Gravley Report: Orioles Brenan Hanifee

It wasn’t my first look at the Frederick Keys this season, as I’ve seen DL Hall and Cody Sedlock pitch in previous games, but it was my first look at Brenan Hanifee.

Just 21, Hanifee gets his first shot at High-A after spending the last two seasons at Class A Short Season (Delmarva) and Class A (Aberdeen).

Hanifee was working his fastball throughout the game, hitting 92-94 on the stadium gun and worked his off-speed pitches extremely well against Salem. Mainly working his slider when he got in a two-strike count:

Hanifee tossed six innings while striking out six in Keys 1-0 loss to Salem in game one of the doubleheader. He finished game with 94 pitches, 59 strikes. Of the six strikeouts, three came off of the slider.

His slider was moving and sitting at 85-88 all night with a sharp downhill bite running away from right-handed hitters.

Here’s the scouting report from 2080 Baseball Ryan Sullivan when Hanifee was with Delmarva in 2018.

“The fastball sits 89-to-92 mph with above-average armside run that sinks down in the zone. Hanifee’s 84-to-87 mph slider is a hard cut-type pitch with sharp bite but limited depth. It does the job, but doesn’t miss many bats. His fastball and slider are the two primary pitches, but he will mix a mid-80s changeup with enough sell and fade action to project an average pitch with more development.”

The changeup was primarily thrown to get to a two-strike count. After that, it was a slider mixed in with his fastball.

Hanifee barely showed emotion on the mound, regardless of the situation. His composure on the mound is reminiscent of a veteran big leaguer.

The six strikeouts against Salem was a season-high and brings his season total to 37.

By the numbers:

  • Reliever: 1 game, 3 K
  • Starter: 11 games, (4-5, 3.98), 34 K
  • Vs Left: 22 K
  • Vs Right: 15 K
  • Home: 6 games, (2-2, 3.62), 15 K
  • Away: 6 games, (2-4, 4.66), 22 K

In April, Hanifee posted a 2-2 record while compiling 14 strikeouts. He posted a 1-2 record in May and had 13 strikeouts. So far in June he is 1-2 with 10 strikeouts. Likely to get one or two more starts before July, he could reach 15 strikeouts for the month, which could raise his strikeout count to 42 on the season.

Although it seems promising for Hanifee to reach that point, a call up to Double-A probably won’t happen this season. It appears as if the O’s are taking their time with Hanifee. However, he could be starting at Double-A next season, depending on how he finishes developing this year.



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