Povse Traded to Seattle

Max Povse Carolina 2016One of the more heralded prospects to come out of the Valley League in the last few years, Max Povse (Staunton 2013), has been traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Seattle Mariners.

A 3rd round pick in the 2014 draft, Max advanced to Double-A Mississippi in 2016. His size (he’s 6-foot-8) and stuff (he can run his fastball up to 94) make him a possibility to play in the majors soon. Max was traded along with Rob Whalen for the Mariner’s 1st round pick in 2014, Alex Jackson.

Baseball America had this to say about Max in his writeup:

His fastball sits 90-92 mph and can get up to 94 and his main secondary offerings are a solid overhand curveball and changeup with improving depth. His stuff plays up because his extension makes the ball jump on the hitter quickly, while his long limbs constantly move in his delivery to throw off hitters’ sense of timing and ability to locate the ball. As a result Povse keeps the ball on the ground and limits hard contacts, with 24 percent more groundouts than airouts in 2016 as he ascended to Double-A and only nine home runs allowed in 158 innings. As a 6-foot-8, ground-ball aficionado who throws strikes, Povse evokes comparisons to former Mariners righthander Doug Fister and could be ready to contribute in the majors as soon as 2017.

“As soon as 2017” sounds pretty good. Good luck with your new organization, Max!

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Povse Named Top Prospect

max-povse-rome-braves-pitcher-54649889In our 8th installment of the series, today we have Max Povse’s (Staunton 2013) accolades as a prospect! Max was drafted in the 3rd round in 2014, and has worked his way up to High-A Carolina in 2016. In his first start for the Mudcats, Max threw 6 shutout innings and allowed only 1 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 7. Hopefully there will be more of that!

Fangraphs named Max Atlanta’s #9 prospect (pretty high considering this system!):

A tall, lanky righty with good body control for his size, Povse put up impressive numbers in A-level Rome before getting promoted to the Carolina Mudcats this year. He features a fastball that sits in the low-90s and a developing curveball and changeup. His secondary pitches flash above-average, though presently they are not as useful as his hard-running fastball. He made his last start in July due to a non-serious injury issue.

While Povse has limited walks very well so far in his minor league career, bouts of wildness crop up occasionally, although less than you might expect from his tall frame. He has a solid delivery with good arm action, using his whole body very well. He can sling the ball a bit out to the side when he sinks into his back leg too far, but overall his delivery is pretty consistent and conducive to command gains.

Without a clear go-to pitch for a secondary offering, Povse may go down the relief route eventually. That said, I like his athleticism on the mound enough to think he parlays his control into three average or better pitches, and stays on the starter track.

And MLB.com listed Max at #26 in Atlanta:

Povse spent three years in the UNC-Greensboro rotation, but they were uneven seasons, at best. The Braves, though, liked his size and his potential enough to take him in the third round of the 2014 Draft. He rewarded their faith with a strong full-season debut in the South Atlantic League, earning a promotion up a level, where he struggled in three starts before being shut down in late July.

After an offseason of rehabbing, Povse is expected to be fine moving forward. When healthy, he uses his 6-foot-8 frame well to throw downhill, and while his four-seam fastball doesn’t feature a ton of sink or life, that plane can help him get groundball outs. It will sit in the 92-93 mph range and can touch 95-96 on occasion. His changeup is his best secondary pitch and he also throws a true curveball, a breaking pitch that might improve if he can tighten it and add a little velocity to it.

More athletic than you’d think given his gangly frame, Povse fields his position well and repeats his delivery better than you might expect, giving him the chance to be a back-end rotation guy in the future.

Povse Named Top Prospect

Max Povse 2015 CarolinaTime to get back to business.

I usually head over to fangraphs.com, daily, to see what new articles they have. Excitingly (for me), they have started evaluating the 2016 prospects, which means I check to see what Valley League prospects might be named.

On the Atlanta Braves’ list, former Staunton Brave Max Povse (2013) cracked the top ten, coming in at #9 overall. This is what Dan Farnsworth wrote about Max:

9. Max Povse RHP
Current Level/Age: A+/22.6, 6’8″/185 A+, R/R
Acquired: Drafted 102nd overall (3rd round) in 2014 out of North Carolina-Greensboro by ATL for $425,000
Previous Rank: 31

A tall, lanky righty with good body control for his size, Povse put up impressive numbers in A-level Rome before getting promoted to the Carolina Mudcats this year. He features a fastball that sits in the low-90s and a developing curveball and changeup. His secondary pitches flash above-average, though presently they are not as useful as his hard-running fastball. He made his last start in July due to a non-serious injury issue.

While Povse has limited walks very well so far in his minor league career, bouts of wildness crop up occasionally, although less than you might expect from his tall frame. He has a solid delivery with good arm action, using his whole body very well. He can sling the ball a bit out to the side when he sinks into his back leg too far, but overall his delivery is pretty consistent and conducive to command gains.

Without a clear go-to pitch for a secondary offering, Povse may go down the relief route eventually. That said, I like his athleticism on the mound enough to think he parlays his control into three average or better pitches, and stays on the starter track.

I’m excited about Max long-term, if he can stay healthy. With his size and stuff, he has a chance to help the Braves in a year or two!

Pike, Povse Off to Hot Starts

The minor league season is underway, finally!

Povse pitching for the Staunton BRaves in 2013

Povse pitching for the Staunton BRaves in 2013

What this means, of course, is that many former Valley Leaguers have been assigned to full-season clubs, and have played, in some cases, several games already.

