DRAFT VIDEO: Michael Theofanopoulos
Michael Theofanopoulos has had an up-and-down career on the hill for California, but he has a lot of the tools necessary to succeed at the next level.
Theofanopoulos throws hard for a lefty, at 91-93 with his fastball, and has a projectable frame at 5-foot-11, 196 pounds. He is a plus athlete, coming in as a two-way player, and posting a .283 batting average over his first three seasons at Cal.
The real centerpiece to Theofanopoulos's repertoire is his curve. It has a lot of bite and sharp, downward movement with a lot of spin. When he's throwing it for strikes, he's as good as any Pac-12 pitcher, but he's had a tendency to lose focus and concentration with runners on base, and that can compound his problems. He's gotten away with being a little wild at times, just because of the quality of his stuff, but that won't fly at the next level. He has to learn how to be effectively wild, and that all starts with the curve. If he can throw it for strikes consistently, he'll get the swing and miss in the dirt, and that is only magnified when he can spot his fastball.
What Theofanopoulos does very well with that fastball is change eye level. It's got enough movement that he can throw it to both sides of the plate and get swings and misses, and he's got enough juice to challenge hitters up and on the inner half of the plate.
Theofanopoulos has very workable mechanics, and that no-frills delivery works to his advantage. He has had issues with consistency and repeatability with his motion, but those are problems that can be fixed. He still needs to add another effective secondary pitch to go along with the fastball and curve, but if taken as-is, he's got enough building blocks to be an effective starter. Unless he can become more consistent with the mental part of the game, it's hard to see him as a reliever, especially coming in with runners on base.
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