Tigers Scouting Report #45: Cal Drummond

As one of their many bullpen-focused draft picks in 2013, Cal Drummond is one of the more intriguing selections. What makes Drummond so interesting as a relief prospect?

Cal Drummond

Vitals

Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 9/22/1989 (2014 Opening Day Age: 24)
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2013 Draft, 6th Round
Ranking History: #45 (2014)

Background: A 6th round pick last summer that signed for $60,000, Drummond has been drafted four times in his career, once each by Milwaukee, Washington and Oakland. He excelled in a relief role at West Michigan right out of the gate, posting a 2.23 ERA, less than a hit per inning and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings.

Performance:

2013 Cal Drummond Stats - Pitching
TEAMGGSSVIPHHRRERBBSOHBPERAWHIPW/L
GCL Tigers 2012.010000200.000.501-0
West Michigan 232040.12311710164712.230.973-2


Scouting Report

Body: Excellent build; very physical; broad shoulders; tapers to waist; very good strength throughout; long limbs well-conditioned; great pitchers frame and physique; plus body.

Delivery/Mechanics: Simple and consistent windup; short arm action; quick arm; consistent landing spot; good extension out front despite shorter arm action; near over-the-top arm slot; some effort at release; head jerks down and to 1B; relatively simple despite effort; has found consistency but delivery still best suited for bullpen.

Fastball: Typically 90-93 mph in both windup and stretch; peaks at 95 mph in short bursts; velo will dip to 88-91 over the course of longer outings; FB has good plane thanks to height, long arms, and overhand delivery; aggressive with FB; amateur scouts reported velo spike (up to 97 mph) during the spring when arm was fresh and he wasn't pitching games; velo likely settles 90-92, T94-95 in bullpen. Grade – Present 5+/Future 5+

Slider: Quality pitch; sits 85-87; tight rotation; good two-plane break; can be difficult to differentiate from FB when thrown well; potential to miss bats in and out of the strike zone; needs to refine ability to throw where he wants when he wants; sets hitters up well for SL usage; potential above-average second pitch; should help induce strikeouts and ground balls. Grade – 5/5+

Curveball: Began throwing spike curve more in late spring and after signing; shows occasional potential; largely below-average; thrown in mid-70s; occasional depth but typically lacks impressive bite; unlikely to be a factor out of the bullpen. Grade – 3+/4

Changeup: Rarely used in short spurts; only occasional use in longer outings; velo 83-84 mph; struggles to maintain arm speed; at his best has good arm speed deception and some sink to the pitch; below-average with minimal projection; not required for relief future. Grade – 4/4

Control/Command: Effort and head jerk at the end of the delivery suggest control/command problems, but they don't manifest frequently; pounds the zone with FB and SL; likes to throw strikes early and work ahead; FB cuts through the zone on steep plane but still catches the zone for called strikes; command will waiver at times; consistently in and around the zone; above-average command profile; plus control profile.

Other: Attacks hitters with FB; likes to get ahead early; mixes pitches well; very good understanding of pitching strategy; pitches backwards and forwards; works both sides of plate with FB; struggles to elevate; intelligent; solid pickoff move; can field his position despite effort in latter stages of delivery.

Final Word

Summary: Intriguing bullpen arm; overhand release offers deception and adds angle to the plate; FB velo can play up because of angle and control; SL is quality second pitch; CB and CH won't be factors in bullpen; aggressive arm that won't walk a ton of hitters; intelligent kid that understands pitching and the entire game around him; good presence.

Risk: High risk; advanced age for experience level; limited resume; bullpen only future.

Projection: Middle reliever; potential 7th inning arm if it all comes together; FB-SL combo can work in short bursts; advanced age gives limited window for MLB success.

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