Scouting Report: RHP, Jordan Foley

The Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Jordan Foley in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Central Michigan University. The numbers in his debut season with the Staten Island Yankees were not anything special but he showed some real signs of a being a potential 'sleeper' prospect for the Yankees in the coming years.

[Photo by Robert Pimpsner]

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jordan Foley
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 12, 1993
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I think I underperformed on the field a little bit but it was a big step for me just to go out there and learn how professional baseball kind of worked," Foley said of his debut season. "I think I took a lot away from the summer just realizing what I needed to work on, how the competition was, learn more about the game and learn more about myself as a pitcher. I think that was the biggest thing, just taking everything away and learning."

He went just 0-2 with a 4.46 ERA for the Staten Island Yankees while having to make the transition to the professional level of facing deeper and more balanced lineups, and playing in front of sizeable crowds for the first time too. But behind the rather pedestrian numbers he feels there were significant improvements made.

"I think mentality[wise] I improved more," he said. "I've always tried to focus on that making sure I'm always in control out there. As a pitcher the game doesn't start until you deliver the pitch so just keeping the right mindset when I did struggle and realizing it's just part of the process.

"As the summer went on I felt like my control got better and I was able to do more of what I wanted to do. That helped with my offspeed stuff. My offspeed stuff really developed this [past] summer. I really gained a lot of confidence in those pitches, the slider and the split-change I throw."

For some college pitchers they find their stuff blossoms more at the professional level than at the collegiate level simply because of the difference in the balls being used. And for Foley in particular, the lower-seamed balls used at the professional level has allowed one of his better pitches to blossom.

"When I first got there at the beginning of the summer my slider was really good," he said. "I had tinkered with the grip on the split-change, I couldn't really throw it the same way [initially]. I learned it in my sophomore year in college and the college ball had those high seams, and when I came back from my sophomore summer I threw with the low-seam balls in Cape Cod and I thought it was my second best pitch.

"But then when I came back to school for my junior year the higher seamed balls, just going back to those kind of messed with me. I couldn't really figure it out again but then [in Staten Island] going back to the lower-seamed balls I went back to that grip I used in Cape Cod.

"It took a little while to get the arm speed back and the grip back, and the feel for it back, but by the end of the summer it took a step above the slider. They're probably tied right now because any given day they can be just as good as the other. They flip-flop."

His split-changeup became a real weapon for him by the end of the New York Penn League season and so did his slider. While the slider didn't actually improve velocity-wise or even with its break necessarily, it was the better control he had developed over it that had made it more of a reliable weapon.

"When I get into trouble with it it's when I overthrow it, it kind of gets loopy when I get on the side of it," he admitted. "When I throw it well I focus on getting it out in front and not really try to do a lot with it, just let it do what it's going to do out of my hand.

"When I don't try to do too much that's when it's good. It's firm and it's tight, and that makes it tough to see when you're a hitter. When it's coming out of your hand a little early and when you're trying to manipulate it more by trying to make it spin more or something that's when the hitter can pick it up earlier."

He snapped off some real nasty sliders at times in his debut season and for a pitcher that would routinely hit 96 mph that made him quite effective, at least when he was controlling his pitches and getting ahead in counts and that's why he felt he underperformed in his debut season.

"Just getting ahead of hitters better, more often," he listed as an area where he can get better. "I fell behind a lot. I got in a lot of 2-1, 2-0 counts, a lot of hitters' counts, and I had to throw something over the plate and when I did that it's when they hurt me.

"The consistency and mostly fastball command is where I can improve. I really need to work off of the fastball and get ahead. Once you get ahead you can pretty much play around with the hitter and do what you want, but if you fall behind you're putting yourself in a bad spot with the hitter.

"That was the biggest thing I learned, getting ahead, throwing strikes. When I was getting ahead I felt like I was doing well. It was a good summer but you always feel like you can do better."

He feels like his entire game is trending upward in the right direction, especially with the way his secondary pitches are beginning to come around and with his improved mentality of getting ahead in counts more often. While many team insiders believe he is a legitimate 'sleeper' prospect going forward, Foley simply believes he can be a whole lot better in the coming years.

"That's probably how everyone feels. I want to go out there in Spring Training and wherever they send me I want to be a lot better than I did. I know I can be a lot better than I showed in my first summer. You always have to believe you can do better than what you did," he concluded.











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Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Split-Changeup.

Fastball. Foley throws both a two-seam and a four-seam fastball, and both are of the power variety. He averages 90-92 mph with his sinking two-seamer and will range anywhere from 92-96 mph with his four-seam fastball, both of which show some impressive movement and late life. While he can throw both for strikes the command of his fastball can be a bit spotty at times, however. He doesn't yet command the strike zone consistently with his heater.

Other Pitches. From a depth and velocity standpoint Foley's slider, which ranges 83-85 mph, does show plus potential. But just like his fastball he doesn't yet have consistent command of his slider in the strike zone. It's a legitimate put-away pitch though when it's commanded well. His split-changeup also shows long-term plus potential, a pitch that can really bottom out on batters. It is a relatively new pitch for him, however, and he still has to learn how to control it better.

Pitching. Foley's entire game is predicated on power and movement. He actually employs an aggressive mentality of going right after batters with strikes but it's his still developing command that can escape him right now and leave him a little too frequently out of the strike zone, and thus falling behind batters in counts a little too often; when he misses he's not missing by much. He has solid mechanics, an ideal pitcher's frame, and he is very coach-able. He just needs to further develop the command of all of his pitches

Projection. Foley has everything you'd want from a starting pitcher; three quality big league pitches that all show above average or better potential, a good frame, power, stamina, and an ability to throw strikes. However, there isn't a phase of his game that is consistent enough yet to make that starting potential a slam-dunk down the road since the stuff is ahead of his overall pitch-ability right now. While his ceiling is that of a middle to back-end big league starting pitcher someday, his more likely role is that of potential big league setup guy. He has that kind of stuff. Often compared to a Danny Burawa or Branden Pinder type right now, his game actually better resembles former top Yankee pitching prospect Alan Horne. Like Horne, Foley will probably get a lot of repetitions as a starting pitcher coming up through the minor leagues in order to get the necessary time to work on bettering his command.

ETA. 2017. Foley will most likely stay in a starting role for the time being and still has enough to work on that he will most likely begin the 2015 campaign as part of the Charleston RiverDogs' rotation.. Stuff-wise he could move fast if and when the command begins to develop.

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