Name: Nick Green
DOB: March 25, 1995
Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. Green's fastball velocity sits comfortably in the 92-95 mph range. On sheer velocity alone that speed doesn't necessarily make him stand out in today's race of power arms flooding the game but it still puts it into the plus range velocity-wise, albeit somewhat on the lower end for a right-handed pitcher. However, what makes Green's fastball really stand above most and a true plus pitch is the excellent movement he's able to generate with it. It not only sinks with the best of them but it cuts too, and in some ways the movement is more slider-like than fastball-like. It makes his fastball extremely difficult to barrel up let alone lift, and it's a major reason why he has allowed a mere four home runs in his first 136 professional innings. Throw in solid command [with room to improve], the kind where when he misses he usually misses low, the pitch can act like a plus-plus offering when it's really going strong. It is one of the better contact out-pitches around.
Other Pitches. On the subject of plus-plus offerings, Green's curveball is oh-so close to being that as well given the combination of movement, break, and command he has of it. Sitting mostly in the 79-82 mph range, the spin rate on his curveball is one of the highest not only in the organization but one of the best in all of minor league baseball. Like his fastball the command of it is more solid than stellar but it too has room for improvement. It serves as his primary strikeout pitch and has the ceiling to be a true wipeout pitch if it continues to develop. His changeup, easily his third pitch, has been a project to date but it's a pitch that has flashed plus potential, especially the one he was throwing at Yankee Instructional League camp at the end of 2016. It's still not a consistent pitch yet movement-wise, arm action-wise, or even speed-wise, but if he can carry the one he had with him during Instructs into the regular season then it should at least be an above average offering someday. It's a ceiling pitch with a lot of inconsistencies right now.
Pitching: There isn't a whole of mystery to Green's approach on the mound. He attacks batters early and often with sinking fastballs in an attempt to get batters to harmlessly ground out to his defense behind him in as few pitches as possible [Important note: because his game is predicated so much on early count contact that it should be noted that his effectiveness should only get better the higher he climbs], and he has the innate strike-throwing ability to consistently get ahead in counts and limit walks. What separates Green from most sinker-ballers though is his ability to put away batters, thanks to the great curveball. Given the exceptional movement his pitches get his command is actually very solid and that is a rare trait indeed. A humble person too, he always thinks he can be better and it lends itself to an insatiable inner fire and never-ending work ethic. Quite athletic as well, his delivery is very repeatable, he is very good at holding runners, and he fields his position well.
Projection. With two pitches with some the best movement around -- two offerings that can flash plus-plus potential on any given day -- stuff-wise Green already has the makings of a solid middle of the rotation big league starting pitcher someday. His already solid average command and excellent mental makeup only enhances that probability too. However, there is still some considerable ceiling left to be tapped that makes this development story far from a concluded one. There is still some extra command to be gained as he continues to master his craft and the changeup shows enormous potential as well. In fact, poll some scouts and team officials and some would say his changeup has the chance to be on par with his curveball. Should he continue to make marked strides with the changeup and gain the consistency needed to make that a third plus pitch then his ceiling would be more of a front-half of the rotation variety, and that's not even including the possibility he could potentially gain more strength and throw harder down the road too. There's a young Brandon Webb-like ceiling if things break right.
ETA. 2019. What dings Green's status as a prospect isn't the stuff [which is clearly there] or the pitch-ability [which is present too], it's his older age for his levels. The soon to be 22-year old is only just now beginning to face batters his own age and really should even be a little further along competition-wise. He's a little short on experience too so it would not be surprising to see him back in low-A to at least begin the 2017 season, if only for a few games. He should, however, see the bulk of his 2017 time in high-A Tampa. He has the game to move quickly going forward, especially if the changeup comes along.