Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Acquired: 2012 MLB Draft, 6th Round
Ranking History: N/A
The Tigers selected John in the sixth round last year, signing him quickly with a $135,000 signing bonus. Johns debuted with three relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League, allowing one hit in 3 2/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
Though John has already had major surgery (Tommy John) on his left arm, he has a clean delivery that looks easy. He has good strength and an excellent pitcher's frame. When he's on the mound, he looks like he's playing catch in the back yard.
John's stuff doesn't blow scouts away. His fastball sits in the 86-88 mph range as a starter and in shorter stints during instructs, he bumped 91 mph with his four-seamer. He gets good natural movement on his fastball and he induces weak contact and misses some bats as a result.
John has shown a slider in the past but was focused on his curveball and change-up during instructs, showing a mid-70s change with good sink and a lower-70s curveball with good quality overhand break.
His change-up showed as average on occasion and it could settle in that range down the line. For his curveball, John showed feel for spinning the ball and the pitch had occasional hard bite with bat-missing potential.
John showed the ability to pound the strike zone with all three pitches. His control profile is excellent and given his athleticism and easy delivery, he has the potential to command the ball to all parts of the zone. His change-up command lagged behind the fastball and curveball, but it wasn't bad.
Most scouts believe John needs a bump in his fastball velocity to succeed long term as a starter. With his demonstrated ability to sneak the fastball into the 89-90 mph range on occasion as a reliever, that leads some to view short work as his ultimate role.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP BAA R
John had Tommy John surgery following his senior year of high school and missed his first season at Oklahoma recovering from the injury. He showed few effects now two years removed from the injury and has the frame/strength to long plenty of innings.
John needs innings on the mound and despite his big-time college experience he could take a while to get going through the system. John projects best in a short-relief role where he can show better velocity and mix his curveball and change-up effectively against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. John has the feel and pitchability to handle an aggressive full-season assignment in 2013.
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