Garrett Nuss, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'1
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : April 15, 1993, Winter Park, FL
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Seminole Community College (Sanford, FL)
Acquired : Drafted in 7th round (217th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Uncle, Ed, played for the Red Sox farm system / Sports stirrups
Garrett Nuss was a no-brainer when it came to the countdown. The kid is electric from the mound, and pretty much always has been. Being drafted exactly 18 years after other electric righty, A.J. Burnett, the Los Angeles Angels may have found one of the best hidden gems in baseball.
Nuss comes with a pair of fastballs, one a natural four-seam, and the other a sinking two-seam. His four-seam sits consistently anywhere from 89-93 MPH, tapping 95 on rare occasions, with his sinker tapping the high 80's on most occasions. Both pitches has average sink, but can flatten out on occasions.
Nuss has an average changeup, that is used for deception due to his arm speed while throwing it. It has natural run and sits in the low to mid 80's. It will need development to create more movement, but it is not bad or weak for his age and experience.
Nuss has a pair of off-speed offerings, consisting of a slider/curveball combo. His curveball has a 12/6 drop in the mid 70's which has started to disappear from baseball in general. It comes with heavy drop, and is used most effectively in two-strike counts. It does however need to develop, and come out of the hand with more ease to be effective at the higher levels.
His slider is near what the curve is, dropping from the high arm angle and falling at a heavy rate. It comes in similar to the curve, but has near 10 MPH more velocity. He's used this as an effective groundout pitch, and a setup pitch as well.
A perk to Nuss' game is his frame, which is athletic by nature. He has room to add muscle, which will come with body development and age. He's broad shouldered, and stays strong through the latter innings, which will also improve with gained arm strength, creating better stamina.
Nuss has the ability to make his velocity deceptive due to his arm angle, throwing nearly directly over top to a downward motion, and is repetitive with this motion with all his pitches, creating an even harder time for batters. Nuss pitches best with an aggressive approach.
Nuss was a four letter winner at Mount Dora High School as a pitcher and first baseman, and in his senior season lead them to the state final for the first time in school history. Nuss put together a 0.86 ERA with a 11-1 record, and 116 strikeouts in 66 innings in his senior season, helping him get drafted (did not sign) by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round of the 2011 Draft.
Nuss was named to many honors, including; Rawlings All-American First Team, Rawlings All-Region First Team, All-Central Florida Baseball First Team, 2011 PG National Top 100 Prospect List by Baseball America. Nuss was also the first high school pitcher to participate in the Central Florida Collegiate Summer League, where he led the league in strikeouts.
Nuss spent his first year in college at the University of Central Florida. At UCF, Nuss held a 2-0 record in 19 games, while holding a 3.89 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 44 innings. Nuss had six appearances of going three or more innings of one-hit, no run baseball.
Prior to being drafted, Nuss spent his final college season at Seminole C.C. where he posted a 5-2 record, 2.59 ERA, and struck out 8.62 per nine. Over his 62.2 innings of work, he allowed 57 hits and walked 20.
There was a little bit of culture shock for Nuss right out of the draft, as he struggled against professional competition. In his first taste of pro ball, Nuss posted a 5.15 ERA, with a 1.559 WHIP, while allowing batters to a .319 average. Nuss did show signs of brilliance, having six of his nine starts go with two runs against or less.
Nuss made a major turn around this past season, performing as one of the best starters in the rotation for the Burlington Bees. Nuss finished the season with a 3.76 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, .265 BAA, and 5-1 record. However, his season was cut short due to an unlisted injury.
Nuss never lifted his ERA above 4.25 at any point in the season, and had 15 of his 20 starts go five innings or more, allowing three runs or less.
Nuss put together an outstanding season in Low-A, and he could become a high end starter in High-A come 2015. A strong Spring Training could put Nuss as the Inland Empire 66ers Opening Day starter next season.
Every sign going forward is that Nuss will be a Major Leaguer, and with the Los Angeles Angels. The real question is when and what he'll be doing? Nuss is currently a starter, and for the time being, it will stay that way, but he has signs that show he may be well suited for the bullpen. Nuss' current ETA for the Majors is 2018.
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.