Scouting Yankees Prospect #22: Nick Goody

The New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Nick Goody in the sixth round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Louisiana State University. He dominated his way through his debut season in 2012, succumbed to Tommy John surgery in 2013, and made his way back with a respectable season last year. Now nearly two years after his surgery he feels his game is getting closer to being fully back.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Nick Goody
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 6, 1991
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
Bats: Both
Throws: Right

"It went good," Goody said of his return season last year. "I was healthy. Anytime I can come off of the mound feeling good -- the results are whatever -- it was good for me to go out there and learn how to pitch, plus I felt great all year."

The on the field results were a bit of a mixed bag. He dominated in high-A Tampa upon his return, striking out 27 batters in just 15.1 innings but then struggled upon his promotion to Double-A Trenton where he posted an uncharacteristic 6.75 ERA and walked ten batters in just 15 appearances.

"You always care about the results but I just wanted to make sure I got to work," he said more importantly. "I had stuff I needed to work on but at the same time I wasn't worried too much about the other stuff, I just wanted to make sure I was healthy."

He finished the season healthy which was atop his season's agenda but he also saw his once above average to plus stuff begin to come back too.

"It was hit or miss," he admitted about his stuff. "I think a lot of guys would tell you coming back from Tommy John or any major surgery some days you feel like you have it all and you've got everything, and then the next day you're like 'where's it at'. It takes time to come back the next day and have your best stuff.

"The pitches will never be where I want them to be. I want them to be the best ever. But like I said some days I was like 'okay, I've got it' and some days it wasn't there.

"I think last year was frustrating for me because you want to have the best stuff all of the time. You want to compete and you want to win but at the same time you have to look at the bigger picture and be like 'I didn't have my best stuff today but you have to pitch with what you have' that day."

He rediscovered his pre-surgery 91-94 mph velocity and even topped out at 97 mph on occasion last year but it was his command that was off and that's an aspect of a Tommy John recipient's game that is last to come back. In fact, Goody can already feel a difference in his command now as the 2015 season draws closer.

"Yeah absolutely, it's getting better each time out," he said recently. "You start feeling yourself, you start feeling your arm and every bullpen [session] and every outing I feel like I'm getting better.

"Sometimes you're a little up [command-wise] and sometimes you're a little down but with each pitch you need to make an adjustment. It's coming back I feel like."

A fierce competitor, while he wished the results would have been better last season he still tries to keep the bigger picture in mind and realize that the whole recovery process takes time. Now nearly two years out from his surgery he believes his entire game, both his stuff and his command, are pretty much back to his pre-surgery form.

"I want to be better," he said. "Yeah it sucked going through Tommy John surgery and it wasn't fun but at the same time it was a blessing for me because I feel like now I can throw every single day and my arm feels great. I guess I needed to take a year and grow up in a sense as a person and as a player."

Inching his way back closer to being the dominating pitcher he once was, he knows exactly what he has to do differently in his first full season back healthy this year.

"Fastball command, first pitch strikes, just working down in the zone," he listed as his main goals for 2015, "and see what happens."

He's excited to get his 'rehab' year behind him last season. Goody believes now that he's gotten his proverbial sea legs under him in his full return to the mound that he can get back to being the competitor he wants to be.

"I'm really excited. Going across the street into [big league] camp was awesome and seeing those guys do things, that's where you want to be. I'm praying that's where the season takes me.

"It went well I feel like. I learned a lot. If you can take away something, like I said I watched how those guys do things. In my first camp I didn't get to participate too much but this year, it was a good confidence booster to go over there and throw strikes so it was good," he concluded.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2014

Trenton

0-3

1

16.0

20

10

19

6.75

2014

Tampa

2-0

0

15.1

10

5

27

2.35

2013

Tampa

1-0

0

3.0

2

2

3

3.00

2012

Tampa

0-0

0

4.0

4

1

7

2.25

2012

Charleston

1-2

6

24.2

15

7

40

1.09

2012

Staten Island

0-0

1

3.1

1

1

5

0.00



Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Changeup, Curveball, Cutter.

Fastball. On sheer velocity alone Goody's fastball is merely above average, sitting mostly in the 91-94 mph range. However, while the radar readings don't exactly jump out, it's how the batters react to his fastball that allows it to play a level up. He uses some deception with a quick-whipping release that allows his fastball, which can top out at 96-97 mph on occasion, to play at a plus level. He normally shows above average or better command of his fastball too but had bouts of a lack of control in his rehab season last year.

Other Pitches. Goody has a number of quality pitches at his disposal, including an above average big league slider. It ranges mostly 79-84 mph and it serves at his main strikeout pitch. He also throws a quality changeup now, an average big league pitch, and it's one of the real benefits of his Tommy John surgery as it has allowed him time to harness it's movement, depth, and command of it. It's a borderline strikeout pitch for him now where one time it was rather non-existent. He also throws an average big league curveball too, one that sits mostly 77-79 mph. It can be a strikeout pitch at times but he mostly uses it as a first-pitch strike offering right now even though it shows long-term plus potential. He began messing with a cutter too during Instructs this offseason but it's a pitch still in its infancy stage.

Pitching. Goody is different than most relievers in that he doesn't rely on merely a two-pitch mix against batters. He can mix in anywhere from four to five pitches in a given outing or he can pare it down to a two-pitch mix; he has other offerings to go to if a particular pitch isn't working for him and the hitters simply don't know what's coming. He is only as good as his command, however, and he can be a little hittable when his pitches are up in the zone [like most pitchers]. While he has a starter's repertoire he does employ a reliever's bulldog mentality, one that goes right after batters. He also has a quick up-tempo pace that makes it very uncomfortable for batters; he is ready to throw the next pitch as soon as he gets the ball back from the catcher. He has great makeup and intangibles, including a short memory and an insatiable desire to constantly improve.

Projection. Goody isn't necessarily overpowering on the mound as none of his pitches grade out consistently as a plus pitch. However, he has a starter's repertoire with a reliever's mentality. He employs a quick tempo approach on the mound, goes right after batters with an array of pitches for strikes, and keeps hitters guessing as to what's coming next. So while the radar gun might not scream long-term setup man or closing potential, the sum is greater than its parts and the whole package spells otherwise and in that regard there are some legitimate David Robertson-like comparisons. Whether he ultimately slides into an eventual 8th or 9th inning role in a big league bullpen is a semantic argument for now; he clearly has the whole game that should be one of the safer bets to pitch important big league relief innings someday.

ETA. 2016. Had it not been for the injury Goody arguably could have been in the big leagues already. However, he still has to prove the command is back from his 2013 surgery so he should be ticketed for a return trip to Double-A Trenton this season. With the depth of the current big league bullpen and the wealth of relieving options at Triple-A he should be afforded the opportunity of at least one more full minor league season to fully develop.

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