Adam McCreery, Left-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'8
WT : 195
DOB : December 31, 1992 (23) in La Verne, California
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : Asuza Pacific University (La Verne, CA)
Acquired : Drafted in 22nd Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Going from a second-round talent to 22nd-round draftee three years later is never fair, but a mix of two colleges and a second year in professional baseball has done wonders for Adam McCreery. The tallest of all Los Angeles Angels prospects has the size to compete his way to the top, but has a few things he'll need to adjust to get there first.
There's so many desirable things about Adam McCreery, it's only sensible that professionals saw him as a second-round talent out of high school. However, his delivery created some issues in his elbow, and cost him parts of his senior year of high school and freshman year of college. He has since corrected his delivery to keep his arm and elbow injury free.
McCreery stands tall at six-foot-eight, and throws from a three/quarter arm slot. This alone challenges batters at the plate in seeing the ball, as it darts on a downward plane to the plate.
Though none of our staff has seen him since his days at Asuza Pacific, we've heard reports that he is still throwing his fastball in the mid 90's, having the ball jump at 94-95 on occasions. McCreery comes equipped with a fringe changeup and pair of late breaking off-speed pitch.
Outside of his size and mid 90's fastball, McCreery has struggled with consistent mechanics, as he's learning a cleaner and safer delivery. This has created serious control issues. Though he has outstanding pieces, if he can't fix this, it all goes for nothing.
Despite the control issues, when McCreery is on, he's untouchable. When you mix mid 90's coming down hill from six-foot-eight, you create one mean demon to battle from a batter's perspective.
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Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
McCreery went to Bonita High School in La Verne, California, which produced another hard-throwing pitcher that was a part of the Anaheim Angels 2002 World Series victory - Matt Wise. Following a junior season where McCreery went 8-2, McCreery had one outing where he allowed seven runs while battling a sinus infection, and had the rest of his starts fall for a 1.60 ERA. McCreery ended his high school career with a complete game one-hitter, collecting nine strikeouts.
In McCreery's collegiate debut for Arizona State, he pitched four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five. He wouldn't pitch for a month, and then go on to match his debut's numbers nearly to the dot. He finished his freshman year allowing two runs in 13.2 innings (1.32 ERA), while striking out 14.
McCreery only spent two seasons at ASU, leaving after his sophomore year. Possibly the best outing of his career with the Sun Devils outside of his debut was a six strikeout performance against BYU in just 3.1 innings pitched.
McCreery finished his college career in his hometown at Asuza Pacific University. McCreery was a highlight for the Cougars' pitching staff, posting a 3.90 ERA, and allowing just 6.31 hits per-nine. McCreery held bats to a team low .203 average, and struck out 31% of the batters he faced.
McCreery's professional debut season fell flat to two appearances that totaled an inning combined and six earned runs on seven walks. Outside of those two appearances, McCreery held a 1.93 ERA. McCreery held bats to a .179 batting average and .224 slugging percentage.
This past season, the tall southpaw excelled at the AZL affiliate, posting a 2.41 ERA, and striking out 28 of the 79 batters he faced. McCreery held bats to a lower .159 BAA and .190 SLG, but still couldn't keep his walk rates down at 6.75 per nine. In a stretch from early July to late August, McCreery allowed just two runs in 10 appearances, while striking out 45.3% of the batters he faced, holding batters to a .111 average.
It's a challenging off-season and pre-season for McCreery. He needs to prove he's made the changes needed to find the strike zone, which comes from hard work in the off-season and is shown during the Spring. This could be a large mark for McCreery's career. He's 23-years-old, and needs to be on pace with the rest of those his age. That means he needs to jump into Single-A by season's start in 2016.
It's nowhere near out of the question, and is more than likely to happen. He may even jump Low-A and begin the season in High-A. He has the stuff to be a lefty-specialist and could be treated that way. It could turn his career around and turn him into a future Major Leaguer with a long and successful career.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.