RC reports on Daniel Bard...

Daniel Bard is congratulated by teammates after his first victory of the 2006 season.

  • Daniel Bard

    On Sunday afternoon, Daniel Bard took the first step toward putting his lackluster 2005 effort behind him, picking up a victory against Seton Hall. Bard opened the season by going seven strong innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits while striking out five and walking none. RC kept a pitch count for Bard's performance, and 60 of the 81 pitches he threw on the afternoon went for strikes. In fact, Bard went to a three-ball count only once, before retiring the batter on a soft liner to the first baseman.

    For the most part, Bard kept the ball down while working to both sides of the plate, retiring more than twice as many batters on ground balls than fly balls. His mechanics looked pretty flawless, as his delivery is smooth and efficient. He's got a high (but not obnoxious) leg kick, and he gets good drive toward the plate with his legs.

    His primary breaking ball is a hard slurve which he throws from the same arm slot as his fastball (The velocity and delivery is indicative of a slider, but the break is similar to a curve, and RC just isn't certain what he calls it. Actually, he could have been throwing both a curve and a slider, but we didn't note any real variation in velocity. After reviewing our video again, it looks as though he may have mixed in a slower curveball that we missed during the game. In fact, we think the third pitch in the video we've provided may have been such a curve.). It has a late sharp break, and he was throwing it at 81-82 mph. We saw him use it on both sides of the plate, back-dooring lefties and moving it in and out on righties. It's definitely a plus pitch, but like Andrew Miller's slider, we're curious how much effect the raised seams on the ACC balls have on his breaking ball(s).

    Bard's fastball is a very good pitch as well. We saw several with nice tailing action, and he was throwing 92-93 mph all afternoon. In the sixth inning, we saw him hit 94 a couple times, which was the fastest we saw from him, although we didn't have access to a radar gun for his entire outing.

    Bard's other pitch is his changeup, which he didn't seem to use much in the game. It has the tailing movement of a circle change, and we saw him leave it up a few times, once for an RBI triple (394 ft. shot to dead center) off the bat of Seton Hall's best player, Dan McDonald. In fact, McDonald had Bard's number all afternoon, lacing a double to left center in addition to the triple, and scoring two of the three runs against Bard while knocking in the other. Other than McDonald, Bard had a very easy time with the weak Seton Hall lineup.

    RC really likes Bard -- he showed us easy velocity on his fastball in combination with a very nice breaking ball. He's got a good pitcher's build, and he's very athletic. He'll need to add another quality pitch to become a frontline starter, but if he makes some strides with his changeup, he should have everything he needs to do very well as a professional pitcher.

    For more photos of Bard, click here, here, here, and here.

  • We are also pleased to announce that we're ready to unveil our newest feature: RC's Top 10 College Prospect Tracker. Click on the hyperlink or the box on our sidebar to view the page. RC Correspondent Chris Ray has promised to update the stats frequently, so you'll be able to view the progress of the nation's best collegiate talent right here on RC throughout the season.

    Our Top 10 list is below. RC has ranked these players as being the most likely to draw serious attention from the Royals for the first overall selection in the June draft. We believe the Royals will most likely select a pitcher or outfielder, but players like Matt LaPorta, Evan Longoria, and Wes Hodges may prove, with great seasons, to be too good to pass up. There are a few high school players who are likely to draw attention as well, but access to their stats is very limited, so we've decided to focus solely on college players.

    1) Andrew Miller - LHP - University of North Carolina
    2) Max Scherzer - RHP - University of Missouri
    3) Ian Kennedy - RHP - University of Southern California
    4) Drew Stubbs - OF - University of Texas
    5) Evan Longoria - 3B/SS - Long Beach State University
    6) Daniel Bard - RHP - University of North Carolina
    7) Matt LaPorta - 1B - University of Florida
    8) Wes Hodges - 3B - Georgia Tech
    9) Dallas Buck - RHP - Oregon State University
    10) Joba Chamberlain - RHP - University of Nebraska

    Be sure to check out our College Prospect Tracker page frequently for statistics and updates.


    At 2/23/2006 4:36 AM, Blogger natepurcell said...

    anything with high school prospects?

    At 2/23/2006 5:05 AM, Blogger Dave said...

    Unfortunately, information about high school players is very limited -- most high schools don't provide stats, so everything we know about HS players comes from the few sources, like Baseball America, that cover high school baseball.

    The Royals may very well have their eyes on a few HS players for the first overall pick, but we just don't have the resources to cover their progress, nor do we have any idea who the Royals might be looking at.

