John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers TigsTown Scouting Report #27: Angel Nesbitt

Angel Nesbitt started making noise on the prospect scene in 2014, then came out of nowhere to win a job in the Tigers bullpen in spring training last season. His success wore off though, and eventually ended up back down in Toledo, where he struggled, battling inconsistent mechanics and decreased velocity. Can Nesbitt still be a solution in the bullpen?

Angel Nesbitt



Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

Date of Birth: 12/4/1990 (2016 Opening Day Age: 25)

Height/Weight: 6’1/237

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2009

Ranking History: #194 (2010), #181 (2011), #172 (2012), #84 (2013), #68 (2014), #18 (2015), #27 (2016)


Background: Signed in 2009 out of Venezuela, Nesbitt spent three seasons bouncing between the Venezuelan and Dominican Summer Leagues, before finally making his stateside debut in 2012 with Connecticut. Nesbitt’s career took off in 2013 as he pitched well in the Midwest League by posting a 3.22 ERA in 52 outings. He followed that full-season debut up with a monster campaign in 2014, blowing through High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie before being placed on the Tigers 40-man roster in November of that year. Nesbitt struggled at both the Triple-A and MLB levels in 2015, but he still showed promise because of solid stuff that can work against high-level hitters.



Toledo AAA 27 0 0 40.1 54 30 / 28 3 21 30 6.25 1.86 1-5
Detroit MLB 24 0 0 21.2 22 14 / 13 2 8 14 5.40 1.38 1-1

Scouting Report

Body: Squat frame; thick torso; almost looks pudgy; naturally strong upper body; strong legs that fit with his torso; conditioning has come along over last two years; has yet to demonstrate ability to bounce back physically for back-to-back outings.


Delivery/Mechanics: Very inconsistent; high effort delivery; drives hard toward plate; strength-based delivery that lacks fluidity; effort in delivery can hinder strike throwing at times.


Fastball: Velocity regressed in 2015, stepping back from mid-90s heat to sit 92-93 consistently with less movement than his development had demonstrated in 2015; reached 94-95 on occasion, again stepping back from peak velocity of 98-99 mph the previous season; when down in the zone, FB features some riding life that gets in on the fists of RHH; currently above-average velo that needs to regain lost hop to allow him to reach prior projection; physically maxed out and no expectation that velocity steps forward in any significant way. Grade – Present 5+/Future 5+


Slider: Short, tight slider that has improved significantly over last three seasons; shows some depth when thrown down in the zone and can induce bats in that range; flattens out and shows only mild cut when thrown up in the strike zone; has look of FB out of the hand but lacks substantial movement to become bat missing offering; average pitch with minimal projection; command of pitch lags behind command of FB. Grade – 5/5


Changeup: Well below-average offering that only occasionally flashes better than that rating; occasional mild sink; arm speed slows and gives pitch way; should rarely be thrown in high leverage situations. Grade 3+/4


Control/Command: Never found consistency on mound in 2015 and with mechanical struggles, control suffered; has stretches where he can pound zone with FB and stay around zone with SL; other stretches where nothing is close to spots and he gets touched up; command lags and will never be strong element of game.


Other: Energetic on field; enjoys game; strong competitor that can show emotion on mound.


Final Word

Summary: Strong frame; aggressive delivery; control can come and go as a result of effort in delivery; lack of control/command leaves above-average FB hittable and prevents average SL from playing to grade; CH is non-existent at MLB level; capable of stretches where everything comes together and he can get MLB hitters out.


Risk: Low risk; Is what he is; lacks projection and will contribute at MLB level again in 2016.


Projection: Will enter spring training with a chance at an MLB job but likely heads to Triple-A to receive additional seasoning; potential middle reliever as soon as 2016 and could have peak seasons as a seventh inning arm.




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