TigsTown Scouting Report: Detroit Tigers 4th Round Pick RHP Kyle Funkhouser

When you go 100 picks without making a selection, which the Tigers did after selecting 9th overall, you can worry about the upside of the player you get when you next pick, in the 4th round. But the Tigers fourth rounder in righty Kyle Funkhouser has tons of upside, and plenty of question marks.

http://www.scout.com/player/185161-kyle-funkhouser

 

Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft, 4th Round

 

Scouting Report

Body: Sturdy; well-built with good strength throughout; potential to be durable inning eater with body type; mature physical features with limited projection.

 

Delivery/Mechanics: Inconsistent; abbreviated windup; short stride; quick arm when things are going right for him; will fall to 1B pretty hard at times, leaving him out of position to field at times; typically works standard ¾ slot; significant challenges repeating delivery throughout career.

 

Fastball: Backed up from what he showed heading into the 2015 draft; worked consistently 89-92 mph in 2016 and ticked up to 91-93 mph later in the season; FB reaches 93-94 mph when he needs a little extra, but not the previous 96-97 mph that enticed scouts a year ago; good life that can be difficult to barrel when thrown in lower velo band; straightens and becomes hittable within upper register; potential to regain true plus fastball if velo tick late in season holds and he adjusts to five-day rotation schedule. Grade – Present 5/Future 6

 

Slider: At best, shows good velocity, tight spin, and occasional hard bite; quality was inconsistent throughout college season; began going away from pitch late in spring; pitch was frequently softer and more hittable this season; still shows occasional flashes of being a quality second pitch; mechanical inconsistency and reduced arm speed early in 2016 season may have hurt pitch. Grade – 4+/5+

 

Curveball: Went from distant fourth pitch to second pitch during 2016 season; threw with more vigor this spring and pitch had sharper bit thanks to better spin rate and consistently staying on top of the pitch; still fringe-average offering most outings; doesn’t project as well as SL but could be nice pitch to compliment rest of arsenal. Grade – 4/4+

 

Changeup: Replicates arm speed well; has yet to show feel for turning it over to generate significant movement; pitch needs considerable improvement to be able to keep LHH off other pitches. Grade – 4/4+

 

Control/Command: Well below-average; biggest stumbling block to improved projection; lack of mechanical consistency holds back control profile and inhibits development of any command profile; modest development of FB command would improve projection and risk rating considerably.

 

Other: Confident in ability; works hard just hasn’t had things click yet; improving ability to hold runners and work from the stretch; must develop ability to field position.

 

Final Word

Summary: Overall profile has backed up from 2015 peak; FB and SL were not as crisp this spring; CB development was positive late in college season, but pitch still lacks consistency to project average; CH is now fourth offering that rounds out arsenal; needs control, followed by some hint of command development; considerable potential exists but may have further to go than previously believed.

 

Risk: High risk; Unknowns surrounding causes for decreased stuff in 2016; control profile is very problematic.

 

Projection: Current profile suggests back-end starter or power reliever; return of previous FB velocity and strong SL could push projection back to more high-leverage reliever; control improvement would lead to potential #3 starter projection; lots of work to do; considerable amount of risk in profile despite college pedigree; may require 2-3 years before reaching MLB radar; role projection very volatile.

 

 


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