The Comp: Jo-Jo Reyes Vs. Matt Harrison
Jo-Jo Reyes and Matt Harrison aren't on the same staff anymore, but the two Braves lefthanders have plenty in common--at least in terms of stuff on the mound.Reyes, a second-round pick out of Riverside (Calif.) Community College in 2003, made his first Triple-A start in Richmond last weekend after going 7-1, 3.80 in 66 innings at Double-A Mississippi.The 22-year-old was impressive in his International League debut, allowing a run on four hits over six innings against Buffalo--one of the best hitting clubs in the IL.Reyes could be best described as thick-bodied at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and also throws an overhand curveball and changeup. Like most lefthanders, deception is key to his success.The same goes for Harrison, who went a round after Reyes in the 2003 draft. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, the 21-year-old is more physical than Reyes and throws on a steep, downhill plane.Harrison delivers his 89-92 mph fastball to both sides of the plate well, keeping it consistently down in the zone. He also throws an above-average curveball and plus changeup that he'll use in any count. Through 66 innings for the M-Braves, Harrison was 5-1, 3.53.We caught up with a National League scout to provide us with a breakdown of the pros and cons of both of the Braves lefthanders:
"Reyes will go get you velocity a little bit more," the scout said. "I think they're both pitchability guys.
"I think Reyes will have some blowup games. He'll start to get in that overthrow mentality just a little bit and then he'll get out of it. He's not going to string together three or four losses. He's just going to blow up every once in a while.
"He's just going to be susceptible to that every now and then because he still gets in that mode where he wants to blow everybody away. When he does that, he flies open in his delivery and his stuff starts elevating. He becomes very hittable when that happens.
"And that's the main difference, because Harrison just does such a much better job of staying down in the zone. I think Harrison's like (Jeff) Francis, just Steady Eddie and down in the zone and changes speeds and if it's 88 (mph) or 92 (mph) I don't care.
"It's down with some life and he'll change it up. His breaking ball needs some work, but guys are going to be surprised when he throws it like a curveball and guys are going to be surprised when he throws it and it only has a short, little break and he'll be fine. One looks like a curveball and one looks like a slider.
"Reyes' stuff is better overall. Harrison just keeps the ball down--just down. Francis did the same thing for me, just down, down, down; knees, knees, knees, away, away, away and then boom--in. I think Harrison's a better athlete than people give him credit for. But both of them are pretty good."