It’s a little too early to tell, but the Braves organization has to think they got a great piece in terms of adding a potential top starter in the rotation in the deal that sent Andrelton Simmons to the Angels in exchange for Newcomb and departed Erick Aybar back in 2016.
Newcomb has what it takes to be a top starter in a rotation in this league, he brings a high-90s fastball, an 81-83 MPH changeup to put hitters back on their heels. Followed by a tight curveball that tops out in the low-80s to really mix up this power pitcher’s arsenal.
Through Newcomb’s first four MLB starts, he’s gone at least six innings while maintaining a 1.48 ERA and an offense who has only given him six runs of offensive production in these first four starts. To finally record a win the way Newcomb has been pitching is huge for the youngsters confidence, his record doesn’t reflect his performances by no means.
“I liked Newcomb, thought he did a really good job,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.”Every outing he’s had has been so encouraging and positive,” Snitker said. “It’s really nice to see.”
Newcomb is a former 15th overall pick (selected by LA Angels) in the 2014 MLB Draft, the prospect from the University of Hartford has been waiting for this opportunity for a while.The 6-5 255 lb Brockton,MA native shared on how he felt in his fourth Major League start Tuesday night; “Felt good tonight,” Newcomb said.
Newcomb’s struggles at Triple-A Gwinnett came from being inconsistent throwing strikes and not putting his dominant fastball where he wanted. Given that Newcomb had issued 5.2 walks per nine innings over 11 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this season, there was reason to be concerned about how he might fare in the big leagues.
He’s done a fine job and has quieted critics by only issuing two or fewer walks in three of his four starts. He has recorded a strike with 69 percent of the 385 pitches he has thrown.
“I’m just competing with every single pitch, rather than taking some of them off, like maybe I did in the past,” Newcomb said. “I feel pretty good about it.”
Players have taken notice of Newcomb, including Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte, he said “just watching him pitch from center field, it has been nasty. He’s been really sharp and it’s great for us.” Another hot take was from former Braves 3B Chipper Jones as he took his comments on the southpaw to Twitter:
When it comes down to it, I think Newcomb will be a force for the Braves in the top of the rotation for years to come if he stays consistent. The most impressive thing I’ve seen from the left hander is his poise with runners in scoring position (2-for-17).
As a Quincy, MA native, I played Newcomb in high school and sure the velocity, location, and delivery were spot on, but the most remarkable thing I saw from him was staying calm at all times even when things weren’t going his way. I see that attribute has continued and will take him a long way, especially at the level he’s on and wish him success throughout his career.