Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Eichhorn was the third round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008 and came to the Tigers as the headline piece in exchange for right-hander Armando Galarraga prior to the 2011 season.
Prior to last season, Eichhorn had spent just two starts above rookie ball in his three seasons as a professional. He had middling levels of success pitching for Missoula and struggled in his two starts in short-season A and high-A ball.
The Tigers pushed Eichhorn to the Midwest League for his first full season and he was at least solid throughout the summer. In 25 starts for West Michigan Eichhorn hurled two complete games and finished with an 11-5 record. His eleven wins tied him for sixth in the league.
In support of his 11-5 record Eichhorn posted a 3.61 ERA with 148 hits allowed in 152 innings. He walked just 33 batters and struck out 109.
Eichhorn lacks the classic body that many scouts and organizations prefer in right-handers, standing only 6-foot tall and lacking significant strength.
He has good arm speed and drives well with his lower half, but still only generates average velocity sitting at 89-91 mph. Throughout a start his velocity will fluctuate from 87 at its low point and peak at 94 mph on occasion. His fastball can lack angle at times leaving it more hittable than you would like.
Eichhorn features a curveball and change-up to round out his arsenal. His curveball has gotten firmer over the last two years which has given it more bite and made it a more reliable second pitch.
He has good feel for his change-up but doesn't always set it up well. His change-up has some minor arm-side movement and good sink but he must work to keep the pitch down more consistently.
With a father (Mark Eichhorn) that pitched many years in the big leagues, Kevin has an excellent overall feel for his craft. He has an idea of pitch sequence but falls in love with his fastball and his ability to locate it a bit too much at times.
Eichhorn's overall ceiling stands as a back of the rotation starter that could be an up-and-down type of guy. He doesn't profile well in a bullpen role without an out pitch he can rely on and his only chance for big league success is as a starter.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP A
Eichhorn's workload doubled in 2011 and he handled that increase very well. His arm action is clean and his mechanics work well and that could bode well for his long term health.
Eichhorn showed more than enough during the 2011 season to earn a promotion to High-A Lakeland in 2012. He should be a stalwart in the Flying Tigers rotation and may have a chance to see Erie for a cameo at the end of the season.
If he progresses well he may be in line for a big league opportunity by the beginning of the 2014 season, though he may reach that level with little fanfare.. With little margin for error it could take him some time to settle in to a big league role and he will have to pitch well at every opportunity to continue getting chances.
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