Diamondbacks Prospect #40: LHP Scott Maine

Scott Maine suddenly finds himself a top dog with the departure of three of the Arizona Diamondbacks' best left-handed pitching prospects. Scott therefore has big shoes to fill, but may indeed have the ability to fill them.


Name: Scott Maine
Draft: 6th Round, 2007
Position: Left Handed Pitcher
DOB: 2/2/1985
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 195 lbs
B/T: L/L

History: During his amateur career, Scott Maine underwent Tommy John surgery and suffered near-fatal injuries in a car accident that forced him to wear a protective face plate.  With that kind of history, it's difficult to imagine professional baseball throwing Maine something he cannot handle.

Maine declined to sign with the Colorado Rockies when they selected him in the 23rd round two years ago, opting instead to return for a fourth season with the Miami Hurricanes.  This proved to be a fantastic decision, as Maine pitched easily the best season of his pro career, and moved up to the 6th round of the 2007 draft, which came complete with a six-figure signing bonus.

Even in that superlative collegiate season, Maine really wasn't a strikeout pitcher.  That's why it came as something of a surprise when he fanned 20 batters in 10.1 innings with Yakima.  Strikeouts accounted for a whopping 65% of the total outs he recorded there.

The accompanying dozen walks proved as surprising as the strikeouts, unfortunately.  Advanced hitters were able to lay off Maine's breaking pitch in the dirt, but many couldn't reach his high heater with a wooden bat.

Despite having generally pitched better as a starter, Maine will remain in the bullpen at least for the 2008 season.  He will work primarily on improving his command of his pitches. 

'05 Miami 20 0 0 7.45 7 0 9.2 11 14 8 2 7 11 1.86
'06 Miami 21 11 3 4.89 17 17 99.1 93 66 54 12 37 73 1.31
'07 Miami FL 22 5 5 3.28 17 17 96.0 97 54 35 7 24 74 1.26
  Yakima 22 1 0 6.10 8 0 10.1 6 9 7 0 12 20 1.74

Statistics Courtesy of The Baseball Cube

Makeup: Scott's carries a muscular, athletic build.  There's no reason he should lack the physical ability to handle any challenge, and he's clearly demonstrated mental toughness by battling back from injury.

He pitches from a low-three quarters delivery, making him especially tough on left-handed batters, who went 0-for-13 against him at Yakima.  Maine repeats this distinctive delivery with consistent mechanics.          

Pitches:  Fastball, Curveball, and Changeup

Maine's fastball ranges from 89-92 MPH, trailing his brother's primary offering by a step.  It features some interesting lateral movement due to his near-sidearm delivery.

His curveball is quite unusual, since most pitchers try to pound their hammer from a near-overhand motion.  As a result, Maine's curveball has wicked movement, but it's very difficult to control.  With the departure of Greg Smith and the uncertainty of Esmerling Vasquez, Maine's "Uncle Charlie" rates as the third best curveball in a slider-heavy organization.

Maine also throws an average changeup that should continue to improve with time.  He won't need to use it very often as a reliever.  

Major League Clone: Aaron Fultz

Prediction: Maine's 2 o' clock arm slot should be easier to read the third and fourth times through the batting order, making him better suited for the bullpen.  In the rotation, an opposing manager could stack right-handed batters against Maine, and right-handed major league hitters will fare well against him.  He should become a prototypical lefty specialist.

ETA: Maine's amateur setbacks have caused him to lag behind in his development.  He turns 23 in February, but has only 10.1 pro innings under his belt.  We therefore won't likely see him before September of 2011, even with the dearth of left-handed pitching in the Diamondbacks system.        

Send questions or comments for Keith Glab to future_backs@yahoo.com

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