Position: Right-Handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 11/12/1995 (Opening Day Age: 21)
Acquired: 2017 MLB Draft, 1st Round
Body: Large human; long legs with high waist; thick thighs and large rear end; broad shoulders; good present strength with chance for more as he matures imposing presence on the mound.
Delivery/Mechanics: Unique delivery; choppy small movements that lead to balance point; quickly drives toward the mound; low-3/4 arm slot with good extension out front; draws some criticism for long arm action but arm works well and never really falls behind the body; will occasionally fall off to first base side.
Fastball: Consistently regained velocity throughout spring; regularly 92-93 mph early in season; showed 93-95 mph, touching 96 during NCAA regionals and superregionals; tremendous life with ability to dictate sink or cut on demand; ball routinely comes out of the same hole despite differences in movement, making it very deceptive; can generate swings and misses both down in the zone or when elevated; needs to pitch off FB more frequently. Grade – Present 5+/Future 6
Slider: Second potential plus pitch; hard biting SL with tight rotation, quick movement, and good depth; typically thrown at 83-85 mph; shows ability to move it around the zone; finishes in the zone and can bury for chase pitch; developed ability to pound it on the back foot of LHH last summer, giving him an easy way to dominate those hitters; relies on pitch too often at times. Grade – 5+/6
Changeup: Pitch continues to improve; shows similar sink to FB and will occasionally fade; similar arm slow to FB; velocity separation is adequate; lacks consistency with location; definite third pitch at present, but potential to become solid third offering. Grade – 4+/5
Control/Command: Pounds zone with FB and SL; will lose zone at times with CH; shows more command of SL than FB, moving pitch side to side and getting it out of the zone when he wants; FB command has yet to develop; slight mechanical inconsistencies and unique delivery leave some questions about ability to truly develop command; will throw strikes at highest level, without question.
Other: MLB bloodlines; minor knee surgery on both knees last fall, with no expected long-term ramifications; intense on mound; must learn nuances of sequencing and how to pitch off FB more consistently in pro ball.
Summary: Quality arm; advanced FB and SL result in relatively safe projection; two primary pitches are enough to get him to the big leagues; CH has improved and could make additional gains with pro instruction; potential for two plus pitches and one average offering; combination of arsenal and strike-throwing ability give him chance to move quickly through minor leagues; needs to prove health after knee surgeries last fall.
Risk: Medium risk; Limited development necessary to realize fully developed arsenal; significant work against high-end competition in college and in international forum.
Projection: Easy MLB projection with two plus pitches and potential for third average pitch; needs to develop command and refine changeup to reach ceiling as #3 starter; without further development, still profiles as #4 starter, but physical characteristics and raw stuff give him chance to be inning-eating #3.