Name: Nick Goody
DOB: July 6, 1991
Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Changeup, Curveball, Cutter.
Fastball. The radar gun readings won't show it but Goody's fastball consistently plays up to an elite level. While he will hit the occasional 97 mph on the gun from time to time, for the most part his fastball will average 91-94 mph but opposing batters offer at it like it's coming in at the high-90s and they have a hard time barreling it up. He generates plus-plus deception with his fastball with the huge amount of extension he gets in his delivery and his fastball shows a lot of late-life explosion too. His command, which had suffered initially upon his return from Tommy John surgery, got back up to the above average level in his first full season back from the injury last year. He can pretty much spot it wherever he wants it [again].
Other Pitches. While it's true that Goody has a number of decent secondary pitches in his arsenal, certainly more so than most short-inning relievers, the fact is his best secondary offering is still his above average big league slider. Sitting mostly in the 79-84 mph range it, along with his extremely deceptive fastball, serves as his primary strikeout pitch. Like his fastball he can command his slider consistently well too. He has just enough quality in his three other secondary pitches -- the changeup, curveball, and cutter -- to give batters different looks and keep them off-balance. His changeup is his third pitch right now [mostly against lefties], he'll flip in the occasional 77-79 mph curveball too, and he also has a cutter he'll break out from time to time. All three are average at best pitches designed as earlier count strikes so batters can't sit on his two main pitches but he'll sneak them by pretty routinely before breaking out the slider in two-strike counts later.
Pitching. Goody is a modern day hybrid reliever. Yes like most late-inning relievers he has two main pitches that most of his success is predicated on [the fastball and slider] but he also has just enough depth with his other pitches and enough confidence to throw them for strikes that opposing batters simply can't sit on two particular pitches. That kind of guessing game can be very taxing on opposing batters, especially since he is not only one of the better natural strike-throwers around but he can command his two main pitches extremely well. Throw in a bulldog mentality of attacking the strike zone early and often as well as one of the quicker up-tempo approaches of throwing the next pitch immediately after the preceding one and batters have a difficult task of timing him up. His makeup is off the charts too; he has the ideal short memory desired in a reliever, has a burning desire to constantly improve, and shows an ability to make quick in-game adjustments.
Projection. Yet another Yankee relief pitching prospect who compares favorably to former Yankees closer David Robertson, Goody arguably is the closest to that comparison with his ability to be so sneaky-quick with his fastball. Like Robertson the radar gun readings are really nothing special but that is only until the hacks against them are seen from opposing batters; they simply can't see it well or catch up to it like they should. Part magician in that regard, Goody can be quite special with the fastball alone. Throw in a big league above average slider as well as three other pitches he could zip in for a strike at a moment's notice and Goody has a starter's repertoire with the total mindset of a back-end reliever. Like Robertson it may be a gradual process for him in the early part of his big league career but Goody should break in initially as one of the more reliable middle relief options before ultimately slipping further back into the setup [or even closing] type role as he gains more experience.
ETA. N/A. We thought Goody needed another full season of experience after Tommy John surgery before being big league ready but we were wrong as he made his big league debut last season. He should be on the short list of potential middle relief options for the Yankees in 2016 and even if he has to begin the season back in Triple-A Scranton given the depth of the current bullpen he should still see ample time in the Bronx this year.