Prospect Countdown #62 : Ronnie Muck

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #62 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Ronnie Muck (photo : Jerry Espinoza)

Ronald Muck, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'0
WT : 195
DOB : August 23, 1991 (24), in Park Ridge, IL
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Illinois (Champaign, IL)
Acquired : Drafted in 30th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #70


There's many unknown prospects in the Los Angeles Angels farm system, and some of those unknowns need to become known. Ronnie Muck is one of those guys. As he set up closers in Single-A last season, he began to turn our heads and could turn in to a diamond in the rough for the Angels future bullpen.


SCOUTING REPORT:

The Angels have a high excess of athletic pitchers in their system, and Muck adds his name to the list of athletes from the mound in the system. As one of the better ones, coming from a football and baseball background, he stays loose through his work load and has the ability to cover wherever needed. In a mix of his wits and athleticism, he can carry his velocity and easy mechanics through multiple innings.

Muck uses his entire frame in his delivery, which is needed as a slightly smaller pitcher. His frame wouldn't suggest that he creates an easy downhill plane, but he does with ease coming from a near over the top delivery. This also allows him to hide the ball to create deception, keeping the ball behind him up until he releases the ball. Also allowing deception is his stride, which is a large step towards the plate, creating a trick to the eyes making the ball seem quicker coming in than is actually is.

Muck mixes a pair of fastballs in a cutter and sinker, using his cutter more often. Both fastballs come in anywhere from 87-92, jumping into the 93-94 range at times. His cutter is the better of the pair, with a slight break creating off-putting swings. His sinker isn't seen often, but with some tailing action can fall in at the upper 80's, creating weak contact. He trains hard in the off-season, working his hips and hamstring, which adds power to his arsenal and his fastball.

When it comes to off-speed, Muck possesses a slider that gets a little slurve-like. It has a late downward break, which helps him maintain a high ground ball rate. It's around average when grading it, but has swing and miss abilities to it when mixed in with his fastball. His slider has been both a good punch out pitch and set up for his cut-fastball. It's used best when mixing speeds between his cutter and slider coming in around 10 ticks slower on the radar gun.

VIDEO : ieProSports

Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

At Maine South High School, Muck was a three-letter winner. After a sophomore season where he posted a 0.77 ERA helping Maine South to a Regional Championship, Muck collected a school single-season record 98 strikeouts as a junior, and tossed a perfect game. Muck posted a 12-4 record with a 2.48 ERA and 113 strikeouts - breaking his original record - as a senior, while hitting .370 at the plate with six home runs and 38 RBI, helping lead his team to a section title. Muck's accolades at Maine South included being named the Pioneer Press north Stars Player of the Year in 2010, Bugle Newspaper Male Athlete of the Year in 2010, All-Area selection in all three years, and All-Central Suburban Conference Pitcher in both 2008 and 2009.

At Illinois, Muck held a 4.50 ERA in his freshman year in just nine appearances, with one save. Muck finished his junior season with a pair of saves and a 2.70 ERA, while holding a 3-1 record. Muck finished his collegiate career with a 3.38 ERA as a senior, holding a 1-4 reocrd. Muck held a .196 against average that season while holding Big-10 bats to a .132 average. Muck struck out a career high six against Nebraska his senior year, and finished the season with 27 in 32 innings of work.

Muck flashed some strong numbers upon his professional debut, holding a 1.88 ERA and 0.698 WHIP in Rookie Orem. He struck out 23 of the 53 batters he faced, and was soon promoted to Single-A Burlington. He struggled slightly having just five of his 11 outings go scoreless. He finished the year with a 4.64 ERA in Low-A, and had a combined ERA of 3.53 between the two affiliates.

Last season, Muck split time between both Single-A affiliates with his primary time being spent in High-A. Muck shined in Low-A, posting a 2.31 ERA and 0.729 WHIP while striking out 12 per nine, all while having 13 of his 15 outings go scoreless. In High-A, Muck was plagued by hitter friendly parks, lifting his season ERA to 4.35. At home in High-A, Muck held bats to a .236 average and .649 OPS, while containing a 2.48 ERA and sub one WHIP.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Muck was plagued by the hitter friendly Cal League last season, and sometimes teams base promotions based on statistics instead of development. The Angels don't have much invested in Muck, which means he might return to High-A despite what was a strong season. There, he should be able to compete against younger players and work his way up to Double-A at some point over the year.

There hasn't been much to say Muck can't be a Major Leaguer. He's put up decent numbers, has a nice arsenal and repeats day in and day out. He'll obviously have to show he can do that at the upper levels of the minors, but if he continues to perform, he's only a year or two away from knocking on the door of the big club.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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