Prospect Countdown #14 : Grayson Long

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #14 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Grayson Long (photo : Brian Philbrick)

Grayson Long, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'6
WT : 225
DOB : May 27, 1994 (21), Houston, Texas
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)
Acquired : Drafted in 3rd Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked


A year after taking five pitchers right out of the gate in the MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Angels only selected one pitcher in the first nine rounds this past draft. That pitcher was Grayson Long, a polished starter with a promising fastball, plus changeup, and easy delivery that made him incredibly appealing. The Angels now plan to reap the rewards of Long, and what he brings to the mound with him daily.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Long relies strongly on his firm fastball, which is the bread and butter of his arsenal. It has good life to it, with some sinking and diving action, ranging 88-92 MPH, with the occasional 94-95 spike. He spots it well on the outer corners, and can also elevate it giving it jumping life to change the eye level.

In the off-speed department, Long uses a plus changeup and average slider. His changeup may be his best offering, due to how he maintains arm speed in delivering it. He commands it with ease, and with his delivery, should be able to mix speeds and miss bats. His slider has some potential but at the moment settles in as an average offering.

Long has a very easy and repeatable delivery, allowing him to make himself deceptive. He has a high leg kick, and begins to drive with his lower half keeping the ball behind him. As he lands, the ball is near release from a three-quarter arm slot, creating a quick and deceptive look to the ball coming towards the plate.

The biggest key to Long's success is his ability to keep things simple on the mound. He has fine balance, and maintains arm speed on all his pitches, keeping himself as a polished pitcher on the mound with room to improve with a fine tool set.

Long has good command of all his pitches, but has shown signs of inconsistencies finding the strike zone. He doesn't have a true "out-pitch" and doesn't miss many bats - excluding his professional debut - which may mean nit picking the corners becomes a little too fine late in battles, causing walk rates to climb. This will be a key part of his development, in pitching to contact in the right way, and using his off-speed to cause swing and misses.

VIDEO : Steve Fiorindo / The Prospect Pipeline

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


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Over the course of his three years at Texas A&M, Long put together a nice collegiate career over the course of 39 games. All-in-all, Long held a 17-4 record, 3.03 ERA, 1.306 WHIP, averaging 5.6 innings per outing. Long held bats to a .248 and .631 OPS over his career. Long's best season with the Aggies came as a junior, where he went 9-1 with a 2.82 ERA, while striking out 9.97 per nine.

After being drafted this past season, Long went to Rookie Orem, where his numbers didn't prove to be outstanding. By season's end, Long held a 5.03 ERA and 1.475 WHIP in 19.2 innings. He was able to begin his professional career on a high note though, as he allowed just one hit in the first 25 batters he faced, walking just three, in 9.1 scoreless innings.

 photo Grayson Long_HeatMap_zpsfcwmjkl4.png
 photo chart 1_zpskmmu0tj7.jpeg

EXPECTED FUTURE:

Throw out the numbers from last season. He threw over 100 innings for the first time in his life, and his arm didn't seem prepared for it with the delay between college season ending, a signing period, and Rookie Ball beginning. He's set to land in Single-A, and a jump to High-A and aggressive promotion isn't out of the equation. Similar to a Chris Ellis like aggression.

Everything about Long screams future Major League back end rotation arm. He's a high floor guy, which also means he has plenty of ceiling left. With that, Long could end up being a long-term blessing for the Angels, eating innings while putting up solid career numbers. Long's progression to the rotation should be quick, with an ETA around 2018-19.



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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