Notes on Corey Black

Corey Black is headed to the Chicago Cubs as the lone prospect in the deal that brings Alfonso Soriano back to the New York Yankees. I saw Black in what might have been his worst outing of the season on July 18 against the Jupiter Hammerheads. The soon-to-be 22-year-old allowed seven hits and walked four in just two innings of work.

I usually wait until a pitcher settles in before capturing video, and that never happened for Black. Unfortunately, he didn’t come out for the third inning, and I didn’t get any video of him. I also usually spend the first couple innings watching a pitcher’s stuff, focusing on the movement of the pitches. That usually lays a solid foundation for me to recognize mechanical differences from one pitch type to another.

So I don’t have a lot to say about Black’s mechanics, and I saw only two innings of his work. It’d be unfair of me to judge him based solely on those two innings, but I can offer up some notes on the stuff.

Black used two fastballs. His four-seamer worked in the 92-94 range and topped out at 95. His two-seamer was a plus pitch, sitting 91-92 with excellent late sink and cut. He seemed to rely on the four-seamer a little bit too much for my taste, but that could be part of his developmental plan. Over the long haul, he could work off of the two-seamer, and bust out the four-seamer after one of his secondary offerings.

Black threw a curveball, a changeup, and a slider. The curveball showed good shape, but got a little loopy as it came in in the 77-79 range. Black’s slider was also promising, working in the 85-88 range. The slider didn’t have a ton of movement, but it moved very late, and it was tough to pick up out of the hand. The cambio sat 87-88, but he only used the pitch a handful of times in my limited look.

It’s tough to grade out a guy based on a look like this, but Black has a chance for an excellent arsenal. He should have two plus fastballs as he establishes more command of the offerings, and the curveball has plus potential. The slider could also become an above-average pitch.

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