Winston Lavendier, Left-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'2
WT : 215
DOB : August 7, 1992 (23), in Lancaster, CA
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : California State University, Dominguez Hills (Carson, CA)
Acquired : Drafted in 33rd Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Recently, a Dominguez Hills player drafted in the 30th round of later has proven to be successful at the Major League level. The Los Angeles Angels hope they've found the next guy to fall into that category in southpaw, Winston Lavendier.
Lavendier has a unique delivery, using his entire frame to gain power from the legs and get everything out of his strong frame. He takes a long stride towards the plate to gain deception in his velocity, allowing the ball to trick the batter's eyes.
With the explosive delivery, control problems usually come. This is not the case for Lavendier who connects with the strike zone and pitches to contact with ease. It also helps create a downward angle on the ball from a three/quarter arm slot.
While Lavendier uses "110% of his frame" to lengthen his full release and deliver the ball, his times to the plate are not great. This is something he has worked on in professional baseball. He also is looking to create a healthier frame to take on a higher work load.
Lavendier has a four-pitch arsenal, consisting of a four-seam fastball, split change, curve and slider. His fastball sits primarily around 88-93 MPH, with quality arm-side run. His changeup has some deadening drop to it, helped by the split-finger grip and is anywhere from five to 14 MPH slower, depending on his arm speed.
Both Lavendier's breaking ball options have a downward break, with the curve coming in at a 10-6 and slider dropping at a 10-4 angle. His mid 70's slider is likely the better option of the two, with a late breaking tilt.
Lavendier's largest asset is his views on being dependable, whether it's starting, relieving or closing. This mindset was seen as a professional, where he closed out many games, something that's a tough adjustment for young professionals.
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
Lavendier's senior season at CSU-Dominguez Hills saw the school's highest workload for the year. He finished the season with a 8-6 record, 3.84 ERA and 1.475 WHIP. Lavendier finished his collegiate career with two complete games as a senior.
Lavendier jumped into professional baseball with ease, finishing the year with a 1.65 ERA and 0.841 WHIP in rookie AZL. Lavendier saw one outing collect four earned runs, and without that would have seen just one earned run come across the plate in 26.2 innings (0.34 ERA). The southpaw held bats to a .208 batting average and .536 OPS, allowing just seven extra-base hits over the campaign.
Lavendier will start 2016 as a 23-year-old, which means time is on the wrong side of his career. With success in rookie ball, he should make the immediate leap into Single-A to begin next year's campaign.
Once again, the Angels are in need of a lefty-specialist in their farm system, and Lavendier fits the part. The dependable work horse will have to prove himself at the higher levels of the minors to show he has Major League potential.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.