Prospect Countdown #13 : Kyle McGowin

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #13 : Right-Handed Pitcher, Kyle McGowin (photo : Stacy McGowin)

Kyle McGowin, Right-Handed Pitcher

HT : 6'3
WT : 200
DOB : Southampton, New York
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Savannah State University (Savannah, GA)
Acquired : Drafted in 5th Round of 2013 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #11

When he's not surfing and exploring waterfalls in St. Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean Islands, Kyle McGowin is a pretty decent pitcher. More than that actually, McGowin is making waves in the Los Angeles Angels farm system as one of their best pitching prospects, and proving to be a lock for the future rotation. As his name hits the ears of Angels fans, the Front Office is giving him the chance to promote that name with an aggressive path to the Majors.


McGowin holds a pair of fastballs in his arsenal, both with strong movement in the low to mid 90's. His four-seam has some cutting and rising action to it, sitting 90-93, tapping out around 95. It explodes out of the hand due to a deceptive delivery, giving a quicker notion to the batter's eye. He also throws a two-seam, sinking fastball that ranges 87-91, that allows weak contact, running the ball in on the hands of righties and away from lefties. There's minimal concern about his command, but he is able to work inside and out with his fastball, elevating it when necessary.

In terms of the system, it's hard to find a starting pitcher with a slider as wicked as McGowin's. It comes in the high 70's, with a sharp 11-5 break. He throws this pitch with confidence, and uses it to put guys away with it's wipeout motion to it. He has the ability to throw it for strikes, and despite recent elbow and forearm tightness, he has no fear of throwing it in any count, snapping it into the zone, and dropping it away from right-handed hitters, giving it swing-and-miss potential.

McGowin possesses a changeup that ranges around 10 miles per hour slower than his fastball, and is a steady work in progress. He's shown a much better feel for it in the past year, using it well on the outer half of the plate to set-up his slider. Though there's concerns of his command, the new feel has seen him locate it well and make it a new weapon to keep hitters off-balance. Once he gains more confidence in it, he'll be able to use it in all counts.

The Angels have always been interested in athletic pitchers, and McGowin fits the mark. He has a near perfect pitching frame at six-foot-three and 200 pounds of the proper muscle, with long limbs and filled out frame. He's also been known to have the ability to dunk a basketball, surf, and all sorts of things that require athleticism, along with throwing a baseball over 90 miles per hour on the mound. He's pretty well filled into his frame, so you likely won't see an increase in velocity due to muscle added.

With this athleticism, McGowin is able to repeat his mechanics with ease and maintain his velocity deep into games. There is a small concern in his mechanics, but his delivery brings concerns for elbow stress, which he's seen in recent past. He is deceptive, keeping the ball behind him, and uses a slinging motion to deliver the ball to the plate which is where the elbow concerns raise eye brows. He does gain some extra whip though, gaining leverage and snap with this motion, giving the ball more spin. How much tension he puts on his arm could turn into a simpler mechanism in throwing.

McGowin is a smart pitcher, who works quick, utilizing his fastball early. He likes to work on the corners, and attack late pitching inside to try and jam the batter. When he's really on, his off-speed is worked late and away, allowing weak contact, which may not be the sexy way to make a living, but outs are outs whether it be on the ground or by way of the K. Sometimes he gets rattled when he can't work the way he desires - as do most pitchers - and it takes an impact on his work. As he matures with experience on the field, he'll learn to ease into situations he's less comfortable with.

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Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for


In his final collegiate season, McGowin was beyond stud mode, posting a 2.02 ERA while holding a 12-2 record on the mound with four complete games and two shutouts. In one of his final appearances, McGowin earned 10 of his 27 earned runs for the season, spiking his ERA from 1.32 to 2.02. He held bats to a .224/.279/.302 slash, and saw just 1.088 base runners per inning while striking out an average of 10.1 per nine. Along with both his relief appearances going for saves, McGowin earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.

The Angels limited McGowin's time on the mound upon becoming a pro after 120 innings his junior year at Savannah State. In 14.1 innings, McGowin allowed 10 runs on 12 hits and five walks, while striking out 12. In his first six appearances, McGowin allowed just three runs on three hits and two walks, holding bats to a .427 OPS.

McGowin was limited once again in his sophomore pro season, but this time due to an injury. In his 12 starts, he held a 3.72 ERA and 1.163 WHIP. He was stellar in his first six outings, holding a 1.64 ERA in his first 33 innings, while keeping bats quiet to a .592 OPS and .223 average.

This past season, McGowin's numbers took a heavy hit, seeing a 4.38 ERA, 9-9 record and 1.286 WHIP. However, in his final 12 starts, McGowin was a strong hold for the Travs' rotation, holding a 2.91 ERA, 0.942 WHIP, 5-2 record and .201 opposing average. The Angels swept the Texas League Triple Crown, having the lowest ERA, most wins and most strikeouts for the year, which was held by McGowin at 125. McGowin has a trio of games where he struck out nine batters, with four others going for seven or more K's.

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McGowin put together multiple strong outings to close out last season and earned a trip to the Spring Training roster to begin this season. It's likely he'll land in Double-A again to begin the season. His ability to miss bats in his second developmental year at the affiliate should move him quickly to Triple-A, where numbers should be ignored.

Everything about McGowin screams back of the rotation arm. Obviously there's a lot to prove at the upper levels of the minors, but with the Angels losing two arms in the rotation at season's end, McGowin could be an arm to fill in one of those rotation spots at the beginning of 2017.

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, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.

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