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TigsTown Detroit Tigers Scouting Report #16: RHP Mark Ecker

Despite not having the large frame that is typically expected among the pitchers the Tigers draft, Mark Ecker does bring the velocity with a power fastball. Working exclusively out of the bullpen since getting drafted a year ago, how quickly could Ecker work his way up the ladder, and where does he need to improve to be able to make an impact?



Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

Date of Birth: 5/27/1995 (Opening Day Age: 21)

Height/Weight: 6’0/180

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: 2016 MLB Draft, 5th Round


Scouting Report

Body: Average build; relatively thin but good strength; on shorter side for RHP; solid athlete.


Delivery/Mechanics: Works exclusively from stretch as reliever; quick from first movement to balance point and explodes toward plate; drives hard to plate and quickly dives to glove side as he approaches his release point; will fly open too early and can get too aggressive on the follow through; arm is quick and works well with his delivery, keeping up with the rest of his body.


Fastball: Big velocity; sits 95-96 routinely and can reach 100-101 mph at times; lower velocity band allows for impressive movement, both to arm side and occasional sink; when pitch approaches triple digits, movement is lost and pitch becomes more hittable; lacks height to generate steep angle to plate and must work down consistently to avoid having high-velocity pitch barreled an inordinate amount of time; potential elite pitch but likely grades a step lower due to inability to combine elite velocity and movement at the same time. Grade – Present 7/Future 7


Slider: Below-average offering; lacks consistent spin or deception; without spin and power, depth is limited; rarely throws; when thrown, command lags behind quality of offering; poor pitch that is not likely to be a factor at higher levels. Grade – 3+/4


Changeup: Passable second pitch; generates deception with arm speed and utilization of the same arm slot as fastball; pitch has natural sink and works in mid- to upper-80s; good velocity separation; inconsistent trust in offering; can frequently be too frim; average pitch that flashes above-average. Grade – 5/5+


Control/Command: Ability to throw strikes is present; works above knees too frequently, particularly when accounting lack of preferred height; has not shown ability to locate east-west; high effort follow through and explosive drive to plate hinder command projection.


Other: Good competitor; shows emotion on his terms; can struggle to field to arm side because of follow through; average pickoff move to first base.


Final Word

Summary: Power armed reliever; FB is double-plus weapon when thrown down in the zone to maximize leverage to the plate; CH can be effective second pitch; lacks swing and miss breaking ball and RHH will take advantage of FB-CH combination; More hittable than the raw fastball velocity would suggest; will be challenged to continue developing CH and command in order to maximize potential.


Risk: High risk; Inherent MiLB reliever risk; lack of breaking ball makes him more volatile than most mid- to upper-90s relief prospects.


Projection: Has two pitches that can be effective at MLB level when located; needs to develop tertiary pitch or command in order to improve overall projection; without a plus or better CH or average breaking ball, ceiling is setup reliever with more likely role as 7th inning arm; should advance to Double-A before the end of 2017 and could be ready for big league action in 2019.

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