Scouting Report: John Richy

The jury is still out on whether the Phillies got enough back from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Chase Utley to L.A. Right-hander John Richy was one of the two players acquired by the Phillies in the deal.

As with many deals, it's going to take a while to fully know whether the Phillies got value in exchange for Chase Utley. Quite honestly, the Phillies couldn't have expected to get a boat load of talent, simply because Utley is merely a short-term rental, has a blurry future and there are no guarantees that his ankle - or knees for that matter - can withstand playing on a regular basis over any extended period of time. 

The early looks at the deal seem to indicate that the Phillies did pretty well. Both of the players that they got in exchange have some flaws here and there, but are well worth watching to see how they develop.

John Richy will likely join the Clearwater Threshers after pitching this season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. The 23-year old is in his second professional season after being taken by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2014 Draft out of UNLV. With Rancho Cucamonga this season, he was 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 22 games, including 18 starts. He averages 5.8 innings per start and has struck out 105 batters, while walking 34. As a senior at UNLV, Richy pitched a lot and the Dodgers limited him last season, but have turned him loose this year.

His pitch repertoire includes both a two-seam and four-seam fastball. According to Taylor Blake Ward of InsideTheHalos.com, who has scouted Richy, the two-seamer has good sink, with 86-90 velocity. The four-seamer has good arm-side run and sits between 91 and 94 on the gun. He'll also occasionally show a cut-fastball that sits in the mid-80s, but isn't a frequent weapon. Ward says the change-up is in the low-80s and has arm-side run, but is still a work in progress. For breaking pitches, Richy features a curve and slider, gets good movement on both and can throw both for strikes.

As for his mechanics, Richy does have a lot of head movement late in his delivery, but it doesn't seem to affect him. Ward reports that his delivery overall is clean and simple and allows him to generate velocity deep into his outings.

Right now, Richy generally projects as a back of the rotation starter, mainly because he lacks a dominating pitch that he can use as a go-to to get outs. He'll generally need to keep generating solid strikeout numbers and keep the ball on the ground as he usually does. 

The groundball rate in the minors is right around 46%, but Richy touches the 53% mark, showing that he generates a lot of groundballs by pitching down in the zone and getting good downward movement on his pitches. Richy is slightly below league averages in strikeout percentage, which could easily be turned around if he were able to develop one of his pitches into that go-to pitch that he lacks.


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