Scouting Jays' Prospect #23: Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald continued to prove himself at every level this past season. The right-hander who is a pitcher that will have to prove himself to force an organization to take an extended look at him, performed well at Triple-A.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Mike MacDonald
Position: Pitcher
DOB: October 29, 1981
Height: 6'1
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Mike MacDonald continued to prove himself at every level this past season. The right-hander who is a pitcher that will have to prove himself to force an organization to take an extended look at him, performed well at Triple-A. "He's a ground ball pitcher with an effective sinker" said one scout.

"Combine that with his poise and control, and you can't go wrong," the scout went on to say.

The 26-year-old has a four-pitch repertoire, and is focused on developing all his pitches. His sinker is his best pitch, and the pitch he tries to induce outs with.

"I look to work on all my pitches," said the right-hander. "You need to throw all of your pitches for strikes if you want to success at this level and above. My main goal is to refine my tools and keep getting better."

MacDonald will need solid defense behind him to maximize his chances of success because he induces nearly 2-to-1 ground balls to fly balls. Scouts noted the right-handed pitcher had a tough time when facing left-handed batters and they believe he needs to sharpen up on his changeup to maximize his chance of succeeding against left-handed batters.

Repertoire: Fastball, sinker, slider, changeup

Fastball: MacDonald is a finesse right-hander. His fastball is usually clocked in the 87-90 MPH range, but has extraordinary movement. The late sink he features causes batters to hit the pitch on the ground. His fastball is not the best pitch in his repertoire, but he can spot it with pinpoint accuracy and uses it to set up his breaking pitches.

Secondary Pitches: MacDonald features an advanced sinker and a good slider, but needs to improve on his changeup if he wants to remain a starting pitcher. Right now he has a tough time finding a way to get left-handed batters out and scouts believe he needs to utilize his changeup more against them.

Projection: This coming season might be the year that MacDonald gets introduced to the bullpen. Most scouts believe he will not be effective as a starter because of his inability to get left-handed batters out. Unless MacDonald improves on his changeup or adds another pitch to equalize left-handed batters, his future will likely be out of the bullpen. Also because of his solid sinking action scouts view he can be an effective one to two inning option out of the bullpen.

2008 Outlook: MacDonald will begin the 2008 season with the Syracuse Chiefs.

ETA: He could be rushed up to the major leagues if Toronto is depleted with their pitching again, but in all likelihood, expect him to remain at Triple-A for the entire season – with a September call up possible – if he shows he deserves it.

Future Jays Top Stories