Scouting Report on Marlins Prospect Andrew HeaneyBy
Spencer Schneier, an Independent Scout, has compiled a full scouting report on Andrew Heaney, the Marlins’ first round pick from the 2012 Draft. Please thank Spencer for his outstanding work on this and be sure to follow him on Twitter @BaseballSpencer
On Saturday night in Greensboro I was fortunate enough to watch Andrew Heaney pitch for the Grasshoppers. In his second start in the Sally League, Heaney impressed me, as well as the other scouts I was sitting near.
General Pitching Tools
Two things that are not necessarily objective that stood out to me: Heaney had an excellent poker face on the mound, as it was near impossible to determine whether he was upset about something, happy about a pitch, or disappointed with an umpire’s call. He has plus mound presence and average feel for pitching, which should be plus as he progresses. The second thing that stood out was his work ethic. He clearly is a good, hard-working player as he was the first player on the field for either team, and was done stretching before the next guy made his way out. His make-up appears to be good as well, because his high school coach’s sister made the hour and a half drive from Raleigh to see him. She was happy to talk to anyone that would listen about how nice a kid Heaney is.
I liked Heaney’s mechanics for the most part, noting a high leg-kick, but that he whips his head a little bit at the end of his delivery. I thought that this may lead to some command problems. I thought that his broad shoulders and skinny legs showed room for filling out, and that he could add some velocity if he does.
I thought that he did a good job holding runners and staying aware of them, despite the Greensboro pitching coach mentioning that as something he could improve on. The only other note that is not directly related to a pitch is that I thought his pitch sequencing was below average, but I also was not sure if he was trying to work on something in particular.
The fastball was the worst pitch, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It sat 88-92, but what makes it so good is the movement. Best described as “a cutter and sinker had a baby,” it moves down and in on right handed batters. He struggled to spot it throughout the night, which I believe most mostly caused by the slight head-whip he has at the end of his delivery.
This pitch is not going to be elevated, even though it comes from a 3/4 arm slot, because of the aforementioned movement. Batters struggled to square it up, with me only counting one fastball that the Lakewood hitters squared up all night. That pitch was out of the stretch with two strikes two outs, and he may have simply been half-way to the dugout. All in all this is most likely going to end up as an average offering.
The slider was the second best pitch he threw last night, and it was sitting 81-82 and was very slurvey. The pitch had a distinct two-plane break and was generating swing and misses throughout the entire game. He badly fooled many hitters with this pitch, and he was able to throw it in the strike-zone consistently, while hitting the majority of his spots. In my notes I put “sweeping” more than once, and that word is an apt description.
The change-up was far and away the most impressive pitch, as he had excellent arm-action on the pitch. He was able to locate it for strikes and it generated a ton of swing and misses, and when it was put in play It was not hit very hard. The pitch sat at 80 MPH, touching 81 once, giving it the desired 10 MPH difference between fastball and change-up. This pitch is a plus offering from what I saw.
|Overall||55||59 (60 adj)|
I am a bigger fan of Heaney’s than most, and I think he can be a good 3 starter at the major league level. He flashed 3 above average pitches and average command control that should improve as he matures. Heaney’s biggest strength is his lack of weaknesses, as it is difficult to find a true hole in his game. Although he does not like to make comparisons with minor league players, Greensboro pitching coach said the first name that comes to mind (and he truly was reluctant) is Mark Buehrle, which I can certainly see as a ceiling.