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Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby Cards07Champs » Fri May 08, 2009 2:06 pm

His upside is well beyond 140 Ks, there's just some question as to whether or not he wants to hit it.

Hochevar is an interesting case. He absolutely loves his sinker, and justifiably so. However, part of the reason Moore sent him to AAA is because he would lean on his sinker and forget about a very heavy, very hard 4-seamer that he has. He was instructed to work on building that 4-seamer into his arsenal. His 4 seamer on the back of his sinker is absolutely a strikeout pitch.

I'd say his results in MiLB certainly bear that out.

I think over the course of the season he's a guy that's easily capable of 7.25K/9. Ultimately he may even be better than that.

Will he actually reach it? Hard to say, you can't trust rookie pitchers for a reason. But with the stuff he has he can absolutely get his K's up to a very respectable level. If he were pitching in the NL, I'd be all over him. As an AL pitcher, I'm going to be a little more careful, though.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby StlSluggers » Fri May 08, 2009 5:42 pm

So what you're saying is that he's Jason Marquis?

:-P
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby J35J » Fri May 08, 2009 7:57 pm

Cards07Champs wrote:His upside is well beyond 140 Ks, there's just some question as to whether or not he wants to hit it.

Hochevar is an interesting case. He absolutely loves his sinker, and justifiably so. However, part of the reason Moore sent him to AAA is because he would lean on his sinker and forget about a very heavy, very hard 4-seamer that he has. He was instructed to work on building that 4-seamer into his arsenal. His 4 seamer on the back of his sinker is absolutely a strikeout pitch.

I'd say his results in MiLB certainly bear that out.

I think over the course of the season he's a guy that's easily capable of 7.25K/9. Ultimately he may even be better than that.

Will he actually reach it? Hard to say, you can't trust rookie pitchers for a reason. But with the stuff he has he can absolutely get his K's up to a very respectable level. If he were pitching in the NL, I'd be all over him. As an AL pitcher, I'm going to be a little more careful, though.


As much as I hope you're right I think you're being a bit optimistic. Brandon Webb has a career 7.2K/9 and that is in the NL....he's not as good as Webb and he's not in the NL. He is a groundball pitcher who should rely on contact, so naturally he'll likely give up a few too many hits and he won't K alot of guys. If he can be a 200IP / 3.75-4.10ERA / 1.25-1.35WHIP / 130-150K type of guy I would be happy with that. Could he do better than that a couple of times out of a 10+ year career, sure, but I'd be very happy if that was his year in year out type of production. And that line is pretty much the production of a Gallarraga, Jurrjens, Maholm, Floyd, Sonnanstine, Guthrie, etc type of guy....servicable but not something to fall in love with.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby RenPastana » Fri May 08, 2009 9:54 pm

So this guy was a #1 pick 2 yrs ago or a very early one but is not a top end of the rotation kind of pitcher?

I don't get it...
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby J35J » Fri May 08, 2009 11:37 pm

RenPastana wrote:So this guy was a #1 pick 2 yrs ago or a very early one but is not a top end of the rotation kind of pitcher?

I don't get it...


This was still the time period...actually inbetween time periods...where the Royals weren't really picking the best of the best and were more trying to get the best of the cheapest. This is what they did for like 10 years up until Moore got here....just grabbed who they could sign for cheap. Things have changed in that regard though...last year the Royals spent the most in the majors in the draft last year. Hochevar was selected right when Moore was coming in so they were really inbetween GMs and it wasn't exactly a smooth sailing ship at that time. But no, Hochevar has a very small chance of being an ace, IMHO.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby RenPastana » Sat May 09, 2009 2:41 am

J35J wrote:
RenPastana wrote:So this guy was a #1 pick 2 yrs ago or a very early one but is not a top end of the rotation kind of pitcher?

I don't get it...


This was still the time period...actually inbetween time periods...where the Royals weren't really picking the best of the best and were more trying to get the best of the cheapest. This is what they did for like 10 years up until Moore got here....just grabbed who they could sign for cheap. Things have changed in that regard though...last year the Royals spent the most in the majors in the draft last year. Hochevar was selected right when Moore was coming in so they were really inbetween GMs and it wasn't exactly a smooth sailing ship at that time. But no, Hochevar has a very small chance of being an ace, IMHO.


Thank you for the great explanation...it all makes sense now...believe it or not, last yr I went for Tampa over my Sox cuz I was tired of the big dogs always coming out on top...did I lose some loyalty points? Definitely? Was it worth? Hell yes!
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby Cards07Champs » Sat May 09, 2009 11:25 am

J35J wrote:
Cards07Champs wrote:His upside is well beyond 140 Ks, there's just some question as to whether or not he wants to hit it.

Hochevar is an interesting case. He absolutely loves his sinker, and justifiably so. However, part of the reason Moore sent him to AAA is because he would lean on his sinker and forget about a very heavy, very hard 4-seamer that he has. He was instructed to work on building that 4-seamer into his arsenal. His 4 seamer on the back of his sinker is absolutely a strikeout pitch.

I'd say his results in MiLB certainly bear that out.

I think over the course of the season he's a guy that's easily capable of 7.25K/9. Ultimately he may even be better than that.

Will he actually reach it? Hard to say, you can't trust rookie pitchers for a reason. But with the stuff he has he can absolutely get his K's up to a very respectable level. If he were pitching in the NL, I'd be all over him. As an AL pitcher, I'm going to be a little more careful, though.


As much as I hope you're right I think you're being a bit optimistic. Brandon Webb has a career 7.2K/9 and that is in the NL....he's not as good as Webb and he's not in the NL. He is a groundball pitcher who should rely on contact, so naturally he'll likely give up a few too many hits and he won't K alot of guys. If he can be a 200IP / 3.75-4.10ERA / 1.25-1.35WHIP / 130-150K type of guy I would be happy with that. Could he do better than that a couple of times out of a 10+ year career, sure, but I'd be very happy if that was his year in year out type of production. And that line is pretty much the production of a Gallarraga, Jurrjens, Maholm, Floyd, Sonnanstine, Guthrie, etc type of guy....servicable but not something to fall in love with.


I think Hochevar has a far better fastball than Webb and doesn't have as good a sinker as Webb. If he tries to get by doing the same thing as Webb, he'll get hit pretty hard. He needs to use that 4 seam fastball more and if he does he'll get more Ks with it. I think that's going to be the key to unlocking everything he's able to do.

Otherwise, yes, he's really just a glorfied Jason Marquis. He can't become a pure sinker pitcher, he needs to be a power guy that happens to have a plus sinker on top of it.

Like I said, there's no telling if he can actually get there. If he takes the easy way out and just pounds the zone with his sinker, he'll be Marquis. If, however, he's willing to work on using his 4 seamer to put guys away then I think he has a chance to be significantly better than that.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby Smoltzy9 » Sat May 09, 2009 1:31 pm

I was able to see him a few times during spring training. I thought he looked real good. Missed a lot of bats.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby reenum » Sat May 09, 2009 8:08 pm

A groundballer like Hochevar needs a good defense behind him to be successful. The Royals' infield is among the worst defensively in MLB. This will not end well.
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Re: Where's the love for Luke Hochevar?

Postby mac-unit » Sat May 09, 2009 8:24 pm

reenum wrote:A groundballer like Hochevar needs a good defense behind him to be successful. The Royals' infield is among the worst defensively in MLB. This will not end well.


They only have 10 infield errors. Aviles is their weak link in the infield and with the way he is batting he should be the guy sent down to bring Hochevar up.
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