise year.  But in this, um, avalanche, he's just a snowball lost in the slide.
If Noesi is sustaining 93-96 then he is a completely different conversation.  If you check the POTD it will give my take on the prospectus if he actually has a reliably top-20 fastball.
The vid mentioned above... maybe you should save that for your own archives Spec :- ) that is an awesome setup...
The stuff about Dr. Elliot is also Grade-A choice.  The players and pitchers are improving so fast it's dizzying.  Jason VARgas is going nutso.  Kyle Seager is going straightaway center.  Mike Carp is breaking car windows.  It's sick.
If the M's had their choice, and skipped over Nova, then THAT is nationwide news.  Forget the sabermetrics for a second:  the man went 16-4 for the New York Yankees last year.  
The Yankees won 19 of Ivan Nova's 27 starts; imagine if that had been true of (say) Charlie Furbush.  Noesi's more desirable than a 16-4 Yankee starter?


on the radio on Saturday talking to Rizzs: the Mariners were deciding between Noesi and Nova, and picked Noesi.
I was interested in Noesi, but now I'm intrigued and viewing has as more than a RH Furbush style tweener.  Not that Furbush himself isn't interesting.
And seriously, Snow looks like a Jeff Niemann type pitcher with more heat even, and I dunno what to think about that. 
Add that to the Aramis Ramirez impression Catricala is making on people, forcing them to consider his weak-ish glove at 3B simply because the man has a gorgeous swing and can HIT, and to Seager looking like he's adding power and a better approach to every at-bat...
BTW, what IS Seager with more power?  Ray Durham? Michael Young?
Can you get Aramis Ramirez, Michael Young and Chase Utley all on to the same team if you're not gonna let Michael Young play shortstop?
And have I drunk too much coolaid to imagine our possible lineup by then end of the year as the equivalent of:
DH/C: Miguel Cabrera
2B: Chase Utley
3B: Aramis Ramirez
1B: Justin Morneau
LF: Lyle Overbay
SS: Stephen Drew
UT: Michael Young
With us figuring out CF and RF from a pile of internal options, trade possibilities and FAs (like Carlos Quentin) going forward?
How sick is that?  Especially with Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Cole Hamels types nearing arrival from the farm?
I've had a dialogue with some people at P3 but it doesn't look like Dr. Elliott is granting interviews on his Mariners training methods or results (and potentially can't until the 3 year exclusivity period / gag order is up).  They've been nothing but polite, though, and also seem thrilled at the progress made by the Ms minor leaguers.  Maybe next offseason I can get the Q&A with them that would help shine a light on all the progress made by our players.
Whether it's the coaches training them, the scouts selecting them, the players themselves earning it, the program... It's working.  The synergistic approach to drafting the right kind of baseball rats, shaping them into baseball-specific athletes and letting confident young men dig in and do the work is definitely working.
I don't care as much if it happens perfectly THIS year.  It certainly looks like that crescendo is coming, inexorable as the tide.
The last time we rode a wave anything like this we forgot the pitchers and made RJ go it alone in the rotation with a small assist from Bosio (poor Dave Fleming) while backing him with Tino, Gar, Junior, Buhner, Vizquel etc. in the lineup.
It doesn't look like we've forgotten the pitching this time.  Hang in there Felix - we're almost there...
Gonna step away from the keyboard now.  The euphoria of Spring arriving and the Mariners possibly playing Real Baseball With Legit Players is obviously getting the better of me.


Announcement here.
Which I read as, "Kyle Seager will not be displaced by a 14 year vet."  So one competitor down.
Figgins vs. Catricala vs. Seager for 2 slots.  Should be fun.
Thanks for everything, Carlos. Sorry our team almost got you killed, disrepected your work ethic, and called you a drunk on your way out of town only to watch you blossom into a fantastic player the second you left.
If it makes you feel any better, you were the first domino in the legacy of Bill Bavasi that has brought us Zduriencik, so thanks for that.
Congrats on a great career.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.