Tigers Scouting Report #7: Drew VerHagen

After a very successful 2013 across Lakeland and Erie, Drew VerHagen was challenged with an assignment to Toledo and has been more than holding his own. What does his repertoire look like, and could he be in Detroit to help this year?

Drew VerHagen

Vitals

Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 10/22/1990 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Height/Weight: 6-6/230
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 4th Round
Ranking History: #10 (2013, #7 (2014)

Background: A fourth round pick out of one of the Tigers favorite universities, Vanderbilt, VerHagen has moved quickly through the organization, including a 2.81 ERA at Lakeland in 2013 and then a 3.00 ERA with Double-A Erie in the second half of that season. He advanced to Triple-A Toledo to start the 2014 season and while the numbers haven't been as pretty, he remains one of the Tigers top pitching prospects.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Pitching
TEAMGGSSVIPHHRRERBBSOHBPERAWHIPW/L
Lakeland 1211067.14912721273552.811.135-3
Erie 1212060.05332420174043.001.172-5


Scouting Report

Body: Big, strong frame; long arms and legs; broad shoulders; holds strength well; good athlete; big, lean guy; not a ton of physical projection, but doesn't need it; exceptional pitcher's frame; well coordinated.

Delivery/Mechanics: Controls long limbs well; looks athletic on the mound; quick arm action; smooth to balance point; drives hard to plate; makes things look surprisingly easy; repeats well.

Fastball: Typically sits 90-93; T95; working lower early in 2014; sitting 89-92; FB has tremendous natural sink; movement helps pitch play up considerably; aggressive with FB; challenges hitters to hit it; maintains velo in stretch; velo is sustained throughout starts; good stamina; velo and movement should combine for plus pitch as he completes maturation. Grade – Present 5+/Future 6

Slider: Lacks feel for spin; doesn't always snap SL; occasional average pitch; pulls it through too frequently and flattens it out; may be more effective sticking with shorter, cutter-like break; best sliders have natural dive to them; below-average offering with fringe projection. Grade – 4/4+

Changeup: Best secondary pitch; consistently shows as average; good arm speed deception; pitch has sink; occasional fade but relies more heavily on sink; good velo separation; can be effective inducing weak contact; won't miss tons of bats. Grade – 5/5+

Control/Command: Strike throwing machine; lives in the lower third of the zone; moves FB to both corners; can elevate 4-seam FB; relies more heavily on command of sinker; command of CH is solid; struggles to move SL around where he wants it; overall above-average command profile.

Other: Good competitor; intimidating presence on the mound; attacks hitters; good athlete; can field; smart kid.

Final Word

Summary: Solid but not spectacular prospect; FB-CH carry the load; sinker is legitimate MLB pitch; weak contact is consistent; CH can be above-average; reliable second pitch; SL still lags behind; pounds the zone with two primary pitches; aggressive with sinker; good mound presence; solid overall potential.

Risk: Low risk; Modest ceiling; already succeeding at upper levels; low floor.

Projection: Nearly a finished product; needs consistency and SL development; latter mat not come; has #4 ceiling; setup floor with FB uptick in short bursts; should stick in rotation long term for me; could be ready in 2014.

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