Prospect Profile: Jay Sborz

Jay Sborz was a second round draft pick two years ago because of his large frame, hard fastball, and great potential. Thusfar, Sborz is still living off that potential, as he still has yet to see the rest of his game come around. But what progress did he make in '04, and what's in store for the future?

Jay Sborz
Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-4 Weight: 210
Born: 1/24/1985 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Sborz was likely a first-round talent who fell to the second round in similar fashion to Josh Rainwater's fall, as a result of the craze for college pitchers. As Jay slipped, Dave Dombrowski, and his penchant for hard throwers was glad to pick him up; signing him away from his commitment to Arizona State. The Tigers limited Sborz' innings in his professional debut, hoping to avoid future injury with the youngster. While in the Gulf Coast League in 2003, Jay started seven games, pitching 26 innings while striking out 35. It was an impressive beginning for the 18-year old flame-thrower, but 2004 did not represent the progress many were hoping for. In his second season, Jay fell off dramatically with his increased workload, posting a lower ERA, but also lower strikeout rates, along with higher walk and hit rates.

Scouting Report
Jay has a large frame, with plenty of room to mature physically. His fastball already sits in the 93-95 range consistently, with good movement and late life. As Jay continues to grow, it is possible he could regularly hit triple digits, further adding to his intimidating style. The classic power pitcher, Sborz has yet to develop any sort of change-up, and relies on only a hard, sharp slider that can touch the low-80s with regularity, to keep hitters off balance. Jay's biggest fault at this point centers on his lack of command, walking over 6 batters per nine innings over his career. Jay relies on a violent delivery to generate his incredible power, and as a result struggles in repeating his mechanics. Until he becomes a more controlled pitcher on the mound, rather than just a thrower, he will continue to struggle with consistency. Overall, Sborz is an incredible raw talent, but needs a lot of refinement to be considered a legitimate pitching prospect.

Performance

Year

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

2004

GCL Tigers

1-4

4.48

12

12

0

62

44

60.1

1.59


Health Record
Jay has had no significant injuries to this point.

The Future
After repeating the GCL in 2004, Sborz will likely spend the upcoming season with Oneonta of the New York-Penn League, where he will likely benefit from the large parks and generally difficult hitting environment. Sborz will need to begin commanding his pitches if he wants to be a successful professional. Jay will likely spend time in the O-Tigers rotation simply to get extra innings, but don't be surprised if he ends up as a dominating late-inning reliever as he moves up the organizational ladder. Sborz' power arsenal, and lack of a consistent change-up, fit perfectly in the stereotypical closers role. Don't expect Jay to move quickly without increased control, but you should see some progress in 2005, with a possible taste of full-season ball late in the year.


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