Coonrod is a well-built, athletic pitcher with a strong lower half. He has an easily repeatable delivery with a simple step, turn, leg-lift motion, with his hands sitting at his waist. He gets his arm out of the glove quickly into a short circle behind him and drives towards the plate out of a 3/4 arm slot. I’d like to see him gather a little more over the rubber before going downhill, as it seemed like he was rushing at times.
Overall it was not a good outing for Coonrod in my viewing June 5th. He struggled with command, regularly pitching from behind in the count and not getting on top of the ball, leaving it chest high. He battled through the outing with stuff that clearly wasn’t his best, giving up six earned runs, four hits (including three HRs) and two walks. It was only the second time all season that he gave up more than two earned runs in a start.
Coonrod worked with mainly two pitches, a fastball and a slider, showing just a few changeups during the outing. The plus fastball was 92-to-94 mph (T96), but was straight, and being picked up and hit hard. At it’s best, it can have some arm-side tail. The slider, sitting 82-to-86 mph, is a plus pitch, and was his best of the day, with tight and late lateral/downward break. He was able to locate it off the plate to the glove side for weak ground balls and some swing and miss, but his overall poor command during the day allowed hitters to sit on the fastball. The changeup was flat with no follow through, leaving it up in the zone at 76-to-80 mph. The Giants’ statisticians who were charting pitches mentioned that he had been developing a 12-to-6 shaped curveball, but he didn’t throw it during the game, or during warm-ups.
One bad outing does not define a pitcher, and even though Coonrod’s command was off in this viewing, he flashed two potential plus pitches. If he can continue to develop a third pitch and limit the walks (22 through 55 IP, though he’s been able to pitch around them thanks to a .208 BAA), I could see him as a #4-type starter, and that sounds like what San Francisco wants to do.
With the fastball/slider combination, and ability to dial the fastball up to 96 mph at times, Coonrod looks more like a backend bullpen guy who can come in and miss bats.