Home Baseball Looking at what’s ailing Gavin Stone in 2023 – Dodgers Digest

Looking at what’s ailing Gavin Stone in 2023 – Dodgers Digest

Looking at what’s ailing Gavin Stone in 2023 – Dodgers Digest


Gavin Stone had an distinctive 2022 season. The then 23-year-old hit three totally different stops within the Dodger farm system (Excessive-A, Double-A, and Triple-A), and the 6’1 righty dominated right through. He led all certified minor leaguers at Low-A and better in each ERA and FIP (1.48 and a pair of.44, respectively), whereas racking up 168 Ks and simply 44 BBs in 121.2 IP. By the point the offseason prospect lists have been launched, Stone went from being in no person’s high 10 rankings within the Dodger system to a consensus high 6 prospect, in addition to a consensus high 100 prospect within the recreation. Expectations for 2023 have been, justifiably, sky-high.

A little bit over two months into the 2023 season, it has been a battle for the now 24-year-old, as an ERA of 5.08 with Oklahoma Metropolis and 14.40 with the Dodgers will attest.

So, what offers? What could possibly be dragging down a pitcher who was so not too long ago dominant to this diploma? Let’s have a look.


To begin with, I’d like to take a look at a part of what made Gavin Stone so good in 2022. One of many greatest standout features to me was consistency with what’s a fairly athletic supply. Stone leveraged his 6’1, practically 200 lbs body to common 95+ in his late-season stint with Oklahoma Metropolis, getting his decrease half well-involved with a stable hip hinge that helps preserve his launch level on the decrease aspect (within the vary of 5’7). That led into good hip to shoulder separation, which helped him speed up by means of the ball.

Throughout the assorted prospect retailers, you’ll discover that whereas no person is mistaking him for Greg Maddux, his command grades constantly fell within the barely beneath common (45) to barely plus vary (55). Each FanGraphs and Keith Regulation have been the bottom on him at current (45), however each supplied that he repeats his supply effectively sufficient to be common to barely plus sooner or later.

Right here’s what the 2020 fifth spherical decide seemed like with Oklahoma Metropolis final September. From left to proper, it’s fastball/changeup/slider, full pace, after which slowed down, with two pauses:

The primary pause is true at separation, to show the similarity in timing, posture, head stage relative to the padding, in addition to the place of his decrease half (and right here’s a nonetheless beneath simply to drive the purpose dwelling). Whereas there are minute variations, he’s principally in lock step, pitch sort to pitch sort.

If you’re constant within the first a part of your supply, the higher your odds are of continuous to be constant all all through, because the second pause denotes:

Once more, when you can pedant your approach by means of this and the slider launch certainly a body behind, finally it’s effectively inside the realm of constant from pitch to pitch.


And now, on to 2023, the place issues are rather less nice. Identical deal, FB/CH/SL, full pace, after which slowed down with two pauses:

The primary pause is once more proper at separation (for the fastball, no less than), to show the shortage of similarity in timing, posture, head stage relative to the padding, in addition to the place of his decrease half. Stone could be very clearly getting his supply going a lot sooner along with his changeup (and to a lesser diploma with the slider), sinking deep into his hip hinge effectively forward of when he does on his fastball, as evidenced by the peak of his head. His leg swing is simply getting underway along with his secondaries, with the left foot angled up because it begins to come back by means of, once more, forward of the place he’s with the fastball.

As earlier than, right here’s a nonetheless so you’ll be able to examine all of those simply:

What adopted was the other of what we noticed in 2022 — in case you are inconsistent with the primary a part of your supply, the chance of discovering consistency at launch is fairly low. Actually, the farther down the chain you go, the extra you deviate from pitch to pitch:

The changeup is already out, the slider is about two frames from being at launch, and the fastball is effectively, effectively behind.

There may be one different mechanical challenge that could possibly be negatively influence command — although it’s tough to inform 100% from this angle, Stone will get seems to be touchdown very heel-first on his changeup, and even rotating on the heel it a bit, whereas he seems to land heel-first however continues to get the ball of his foot down with out heel rotation on his different two pitches. The previous can halt momentum and negatively influence command as a consequence of a jarring touchdown, and the latter is a extra athletic touchdown, higher positioning the athlete to get into a robust lead leg block, which might help to efficiently achieve leverage and effectively generate extra oomph by means of an environment friendly switch of momentum. If this setup and switch additionally adjustments pitch to pitch, that’s extra added variance to additional disrupt the chain.


Now that we’ve gone by means of all that, right here’s what ’22 and ’23 seem like, all synced up. ’22 on high, ’23 on the underside:

In ’23, Stone seems to be lagging just a bit with the fastball, however the changeup is effectively forward of the gang. As talked about above, he aggressively will get into his decrease half sooner, and every thing takes off from there. Overlook about making an attempt to throw a roughly 3″ object constantly right into a roughly 3″ gap that’s 60’6″ away from you — in case you are inconsistent like this, pitch to pitch, simply dividing the plate into halves might be fairly difficult.


The upshot is that every one of that is fixable. Heck, his launch factors for his varied pitches, whereas roughly an inch decrease than they have been in 2022, have a equally tight grouping regardless of the timing points. His varied spin axes are inside 6 minutes of the place they stood in 2022 as effectively. He’s like, proper there.

From my very snug, dork-ass, baseball command heart, it’s simple for me to say “hey, dude, repair that timing factor”. The fact is, timing and really feel might be a number of the harder issues to re-align and regain. If the timing has been off for a minute, then altering issues can really feel awkward, and awkward is tough to belief, and belief points break down relationships, even (particularly) these between a ballplayer and a 3″ pearl.

I feel Gavin Stone is lots athletically gifted sufficient to dial this again in finally, and the ceiling of a 2/3 starter is unbroken. I don’t know when that may occur, and the timing of this challenge is unlucky with the large membership having solely 4 healthy-ish beginning pitchers in the meanwhile. So clearly, the earlier he will get locked again in, the higher.



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