Alex Patton Alex

Alex Patton
joined Patton & Co. Sun Nov 25 '07.

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Alex has, so far, written 32,037 comments and this was the latest, on Alec Mills:

BP's Matthew Trueblood, looking at PECOTA 2020: 10 Pitchers on the Rise --

Alec Mills, Cubs

PECOTA Says: 94 innings (50 as a starter), 101 strikeouts, 34 walks, 4.30 DRA, 3.62 ERA, 1.4 WARP

It’s well worth noting that Mills projects for more WARP than Jon Lester, José Quintana, or Tyler Chatwood, in at least 30 innings fewer than each of them. He’s out of options, so he has to pitch the entire season in the big leagues. Thus, he’s likely to either win the final rotation spot from Chatwood in March or be consigned to a long relief role. This would suggest the Cubs seriously consider the former.

Mills is a right-hander whose fastball averages just under 90 mph. He’s steered his curveball all the way down to an average velocity of 68 mph, a real old-fashioned looper. His best model for potential success, doing things the way he does them, is teammate Kyle Hendricks, but any time one is citing Hendricks, alarm bells go off. Mills probably doesn’t have the elite command that allows Hendricks to be who he is.

Still, he’s been quite good during his brief stints in the majors, and his profile is fascinating. He throws five pitches, all with decent confidence and command. The slider and curve break a lot to the glove side, steered that way by a lowish arm angle and a major crossfire element to his delivery. For the same reasons, his fastball, sinker, and changeup all fade a good bit to the arm side. The five pitches all have separation from one another in terms of vertical movement. For a guy who doesn’t throw hard, he imparts a lot of spin. The pieces are there, and even though Mills has rarely put them together over prolonged stretches in even the upper minors, PECOTA sees the way things could fall into place for him in 2020.

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