Position: Left-handed Pitcher
Though many teams viewed Todd as a 10th to 12th round talent, the Tigers liked him enough to pop him in the 7th round of the 2008 draft. With a fairly strong commitment to Alabama, Todd was pried away from his college commitment with a $150,000 signing bonus; slightly above average for his round.
As a high school senior on a poor team, Todd posted a 7-3 record with three shutouts in 54 innings. His 1.33 ERA and 96 strikeouts were fantastic numbers that would get anyone noticed come draft day.
The Tigers assigned Todd to the Gulf Coast League after signing in June, and he jumped right out of the gate with a 2.34 ERA and 3-1 record in 12 appearances (five starts). Todd was at his best in August, going 2-0 in five games, with a 0.39 ERA and 28 strikeouts in just 23 innings. That performance earned him TigsTown's GCL Pitcher of the Month award.
Todd continued his strong pitching in the fall instructional league, pitching well against many older and more experienced pro players.
Though some scouts would like to see him further refine his physicality and tighten his body, Todd has enough present stuff to be a solid prospect. He works his fastball in the 88-90 range, topping out at 92 when he is fresh. He has enough room in his frame to build muscle and potentially work more in the 89-92 range down the line. He is generally able to throw strikes with his fastball, though he must improve his ability to locate within the zone and work both sides of the plate at the knees.
Todd's best pitch is a potential plus curveball that has true 12-6 downer action. He does struggle to stay on top of the pitch at times, but he should improve his consistency with experience and pro instruction. If he can finish developing his breaking ball, that will give him the true out pitch that he will need to succeed at higher levels.
Jade also has a change-up that he has shown some feel for, and it could be a consistently average pitch in time. He has a tendency to slow his arm slightly on the change-up, and they have already been working to improve his arm speed and keep it consistent with that of his fastball.
Todd had good mound presence and he rarely gets rattled on the hill despite what is going on around him. Several people within the organization have been very impressed with his stuff and willingness to adapt and learn, and he could transform himself into a nice prospect capable of becoming a solid mid-rotation starter.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG A
Todd has tired significantly in each of the last two years, as the innings piled up. His velocity dipped late last summer and into the fall, but he was back to throwing in his normal range this spring. After earning an assignment to West Michigan, Todd came down with shoulder soreness/stiffness and has yet to return from the disabled list.
There are some concerns on the horizon right now, as his stint on the disabled list continues to stretch further into the season. If he can get back in full health, Todd has a chance to enhance his reputation as a solid prospect. He'll need to prove healthy with solid velocity, and improve his consistency with all three pitches, but those are things he is definitely capable of doing.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.