Two pitchers from a couple years ago have had excellent starts already: Chris Pike (Harrisonburg 2012-13) and Max Povse (Staunton 2013).

First of all, Pike made his first start of the season for the Midwest League’s Bowling Green on Tuesday, and he did not disappoint. He threw 5 shutout innings, allowing only 1 hit, 0 walks, and struck out 4. Chris was the Rays’ 9th round draft pick in 2014, and has been close to unhittable in the pros so far, as he went 5-1, 2.48, with 57 baserunners and 48 strikeouts in 58 innings in 2014.

Secondly, the 6-foot-8 Povse has actually started twice already for Low-A Rome, and has dominated both times. In a total of 10 innings, Max is 1-1, 0.90, with 6 hits, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts. Max was more heralded than Chris coming out of college: He was a 3rd round pick of the Braves in 2014. Max, like Chris, pitched quite well in his pro debut, going 4-2, 3.42, with 37 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings.

Well done, guys, and keep it up!

News on Beachy, Leathersich

Two quick hits this evening:

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Brandon Beachy (Woodstock 2008) as a free agent. The Atlanta Braves decided to “nontender” Brandon, which basically means that they declined to offer him arbitration. The Dodgers clearly have signed Brandon for extra rotation help when he returns from his *gulp* second Tommy John surgery last spring. The Dodgers have placed him on the 60-day disabled list.
  • If you haven’t checked out fangraphs.com, dear reader, you need to remedy the situation ASAP. On Sunday, Jack Leathersich Mets uniformDavid Laurila wrote a piece on former Valley Leaguer Jack Leathersich (Haymarket 2009), who will probably get a call to the majors in 2015. Among other things, he said this about Jack:

Leathersich is deceptive and has a nasty slider to go with an above-average fastball, so the potential is there to become a bullpen cog at Citi Field. Why he’s been unable to master his command remains the million-dollar question, and the answer extends beyond the physical.

Make sure you head on over and check out the whole article!

All the Latest Transactions

Let’s take a look at transactions through December 23:

The Boston Red Sox signed Jorge Marban (Winchester 2009). Jorge was a free agent signee of the Texas Rangers in 2010, but was released after the 2011 season. He has toiled in the Indy Leagues since then. Jorge will hopefully make a full-season minor league team out of spring training this spring.

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Greg Burke (Front Royal 2001). Burke was a minor league free agent who last pitched in the majors in 2013 with the New York Mets.

The Washington Nationals signed Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-06). A lowly 25th round draft pick in the 2007 draft out of Troy, Clint has done nothing but rake in the minors. He has received two “cups of coffee” in the majors; one with the Royals in 2012, and just last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Arizona Diamondbacks released Jake Roberts (Harrisonburg 2012). Jake was a free agent signee in late 2013, and threw 25 innings for the ‘Backs in 2014.

The Atlanta Braves released Zach Jadofsky (Woodstock 2011). Zach threw for 4 seasons in the Braves’ minor league system. He went 10-9, 4.62 in 175 1/3 innings pitched.

The Houston Astros released Pat Christensen (Harrisonburg 2011). Pat has actually been very good i nthe minors since being drafted in the 27th round in 2013. He’s gone 6-3, 3.53, with 84 strikeouts in only 81 2/3 innings.

The Milwaukee Brewers signed Ben Guez (Covington 2006), and released Andy Moye (Luray 2009). Guez was a minor league free agent who played for Toledo in Triple-A the last three years. Moye had some arm trouble last year for Double-A Huntsville, and ultimately played for four seasons in the minors.

The Texas Rangers signed Antoan Richardson (Winchester 2003). Antoan got to watch the Derek Jeter sendoff in New York last September. He also got 4 major league at-bats for the Atlanta Braves back in 2011. His Strat-O-Matic card may be quite good in 2014…

The Houston Astros grabbed Will Harris (Staunton 2003) off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Will has a real chance to help the Astros in 2015; he has a 9.7 K/9 in 99 major league innings. He misses bats!

Braves Trade Carpenter to Yankees

David Carpenter Atlanta Braves 3David Carpenter (Covington 2004) has had a well-traveled career thus far.

Drafted in the 12th round of the 2006 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of West Virginia, Carpenter began his career as a catcher. At some point in the 2008 minor league season, the Cardinals decided to move him to the mound. After a couple seasons working on his new profession, the Cardinals traded David to the Houston Astros for Pedro Feliz. The Astros also called him up for his first taste of the majors in 2011, when he threw quite well in 27 2/3 innings.

In 2012, he struggled in the majors, and the Astros traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays in late July. After only 2 2/3 innings with the Jays, the team traded him to the Boston Red Sox (along with manager John Farrell!). The Red Sox tried to pass Carpenter through waivers about a month later, and the Atlanta Braves scooped him up.

This is when his career really took off. In 2013, David went 4-1, 1.78 in 56 games and 65 2/3 innings, while striking out 10.1 batters per 9 innings. He was also strong in 2014, going 6-4, 3.54, with 67 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched.

Now he’s on the move again. Two days ago, the New York Yankees acquired David from the Braves, as the Bombers are looking to rebuild their bullpen. The Yankees bring Carpenter and Chasen Shreve to New York for Manny Banuelos, who used to be a top prospect before missing the 2013 season with an injury.

So now David will get to pitch in Yankee Stadium as his new home park!