Monday, July 11, 2011

Peacock spreads his wings

US Presswire photo
Brad Peacock retired the side on nine pitches during yesterday's Futures Game.
UPDATE AT 3:00 P.M. -- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo confirmed that Peacock has been promoted to Class AAA Syracuse. He'll make his debut there on Saturday.

PHOENIX -- Standing along the two baselines yesterday afternoon at Chase Field were 48 of baseball's most-touted prospects. There were multiple No. 1 draft picks. High-priced international signees. A few guys who have already gotten a taste of the big leagues.

And then there was Brad Peacock, who perhaps boasted a resume as unimpressive as anyone else on the field yet perhaps put forth the most-dominant performance of anyone else in the All-Star Futures Game.

Peacock, a 23-year-old right-hander in the Nationals' farm system, faced three batters in the top of the second inning. He retired all three, not letting a single one hit the ball out of the infield. He needed all of nine pitches (seven strikes) to do this.

Not bad for a guy selected by the Nationals in the 41st round of the 2006 draft. Yes, the 41st round.

"Sometimes guys get caught up in their draft status, and that's not what it's about," said Tony Beasley, who manages Peacock at Class AA Harrisburg. "It's how you perform. The fact he was drafted late ... that's awesome. That's what baseball is all about. That sends a message to everyone in the clubhouse and the organization: If you play well, you have an opportunity."

Peacock has certainly made the most of his, even if he waited until this year to do it.

An otherwise anonymous member of the Nationals' minor-league system the last four seasons, he seemed destined to serve as organizational filler. But given a chance to pitch out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League following the 2010 season, he burst onto the scene. And he's continued to dominate this year at Harrisburg, carrying a 10-2 record, 2.01 ERA and 129-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio into the All-Star break.

The biggest key to Peacock's emergence? He believes it was a minor mechanical tweak, suggested by Harrisburg pitching coach Randy Tomlin, that allows him to better hide the ball during his windup.

"Last year, third time around the lineup I would get hit, and I couldn't figure out why," he said. "In spring training, Randy Tomlin talked to me a lot, and we did a lot of work on hiding the ball better. They said I was showing the ball. I watched videos, and I was."

Just like that, Peacock (who some scouts believed would be best-served as a reliever because of his inability to sustain success deep into starts) took his game to new heights.

"It's such a small thing," he said. "That's usually what it is. You've got to change something, and I did."

It also helps that Peacock possesses a repertoire of three above-average pitches: a mid-90s fastball, a mid-70s curveball and a low-80s changeup that he broke out on his final pitch in the Futures game to get Wilin Rosario to pop out weakly to third base.

After helping lead the team of top American prospects to a 6-4 victory over their international counterparts, Peacock was all smiles. Even if he admittedly had butterflies making the first All-Star appearance of his career.

"Oh god, yes," he said. "I've never pitched a big-league stadium. It was a great experience."

Peacock will get another chance right away to appear in another All-Star Game: the Eastern League's version of the midsummer classic, to be played Wednesday in Manchester, N.H.

After that, he'll return to Harrisburg for the second half of the season, hoping to help the Senators to a playoff berth. Perhaps he'll get promoted to Class AAA Syracuse at some point. Maybe a September call-up to Washington is in the cards.

Not that his current manager wants to lose him anytime soon.

"He's a competitor," Beasley said. "He's a hard worker. He's focused. Anything you could want a 23-year-old to have, he has it. I couldn't be more happy with him. If I had more guys like Peacock, we'd be in really, really good shape. I think he's a true asset to the organization, and somebody that can probably help us in the future."

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Can't wait to see this guy get called up. On a completely separate point, in looking at the standings as of the All Star break, the Nats are .500, and the Orioles are .409. That wasn't supposed to happen, was it? Tom Boswell, call your office.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances we may see guys like Peacock, Marrero, Rhinehart, or Moore this season?

Anonymous said...

What are the chances we may see guys like Peacock, Marrero, Rhinehart, or Moore this season?

