Home Sports Bay Area flamethrowers: These rising Giants, A’s know how to top out the gun

Bay Area flamethrowers: These rising Giants, A’s know how to top out the gun

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			Bay Area flamethrowers: These rising Giants, A’s know how to top out the gun

A’s right-hander Frankie Montas throws more than 100 mph, but you’d never know that by watching his delivery. “It looks nice and easy, like he’s just playing catch,” manager Bob Melvin said. “And the ball is screaming in there.”

Montas is part of a new wave of flamethrowers on the Bay Area horizon. Here are other names for your radar (guns). Mph readings are from Baseball America unless otherwise noted.

GIANTS

MELVIN ADON

Fastball: 100 mph

Opening Day age: 22

Throws: Right

Height: 6-3 Weight: 195

2016 highlights: 5.48 ERA in 67.1 IP, with 55 K and 34 walks for short-season Northwest League.

Scouting report: Being developed as a starter but remains a work in progress. One scout told Josh Norris of Baseball America: “He’s got crazy velocity, but he’s all over the place.” Also throws a sharp slider.

RAY BLACK

Fastball: 104 mph*

Opening Day age: 26

Throws: Right

Height: 6-5 Weight: 225

2016 highlights: 4.88 ERA in 31.1 innings, with 53 strikeouts and 32 walks for Double-A Richmond.

Scouting report: With a pitch deemed the “most explosive fastball in the minors” by MLB.com, Black has been tearing through the lower minors. Over a 1-2-3 inning in the Fall Stars game last season, his velocity readings looked like this: 99, 98, 100, 99, 100, 101, 84, 99.

REYES MORONTA

Fastball: 100 mph

Opening Day age: 24

Throws: Right

Height: 6-0 Weight: 175

2016 highlights: 2.59 ERA in 59.0 innings with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks for San Jose

Scouting report: One scout from 2080baseball.com pegs Moronta this way: “Explodes out of hand, jumping on hitters extremely quickly. Can have late arm-side bore. Inconsistent release point and has trouble locating to glove side of the plate; mainly middle in.”

 

RODOLFO MARTINEZ

Fastball: 103 mph

Opening Day age: 22

Throws: Right

Height: 6-2 Weight: 178

2016 season: 0.88 ERA with 30.2 IP, 33 strikeouts, 10 walks at San Jose.

Scouting report: Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, when he was 19, the hard-thrower racked up 24 saves last season (21 at San Jose). Besides mph, his heater has movement. “I don’t think he’s ever quite sure what it’s going to do,” San Jose pitching coach Mike Couchee told MiLB.com. “It sinks. It cuts occasionally.”

A’S

FRANKIE MONTAS

Fastball: 102 mph

Opening Day age: 24

Throws: Right

Height: 6-2 Weight: 255

2016 highlights: Went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and .185 opponents batting average in five minor league starts with the A’s. Had a .214 opponents on-base percentage.

Notes: Rated the A’s No. 5 prospect by Baseball America following the 2016 season. One of three players acquired from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to Los Angeles. The A’s view Montas as a starter, but he’s open to anything.  “I’d like to do what I can to make the roster,” he said.

 

BOBBY WAHL

Fastball: 100 mph

Opening Day age: 25

Throws: Right

Height: 6-4 Weight: 233

2016 highlights: Pitched at three different levels in the A’s farm system last year and was a combined 1-1 with 14 saves, a 2.65 ERA and a .194 opponents batting average against.

Scouting report: Looks poised to make a contribution at the big league level in 2017 after posting a 1.18 WHIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings last season.

(* Giants media guide)

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