Pulaski Yankees

Here's a scouting report on Pulaski & Charleston right-handed pitcher Brody Koerner.

The New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Brody Koerner in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Clemson University. While he did put up some very impressive numbers in his debut season last year it is his advanced stuff and pitch-ability that has team insiders believing he could be one of the bigger steals of the entire draft.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Brody Koerner
Position: Pitcher
DOB: October 17, 1993
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup, Slider.

Fastball. Koerner's bread and butter is a plus big league sinking two-seam fastball both from a velocity and movement standpoint.  It not only sits comfortably in the 93-96 mph range with a very loose delivery but it gets a lot of late sink too.  Despite the great movement he is still very much able to control the fastball extremely well, pounding the lower-half of the strike zone.  Perhaps more than most hurlers coming from college he will be a big beneficiary playing in front of professional defensive players as he does induce a lot of contact and his effectiveness should only increase the higher he climbs towards the big leagues too as the defense gets better.  Considering how little he pitched in college it's not out of the question that he could even add a tick or two in the coming years as he continues to stretch out and build more arm strength.

Other Pitches. Koerner doesn't really have a plus secondary pitch nor one that he truly favors over another.  However, what he does have is a complete secondary arsenal already at his disposal, all of which are currently big league average pitches, and all of which show legit long-term upside to be above average or better as he continues his development.  Arguably his best secondary offering right now [or at least the one that shows the most plus potential] is his curveball.  Sitting in the low-80s, it shows good late-bite diving action and he can throw it for strikes.  It serves as his best strikeout option right now.  His changeup is also a very solid pitch, showing nearly the same kind of depth as his fastball, but it's not a pitch he has used all that often to date.  A little more work and a bigger commitment to throwing it more in games could help take it to the next level.  He rounds out his repertoire with a mid-80s slider that is also quite solid.  Just like his other secondary pitches it should get better the more often he throws it.

Pitching. Koerner's main plan on the mound is trying to induce early count contact, get opposing batters to pound his sinking fastball in the dirt, and let his defenses work behind him.  He throws a lot of strikes early and often, attacks batters in an attempt to be consistently ahead in counts, and then goes to an array of pitches to get them out.  He has the stuff to strike batters out but he tries to work quickly and efficiently, and get his team back into the dugout as quickly as possible.  His exposure to starting games is pretty limited, especially for a college drafted hurler, but with his loose delivery and propensity to throw a ton of strikes he has the look of a real innings eater.  He also lives in the lower half of the strike zone so he's very adept at keeping the ball in the yard. He is quite athletic too and by all accounts is a very hard worker as well.

Projection. A little Mark Melancon-like when he first entered the professional ranks, Koerner's ability to induce a lot of ground ball contact with plus velocity could make him a viable big league middle reliever or potential setup man someday.  However, with four big league pitches [all of which show better than average movement], the ability to throw a lot of strikes, and with a loose delivery, Koerner also has the basic foundation in place to have the ceiling of a big league middle of the rotation starter too.  Of course he has a lot to work on and much to prove too given his limited exposure to starting games both in college and at the professional level, but some team insiders believe that if the secondary stuff continues to progress upward that the ceiling could even be a tick higher.  For now he just needs to stay healthy, get his innings, and time to further improve his secondary arsenal.

ETA. 2018. Koerner did quite well in his call-up to low-A Charleston last season.  His entire game is advanced enough to make an immediate jump to high-A Tampa in his first full season in 2016 if the Yankees are comfortable with the higher workload he's sure to get now that he's a starting pitcher.  Even if he initially begins the year back in Charleston just to get acclimated to the starting rotation the smart money says he should see extended time in the Florida State League shortly thereafter.

Year Team W L SV IP H BB SO ERA
2015 Charleston 2 1 3 11.1 13 2 7 1.59
2015 Pulaski 1 0 5 18.0 14 5 18 1.00

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