    Also, looking at the available talent, this figures to be a draft particularly rich in collegiate pitching talent, so the odds are probably pretty good that the Royals select one of the ten players we've ranked.

    In fact, if I had to bet, I think it's probably a race right now between Miller and Scherzer. Kennedy could be a factor as well, but he's already being advised by Scott Boras, and he's already made comments publicly that indicate he'd probably be willing to hold out for $$$. Stubbs is certainly the leading position player candidate right now, so he also remains a strong possibility, particularly if Scherzer and Miller also look to take a hard line stance.

    The guys listed 5-10 are probably long shots right now (especially LaPorta, because of his position), but like I said, they have the potential to garner more consideration with great seasons. Longoria, for instance, is off to a fantastic start, and if he keeps it up, he could overtake Stubbs as the top position player prospect.

    At 2/23/2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

    Joba (yes, that's pronounced "Jabba") Chamberlain has Cult Hero written all over him.

    At 2/23/2006 1:07 PM, Blogger natepurcell said...

    i think scherzer is being advised by boras as well.

    At 2/23/2006 1:32 PM, Blogger Dave said...

    I've heard Boras' name associated with both Miller and Scherzer, but Kennedy is the only one I know of who has actually committed to him. It could be that Scherzer has already done so as well, but I haven't read anything other than rumors about that. I sure hope not.

    At 2/23/2006 2:15 PM, Blogger ksuim4u said...

    This is a bit crazy. I have umpired kid's baseball for 10+ years, and centered out of Manhattan, KS. However, I called very few games there, choosing instead the greener (as in money) pastures of Lincoln & Omaha, NE, Kansas City, and other places. I actually umpired in games that Joba Chambelain played in (how can you forget that name?) and now am in Corvallis OR. Chances are good I can get out and watch Dallas Buck play sometime. I don't have the scouting skills that you do, but I'd be happy to help in any way possible. I really love this site!


    At 2/24/2006 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think it's Scherzer or Miller, maybe Bard. I would be shocked if the Royals take a H.S. player #1 overall. They need pitching, and that's just way too risky.

    As is taking Stubbs #1 overall. BA has a snipet today where a couple Scouting Directors basically said they thought he's never hit before, and that he'd never ever hit in the big leagues.

    At 2/24/2006 1:49 AM, Blogger Dave said...

    I'm very intrigued by Longoria, and I just checked out that column you mentioned, which also said that Longoria has already overtaken Stubbs on most draft boards as the overall best position player prospect.

    The coolest thing about Longoria is that he has experience at every infield position. He even played 2B in the Cape Cod League, where he reportedly did very well.

    Still, the only reason I still have Stubbs in front of Longoria is due to position. There just aren't any other outfielders out there right now who figure to profile as Top 10 picks, let alone #1 overall. And the Royals may figure they're in good shape in the middle infield, with guys like Bianchi, Sanchez, and McConnell coming up behind Murphy, Gotay, and Blanco.

    At 2/24/2006 2:46 PM, Blogger Dave said...

    jw, shoot me an e-mail. I'd love for you to take a look at Dallas Buck for us.

    At 2/24/2006 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good work. I'm growing to be a Daniel Bard supporter.

    Royals Mania, checking in.

    At 2/25/2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

    I really like Scherzer, I don't think KC could blow it if they take him or Miller with that pick.

    At 2/26/2006 12:36 AM, Anonymous Greg Slaten said...

    After looking at both of the videos, Miller & Bard, it appears to me that both of those guys have somewhat the same pitching motion. That would make sense since they are on the same team with the same pitching coach. Anyway, is it just me or do both of these guys seem to not get much of a follow through? Bard does seem to get a little bit more motion with his pitching arm going down and through. I don't know, it just seems to me that they both don't bend over enough. When I was in college, our coaches had the pitchers work on follow through drills where they would go through the pitching motion and had to pick up a ball off the ground with their pitching hand at the end of the follow through. This was good for getting the pitchers accustomed to following through more which helped keep the ball lower in the strike zone. It also helped to get a little bit more of the body into the pitch plus take a little bit of strain off the pitcher's arm, shoulder and elbow. I know not every pitcher can be like Tom Seaver, but you would think more would try to be like him.

    At 2/26/2006 7:44 PM, Anonymous bryan said...

    As long as the guy doesn't have the same mindset as Greinke

    At 3/02/2006 2:24 PM, Blogger Max said...

    Kyle Drabek (Doug's kid) is a high schooler that is expected to go in the top 10.

    Evan Longoria, eh? Any chance he's related to that hottie Eva Longoria?????


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