Evaluating McKenzie Mills

McKenzie Mills     LHP Hagerstown Suns     (Evaluated 4/26/17)

Fastball (45/50+)   Slider (30/30)   Changeup (35/45)   Curveball (30/40)

Prototypical pitchers’ frame standing 6-4 205lbs, Mills is an obvious athlete with potential to add 10-20lbs in the future.  Utilizes a tradition 3/4s arm slot, near 90 degree angle at the elbow.  Pitches both from the windup and stretch – windup uses a simple one-step and rock delivery into a medium to high leg lift.  Has a tendency at leg lift to lean toward second base, which hinders his balance and ability to repeat his mechanics.  Command also wavers due to this mechanical flaw – looks potentially correctable with repetition.

4-pitch arsenal – Fastball (89-92mph, T94 1x) shows cutting action in on right-handers and occasional late life, struggles to command especially arm-side – Inconsistent but intriguing left-handed heater.  Slider (75-77mph) thrown a few times, slurvy and looked like a faster curveball.  Curveball (69-73mph) showed poor shape, rather loopy and lacks tight spin, slows arm speed; will throw for strikes.  Changeup (75-77mph) has promise, replicates arm speed relatively well, will show sink and occasional cutting action.  Easily his best secondary pitch but needs development to improve consistency.

Overslot 18th round pick in 2015 ($150,000), this 21.5 y/o has a tremendous physique and a left-handed arm that can reach the mid-90s.  However, his inability to repeat his mechanics and struggles to spin a breaking ball limits his profile and eventual ceiling.  Interesting arm but unless off-speed pitches take a significant step forward, likely to stagnate in the upper minors.

6 thoughts on “Evaluating McKenzie Mills

    • Perhaps, but I lean toward unlikely. Mills is doing well against Low-A hitters, but I think he needs more time to “master the level”. Perhaps a July/August callup but he needs 10+ more starts in Hags.

  1. I think Mills has a great shot to make it to the Majors. His stuff is electric and like most young pitchers his off-speed and control will continue to get better. He only had 8 walks in 7 starts that is proof of improved control. He has the least walks of any starter.

    • Hey Blake,

      Thanks for writing… I agree with much of what you wrote. I worry about the breaking ball but he’s an intriguing arm to watch develop the next few years.

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