Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 20th Round
Ranking History: N/A
The Tigers went over slot in the 20th round to sign Ehlers, giving him a $122,000 signing bonus. After spending some time building his arm strength, the Tigers had him pitch 16 1/3 innings with the GCL Tigers.
During that span, he posted a 1.10 ERA, allowed just nine hits and three walks and struck out 16 batters. He was shut down toward the end of the year with fatigue in his throwing arm but there was no serious injury.
Ehlers 20th round draft position and $122,000 signing bonus are not indicative of his talent. He was offered $800,000 by the Blue Jays coming out of high school and if he is able to fulfill his potential, that price tag could look more appropriate.
Ehlers is a polished pitcher with a good feel for pitching, backed up by quality stuff. He already pounds the strike zone with his entire arsenal and shows the potential for above-average to plus command down the line. He is capable of pitching off his fastball and also pitching backwards at times to help keep hitters off balance.
Ehlers two-seam fastball has above-average sink and resides in the 89-92 mph range. He has demonstrated that he can consistently work the pitch low in the zone, creating good angle to the plate and accentuating his natural sink. With his four-seam fastball, Ehlers can reach 93-94 mph on occasion.
His best secondary pitch is a plus slider that has tight spin and late, sharp movement. He has extreme confidence in the quality of his slider and is not afraid to throw it in any count. Both his change-up and curveball show some potential but need work to become average pitches.
Ehlers' change-up shows more promise than the curveball with a 7-10 mph velocity differential, good sink and some arm-side movement. He overthrows the pitch at times and must trust his grip and let it go.
His feel for pitching extends to his ability to hold runners and get off the mound to field his position, two things he does quite well.
Ehlers is a quality pitcher with mid-rotation potential, but he comes with considerable risk as a result of his past shoulder issues, fatigue last fall and the need for his change-up and/or curveball to take a step forward. In addition to his considerable ceiling, Ehlers has a high floor and a relatively good chance of becoming a back-end starter.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP BAA R
Ehlers had minor shoulder surgery in July 2011 but was healthy and pitching well in 2012 with Howard JC. Due to a miscommunication with members of the Tigers organization, TigsTown.com had previously reported that Ehlers went under the knife late last year. That report was later retracted and Ehlers is healthy and ready for the 2013 season.
Ehlers has the ingredients to become a high-end prospect with a number three ceiling. To reach that potential, he needs his change-up to step forward and his projectable command to continue coming along as he matures. If he falls short of his ceiling, he could be a quality back-end starter or his plus slider will allow him to pitch effectively in a situational role.
| Like what you see here, and want even more? Sign up for a FREE seven day trial, and check out all that TigsTown has to offer! Including: |
- Scouting Reports
- Insider Information
- In-depth Analysis
- Complete Draft Coverage