The San Diego Padres will send their rookie left-hander to the mound tonight to face the Colorado Rockies after taking the first game of the series last night.
Joey Lucchesi had himself a terrific outing his last time out for the San Diego Padres, going five strong innings, allowing just one hit, striking out seven and walking three against the same Colorado Rockies team he’ll be facing tonight.
After two starts this season (9.2 innings), the 24-year-old left-hander has an earned-run average of 2.79, a 1.14 WHIP and eight strikeouts.
As per fangraphs.com, he’s been using his fastball 64.8% of the time so far, then his changeup (27%), and mixes in his curve on occasion, lately as a strikeout pitch.
Lucchesi’s been getting hitters to swing and miss at pitches outside of the strike zone (O-Swing %) 33.3% of the time and inside of the zone (Z-Swing %) 64% of the time.
His overall swing-and-miss rate is 47.8%, which would put him at 25th in all of baseball in that category if he qualified (he just barely misses the cut apparently).
That’s incredibly impressive, but let’s see how he adjusts to hitters having the luxury of major-league video scouting tools and via word-of-mouth between ballplayers.
Scouting has changed dramatically
A book is developed on young pitchers much quicker than it has been in the past thanks to technological advancements both inside the game and out of it.
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Beyond the capabilities of the video room in MLB clubhouses, don’t you think players would have adjusted quicker to Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson if former teammates could relay personal scouting reports without even making a phone call?
I’m sure phone calls were being made (or even letters written, going back further) between close friends. It had to happen.
But nothing like what is possible today with players moving around constantly in free agency and how the world has “shrunk” with the advent of social media.
I may have gotten off topic (just a bit), but the main gist is that the next few starts Joey Lucchesi makes for the San Diego Padres will say a lot about how well Andy Green and Darren Balsley prepare him and how thick Joey Fuego’s skin is if he does end up getting knocked around some.
But until that happens, which it most certainly will at some point, let’s enjoy the phenomenal start Lucchesi’s afforded us and hope for more of the same.