Gabriel Encinas, arguably the biggest prospect amongst the young Staten Island pitching staff took the mound yesterday and hurled two innings of work. I sat in the scout section last night and has my gun, notepad & stopwatch on hand and wasn't really scouting the Brooklyn hitters. I spent all of the first two innings paying attention to Encinas.
For me, one of the most substantial methods of finding a diamond in the rough at this level (in terms of pitchers) is repeating of deliveries. More often than not, velocity, command & stuff flow and improve as a pitchers gets better at repeating his delivery. In Encinas' case, he was still showing decent stuff whilst failing to repeat his delivery. He wasn't that inconsistent, but when he missed the target his front foot was about five or six inches closer to third base than it should have been.
The right-hander was constantly missing to left-handed batters away and that was because he planted his foot down much earlier than he should have. Additionally, doing so failed to give his slider the "oomph" that it had when he was maintaining his delivery properly. He only pitched two innings, so I most certainly couldn't have seen everything that Encinas had to offer, but I still got a nice read on him. The left foot issue was really the only thing that I found fault with.
He was throwing his fastball at 91-92 MPH with a slider at 83 MPH, a 12-6 curveball at 78 MPH and a change-up at 79-80 PH which he hardly threw. He doesn't have as good a feel for it as his other pitches, but it still had some fade and got several hitters chasing. a Penn League pitcher with the ability to throw four pitches is very valuable and definitely enhances his prospect status, and it could definitely drive Encinas up the charts should he continue to develop a better feel for them.
Next time out, I'll mostly be focusing on his delivery and whether or not he can repeat it consistently. Obviously, he has plenty of time to fix any issues that he has on the mound, but it's hard to imagine how much opposing hitters at this level will struggle against him if he continues to progress.