Hey, the Jake Odorizzi scouting report didn't go to waste, so after getting confirmation that Jeremy Jeffress is the player to be named later in today's big deal with the Royals, let's make sure his scouting report gets out there as well.
Jeremy Jeffress, RHP
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2006, Halifax County HS (VA)
2010 Stats: 0.00 ERA (8.0-0-3-14) at Low-A (5 G); 5.40 ERA (10.0-10-7-14) at High-A (8 G); 1.26 ERA (14.1-8-2-15) at Double-A (11 G); 2.70 ERA (10.0-8-6-8) at MLB (10 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Velocity/command
Year in Review: Oft-troubled first-round pick returned from a 100-game suspension, starting throwing strikes, and moved from Low-A to the big leagues.
The Good: Few pitchers in baseball can match Jeffress' ability to light up a radar gun, as in short stints he routinely hits triple digits and has been clocked as high as 102 mph. Beyond the heater, he adds a plus power curveball that can be unhittable when he's throwing it for strikes. He's ultra-athletic with an easy, loose arm action.
The Bad: Throwing strikes has been an issue throughout Jeffress' career, and he started to slip again late in the season, with particular troubles in the Arizona Fall League. His suspensions for drug use are well documented, and getting added to the 40-man roster may had said as much about the Brewers need to keep him from the death penalty (union members are not tested for marijuana) as his talent.
Ephemera: During his five-game stint in the Midwest League, Midwest League hitters facing Jeffress went 0-for-24 with 14 strikeouts.
Perfect World Projection: When he's throwing strikes, he looks like a potential elite-level closer.
Fantasy Impact: Short-term, limited, but long-term he could rack up some big save numbers.
Path to the Big Leagues: Milwaukee has considered trying Jeffress once again as a starter, an interesting decision considering his only consistent success has come out of the pen. He could open the year in the big leagues, or in the Triple-A rotation.
Jeffress slots in at No. 8 in an updated Royals Top 11, moving Odorizzi down to No. 9. An utterly decimated Brewers Top 11 will be released on Tuesday.
If you like what you see, I write 330 of these reports as part of my Top 11 prospects series, which is exclusive to Baseball Prospectus subscribers.
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