Delivery: Athletic, balanced, linear, fluid, and smooth delivery that he repeats consistently. Hides ball well on backside behind his head and ball comes out of his hand easy and with lots of deception keeping same arm speed. Will slide-step/quick-pitch with no runners on base and maintaining same velo and command. Despite smaller size, stays on top of his pitches well allowing for avg plane. Pitches from 1B side of the rubber.
FB – In Spring Training outing on March 5, 2019 range was 93-98, sat 96 in 1st inning, 95 in 2nd inning and 94 in 3rd inning (last inning of work). Has heavy sink and late arm side run at times. Occasionally flat in the zone due to shorter size and slot, but has enough velo and deception that he can get away with making mistake. Velo up from last year (June 2018) where he sat between 92-94 but was able to go 95-96 whenever he needed. Maintained 92 last year in both starts into 5th inning. Overall, FB is deceptively quick and plays up due to delivery and how he compliments other pitches with it. Likes to elevate FB to RHH and LHH when ahead for strikeout. Gets plenty of swings and misses with it. Last year he showed advanced ability to start in on RHH and run it back over the inside corner for a strike. Really easy velo, if he gets behind in the count he can still groove 92 with ease.
Slider – it’s really a power slurve to LHH when ahead and also to RHH when ahead. Showed better velo with it than last year. He adds and subtracts with it, going as low as 82 and as high as 87. The slurve is really tough on LHH and has a tight rotation with sharp late break out of the zone at times while other times he will front-door a LHH throwing it with a bigger bend and a bit slower, dropping it in the zone for a strike. Overall it’s deceptive with big shape and late 2-plane movement. Last year it was really tough on LHH, buckling their knees frequently. He’ll go backdoor to RHH for fun with it. Consistent shape, in zone, just not always consistent to spots yet. Big big shape going in on RHH when ahead, moving from outside corner to their back foot.
Change-up – his best off-speed pitch right now – falls off the table with 2-plane fading action and really sells it with same arm speed as FB, yet it’s in the 85-87 mph range. Getting both RHH and LHH to swing and miss in and out of the zone with it. Plus movement, command, and deception making it a future elite offering.
How he pitches: Pounds zone with advanced feel to pitch for age/level. Works very quick with great tempo and calm demeanor. Makes hitters very uncomfortable in box. Pitches in vs. RHH well. Too many weapons to choose from – uses any 3 of his pitches as an out-pitch to either RHH or LHH. Gets better as game goes on because batters got later and later on FB 2nd time through because they don’t know what’s coming (June 2018).
Profile: Future Ace with elite poise and competitiveness and 3-pitch elite mix along with 7 command at peak. Had TJ in 2016, so durability could be a concern and he’s on the shorter side so his plane is only average, at best, but otherwise this is the perfect pitcher for the top of a rotation at peak.
One Line Summary:
Future Ace w/ elite mix/command/deception. Compare to Johan Santana.