Name: Austin DeCarr
DOB: March 14, 1995
Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. Prior to his surgery DeCarr boasted an above average, borderline plus fastball, at least in terms of base velocity. It sat mostly in the 92-94 mph range and reportedly topped out at 97 mph as an amateur but it certainly played consistently up to a plus level with the late life explosion it showed crossing the plate. That extra giddy-up and a little bit of natural tailing action gives him a lot of deception and batters offered at his fastball like it was coming in a lot harder than it actually was. He also showed advanced control of his fastball too, suggesting that improved command, perhaps even to the point where that would become above average, was on the not so distant horizon either. Throw in a very strong physical frame, one that could support getting stronger both in the upper and lower-body, there was even a chance he could add a tick or two to his fastball as he continued maturing. Even now post-Tommy John surgery that potential still very much exists power-wise but the improved command may take a little bit longer to develop.
Other Pitches. What had team officials and scouts alike excited about DeCarr's long-term future was the advanced power curveball he had to go along with his highly effective fastball. Sitting anywhere from 76-80 mph, he can really spin the curveball. It shows great 12 to 6 tumbling action and it's a pitch he can command extremely well. Of course that was all pre-Tommy John. It's now a pitch that will take a bit longer to re-introduce upon his full return but few question his ability to pick that pitch up right where he left off once he does come back. It was a plus big league pitch pre-surgery and it should remain one long-term as well. If there is one real benefit to DeCarr in particular in having the Tommy John surgery so early in his career like he has it's the prospect of his changeup coming along quicker than it might have without the surgery. Pretty much a non-existent pitch prior to joining the Yankees [he didn't need to throw one in high school], an improved changeup is almost always the biggest benefit during rehab since throwing breaking pitches is off limits. Considering the movement DeCarr generates with both his fastball and curveball, and he did snap off some great changeups just prior to his surgery, he is a prime candidate to develop a really good one in due time. It's not there yet but the potential certainly exists to be above average or better when it's all said and done.
Pitching. DeCarr has two plus pitches already in his arsenal and it's a big reason why he is so confident and ultra-aggressive on the mound. However, his mental makeup is far beyond that. He's simply unflappable and exudes a professional demeanor not only on the mound but in his bullpen sessions and in his workouts. Very much Matt Harvey-like mentally, DeCarr not only wants to be the best but expects to be the best and that aura follows him wherever he goes. And just like Harvey he's always wanting to be better in everything he does; he always feels there's room for improvement. His style of pitching is very much full attack mode in nature. He goes right after batters. He doesn't shy away from contact and he expects to win every at-bat. Physically he's very strong but mentally he's even stronger.
Projection. Prior to his Tommy John surgery DeCarr had the viable floor of a future big league middle of the rotation starting pitcher given his two plus pitches, his chance for potentially a third [with his changeup], his physical strength and endurance, and his off the charts makeup. His Tommy John surgery in May of last year hasn't changed that long-term prognosis at all really. In fact, if anything it may wind up being a blessing in disguise long-term as the changeup, which showed a lot of serious potential before the surgery, could very well develop a lot quicker from a consistency standpoint during his rehab. What his surgery has changed is his developmental track and timing, especially initially. It simply may take him a little longer to rediscover his plus curveball and further develop his fastball command. Should the changeup develop as well as many anticipate his ceiling could range even higher to that of a potentially frontline starting pitcher given the other advanced areas of his game. Logging innings and gaining more experience is what's needed, as is remaining healthy in the coming years.
ETA. N/A. Prior to his surgery DeCarr seemed poised to see some potential late-season action in the long-season leagues last year and now post-surgery, especially considering he had his surgery mid-May of last year, getting to that level in 2016 does not seem realistic. He's most likely destined for the short-season leagues this coming year and most likely it will be in Pulaski so he can get a better taste of the professional life against competition closer to his age. Some success there, however, could have him poised to move pretty quickly in subsequent seasons.