June 9, 2017
The Background: Newcomb was selected 15th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 2014 draft out of the University of Hartford. He was the first player picked from Hartford in a decade and the highest overall pick in school history, besting Jeff Bagwell by almost 100 spots. In his first short season assignment that Summer, he established a pattern of performance that has repeated at every level— overpowering stuff, but troubles keeping it in the zone. Nevertheless, he got to Double-A in 2015 during his first full professional season. That winter he was dealt to the Braves for Andrelton Simmons. He spent all of 2016 back in Double-A as he tried to iron out his control issues with limited success. His 2017 campaign in the International League has gone much the same, striking out well over a batter an inning, but also walking over 13% of the batters he’s faced.
Scouting Report: Newcomb was considering playing college football before he ended up pitching at the University of Hartford, and he certainly looks the part. He’s a big-bodied lefthander, listed at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds. Unlike most listed height/weight, that one sure looks about right. He’s right out of central casting for “durable, mid-rotation starter,” and the stuff matches that profile as well. Newcomb offers above-average fastball velocity from the left side, and he can dial it up into the upper-90s when he needs it. The pitch has some arm-side life as well and can be heavy when he spots it down in the zone. As you might have gathered from the stat line though, his command of the pitch is below-average and can make the heater play down at times. Newcomb throws a curve and a>