Prospect Countdown #11 : Kyle McGowin

The Angels finally have a class of nice starting pitching prospects, and it begins with this fifth round draftee prospect who is the pride of his college. Top 100 Prospect Countdown, Prospect #11, Kyle McGowin.

Kyle McGowin, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 180 lb.
DOB : November 27, 1991, Southampton, NY
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Savannah State University (Savannah, GA)
Acquired : Drafted in 5th round (157th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : owns a 1970 Dodger Charger that he works on with his father and grandfather / Spent this last off-season in the Caribbean

The pride of Savannah State, Kyle McGowin is one of just four to be drafted from his alum, and is the highest ever taken with the strongest promise of reaching the Majors. This prospect is one of the few elite starting pitching prospects the Angels have seen in the past few years. With an arsenal that matches up well against any other, McGowin could see a spot in the rotation in years soon to come.


McGowin comes equipped with a pair of strong fastballs, even without a high load of velocity. His four-seam sits primarily from 90-93 MPH, but with his emotions, he can sometimes fire back and pitch into the mid 90's touching 95. His fastball really dances around, cutting, running, and climbing on any given pitch. The ball explodes out of his hand due to his deceptive delivery and the movement of the pitch. McGowin's two-seam fastball sits roughly three miles per hour slower than his four-seam, and creates a lot of weak contact, running in on right-handed bats and fading away from lefties. McGowin has no trouble elevating his fastball or throwing it inside to put guys away.

McGowin comes with one of the better sliders in the system. He throws his mid to high 70's slider, with an 11-5 break, with confidence, and uses it well to put guys away. It's much better against right-handed bats, but his ability to throw it for strikes has shown to the positive side against lefties. It has a load of break to it, snapping into the zone, and dropping late for a plus swing-and-miss pitch.

McGowin's changeup, that sits roughly 10 miles per hour slower than his fastball, is a work in progress, and it's progressing well. It has good fade to it, and he uses it well on the outer part of the plate to set-up his slider. He has shown struggles keeping it in the zone, but this has become less and less of a problem with time. The positive to his changeup is his ability to throw it in mid-counts to set-up his other offerings.

Mechanically, McGowin has some small concerns. He has no trouble repeating his mechanics, but his delivery looks to put some stress on his elbow, which took hold this past season when it ended with elbow soreness. His delivery is deceptive, as he keeps a steady consistency of his throwing arm coming down at the same spot his glove elbow comes down. This allows him some extra whipping action, which gives the arm more leverage and snap as the ball comes out of his hand. Usually, release point issues arise from this delivery, but so far, McGowin has held this under control. This keeps the ball hidden well, and makes it hard to read the ball out of the hand, but also adds tension to the elbow and shoulder. McGowin works quick, and the ball comes out with ease through his smooth delivery, but like we've noted, this could cause some concern with his elbow. Coaches have noted that McGowin has worked to make some minor adjustments to his mechanics, to help keep damage to the elbow to a minimum.

McGowin has a perfect pitching frame and has developed into his full physical mark. He stands at six-foot-three and has a loose frame at 180 pounds of the right muscle. His athleticism is something he takes to the mound as well. Many have said McGowin has no trouble dunking a basketball, playing the outfield, and using his body strength the right way to throw and move on defensive plays. McGowin gets an A+ grade in the athletic department, as he's filled out into his strong, long frame.

McGowin commands all his pitches well and is known as a true corner painter. He can put his fastball just about anywhere, and likes to live on the inside part of the plate, and is even better with his slider. He has no problem pitching to contact, and allowing weak contact to be the case. McGowin is a smart pitcher who knows how to to attack with his fastball, set-up with his changeup and put away with his slider. McGowin has no trouble throwing strikes, and is somewhat known as a strikeout pitcher already in his career. He's also very effective with runners on base, but has noticeable emotions on the mound. He doesn't like having guys on base, and you can tell, but he has been able to control those emotions well. Sometimes, when his emotions run, he hurls back and loses some control, but it hasn't been much of a problem yet. If he can control those emotions, he'll really excel at the higher levels, including the Majors, and be pretty darn fun to watch too.


McGowin had his innings limited after a long year in his junior year at Savannah State. In 14.1 innings, McGowin held a 6.28 ERA and 1.186 WHIP in nine appearances. He excelled fine in his first six appearances, allowing three runs on three hits (all extra base hits) and two walks in ten innings, while holding bats to a .088/.162/.264 slash.

McGowin's past season of pro ball saw good numbers, but ended early due to elbow soreness. He held a 2.93 ERA, 1.148 WHIP and .236 opposing average. McGowin's ERA was lifted by a four earned outing and five earned outing, and without those two starts of his 10 total, he would have held a 1.92 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, and .203/.255/.285 slash against. Right-handed bats really struggled against McGowin, posting a .204/.247/.306 slash against him, striking out in 26.5% of at bats.

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McGowin still has yet to see a full season in the minors. He showed the capability to excel and pitch beyond High-A with a mid-season call-up to Double-A prior to his injury. Little Rock should be the landing point for McGowin out of Spring Training in 2015. He'll need a full season just so he can feel the grind of a year's worth of baseball beyond college.

McGowin is already on a relatively fast track to the Majors. Like we said above, he'll need a full season of work before taking on the load of becoming a Major Leaguer, but that's what the minor leagues are for. We expect this next season to be a full year in Double-A, the following a full year in Triple-A, with the opportunity to make a start in September in 2016. McGowin should be in the Angels rotation as a full-time member by the 2018 season, at the latest. His ceiling says that he should be able to jump into a #3 or #4 man role.

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, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.

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