Barring injury Marrero may get a late September call up. None for Peacock and Rhinehart. Rhinehart still hasn't proven he can hit in AAA. Last time he tried he looked over matched to say the least.

Peacock will be taken slow ... he is now a potential top-of-the-rotation starting power pitcher and those don't grow on trees. He will likely spend time in Syracuse working in that rotation in the 2nd half of this year.

Its highly likely Stammen and Milone will get the call to the majors before Peacock does.

Then in ST 2012 he gets to compete for a spot in the rotation.

Anomynous said...

Did anyone else hear Keith Law say from his perch in the stands that Peacock projects as a reliever because of his size? Tell that to Pedro Martinez. (And I'm not comparing their talent. Just their stature as starting pitchers).

Will said...

Marrero and Milone will get September call ups. Maybe Lombardozzi, Meyers, Stammen, Wilkie, and castoffs like JC Romero, Matt Antonelli and Oliver Perez.

And who knows, maybe we'll finally get a glimpse of that guy Chien Ming Wang.

I can't wait to see the Nats' rotation this time next year. It could be VERY good and very young with the likes of:
Zimmermann
Strasburg
Peacock
Milone/Meyers
Lannan/Livo/Stammen

And don't forget guys like Ray, Solis, Cole, Meyer and Purke (hopefully) in the farm system.

FS said...

Peacock faced 3 AA prospects last night. His numbers at AA right now are, 10 wins, 98.2 IP, 11.77 K/9, 2.10 BB/9, 0.36 HR/9, .262 BABIP, 2.01 ERA, and 1.87 FIP. Deserves a promotion?

Oh and I missed his inning last night but saw Moore strike out Liddi swinging. That was awesome. Rays might have a 2013 rotation of Price, Shields, Hellickson, Moore, and someone else. Impressive?

Anomynous said...

Will, I still think they're going to try to get an ace type starter in free agency. Though alot of folks worry about how much the Jayson Werth Experience has scared the Lerners. Perhaps they're now in a Manic Depression over free agency.

dj in Fl. said...

@annon 1:03
Yes that is what Keith Law said. No problem with his talent, just his size.

Anonymous said...

Keith Law also thinks that, at 6'0" and 195 lbs., this guy projects as a middle reliever and not a starter:

http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=118120

TheYellowSlant said...

Good article, but BOOOO on the article title. You're better than that, Mr. Zuckerman.

JD said...

Before everyone gets their shorts in a knot over what Keith Law says keep in mind that he is an analyst and you are a fan. Generally speaking Law gives reasonable explanations for his opinions (even if he can be a bit snarky). He admits that he is sometimes wrong and I don't find any bias in his opinions.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you missed the post in the last thread where it was noted that Law is offering opinions on Peacock, even though he admittedly hasn't actually seen him pitch this year. If that's "analysis," then I'll gladly take the fan view instead...

JD said...

FS,

That BABIP worries me a bit. Means he's been lucky with balls in play but I like the low HR's the low BB and the high K rate.

Since this is the 1st time he's had this much success I would not rush him at all especially since Harrisburg is likely to be a playoff team and Syracuse is not.

Anomynous said...

I think my great grandfather once told my dad that Keith Law's great grandfather projected this guy as a middle reliever too (he wrote while unknotting his shorts):

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/johnswa01.shtml

Bowdenball said...

I think Keith Law used the past tense when discussing the Peacock projection. As in "he WAS projected to be a reliever." He's said a couple times that he sees Peacock as potentially a #3 starter type in the majors.

Get Some Players said...

Peacock now in AAA according to Ladson. He is supposed to get his first start on Saturday.

FS said...

@ YellowSlant, I thought it was a funny title. TBH I did not expect that from Mark but nothing boo-ish or anything.

Listening to Bud Selig right now. He is simply saying no to whatever fans wish to see in future, most of the times.

It would be nice to have a separate topic to discuss game-changers (?) with fellow Insiders.

FS said...

JD,

new to these advanced stats but that FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) is 1.87, which is awesome. And also BABIP can be low for certain type of pitchers I believe (right? just like it can be high for certain type of hitters).

