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Brandon Young 2024


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High praise from Eric Longenhagen, who put him in Others who earned Consideration on his MLB-wide Top 100 mid-May update published today at Fangraphs.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/a-top-100-prospects-update/

Holliday 1, Basallo 9, Mayo 22, Kjerstad 26, Povich 92 the other Orioles placements.

Brandon Young, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

 

Young has had a little velocity bump and has been utterly dominant at Double-A Bowie. His fastball has always had big vertical break, but now it’s more often 93-94 mph, up from 91-92. He has a well-defined four-pitch mix and plus command, though only his changeup is generating a plus rate of swing-and-miss and Young locates that pitch in the zone much more often than is typical of a big league pitcher. He’s a near-ready starter but let’s see him sustain the velo bump all year before considering him a mid-rotation prospect.

 

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Wow. “Near-ready starter” and consideration in the top 100 based on a breakout in 17.1 IP in AA as a 25 year old?

I’d love to see it obviously, but that seems really going out on a limb. Young hasn’t pitched nearly enough in his whole professional career to suggest he can hold up under a full SP workload, or sustain this velo bump. I’m excited for Young and this only reinforces my thought that the Orioles might have something here, but my hopes are still just for a healthy season and maybe he becomes a RP option in 2025. 

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1 hour ago, CaptainRedbeard said:

Wow. “Near-ready starter” and consideration in the top 100 based on a breakout in 17.1 IP in AA as a 25 year old?

I’d love to see it obviously, but that seems really going out on a limb. Young hasn’t pitched nearly enough in his whole professional career to suggest he can hold up under a full SP workload, or sustain this velo bump. I’m excited for Young and this only reinforces my thought that the Orioles might have something here, but my hopes are still just for a healthy season and maybe he becomes a RP option in 2025. 

I hear you. He's 6'6" and 215. As he gets healthy does he gain some velocity? I think there might be more in the tank. But I agree the durability is an issue worth watching.

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Not really his fault that he’s 25 in AA, with the TJ surgery.  He’s old for the level but not in terms of MiL experience.  It’s not like he’s been stuck at a level for non-injury reasons.  My guess is the O’s will push him to AAA in a month or two.  

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Line today: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K. No homers, so must have clustered all of those baserunners together to end up with that many runs allowed. 

ERA now 4.09 but today’s line won’t put a dent in his stellar FIP/xFIP, which both support Longenhagen’s “consideration for the top 100” assessment. He’s certainly on promotion watch soon. 

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Longenhagen is the same guy who had Cowser as our #12 prospect last year and said Westburg was a fringy defender who would need a late inning defensive replacement.   I hope he’s right this time.

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3 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

Longenhagen is the same guy who had Cowser as our #12 prospect last year and said Westburg was a fringy defender who would need a late inning defensive replacement.   I hope he’s right this time.

He definitely goes out on a limb more than others, and I’ll never trust his opinion on a player’s defense after Westburg (and then doubling down in a chat this past winter even after Westburg’s rookie year). So when he tanks a guy’s review for defensive reasons or says something like Jud Fabian doesn’t have CF defense (when literally everyone else does), that means nothing to me. 

However, if he’s one of the first to highlight Young and he does end up getting more recognition down the line, he’ll deserve some credit.

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19 hours ago, CaptainRedbeard said:

He definitely goes out on a limb more than others, and I’ll never trust his opinion on a player’s defense after Westburg (and then doubling down in a chat this past winter even after Westburg’s rookie year). So when he tanks a guy’s review for defensive reasons or says something like Jud Fabian doesn’t have CF defense (when literally everyone else does), that means nothing to me. 

However, if he’s one of the first to highlight Young and he does end up getting more recognition down the line, he’ll deserve some credit.

Ya know, I just read his write up and it’s almost embarrassing.  He seems to have no clue that Basallo wasn’t catching because of the stress fracture in his elbow.   
 

“He looks good behind the plate (his receiving has improved, and his arm is still great), but he is more often playing first base and DH’ing than he is catching. Especially with his offense slowing down somewhat, I think it makes sense for the Orioles to revisit focus on the catching position.”

Then he calls Brandon Young “utterly dominant” so far this year.   Out of 6 appearances at the time of the article, Young had two appearances which could be described as dominant.  2 of 6.   Each of those two consisted of 3 innings.  
 

