Jordan Piche, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'1
WT : 180
DOB : September 3, 1991 (24), in Greenley, Colorado
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
Acquired : Drafted in 28th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #100
There may not be a cooler draft story than Jordan Piche, who was putting on a tie for his brother's wedding when his name was announced. Piche is simple, and to the point on the mound, which has helped him be successful at every level, from college to professional baseball. He had to make multiple adjustments in his career, but has found a spot in relief and closing games out to create a name for himself.
Piche doesn't have the flair that some pitchers have, but what he does have has helped him excel at every level, including professional baseball. Piche's biggest advantage is his knowledge of the batter he's facing, and how to create outs.
Piche is one of the smartest pitchers in the Angels farm system, and creates out with a three-pitch arsenal and ability to switch from aggression and attacking to pitching to contact with ease. Truly, an underrated ability in pitching is an approach on the mound.
Piche comes equipped with a four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball sits 89-92 most nights, and can jump into 93-94 at times. His changeup is still developing, as it's relatively new to his arsenal, but can be used as a "show me" pitch, coming in about 15-18 miles per hour slower than his fastball.
Maybe his best pitch is his slider. With a late break and heavy tilt in the mid 70's, Piche creates weak contact with his slider, and has the ability to burry it as a two-strike pitch as well.
Piche has simple mechanics, and finds consistency in his delivery. He throws near over the top, and has a fluid motion all the way to his follow through. This helps him command all his pitches with ease, and work in the bottom of the zone with as much ease.
VIDEO : Kansas Athletics
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
Piche's collegiate career began at Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa, Iowa) in 2011 and 2012, where he held a 9-4 record, 2.66 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and struck out 8.69 per nine. Piche burst into the scene his first year at Kansas, posting a 1.68 ERA, 6-4 record, and 12 saves, helping him be named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2013.
In Piche's second and final year at Kansas, he had to make adjustments, going from closer to "ace." He finished the season with a 4.59 ERA, 6-5 record, 1.439 WHIP and .288 against average.
Piche's professional debut went fantastic, allowing just one earned run in 11.1 innings pitched. His season ended too soon though, after tearing his ACL (knee), but not before he posted a 0.79 ERA, 1.147 WHIP and .244 against average. Piche struck out a batter per inning, while walking just two.
Piche excelled in Low-A this past season, where nearly two/thirds of his appearances went scoreless. He finished the season with a 3.64 ERA, 1.230 WHIP and nine saves. Piche's statistics spiked due to two relief appearances. Outside of those two appearances where he allowed seven runs in 2.2 innings of work, he never allowed more than two runners to reach home plate.
It's become evident that Piche's future will be in the bullpen and not as a starter, and possibly as a late inning reliever. He doesn't have your standard closing stuff, but with his wit, he's shown he's capable of closing out games when needed at the lower minor league levels.
After a strong season in Low-A, it's expected Piche should make the leap to High-A in 2016. He'll be 24 by Opening Day next season, which isn't always a desired age for guys to start in High-A, which could mean the Angels take an aggressive look at him, and give him a chance at Double-A by the end of next season.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.