Name: Jeremy McBryde
DOB: May 1, 1987
The Padres controlled his right for two straight years after picking him in successive drafts. On the final day of signing eligibility, the Padres were aggressive, ensuring he joined their stable.
Coming in with high expectations because of his power arm, McBryde struggled finding consistency down in the zone. His pitches were often elevated, resulting in a team-high six homers allowed.
Playing for the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League, McBryde went 1-6 with a 5.31 ERA, allowing 67 hits in 59.1 innings while also tossing seven wild pitches.
"The fan looks at the numbers and I just look at the stuff," Eugene manager Greg Riddoch said. "He has really good stuff."
"Most of these college pitchers – I think he got beat up," Eugene pitching coach Dave Rajsich said. "He has a very good arm, 92 to 94 with a very heavy sink to it. A very heavy ball. He throws two sliders.
"I think you have to be excited with his arm. They are all big-bodied and I think they got worn out because they were so good in college that they got abused. They are still healthy and that is a good thing. You look at 150 to 160 innings on some of these guys between college and what we put them through – they are tired.
"I like his stuff. He just got beat up. He got tired at the end as well. If you look at all of them – they all got a little tired – Kluber, Hefner."
A big, physical prospect, McBryde has a fastball that has hit 96 MPH in the past and sits 90-94 MPH. In Eugene, he was topping out at 94, but rest should benefit him in the coming year. His fastball has heavy tailing action down in the zone, but he struggled with its location through his first professional season.
"Heavy fastball with a good arm and hard slider that is a work in progress and a changeup that has improved," Padres former minor league field coordinator Bill Bryk said. "I think in the end he might be a setup guy in the big leagues, but he may end up being a starter too."
McBryde has been working hard on his changeup and has a feel for the pitch but it is currently a "show-me" offering. If he can clean it up and make it an average pitch, the right-hander will be able to play off his fastball and toy with the opposition. Right now, it comes in too hard and lacks the same arm speed as his fastball.
The Oklahoma native has two sliders that he throws, one with more of a slurvy action that and another that sweeps across the zone. One will eventually be dropped with an eye on bringing one consistent slider to the table each game and refining that pitch.
"When he starts to get command of that slider – he has to change speeds," Riddoch said. "If the fastball is at one level, the changeup needs to be 12 to 15 MPH less. The slider needs to be in between those. He will acquire those. The arm is good and he has a bulldog body.
"I think he is going to be a good player. He has a good arm and a great body."
"McBryde is heavy fastball and hard slider – mostly hard stuff," Bryk added. "Not a feel for the changeup – that could change since it has gotten better."
He is relatively clean mechanically, methodically coming to the plate in a very deliberate manner. Nothing is rushed and his tempo for a power pitcher can be deemed quite slow.
While he has no hesitations in his delivery mechanics, McBryde hits each checkpoint with precision to keep his line to the dish – except the placement of his leg.
He does not land his leg in a traditional manner after picking it up during his delivery. He has an extra kick out after getting his line to the plate, making his leg appear to hang in the air right before it hits the ground before an extra few feet are added with his extension of the foot – giving him a little extra momentum moving forward to propel his arm and gain velocity.
The move allows his body and arm to catch up, making it more fluid. His hands come up to his chin before the release of the ball and when he keeps everything aligned he will stay closed. There are times, however, that he flies open when he does more of a slide-step – causing him to be wild outside of the zone and often elevating his pitches.
His arm is more of a cock and release than the 7-to-12 delivery. His throwing arm does not drop as far down as many other pitchers yet he has solid arm speed that generates movement and velocity. He is an over the top pitcher but sometimes his elbow will drop and his arm angle slides down towards three-quarters as a result, hurting both his command and the movement of his pitches.
"I think his sequences – he didn't throw many changeups – and I think the sequences in college are different when you get to pro ball," Rajsich said of area for improvement. "He has to learn to use the sequences."
"Personally, I don't think he is a starter," said Riddoch. "I think he is a middle guy that could give you two good innings with a hard slider and good changeup."
ETA: McBryde will get his innings in as a starter in the coming years, but he may profile best as a reliever. Depending on whether they move him to the pen or not, McBryde's timetable could move up. He has an explosive fastball and a feel for a slider.
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