• THT Beamer: The Rise Of Philip Hughes

    Posted by on July 30th, 2007 · Comments (11)

    John Beamer raves on Phil Hughes:

    Hughes’ ace-like projections are based solely off of one pitch: an uber-strong fastball, typically a four-seamer but also with some two-seam stuff mixed in. It tops out at 96 mph and regularly sits in the 91-95 mph zone. Combine that with plus command and you have a top-draw strike out pitch. Let’s define plus command. Simply put, he can place the ball exactly where he wants when he wants while hurling 95 mph gas. This command and power combination will sit at the cornerstone of Hughes’ success or failure for years to come. If he becomes a Hall-of-Fame caliber pitcher it will be because of this, likewise if he sinks to obscurity. He launches the fastball around 60-70% of the time.

    “95 mph gas”?

    I watched both of Hughes’ big league starts this year and his fastball was usually in the 89-92 MPH range. I have no idea what Beamer is talking about here. It will be interesting to check out the gun in Phil’s next start for the Yankees – which should be soon now.

    Comments on THT Beamer: The Rise Of Philip Hughes

    1. Joel
      July 30th, 2007 | 11:21 pm

      Steve–I watched the FSN Southwest broadcast of Hughes no-hitter in Texas and their gun had him regularly between 93-95 mph. He hit 96 in his last inning.

    2. July 30th, 2007 | 11:42 pm

      The YES gun has always been terrible.

    3. baileywalk
      July 30th, 2007 | 11:44 pm

      Yes, let’s please revisit the topic of Hughes’ velocity, which you have a bizarre fascination with. Hughes has been clocked his entire minor-league career in the 90-94 range. YES’ gun was off.

      Add to your conspiracy file that in spring training, YES was clocking him at 95 consistently. And so was ESPN at the Futures Game.

      Hughes doesn’t sit 95. He sits 92-93. And can add a little extra to get to 94 and 95 on occasion.

      Who cares?

    4. Josh
      July 30th, 2007 | 11:52 pm

      Steve,

      What’s wih the constant negativity lately? It was understandable when the Yanks were struggling but we’ve now turned the corner, are steaming toward home and are about to add a truly special prospect back into the rotation. It was clear to anyone with eyes watching his first 2 starts that Hughes has fantastic stuff and a calm and presence that you can’t teach. The ball seemed to really pop, whether he was throwing 92 or 96. My advice? Relax and enjoy the kid.

      FYI, Chamberlain struck out the side in relief tonight for SWB. Acc. to the LoHud Blog, he threw 13 pitches, 10 for strikes and topped out at 99! Gagne or not I think Joba is headed to the show.

    5. Yu Hsing Chen
      July 31st, 2007 | 12:55 am

      Hughes also have a truely plus curve and a workable change, and a slider he choose not to use (for now) he’s not just fastball command guy.

    6. brockdc
      July 31st, 2007 | 1:41 am

      Agreed velocity isn’t everything, but it is important, especially when you’re talking about a projected ace of a pitching staff. Why? Because, from everything I’ve read thus far about him, Hughes works off his fastball. And, as he ages, there’s a pretty strong chance that that fastball velocity will decrease (to what extent, no one knows). Anyway, if Hughes ever loses 2-4 mph off his fastball, it will become very hittable unless his secondary pitches are outstanding.

      I realize that this is a great deal of supposition on my part, but it could be something to consider waaaay down the line. At any rate, I can’t wait until he returns to the Bronx.

    7. July 31st, 2007 | 8:02 am

      brockdc gets it. Thanks man.

      ~~~YES’ gun was off.~~~

      Is it just off for Hughes? Or, is it off for everyone? So, if it’s all, you’re telling me, that, when it says Mussina is throwing 88 MPH, Moose is really throwing 92ish? And, when it tells me that AJ Burnett is throwing 96 in the 6th inning of a game against the Yankees, he’s really throwing 100 MPH? And, when the YES gun says that Farnsworth is throwing 99 MPH, he’s really throwing 103 MPH? Because if the YES gun is slow, then it’s slow for all, right?

      ~~~What’s wih the constant negativity lately? ~~~

      I like to call it “objectivity.” It only becomes “negativity” when people insist on wearing Yankees blinders, IMHO.

    8. Raf
      July 31st, 2007 | 9:46 am

      from everything I’ve read thus far about him, Hughes works off his fastball. And, as he ages, there’s a pretty strong chance that that fastball velocity will decrease (to what extent, no one knows).
      =====================
      There are few pitchers who don’t work off their fastball. Tim Wakefield is one of them.

      In order to change speeds, you have to establish your fastball. No matter how hard or soft you throw, you still have to establish your fastball.

      Besides, we have a long way to go before we worry about Hughes losing velocity off his fastball. Barring injury, of course.

    9. SteveB
      July 31st, 2007 | 10:32 am

      That Beamer guy has no credibility with me because he said “top draw” and it’s “top drawer.”

      If you can’t use the english language correctly, I can’t trust you to read an erroneous radar gun either.

    10. Raf
      July 31st, 2007 | 10:45 am

      That Beamer guy has no credibility with me because he said “top draw” and it’s “top drawer.”

      If you can’t use the english language correctly, I can’t trust you to read an erroneous radar gun either.
      ==============
      From Beamer himself…

      I think you need to read up on your uban slang:
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Top+Draw

      Incidentally, top-drawer can also, bizarrely, take the second meaning too!

      Anyway, I’m more concerned with the analysis put forth in the article than a few typos.

    11. July 31st, 2007 | 1:57 pm

      Hughes projections are NOT ‘based solely on one pitch.’ they’re also based on his perfect size (6’5″, 220), clean delivery, age (just turned 21) and a plus curve. that guy doesnt know what he’s talking about.

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