Name: Drew Finley
DOB: July 10, 1996
Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. Finley isn't a power pitcher just yet but he sure has the potential to be one someday given that his current fastball already sits 90-93 mph, tops out at 94 mph, and at 19 years old he has a very projectable 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame that should only get stronger over the coming years. Not exactly a true command pitcher yet either, he does shows a good ability to throw a ton of strikes right now and given his solid delivery at a young age and high baseball acumen there's a strong chance that command will develop into a big part of his game as he continues to mature.
Other Pitches. Finley's bread and butter pitch right now is an above average big league curveball that shows long-term plus potential. Sitting mostly in the high-70s with it, his curveball has a ton of 12 to 6 downward bite and it is a true swing and miss pitch. Just like his fastball he's able to throw it for strikes whenever he wants but he doesn't quite have the great command of it yet within the strike zone. That aspect of his game isn't a real concern though given his extreme youth. He rounds out his repertoire with a solid changeup that he can also throw for strikes. It has decent movement from a fade and depth standpoint but it also has a ton of room for improvement too. With his fastball and curveball already established pitches he's made improving his changeup his number one priority in his development and he is committed to throwing it more in games.
Pitching. What makes Finley so successful is his combination of now stuff, advanced strike-throwing approach, and innate feel for pitching at a very young age. He knows how to set up batters in chess-like fashion, often times throwing a purpose pitch earlier in counts to implement a plan to put away batters later in counts, and his stuff is advanced enough to do exactly that. He doesn't yet have the full-fledged command of all of his pitches to be the kind of pitcher he could wind up being but coming from a baseball family and having the kind of tremendous work ethic he has it does seem like it's just a matter of time before that aspect develops further. He is very coachable, has great character, and he shows good athleticism. He also has a ton of confidence too and a little more development on his pitches could have that brimming confidence take his command to a different level as well.
Projection. Finley's now stuff, solid size, and present average command already gives him a long-term ceiling of an eventual big league middle to back-end big league starting pitcher, especially boasting what will most likely wind up being a plus big league curveball. In fact there are already some tangible and legitimate comparisons to current Yankee pitching farmhand Brady Lail who is not only closing in on being big league ready but who also has a similar ceiling. However, at just 19 years old it is almost too premature to slap that ceiling on Finley given his youth, enormous mental makeup, and advanced feel for pitching, not to mention some considerable time to add strength and power in the coming years to what is already a solid physical frame. He brings a nice blend of safe long-term projection with the potential for his ceiling to change considerably as he continues to gain experience and mature. His is a developmental story still very much in the opening chapter; he's far from a finished product.
ETA. N/A. Finley's game is advanced enough right now to make the jump to the long-season leagues in his first full season in 2016. Even if he begins the season in Extended Spring Training just to gain a bit more experience the smart bet has him accumulating significant innings in the South Atlantic League this upcoming season. From there a better estimated big league arrival time can be calculated.