Name: Erik Goeddel
DOB: December 20, 1988
Status: 24th Round (2010) – UCLA
Fastball: Goeddel's velocity returned more toward normal in 2011, prior to hitting the shelf again late in the season. The right-hander throws both a four-seam and two-seam variation, with the later reaching toward 95 MPH and his two-seamer – with sinking bite – in the low 90s. He still relies heavily on both variations of the fastball, though the two-seamer is the more effective of the two pitches. His four-seamer has some naturally running action, but as he ups the velocity, the movement has a tendency to decrease. Gaining the right tempo is key for Goeddel, who has a habit of overthrowing – not a good twist considering his recent run of arm issues.
Other Pitches: Goeddel's slider is his best pitch, one with plus potential. The pitch has tight, steep break that tumbles hard through the bottom of the zone. His slider is regularly clocked in the low to mid-80s. Command was a bit touch-and-go in 2011, but it gives him a true, big league option when paired with his fastball. Goeddel's changeup is still a work in progress, as it regressed a bit last season and that could be attributed to the inconsistent health of his arm. He flashes fade and sink, but has yet to take the jump overall.
Pitching: Goeddel has the raw tools to be a true power pitcher. With high velocity and his, at times, devastating breaking ball, the right-hander has the 1-2 punch to command both sides of the plate. Command comes and goes with Goeddel, but he is at his best when his top two pitches are working in tandem, especially when he stays ahead of hitters. His walk rate increases when he falls behind in the count early in games.
Projection: Goeddel has the tools of a big league asset, but his eventual role will be determined by the growth of his changeup and the health of his shoulder. The right-hander's season has been interrupted by injury and/or soreness in each of the past two seasons, and that is a potential red flag. That checkered history and the lack of depth in his repertoire – right now – gives him the look of late-inning option, with room to grow should his shoulder stay healthy.
ETA: 2014. Goeddel's shortened season, and the fact that he spent the year in Savannah, pushes his arrival back a season. He should begin the year in St. Lucie and, like last year, could move up to Double-A if he pitches effectively and stays healthy. Either way, two more seasons on the farm is an odds-on development.