Top 50 Scouting Report: #41 P Guillaume Leduc

Top 50 Scouting Report: #41 P Guillaume Leduc

The French-Canadian right-hander out of Edouard Montpetit College (Quebec) was selected by the Mets in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft and was quick to adapt to the rigors of professional development while pitching in the Gulf Coast League. Here is a scouting report on GCL pitcher Guillaume Leduc.

Vital Statistics:

Name: Guillaume Leduc
DOB: July 28, 1987
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 192
Throws: Right
Bats: Right

Although Guillaume Leduc arrived in St. Lucie from an atypical location of baseball breeding, he hoped to show that his game was beyond the small nature of the university that produced him. The young hurler was poised to show that despite the exceptionally short baseball season that exists in Canada, his game would translate into success in the Gulf Coast League.

"There were a lot of adjustments that I had to make. I only pitched two months a year in Canada because of the cold weather and such, but I was confident when I came to camp and got ready for the season. When I started pitching, I got a good idea of what I needed to do," he said.

Just the move down to the warm weather of Florida allowed his pitches to do things he had not seen before. The mild, humid air actually ratcheted up his high-80s fastball a few more miles per hour and it created additional break on his curveball—both welcomed developments for a pitcher used to throwing in the thick, chilly air of southern Canada.

Upon reporting, he got right to work with coaches who focused on straightening out his mechanics, primarily the consistency of his delivery. As an instinctive groundball pitcher, Leduc needs his delivery and arm slot to be in a consistent downward motion to ensure he is in the lower half of the zone. That meant ironing out his leg kick and positioning on the rubber.

"Early on, I would step on the left side of the mound and bring my lifting leg down on the right side. They wanted to me to go more back to forward than side to side. That worked a lot and that showed as the season went on," he said.

Though he also worked through the mental rigors of the his rookie season, the 20-year-old quickly executed the alterations to his delivery and found success throughout the short season. He surrendered just five earned runs in 20.1 innings pitched, splitting time equally as a starter and out of the bullpen in six appearances. He attributed his accomplishments to his improved preparation.

"At first, I was too stiff with my arms, so the coaches tried to calm me down and make sure I was more relaxed on the mound," he said. "That allowed my baseball mind to change. Once I got comfortable I started to think ahead of the batters, and that stepped up my game."

The opposition hit .237 off him this past season, and his groundball ratio was where he hoped but he ran into trouble with his control, walking ten batters. As one who finds a lot of contact, he is keenly aware of how his accuracy plays a significant role in maximizing his effectiveness.

His command was the overriding focus of his month-long stay at the autumn Instructional League. There, he was able to continue his work on summer developments in a much more concentrated environment. He trained with Mets' pitching coordinator Rick Waits on staying sharp within the strike zone to reduce his pitch count.

"The innings I had in the Instructional League were probably the best innings I've had all year. When I worked on my mechanics there, it really helped me do a better job of getting fastballs right in the strike zone," he said. "[Coach Waits] said that as soon as my mechanics were right I'd see more strikes, and I did."

Leduc performed as well as could be expected during his time at Instructs and that was the cap on an exciting and an admittedly unpredictable year. However, he recognizes that his rookie campaign was virtually a test of his abilities, and the camps and the short season were just a precursor to awaiting challenges ahead.

"I know also that I have to get my strikes because without that I can't use my game plan and I won't be too good when I move up. I know I don't have to be the nastiest pitcher out there, but I've got to hit my spots. I feel like I learned so much even from half a year and that I'll be ready to go pitch my style and know things will go well when Spring Training comes," he closed.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

GCL

1-1

0

20.1

18

10

14

2.21



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Leduc's fastball sits anywhere from 88-91 MPH, but despite his velocity he will not back down from hitters, often challenging them with his heater. Although it will not blow away hitters, he is crafty with its natural movement and is consistently able to spot it on both sides of the plate. He prefers to use the fastball away to set up secondary pitches.

Other Pitches: Gulf Coast League hitters did not make much contact with Leduc's high-70s circle-changeup, which is without question his best pitch and his finishing pitch. With an unusual grip, he creates good downward movement and can drop it through the zone, allowing him to use it as his primary weapon to induce groundballs. When it spins into the plate it can look like a fastball, leading many hitters to swing over the top of it. Given the speed on his fastball, if he could draw it back even a few miles per hour, it could be even more effective. He also throws a good low to mid-70s curveball with good break which he can spot well and backdoor to hitters on both sides. It still needs some fine tuning, but he relies on the pitch when up 0-2 in hopes he can make hitters chase.

Pitching: Leduc is a groundball pitcher who likes to attack the skinny part of the opposition's bats. He can run into trouble when his pitches are up in the zone, so due to his limited velocity, location reigns supreme and that must always been down in the strike zone for him to have success. He understands his limitations but pushes through them with a steely determination to stay ahead of hitters. His good size and developing strength means his progression should continue to be positive.

Projection: Leduc has been a starter his whole career and should remain as such in the lower levels of the farm system. However, given that he throws just one fastball and two secondary pitches, it will be tough for him to remain in that role without some semblance of a fourth pitch as he moves into the long-season leagues. If he can add that dimension, a spot in the rotation is in his future. If not, given his ability to mix speeds, locate pitches and generate groundballs, he would make for a good fit in a big league bullpen.

ETA: 2011. Leduc's first season in the Gulf Coast League allowed him to get his feet wet, but next year will bring new tests as he aims to start the year in Brooklyn. If he performs well in the pitcher-friendly NY-Penn League, he should see time in Savannah at some point as well. That puts him on target for two years at High-A and above before breaking into the big leagues at 24 years old in 2011.

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