BLUF: Near big league ready lefty with three-pitch mix and a #2 starter profile.
The Player: Tyler Skaggs (LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks) – The supplemental first round pick of the Angels in 2009, Skaggs debuted that summer at just 17-years old. He pitched ten innings across two levels before being promoted to the Midwest League for the 2010 season. Skaggs pitched well for Cedar Rapids before being dealt to the Diamondbacks as part of the Dan Haren trade that summer. He finished his first full season with a 3.29 ERA and better than a strikeout per inning. With High-A Visalia in 2011 he posted a 3.22 ERA in 17 starts, allowing just over seven hits per nine innings and striking out over eleven per nine. Promoted to Double-A Mobile in the second half, Skaggs continued to pitch well, posting a 2.50 ERA in ten starts. He started the 2011 season back at Double-A and then moved to Triple-A were he prepared for a six-start big league cameo that didn’t go so well with a 5.83 ERA.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (Midwest League 2010, Southern League 2011), Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 195): Tall and lean with a well-proportioned body. Ideal pitchers frame. Good strength and good athleticism.
Delivery/Mechanics: The arm works well. He accelerates through is delivery, getting a little “herky-jerky” when he separates his hands and moves toward the plate. The effort adds some deception but can cause his command to waver at times. Overall solid but not ideal.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 94, Low – 87, Average 89-91, Grade – 50/50
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 93, Low 87, Average 90-91, Grade – 50/50
Fastball (FB) Movement: Natural run on the ball that helps it miss the barrel of the bat even when not located well. Good angle on pitches thanks to height and high-three quarters slot.. Grade – 60/60
Overall Fastball: FB plays up because of angle and natural movement. Average pure velocity but plus overall pitch with quality movement. Uses pitch well and pitches off it during starts. Grade – 60/60
Curveball (CB): Good overhand break that’s aided by his arm slot. Stays on top of the ball well and snaps it off consistently, generating tight spin and good depth to the break. True plus pitch that has swing-and-miss capability. Reliable pitch in tight spots. Grade – 60/60
Change-Up (CH): Shows average CH with some regularity but will lose feel at times and abandon pitch. Has good arm speed and solid fade. Helps against RHH and can be effective when down against LHH. Quality pitch that needs consistency. Grade – 40/50
Control: Throws strikes consistently. Effort and acceleration in delivery don’t typically hamper control, as it works for him and he’s adapted to it. Can throw strikes with all three pitches. Easy present plus command and good probability for plus-plus when he settles in at the big-league level and stops overthrowing in that situation. Grade – 60/70
Command: Shows hints of plus command but more consistently below-average and easier to project at an average level. Solid athleticism. Gets too fine at times and will need to adapt to the discerning eye of big league hitters. Grade – 40/50
Summation: Very close to big league ready. Quality FB that plays up because of movement and strike-throwing ability. Likes to challenge with FB and will work inside to LHH. Needs to consistently establish FB early in starts. CB is easy plus pitch of swing-and-miss variety. Gives him two plus pitches and an exceptional base to work from. CH has some promise and should be quality third pitch, but not devastating. Will throw strikes consistently but must develop better command against big-league hitters. Athleticism and control profile suggest it should come soon. Potential number two starter with well-rounded profile. Very little left to prove in Triple-A; just needs to settle into the big league rotation. High-quality prospect.
Relative Risk: Low. Big league ready with a quality arsenal and an idea of how to pitch.
Future: At some point Arizona will create room for a pitcher of Skaggs caliber. He has All-Star potential and should easily fit toward the top of that rotation within the next year or two.