Tyler Watson, Left-Handed Pitcher
HT : 5'11
WT : 160 lb.
DOB : June 9, 1993, Georgetown, Texas
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : McLennan Community College (Waco, Texas)
Acquired : Drafted 38th round (1,139th overall) in 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Attended all 2014 Royals playoff games / Set high school record in wins and batting average / Father, Gene, is Coordinator of Professional Scouting for the Kansas City Royals / Drives a monster truck... That is freaking awesome!
In 1998, with the 1,139th overall pick, the Chicago White Sox selected left-handed pitcher, Mark Buehrle. 16 years later, the Los Angeles Angels took a left-handed pitcher with the same selection. Tyler Watson is a solid fit in the Angels organization, filling a much needed left-handed relief pitching role. This is why Watson is becoming one of our favorite up and coming prospects.
Mechanically, Watson is very sound. He has a quick hip turn and strong movement towards the plate. He keeps a steady and smooth motion, helping his command, and keeping walk rates low. He changes arm slots over the game, keeping him very deceptive
Watson comes with a three-pitch arsenal, consisting of a fastball, changeup and curveball. He uses all three pitches in any given count, staying deceptive from the separate arm slots.
His fastball has strong movement, but isn't very overmatching at it sits in the mid 80's, anywhere from 84-87. According to a teammate, he uses his off-speed pitches to make it look "95" due to it's deception.
When it comes to Watson's off-speed options, his changeup was referred to as "filthy, and looks like a curve to right handed bats." Watson and teammates refer to his curveball as his best pitch and one referred to it as "really damn good." It has a late break and comes in very heavy, as one of the very few true 12-6 curves left in the game.
"He was actually my catch play partner all of AZL and really helped me in my development as a pitcher since I just started pitching in June. He also taught me how to throw a change up. Great teammate."
At Georgetown High School, Watson set school records in both wins (eight in 2012), and batting average (.418 in 2011). Watson was a two-time 16-5A All-District selection, and won a league-wide award in 2010 in Australia.
Watson posted a 3.97 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP, while holding batters to a .227 batting average and .295 on base percentage. Watson ended the season with three straight scoreless outings, allowing just two base runners and striking out six in four and two/third innings. This included 12 strikeouts per nine innings, equating to a strikeout rate of 30.56% of the batters he faced.
Watson shut down left-handed bats in 2014, limiting them to a .120/.185/.320 slash, and struck out 52% of the left-handed batters he faced.
Watson has proven himself at the Rookie Ball level, and should make the jump to Class-A in 2015. Oh, just a little note from earlier, Mark Buehrle pitched for the Burlington Bees in 1999, when it was the White Sox affiliate. Watson could pitch for the Burlington Bees in 2015, which is now the Class-A affiliate for the Angels.
With a left-handed relief spot hole in the Majors currently, Watson may be fast tracked to the Majors. Of course, he's still fresh out of the draft and the free agent market is calling, but who couldn't use extra loogies in the pen? Watson could be a Major Leaguer within the next two to three years. Scouts have referred to him as a later round, Michael Roth, kind of pitcher.
For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.
Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.