Mariners players react to Thyago Vieira's live batting practice session. The hard-throwing prospect has impressed early in camp.
PEORIA, Ariz. — Everybody loves a hard-throwing pitcher. Fans get excited and ooh and ahh when that radar gun hits 100 mph and higher. In a camp with several fireballers, Thyago Vieira and his vapor trail of a fastball stand out just a little more than the rest.
On Thursday, he threw a live batting practice session. He showed a blazing fastball and a solid slider and plenty of perplexed looks from the hitters that stood in there. His batting practice session drew a crowd of coaches and players around the back of the on-field cage to see the ball come out of his hand up close.
“I felt good,” he said. “It took me about three sliders to get the feel for the pitch.”
Vieira threw somewhere between 25-30 pitches to an assortment of different batters, including Kyle Seager.
“It’s fire,” Seager said. “It’s coming out hot. It gets on you quick.”
Veteran Tuffy Gosewisch caught Vieira for the first time this spring in the live batting practice session. Here’s his scouting report:
“Electric, in one word. It’s coming out firm and he’s got some sink and some run. It’s more run than like a down action. Slider early on, he was trying to get a feel for it. But once he got a feel for it, it was pretty tight. I think it need to stay short. The bigger (break) ones weren’t as sharp. The shorter it was, it was breaking late and sharp. Even his four seamer had some movement on it, but his two seamer had a lot of movement on it. It’s coming out firm. What I told him afterward, ‘Hey, your stuff is so good that I just want to set up down the middle and let it work’ because his stuff works go good. Once he starts pounding the bottom of the zone for strikes, I think maybe then we can move toward the corners. But the stuff is so good, why try to get behind in the count? He’s not a guy that needs to command edges. It’s just, ‘hey, here’s what I got. I’m coming right at you.'”
There was also this response from catcher Nevin Ashley on Twitter to a tweet about Vieira’s fastball in the bullpen as he warmed up.