 

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18 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

Ya know, I just read his write up and it’s almost embarrassing.  He seems to have no clue that Basallo wasn’t catching because of the stress fracture in his elbow.   
 

“He looks good behind the plate (his receiving has improved, and his arm is still great), but he is more often playing first base and DH’ing than he is catching. Especially with his offense slowing down somewhat, I think it makes sense for the Orioles to revisit focus on the catching position.”

Then he calls Brandon Young “utterly dominant” so far this year.   Out of 6 appearances at the time of the article, Young had two appearances which could be described as dominant.  2 of 6.   Each of those two consisted of 3 innings.  
 

 

I think it’s fair to say Young has been utterly dominant based on his K/BB/HR rates producing a 1.15 FIP and 1.54 xFIP. But that’s only if you’re only looking at those things rather than the actual ERA results, which have definitely not been dominant. 

The Basallo bit was embarrassing and clearly he just didn’t know about the injury.

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27 minutes ago, CaptainRedbeard said:

I think it’s fair to say Young has been utterly dominant based on his K/BB/HR rates producing a 1.15 FIP and 1.54 xFIP. But that’s only if you’re only looking at those things rather than the actual ERA results, which have definitely not been dominant. 

The Basallo bit was embarrassing and clearly he just didn’t know about the injury.

One thing I have to add on Young.   That analysis was based on about 17 IP.   

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Well as an early guy on Young pre-TJ, I'm glad to see him back and throwing well. I still need to see more swing and miss on the breaking balls but the change can be a real weapon. I have him at the bottom of my top 30 right now because I just need to see more on the breaking ball, see him getting deeper into games, and staying healthy over 120 innings or so.

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We’ll get his Statcast data now!

Saw this excellent write up on Twitter. Makes me even more convinced that the injury question is really the main thing that could hold him back, especially with that funky delivery. And sounds like there could even be a bit more unlock to find a better weapon against righties.

Total Stuff+: 107 | Fastball: 115 | Changeup: 108 | Slider: 96 | Curveball: 100

Overall: Weird combo of height, release and vertical break; great underlying swing-miss

Young has dominated Double-A Bowie through 5 starts, posting a 42% strikeout with just a 4% walk rate. The success stems from a plus four-seam fastball. It’s averaging 93 mph with 20” vertical break and 5” arm-side from a 6.2’ release. His release is higher than the average of 5.8’, but even once you adjust for that release, he’s still carrying the ball ~2” more than average. In trying to figure out how that shape could be chewing up hitters to the tune of a 41% swing-miss rate, almost double that of the usual fastball, I stumbled on his height. Young is 6-foot-6, which I did not expect based on the pitch characteristics presented above. The majority of guys touching 20” vertical from a 6.2’ release (like Jose Urquidy and Trevor Richards) are doing so with higher arm angles from shorter frames. Young is somehow able to do so from a larger frame. He falls off hard towards the first base side after foot plant, which helps to get his shoulder line lower so he can sustain a higher release. This and his extension prevent him from having a 6.6’+ release, an area where it would make his vertical break less impactful. Hitter performance is also telling us it’s a weird look.

His best secondary is a changeup which he’s putting in the zone at a 63% clip. This is very high for a changeup (40% is average). Despite the high zone rate, he’s still generating strong swing-miss and limiting contact quality. His slider grades below average due to the 84 mph velocity it averages without outlier sweep or drop. The pitch looks like the sliders of Dean Kremer and Grayson Rodriguez in shape, just slower (~5” sweep, ~5” vertical break). It has an xwOBA above .420, which is high for a slider. I imagine it’s a righty weapon for him, but still a work in progress based on the results. It’s also the only thing in his mix that’s not in zone over 40%. Cueing this shape harder is common practice in orgs. If it sacrifices drop to push into the 86-87 mph range, where movement becomes less important for a pitch’s success from a Stuff+ perspective, it would be worth it.

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So if he continues cruising in Norfolk, do we resist the temptation to bring him up this year to help the bullpen? With his plus command and whiff %’s he’d could be a huge asset. But those things also scream future starter…

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46 minutes ago, joelala said:

So if he continues cruising in Norfolk, do we resist the temptation to bring him up this year to help the bullpen? With his plus command and whiff %’s he’d could be a huge asset. But those things also scream future starter…

Definitely future starter, but I’m assuming his workload is going to be closely monitored this year given his past injuries. So he could get shifted to a RP at the end of this year for workload considerations, maybe even earlier than Povich and McDermott.

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