Notable Quotables: Jays building a Stroman
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
Toronto prospect Marcus Stroman reflecting on his first full pro season (Stroman stellar in Cats’ season finale):
“I think this was a huge season for me, development-wise and just having success in a tough Eastern League. I was throwing my changeup a lot more. As a starter, that’s a huge pitch for me going forward. I’ve learned how important fastball command is, being able to locate inside and outside of the zone. I’ve learned how to be able to pitch, not quite backwards, but throwing 2-0 sliders and changeups.
“Keeping hitters off balanced, that’s been huge for me. I think I’ve made huge strides from the beginning to the end, and now I’m trying to take that into the Fall League and into next year.
“I felt like I was in a really good routine being a starter, between my days working out and throwing ‘pens and the intensity I have when I’m doing everything.
“I’ve been learning how intense my ‘pens between starts should be. Also, kind of toward the end of the season, I backed off a little. I used to really aggressively long toss before I would pitch. I cut that down, and it gave me a lot more power in games. Just tweaks like that as the season goes on, adjusting for how my arm feels.”
Charlotte pitching coach Bill Moloney on Tampa Bay pitching prospect Felipe Rivero (Rivero delivers opening win for Crabs):
“I think he’s finally realizing that he’s maturing a little bit. He had a few hiccups here and there in the season. He’s realizing that, ‘Hey, I have to get my act together.’ His stuff is good enough to get guys out. He’s just taking himself more seriously, and that’s reflecting in the fact that he’s able to bounce back if adversity hits. He’s able to stop it in a hurry rather than letting it snowball.
“He has improved. His fastball — he can throw any pitch at 95 — and that’s fine if he can locate it. He’s realizing now that harder isn’t necessarily better. He knows when to maybe back off a little. It’s just him maturing as a pitcher to maybe figure that out.”
Corpus Christi manager Keith Brodie on Houston prospect Domingo Santana (Santana, Hooks clinch second-half title):
“He’s a work in progress. He’s still a young man. He’s still learning plate discipline. He has the bat speed, so when he hits the ball, it stays hit. He has power to all fields. He has to improve to be a viable Major League player. I’m certain and convinced he will be that with experience.
“He’s just made tremendous strides this year. His strike zone discipline got better as the season went on. You look at his strikeout numbers, you want to see that go down. Anybody who has played, you see they learned to hit as they matured. There isn’t a big hole in his swing or anything — he’s just swinging at pitches he can’t hit. When he learns that discipline, you’ll see even more production.
“He missed I think four weeks with a hamstring pull. He could’ve hit 30 home runs, and he’s the type who could steal 30 bases, too. He needs to get his legs better conditioned for the long haul. Those are things on the horizon for him to improve on.”