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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Scouting Report on the Dodgers starter, John Ely

I thought, along with SNY, that Josh Towers was going to be making the start today for the Dodgers to replace V Padilla (DL-forearm stiffness), but apparently it's going to be Dodgers prospect John Ely making his major league debut. He was drafted in the 3rd round of 2007 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of Miami-Ohio.  He was acquired by the Dodgers along with Jon Link in the Juan Pierre trade this off-season. Prior to this off-season, he was ranked #11 or 12 on the White Sox prospect list.

He almost won the Southern League Triple Crown in 2009, leading the league in strikeouts, tied for the league lead in wins, and finished 2nd in ERA (2.82). He has an outstanding makeup and his preparation, intensity and poise are major assets. He's never missed a start in college or professional baseball.

Ely is a bit of a finesse pitcher (but doesn't have the control to be successful at the major league level yet), throwing between 88-91 mph fastball, which he adds and subtracts from, and added a cut fastball last year to try to increase his effectiveness versus left-handed hitters (hit .271 vs him last year, compared to .217 for RH). He has a curveball, but it hasn't developed as he/the team wishes. His best pitch is his mid-70s change-up, which is a plus pitch.  Scouts don't love his stuff, and question if he has enough velocity and/or command to be a quality major league pitcher (8 walks in 18 innings this year).

(UPDATE May 18th: He hasn't walked a hitter in 84 straight at bats, and over his last three games, he has 21 strikeouts and zero walks. Impressive command. His change-up has been outstanding, and he has been using it as his out pitch)

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