Name: Evan Scribner
DOB: July 19, 1985
Coming over in mid-July, Scriber allowed runs in four of his 20 appearances with the Storm. He went 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA across 23.1 innings – yielding 14 hits and three walks while striking out 31.
The opposition hit a paltry .167 off him during his time within the Padres system.
That has been the pattern since being drafted in the 28th-round. Coming out of Central Connecticut State, the right-hander had been used in the rotation and as a reliever. The four-year player completed 20 of the 33 games that he started for the Blue Devils, including seven of nine in 2007. The Diamondbacks decided to use him in relief to lessen the stress placed on Scribner's young arm – a role he thrived in.
He posted a 2.85 ERA across two levels in Arizona's system, striking out 61 in 47.1 innings while yielding 42 hits.
Scribner was assigned to Low-A South Bend to begin this season, serving as the team's closer. He went 2-3 with eight saves in as many opportunities across 23 games, posting a 1.57 ERA while allowing 23 hits and striking out 52. Promoted to Visalia of the California League, he saw action in 9.2 innings, posting a 1.86 ERA before the trade to San Diego.
All told, the right-hander amassed a 2.01 ERA across 67.1 innings and three teams. Of the 14 runners he inherited, only one scored.
"His fastball, velocity wise, if you look at it on paper is 90–92, which is average or a tick above, but it's got some life to it up," former Lake Elsinore pitching coach Wally Whitehurst said. "It's sneaky because he throws it with a lot of ease."
The Connecticut native has a fastball that rides in the low-90s, topping out at 93 mph. His two-seam action is able to hit both sides of the plate effectively, and he is not afraid to throw it inside.
Scribner tosses a 12-to-6 curveball – a pitch that is roughly 25 mph slower than his fastball. When setup correctly, hitters are so far out in front of the pitch that they often try and check their swing – only to be wrung up for a third strike.
"That kid has got an above average breaking ball right now," Lake Elsinore manager Carlos Lezcano said. "He throws 91-92 with that nasty curveball."
His straight changeup is a below-average pitch that could use some work. It is a pitch he rarely offers, as it lacks consistent command down in the zone.
He is an aggressive pitcher that commands the strike zone and can get his breaking ball over for strikes. His three-quarters delivery and cross-body motion give life to his offerings and offer up a little deception, particularly to right-handed hitters.
"He has an out pitch in his curveball, which is a very good pitch for him," Whitehurst said. "When he gets strike one, strike two, and he drops that curveball on, it's tough to hit. He comes right at you."
He leans to the third base side of the mound during his delivery and hitters get a taste of the ball popping out from behind his back. As he goes through his motion, however, the ball is hidden again before whipping out from the three-quarters angle. With a loose arm and easy release, he is able to keep the ball where he wants it.
One concern was that 45.2 percent of the hits he surrendered this season went for extra base hits. When he missed – he missed badly. He will hang the curveball when he does not stay on top of the ball during his release and hitters who are expecting it can take advantage. He will also elevate his fastball – specifically into a left-handers wheelhouse. If they get a good look at the pitch coming in, they can send it a long way.
"You need to have an above average pitch to pitch in the big leagues," Lezcano added. "I like him; he's going to help us down the road. He's going to move fast; I think he's going to move fast."
Conclusion: Scribner has the attitude and makeup to succeed as a closer. He trusts his stuff and makes each pitch with conviction. It makes him a quality bullpen arm.
Scribner has been a strikeout machine because of the effectiveness of his curveball, but he will have to keep the ball down in the zone consistently and even out of the zone to see sustained success. Hitters wait for those mistakes at the higher levels and he will have to adjust. A big part of that will be the use of his changeup at the higher levels – a pitch he threw only a handful of times during 2008.
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