¾ slot; works down the plane of the mound well; shoulders stay level; line to the plate is consistently good; gets a little short on the arm sweep at times but showed ability to correct on the fly and get back on track; repeatable delivery in windup; delivery less consistent from stretch; has a bit of a hitch just as he breaks from the balance point in the stretch, possibly causing him some timing problems; overall delivery in both windup and stretch should be repeatable long term; finishes in solid position to field.
Indianapolis Indians (AAA, Pirates)
high no.2 starter
Fastball, velocity: 94-95 (T98); varied velocity well throughout start; pounded zone with 91-95 and was still in zone when he ramped it up; had 96-98 whenever he needed it during start. Command: average; showed slightly better command in windup than stretch; consistently located fastball to both sides of plate, even when reaching for more velocity; more consistent focus could lead to grade jump. Movement: explosive life in middle and upper velocity registers; bores in on RHH; showed some sink at lower registers, inducing weak contact. Notes: aggressive with fastball; excellent pitch; jumps out of his hand; gets on hitters quickly; seemed to be saving it at various points, not letting it loose at all times; still has room to grow with use of near elite velocity and could have near elite overall fastball at peak.
Slider,velocity: 84-86 (T90). Command: average. Movement: tight rotation and darting movement; extremely sharp; mostly horizontal with a small vertical element; bat-misser. Notes: varies speed well; ranged slider from 81-90 at will; maintained sharp movement throughout velocity range; added and subtracted based on game situation; harder sliders were absolutely devastating; threw it in and out of the zone with success; fooled umpire on several occasions and was visibly frustrated; has ability to start at RHH and catch inside corner (fooled ump twice on this); true strikeout pitch that was consistently plus-plus on the day.
Changeup, velocity: 83-88. Command: below average. Movement: at best had some sink and fade; often too firm and flattened out. Notes: rarely threw it during outing; tried to mix it in when he got in trouble but hadn’t thrown enough to maintain feel; ball got away from him to arm side on several occasions; better overall pitch in 84-85 mph range; potential plus pitch based on the couple better ones he threw; consistently below-average and unreliable on the day; has good arm speed and same arm slot as fastball; potential for growth.
Built like a workhorse starter; wide shoulders; wide hips, excellent strength and stamina; sturdy; strong; built for power and innings; ran the gamut of emotions; looked bored early in the start, just going through the motions and toying with hitters; bore down with first runner on base in the second inning; looked pissed off that a runner was on; stuff got more crisp as he got agitated; remained dialed in during third inning, demolishing hitters; appeared bored and out of focus again for much of fourth/fifth/sixth innings; spurts of determination/intensity during second half of start; really good when he’s focused, intense, and even pissed off; showed frustration with teammates/umpires at times; have to figure out a way to harness and maintain his intensity on the mound; really good when he controls it; made attempts at being more efficient on the mound early on, inducing weak contact rather than going for strikeouts; had nasty stuff whenever he needed it; 1.40-1.53 to the plate; can be run on; has quick feet on pickoff move; showed quality move keeping dangerous base stealer close; never showed A+ move.
At his best, one of the most impressive and dominating pitchers I have seen; fastball and slider can stand on their own and dominate; third pitch is just gravy; fastball can sit plus-plus and reach near-elite velocity; movement is explosive and makes pitch extremely difficult to square; can locate within the strike zone and knows how to lead hitters out of the zone as well; slider is easy out pitch; almost impossible to hit in upper velocity register; easy put-away pitch; changeup wasn’t thrown regularly during this viewing and lacked consistent feel/movement; frequently too firm; have seen it better in the past; command of fastball and slider in the windup was quite good; command lagged in stretch; never looked completely comfortable with runners on; intensity fluctuated during start; has to maintain focus/desire/intensity; when he does, stuff is crisp and nearly unhittable; has ingredients to be a no. 1 starter but something is holding him back; overall quality and reliability of fastball/slider combo should allow him to reach no. 2 starter plateau.
OFP Grade: 7; high no. 2 starter