Scouting Report: Jeremy Mizell

As an All-Star in the NY-Penn League last summer, Mizell slipped under the radar amongst a slew of talented arms in the Cyclones bullpen. Yet his work did not go unnoticed as he earned a promotion to his first long season club. In Savannah, he looks to set an example for the many young arms that comprise the staff. He is a dedicated worker with a fiery attitude to succeed.

As one listens to Jeremy Mizell speak about his approach and technique as a pitcher, it is easy to tell why he stands to be a valued arm late in games. His catcher, Sean McCraw, dubbed him the bulldog of the Sand Gnat staff – he shows it. Mizell, just short of his 24th birthday, is unrelenting and fearless as he attacks hitters.

"I'm on there on the mound for a reason. I like to come at guys with my stuff and I feel like I should beat them. Guys may hit my best pitches from time to time and I'll tip my cap to them. But every time I walk off the field, I don't want to worry about thinking I left something on the field. If I get beat, I want to get beat throwing my best stuff," he said.

He shares this characteristic with his battery mate, whom he credits as a guiding force for his unflappable focus. Their relationship, and shared approach to the game, helped Mizell develop not just pitches but his mentality on the mound. He also admits that half his battle begins the moment he steps out of the bullpen.

All too often pitchers race in from the bullpen only to walk, or surrender a hit, to the first batter he faces. Mizell knows sharp concentration from the second that bullpen gate swings open will determine how he fairs on the mound. Those positive effects can be found in his splits. He currently boasts a .204 batting average-against with runners on base, and for most of the season up to this point, batters hit under .200 with runners in scoring position (he now sits at .235).

"It's the type of pitcher I am," he said of his concentration, "It's about coming into the game and getting in tune to where I need to be. I am a max effort guy. I'm able to come in, make good pitches from the first one and get guys out. I like to challenge myself every time regardless of the score."

His ability to retire hitters from both sides of the plate is another valued characteristic. More importantly, he can sit down lefties with consistency. Southpaws have hit a paltry .206 against him this year. The effectiveness comes from his ability to work both sides of the plate. In addition, the development of his changeup this year in Savannah has allowed for a great dynamic against lefties.

The changeup is the most important piece to repertoire. Last season at Brooklyn, with a greater pressure to perform and post satisfactory numbers, his changeup did not receive the time it deserved. With the off-speed pitch in tow, lefties no longer possess the ability to sit on his fastball. Paired with the changeup is a developing two-seam running away from lefthanders. With these two pitches, he can keep hitters off-balance on both sides.

"The big thing with lefties is that my changeup is the best pitch to thrown them. I work it off my fastball. If they know I have a changeup, they can't sit on my fastball," he said

Mizell does not have the overpower heater to be a late inning pitcher. Chances are viewers will not see him hold down leads in the seventh or eighth innings. All but one of his appearances has been at least two innings. With his tools, and his ability to mix pitchers, a long relief role will suit him whether it is a two inning bridge to a setup guy, or four innings to mop up a game.


Repertoire: Fastball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball: As noted, Mizell will not blow guys away with his fastball. He usually sits in the 88-91 MPH range. On good days he can touch 92 or 93 MPH. What the pitch is used for is to set up his off-speed pitches. He continues to work on his two-seam fastball. Unlike most two-seamers, his version does not break down through the strike zone. It breaks along more of a horizontal plane. It provides enough late movement to fool hitters who anticipate the four-seam. It is especially effective as he tries to get lefties to expand their strike zone. He uses his fastball to paint the corners and keep hitters from leaning over the plate.

Slider: His slider is a useful secondary pitch. He throws it routinely in the high-70s. He will reach into his bag for it in two different scenarios. It is effective as a get-over strike early in the count. However, he does not shy away from it late in two-strike counts when he will throw it low in the zone to get hitters to chase. He does not throw it lefties all too often as it breaks back over the plate to them, making it a very hittable pitch.

Changeup: His changeup is constantly evolving. He throws it anywhere from 77-81 MPH. He tries to keep it in the high-70s to create a larger gap between it and his fastball. His largest focus as a pitcher goes into his changeup. He works it off his fastball and keeps it as his weapon against left-handers. When he does iron it out, it will surely make him a more complete pitcher.

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