Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft, 4th Round
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.
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.