Congrats on Brad for moving onto AAA. heard he will not be pitching in the All Star game for Eastern League. Is Harper playing in minors ASG?

HHover said...

On Keith Law - as I recall, he was reporting what he said scouts told him. So he sourced the info, and given that Peacock's emergence has been a pretty recent (last few months) phenomenon, those scouts may have been basing their opinions on his previous performance anyway. So I don't see anything to get too upset about.

On the title - well, if we're getting technical, it's the male peacock's tail, not wings, that really catches the eye, and they're all but flightless birds (they can flap their wings to assist a hop up into a tree, but that's about it).

Steve M. said...

JD said...
SteveM.

The main difference between a starter and a reliever is not just stamina but also the quality of the secondary pitches. As a reliever all you need is 2 decent pitches; a starter needs more of a repertoire. Do we know for sure that Detwiler has more than 2 strong pitches?

July 11, 2011 12:06 PM


JD - We don't disagree on anything you said. It would be a rare starter to be successful with just 2 pitches.

I think Detwiler throws his fastball, slider and curve as his 3+ pitches and has said he can ramp up his velocity on his fastball in short relief.

Steve M. said...

Will said... Marrero and Milone will get September call ups. Maybe Lombardozzi, Meyers, Stammen, Wilkie, and castoffs like JC Romero, Matt Antonelli and Oliver Perez.

And who knows, maybe we'll finally get a glimpse of that guy Chien Ming Wang.

I can't wait to see the Nats' rotation this time next year. It could be VERY good and very young with the likes of:
Zimmermann
Strasburg
Peacock
Milone/Meyers
Lannan/Livo/Stammen

And don't forget guys like Ray, Solis, Cole, Meyer and Purke (hopefully) in the farm system.

July 11, 2011 1:12 PM


I agree with your callups and still think JC Romero at this point in his career is a LOOGY. Face 1 to 2 lefty batters and done. His stats are horrible vs righties and not great in pitching full innings.

I think Marrero would be very serviceable now at 1st base and give Davey the opportunity to put Michael Morse in the outfield while giving Werth a day-off. He would fit in perfectly to DFA Matt Stairs TODAY.

Right now I would take Ankiel over Werth against a RH starter and Davey has to decide how to get Werth back on track. Right now a LH outfield would play better against RH pitchers and Werth can come off of the bench.

As far as your 2012 rotation, wow, where do you start?

Strasburg will be on a 140 to 160 inning cap in 2012 and I think the Nats could still use Marquis back as he is a great 1st half pitcher as we saw this year and help his Free Agent status for 2013 if Marquis signed a 1 year extension.

Strasburg
Zimmermann
Marquis or Free Agent
Gorzelanny
Lannan

6th starter in AAA in Peacock/Milone/Meyers

Hate to say it, but I think the Livo experience as a full-time starter has run its course unless you put him in the 2012 bullpen as the long-man and "insurance" as a spot starter.

Natslifer said...

Anyone want to spend time talking about the All-Star game/Home Run Derby??
- For me, it's a continued travesty that the game decides WS home field - I'm going to be a bitter Nats fan when we finally make it but don't have HFA because the 50th All-Star (I think I've done the math right with the roster size and the drop out numbers) didn't do his job. Love to hear from Mark what the trigger might be to get this changed.
- Wouldn't it be cool to see a throwing competition (put balls into small nets like the pro quarterbacks do) from different positions on the field? I'd be happy to have the HRD cut in half time-wise in favor of a new competition.

jd said...

SteveM.

This is where I disagree with you. I would rather see Peacock or Milone in the rotation instead of Marquis and for a portion of the price. I am not wild about Gorzelany (Mr. gopher ball) and I frankly don't mind bringing Livo back for one more year.

BTW, I think that Strasburg is slightly behind JZimm's schedule and I also think that he will have a tighter leash on him because he's both younger and more valuable long term. I would say no more than 120 innings.

