Rule Five: Jose Mesa Jr.

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By: Luke Siler

I’ve watched some video on Jose Mesa Jr. and here is my scouting report.

Physical – Big boy, tall and thick throughout.

Delivery – Old school over the top delivery, uses every inch of his height to create downward plane. Fairly low effort delivery, repeats it well most of the time. Can lose release point on occasion.

Stuff – He throws a FB, SL, CH, and CU. The fastball is above average, sits 92-95 when starting, great plane, some armside life at times. The change-up (85-88) is his best pitch, his go to out pitch (along with his SL), and it is a plus pitch. It is thrown with great arm speed and tumbles, it is extremely deceptive with his over the top delivery. His breaking pitches come and go from outing to outing. His curveball is a 12-6 breaker that flashes average but is extremely inconsistent and he doesn’t throw it too much. It’s a below average pitch to me. He throws a slider that varies from a tight spinner with little movement at times to an interesting straight down chase pitch. I like it better when it’s thrown softer and the bottom falls out.  When it gets too firm, it just sits there and advanced hitters are going to take advantage of that.  It appears that he is working on his breaking balls and they aren’t just 2 separate pitches at this time, it’s more of a spectrum. The slider is fringe-average currently.

Control/Command- Besides losing his release point from infrequently from time to time, he has good control. His fastball command can be a bit spotty, that’s probably the most important thing he improves if he’s going to stick with the Orioles. He commands his secondaries better. He’s around the plate a lot but tends to nibble more than he needs to, he’s got legit stuff. He seems like the type who never wants to give up a hit.

Thoughts – I missed on this guy, in my defense he wasn’t on the list of rule 5 eligible players I went through. He’s legit, and I think he’s a starter. He has deception, and good stuff, and a good feel for pitching. He knows what he wants to throw, he shakes off his catchers more than anyone I’ve seen. Mesa was great in AA this year (SSS but my eyes back it up) and was stretched out to 80 pitches and 6 innings. He lost 2+ years due to TJS and that’s why he was available in the rule 5 draft.

Great pick, I love it, good work by the Orioles. I think you have to keep him, more upside than Cortes or Araujo, if he’s not ready to start, throw him in the bullpen and he should survive with his fastball/changeup combo.

Edited on 1/31/17 after further review.