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What did Ben Sheets do to take a huge step forward

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What did Ben Sheets do to take a huge step forward

Postby warrick95 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:24 am

last year? I don't remember exactly what happened. From a statistical standpoint, I know he severely cut down on his walks, K'd a good deal, etc. I'm asking those that saw him pitch. I heard reports that he changed his delivery, allowing him to throw for a higher velocity and also improved his top to bottom curve to make it even harder to hit?

Just curious. Anyway, I've been drafting him in the 4th round consistently this season...as I feel that he's just as good value as say, Schilling in the late 2nd/early 3rd, or perhaps Oswalt a round ahead. I don't think he's a one year wonder, but you really never know.

Also, is anybody else worried about his workload? He's pitched well above 200 IP for three years in a row. A particular young pitcher I'm comparing him to this year is Josh Beckett. Could it finally be Josh Beckett's year? The year that I don't draft him in most of my leagues...all he really needs to do is get his blisters sorted out. I think the two players' abilities are rather similar.
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Postby Scooter1027 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:52 am

Basically 3 things happened:

1. He added 2-3 mph to his fastball.

2. After working and developing his curve for several years, it finally really took off last year. It became his out pitch, whereas in past years hitters passed on it and sat on the fastball.

3. Finally, he developed a somewhat respectable changeup that he was no longer afraid to throw. Having that 3rd pitch (he was previously all fastball/curveball) really changed the dynamics for hitters facing him.

Another factor to consider was the addition of a catcher that called a good game. Moeller did great things for both Sheets and Davis. It remains to be seen what role he'll play this year, but i think Damian Miller is pretty well known as a good game caller/defensive catcher as well.
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Postby warrick95 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:12 am

Thanks. I heard that he tweaked his delivery so that his fastball appeared even faster than it was in the past. The addition of a quality third pitch, I think, would be the key, though. It makes hitters worry about that extra possibility.

Miller caught the Big Three last year...CHC's Prior, Wood, Zambrano, etc. in 2003, and Arizona in 2002. I'd say that that's a damn nice resume. Hopefully it was the team wanting to go to Miller and not vice versa that resulted in those pairings.
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Postby LBJackal » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:15 am

He worked out his upper body in the off-season, which is something he hadn't done before. He was much stronger and said he was then able to throw pitches past hitters when before he worked out his upper body those same pitches would have led to contact. Basically it all clicked in one season. He's no fluke, and 4th round is great value. I'd grab him in the second round depending on who has already been taken.
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Postby ravenmad22 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:54 am

He also changed his arm slot on the fastball, giving it a different look and making the ball harder to see coming out of his hand. I consider him elite on the level of a schmidt, pedro, schilling or oswalt, just below RJ and Santana.
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Postby Phatferd » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:57 am

Scooter1027 wrote:Basically 3 things happened:

1. He added 2-3 mph to his fastball.

2. After working and developing his curve for several years, it finally really took off last year. It became his out pitch, whereas in past years hitters passed on it and sat on the fastball.

3. Finally, he developed a somewhat respectable changeup that he was no longer afraid to throw. Having that 3rd pitch (he was previously all fastball/curveball) really changed the dynamics for hitters facing him.

Another factor to consider was the addition of a catcher that called a good game. Moeller did great things for both Sheets and Davis. It remains to be seen what role he'll play this year, but i think Damian Miller is pretty well known as a good game caller/defensive catcher as well.


Moeller's brother was my HS teacher and I went back the other day to shoot the breeze with him and he told me his brother will be Sheets' personal catcher.

It seems like he has a good rep for calling games. RJ and Schilling when they were in AZ asked Brenly to make him their personal catchers. Not too bad of company asking you to catch for them.
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Postby Scooter1027 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:57 pm

Phatferd wrote:
Scooter1027 wrote:Basically 3 things happened:

1. He added 2-3 mph to his fastball.

2. After working and developing his curve for several years, it finally really took off last year. It became his out pitch, whereas in past years hitters passed on it and sat on the fastball.

3. Finally, he developed a somewhat respectable changeup that he was no longer afraid to throw. Having that 3rd pitch (he was previously all fastball/curveball) really changed the dynamics for hitters facing him.

Another factor to consider was the addition of a catcher that called a good game. Moeller did great things for both Sheets and Davis. It remains to be seen what role he'll play this year, but i think Damian Miller is pretty well known as a good game caller/defensive catcher as well.


Moeller's brother was my HS teacher and I went back the other day to shoot the breeze with him and he told me his brother will be Sheets' personal catcher.

It seems like he has a good rep for calling games. RJ and Schilling when they were in AZ asked Brenly to make him their personal catchers. Not too bad of company asking you to catch for them.


Really? I hadn't heard this at all yet. Actually, I think it would be better if he were Davis' personal catcher. I think Sheets will be dominant whether he throws to Moeller or Miller. However, it's critical for the team's success that Davis repeats last year, and I wouldn't want to tinker with what worked. I have just a little less faith in Doug then Ben.
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Postby Phatferd » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:31 pm

Well it's not so much who he would be better suited to catch. Pitchers are high maintenence and if Ben feels most comfortable with a particular guy, he wants that guy. Whatever makes him happy makes the coaches happy.
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Postby Yoda » Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:01 pm

Ben Sheets does two things that all young pitchers with good fastball/curveball should do. Get ahead of hitters and throw strikes. If you look at his K rate and his BB rate over the last 4 seasons, he's improved every single year.

I watched about 75% of his starts in 04 and he stuck with his fastball/curveball combination for the most part. He always seemed like he was ahead of the hitters and used hammer or the high heater to get them out.

If he is at full strength and he continues to get ahead of hitters, I don't see how he won't be successful. I'm hoping Eaton turns into a poor man's Sheets this year.
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Postby Scooter1027 » Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:04 pm

Well, that was undoubtedly the biggest factor. His command improved to near Brad Radke levels, helping him get ahead of hitters so they'd chase the curve in the dirt and the heater up out of the zone.
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