A dark horse to fill the rotation when SS is shut down: Alex Meyer. He will more than likely start in AA; hopefully for a cup of coffee this year and most of next year with an optimistic August call up. Of course there is a great chance that they will shut him down by then as well.

JaneB said...

FWIW: I think this headline is delightful. And I look forward to seeing the kid when he gets to make his big league debut. As long as it's with us.

Unkyd said...

....sigh..... No game thread......

NatStat said...

Keith Law?....oh, yeah that's the clown that projected Espi to never reach the Bigs.

How tall, is tall? For the record, our boy Peacock is registered as 6'1".

Notwithstanding the fact that HOF pitchers tend to be over 6' tall (Whitey Ford and others?), I'm not sure that height, or lack therein, is a requisit of being a SP vs. RPs.

According to Law's estemeed understandings, Rouch at 6'11" should be a front line starter for the Yankees

I guess not having a working brain, is a requirement for being a starting announcer at ESPN.

DFL said...

It looks like Peacock will be auditioned for next year in the bigs during the last half of the Syracuse season.

Mark'd said...

JD, this team needs sure things in the rotation and can't afford Rookies at the 3rd starter. I take Marquis over Gorzo and like Livo in the 'pen.

Zimmermann
Strasburg thru Aug 1, 2012
Marquis
Lannan
#5

Unfortunately that leaves you short a pitcher at the trade deadline for the push for the playoffs.

I would like Chris Carpenter in Washington if he would sign for 2 years here to be a back of the rotation starter.

FS said...

Steve M, any reason you prefer Marquis over Livan? I am looking at their numbers at fangraphs and I don't see any reason to think that Marquis is a better pitcher than Livan. I am a fan of Livan even if he was not pitching as good as he has past two season.

My rotation of 2012 still needs an ace (left-hander preferably) ahead of Strasburg and Zimmermann, with Livo and Gorzelanny/Lannan rounding off the rotation.

WS home field advantage should be decided with a coin toss. There is nothing more balanced than that.

natsfan1a said...

For what it's worth (which is not much, but seeing as how there's no real game to discuss I'll go ahead and opine), I also thought a tail-spreading analogy could be apt given the bird in question. Wing-spreading, however, is perhaps more apropos for a growing ballplayer (as opposed to a full fledged preener). Did I just type that? Dang. It's gonna be a long several days until game time. And now I suppose you're gonna start booing me, too. Eh, boo me, cheer me. Whatever. I'll just keep on commenting. ;-) Also fwiw, I always enjoy Mark's humor and puns, though, and have not found any of them to be boo-worthy.

On the futures game, taped and watched just a bit of it (Peacock's inning, Harper's throw, and as much of the commentary as I could stomach). Nice to see Peacock getting some national attention. I remember watching a dual-Peacock battery at the Pfitz back in the day. Kind of fun to see the kids grow up and advance.

On the HR Derby, meh. Will probably watch some of it just because it's kinda sorta baseball. But a throwing contest could be fun. Or how about an inside-the-parker contest featuring the speediest all stars? hmmm... :-)

FS said...

I agree with Bud Selig on not having any of those other contests involving players because they get paid a lot to play baseball and not to get injured or pull a muscle while doing any of these throwing or running contests. Now that I think about it, I prefer Bochy not using Clippard tomorrow night at all. I prefer he gets fully rested, instead of serving game-tying home run to Big Papi.

Unkyd said...

LannEn is my #3! I hope one of the kids makes the opening day roster, and I can live with Livo, @#5....

natsfan1a said...

Re. Clippard, it's also fine with me if he doesn't get into the game and gets a bit more rest instead.

RPrecupjr said...

Will said...

And who knows, maybe we'll finally get a glimpse of that guy Chien Ming Wang.

We will see him, by the end of this month. Since he has started official rehab starts in the minors, he must be called up to the bigs within 30 days or we lose him. I don't see that happening with all the time and work we've invested in him. So far, he's been doing just fine as he moves up. He'll probably make two starts at Syracuse and then come up.

JD said...

