Jeff Niemann & David Huff Scouting Report
Dude’s tall. 6’9 in-fact. He brings a downward plane fastball at about 94 mph. His slider impressed me, as it had sharp bite. He wasn’t afraid to go inside on batters and his slider sweeping in on the hands of left-handers was nasty. During this short start Jeff controlled the game outside of a tape measure HR to long-time Bison Ryan Mulhern. This led me to check Jeff’s HR total against this season and it isn’t pretty. In just under 55 combined milb and mlb IP he’s given up 11 HR. Last season he allowed 13 HR in 131 AAA IP. So something is amiss this season. The Rays are smart about playing the arbitration game, so I’d only expect to see Niemann in Tampa if the Rays lose someone to an injury or if Jeff begins to tear up the International League.
Drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2006 draft, Huff has rocketed through the Indians system, reaching AAA in his second full season of professional ball. Coming in I wasn’t sure what Huff would bring. I was expecting something along the lines of most minor league lefties, which is placing the fastball in the upper eighties and changing speeds. I was pleasantly surprised when David began ringing up 91, 92 mph on the Buffalo radar gun. He also featured a strong change that dropped off the table. His AA stats confirm his stuff, as he struck out 62 in 65.1 IP. This was against only 17 BB & 44 hits. David had some bad luck in this start, giving up a bloop single to start the game. The #3 hitter, Joel Guzman crushed a ball well over 400 feet for a two run dinger. Outside of that Huff pitched well, scattering two more hits and striking out a total of 4 in 3 IP