Garrett Nuss, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'2
WT : 200
DOB : April 15, 1993 (22), in Winter Park, Florida, United States
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Seminole State College (Sanford, FL)
Acquired : Drafted Seventh Round of 2013 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #65
A down year had Garrett Nuss fall in our rankings, but what he comes equipped with can't be ignored. The Los Angeles Angels think highly of this righty with a solid arsenal and aggressive style. Our voters may have him lower in the countdown than they did last year, but things are starting to kick in to high gear for the young prospect.
Nuss has an advantage on the mound with a strong and athletic frame. He stands tall at six-foot-two and has some size, but could add on some muscle. He creates deception with an over head arm angle, which helps create a deceptive speed and easy downward plane.
Nuss has a pair of fastballs, a four-seam and sinking fastball. His four-seam sits around 90-93 with some run, and can tap 95 when thrown hard. His two-seam is about five miles per hour less than his four-seam and has some true sink to it, but comes in around average when thrown hard.
Nuss uses arm speed as another deceptive quality. This also has an impact on his changeup, which he can throw in any count for strikes, and may be his best pitch. Problem is that it's only 7-10 miles per hour slower than his fastball. It could use development to create better movement and deception, but has been used to set up his curveball and fastball.
On two-strike counts, Nuss can either elevate his fastball or burry his curveball. He has a slider that is more of a "show me" pitch at the moment, but like his changeup, can help set up his two-strike arsenal. The curve comes in at a 12-to-6 break, which helps with the over head arm angle. His slider is also useful when mixed with his sinker to create ground balls.
Nuss struggled with command this past season, which could change with a slowing things down in his aggressive style and quick mechanics. As he learns to pitch with tempo, his command and control should improve.
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Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
Nuss was a four-letter winner as a pitcher and first baseman at Mount Dora High School. His senior year, Nuss led Mount Dora to it's first ever state final, while posting a 0.86 ERA and 11-1 record. Nuss struck out 116 batters in 66 innings his senior season, and was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round - where he did not sign.
Nuss earned Rawlings All-American First-Team, Rawling All-Region First-Team, All-Central Florida Baseball First-Team, and PG National Top 100 Prospect List by Baseball American honors his freshman year at the University of Central Florida. All this was supported by a league leading strikeout total of 41, 2-0 record and 3.89 ERA. Nuss had six of his outings go for one-hit, no run baseball.
The following year, Nuss transferred to Seminole C.C., where he held a 5-2 record, 2.59 ERA and struck out 8.62 batters per nine. Nuss held a 1.229 WHIP that final year at Seminole C.C., and was drafted in the sixth round by the Angels in 2013.
As Nuss adjusted to professional baseball, the struggles came into play. In 13 games, Nuss was placed in the hitter friendly Pioneer League, and the hitters had a good time against him, slashing .319/.353/.449. Nuss finished his first year with a 5.15 ERA, but did manage to keep the ball in the zone with only 13 walks in 50.2 innings of work.
Nuss had a nice time in his sophomore professional season in Low-A, where he had 17 of his 20 starts go for three earned runs or less. The control problems began to arise, as he walked 3.3 per-nine. However, he limited runs and base runners, with a 3.77 ERA and 1.371 WHIP.
The control problems became a true problem in Nuss' first stint in High-A last season, as he walked 21 batters in his first 22 innings of work, including eight in 2.2 innings - his first start of the season. Nuss was sent down to Low-A, where he proved he didn't belong, allowing just six runs in 28.2 innings of work (1.88 ERA). Nuss returned to High-A Inland Empire, and not much improved. He finished the season with a 9.56 RA and over two WHIP.
Nuss struggled mightily both as a starter and reliever in High-A, but his age allows him the opportunity to return with a reset button. As he faced out of college bats in Low-A and Rookie Ball, it was understandable that he was ready to move forward which means High-A should be where he lands and stays through 2016.
Nuss was drafted high, but will need to learn some things to continue moving forward in the system. When drafted, there was talk of him being a back end starter or long reliever, and that hasn't been thrown out the window by any means. As he progresses and develops, it will become more evident what the future holds at the upper levels of the minors.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.