Mark'd,

I don't agree that a mediocre veteran is better than a solid rookie. Also I think that next year we'll still be a year away from contention because Harper won't be ready yet so I don't think we should go crazy on the FA market just yet.
Not to belabor the point but wouldn't it have been nice to have the wasted Werth money available to bid on pitchers like king Felix, Lincecum, Kershaw when they become FA'S?

UNTERP.NAT said...

Umkyd said...

LannEn #3, Wang #4, youngster # 5

Anonymous said...

LannEn is my #3! I hope one of the kids makes the opening day roster, and I can live with Livo, @#5....

No, if Davey Johnson is in charge Livo will be his sixth starter. You don't have to worry about ensuring he follows a slot in the rotation (interesting that it's Marquis's slot) as with Detwiler. Ol' rubber arm can mop up, eat innings, and even start because he no longer throws hard ... many of his pitchers are softball speed.

So, Livo makes the perfect #6 guy although I wonder if he would accept the role.

Have to figure for 2012:
Zimmermann (he's earned opening day, at this point)
Strasburg
Lannan/Gorzelanny
Milone
Peacock
Stammen
Wang

All depending on how they perform in AAA and the majors through the rest of this year and spring training. At least no more Gaudin ... gawd!

sjm308 said...

Just to drink from my half-full glass. IF CM Wang is back and does well in the 2nd half do we think because we stayed with him, he would sign with us? I realize there are lots of ifs involved with this scenerio but if he is back, he was an absolute stud with the Yankees. I realize that was years ago but what an addition he could be. That would give us a rotation that looks like

JZimm
SS
CM Wang
LannEn
and your choice of Gorzo (under contract), Livan, Marquis, not to mention all the guys at AAA/AA

I still think they will also make a run for Sabathia just like they did this past year with Lee and Greinke, Garza, etc.
Life is good on the mound in Nats Land.

Go Nats!!

Nats Outsider said...

sjm308, there is problem with the Nats going after *any* 4-star pitcher. It's a chicken-and-egg problem: Good pitchers want excellent teams behind them, and it is hard to get to excellence without great starting pitchers. The Nats are much, much better than they were a year ago, but they are still literally mediocre. That's what .500 ball means. Sabathia and his agent know that his record here is unlikely to be as good as his record with a consistent winner. There will be a handful of games, even with Sabathia pitching(or Lee, or whoever)that enter the record books as losses, simply because the Nats' run support fell apart.

In a couple of years, when (fingers crossed) the Nats reach the level of "pretty good" playoff contenders, we will be much more attractive to top flight starting pitchers.

This is a little different from the situation with hitters. A .300 hitter can probably do about as well on any team. Of course, it always helps to have other good hitters before and after him, but a good hitter can hit anywhere, except for those whose names begin with W. A good pitcher can still lose games 1-0 and 2-0.

sjm308 said...

Makes sense Outsider and I am guessing that is another reason none of those pitchers signed last year. I guess the good news is that Rizzo has done a decent job drafting pitchers and that crop should start to pay dividends soon. Does this group feel we can contend next year with SS, JZ, JL, CMW and TG or a 5th starter from the minors or one of the two vets from this year?

Oldguy said...

Hey, guys, as an old geezer who is new to this online chat world, I enjoy the comments here. But sometimes I just have to laugh. I have been a Red Sox fan since the 1940s--and I am as enthusiastic a Nats fan as you will find, a STH, etc. I use the Sox as a reference point when thinking about the Nats, and as I have said earlier, I find it useful, and I think overall the Nats compare favorably in terms of how they are developing the team. The core of the Red Sox is their home-grown guys--Lester, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Youkilis, Buchholz, etc.

Which bring us to our projected rotations. When the season opened their starters were Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, Beckett and Matsusaka. Beckett is the only one on top right now. Lackey's ERA is 6+. Lester and Buchholz are on DL, and Dice-K had TJ surgery. Holding down the fort are guys like Wakefield (age 44), Weiland (first ML start yesterday--got tossed for hitting a guy) and a couple of other castoffs and fill-ins. But guess what? They have the best record in the AL despite starting 2-10.

If Boston can win 2 world series in 4 years, anything is possible.

NatStat said...

Good thing that Rizzo didn't sign De La Rosa (TJ surgery); Pavano (having a forgettable year,in the last stages of his career); or Vasquez (who is helping the Marlins secure last place, with his mid-80s' fastball).

Trading the ranch (JZimm, Espi, & Storen)for Cranky, now scuffling in beer country, Rizzo would never have lived down. It must have been a cold week in DC when he had that brain fart.

FS said...

Going into past couple of seasons, we have always had couple of question marks in the lineup or rotation. Last season, it was RF, SS, and pitchers (starting and bullpen). This season, CF, LF, lead-off hitter, and rotation. All ball clubs have question marks going into the season, even the hated Yankees and RedSox. The point I am trying to make is when does our FO think we can compete. We have 2B, 3B, SS (Desi), 1B (Adam), LF (Morse), RF, and C set for next season. We have at least 3 SP in SS, JZ, and Livo. We also have an all star 3B that will become a FA if we don't start winning. I am just afraid to lose Zimm (first solid thing Nationals got in this city going for them) to FA market if we don't think of contending next season. As much as I understand Rendon hype, he has not spent six plus seasons facing major league pitching.

Random question: I am a college player eligible for the draft but instead of applying for the draft, I decided to stay away and sign with my childhood team later in the summer. Is that possible or not? I am guessing there must be some sorts of rule against this.

JaneB said...

Livo has been a question mark for us for years. And he still gets signed, and then he still gets outs.

My money is on Livo as #4 or 5 next year.

Steve M. said...

FS said...
Steve M, any reason you prefer Marquis over Livan? I am looking at their numbers at fangraphs and I don't see any reason to think that Marquis is a better pitcher than Livan. I am a fan of Livan even if he was not pitching as good as he has past two season.

My rotation of 2012 still needs an ace (left-hander preferably) ahead of Strasburg and Zimmermann, with Livo and Gorzelanny/Lannan rounding off the rotation.

WS home field advantage should be decided with a coin toss. There is nothing more balanced than that.

July 11, 2011 3:26 PM


FS and all the Livo fans - It starts and ends with wins. That's how you get to the post-season and get the World Series winner's ring from WINNING!

A few reasons I like Marquis and it starts and ends with 1st half WINS. I don't know why its the case, but this team plays its best for Jason Marquis. Who knows why, Marquis officially is 7-4 at the All Star break but the team is an amazing 12-6 in the games Marquis starts vs. Livan where the Nats are 6-13 in the games Livan starts. Now also keep this in mind that the Nats are 10-8 in games Jordan Zimmermann starts and JZim gets the league's 3rd lowest run support at 2.98 but has a 2.66 ERA so that is why the team wins in JZim's games.

If those stats don't do it for you, I can't help you then but for me, it is clear that there is some intangible for the guy who starts.

Secondly, I have said before that using the 2 year Elias Sports stats average, it would make sense to keep Marquis for one more year to make him more valuable in the 2013 Free Agent market. You may get him to a Type A free agent. Then again, that isn't guaranteed but if Marquis walks on the Nats this season as a Free Agent they probably get no compensation using the Elias formula.

sjm308 said...

Steve M - do you think Marquis will sign for just a one year extension at the end of this year? I am guessing he will be looking for at least two years and maybe even three. I would definitely sign him to a one year deal.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

FS, one doesn't apply for the draft. If somebody drafts you, you're drafted for that year. You don't have to sign with them, but you can't shop your services around, as non-US players can.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Sjm, depends on what other offers he gets, no?

AndesAngle said...

I wanna see this guy in DC!

Anonymous said...

Rhinehart still hasn't proven he can hit in AAA. Last time he tried he looked over matched to say the least.

I went and checked and he homered in one of the two games he played, had an OBP of over .400 and an OPS of over 1.0...however, he only had 9 ABs. Time to move him up somewhere.

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