Tyler Watson LHP Hagerstown Suns
Fastball (45/55) Curveball (40/45) Changeup (50/55)
7-Word Scouting Report: Potential Above-Average Fastball Changeup, Curveball Determines Ceiling
Over-slot 34th round pick in 2015, signed for $400,000 from an Arizona high school. Listed as 6-5 200lbs, well-built frame with projection remaining in lower half. Nearly 20 y/o with traditional 3/4s arm slot; repeats mechanics well both from windup and stretch, quiet motion into a waist-high leg lift, reasonable extension towards home. Stays closed in delivery, hides the ball well both to lefties and righties. Surprisingly polished for a teenager in Low-A, pounds the strike zone and works the sides of the plate; rarely misses in the hitter’s power zone, particularly impressive working the inner third to righties.
3-pitch repertoire – Fastball sits 88-90mph, T91 4x with natural cutting action and some sink, pounds the lower third of the strike zone; works both sides of the plate, particularly inside to righties. Curveball (72-75mph) was inconsistent throughout, some lacked shape and were “spinners” while others showed some late bite into the strike zone – can locate for strikes, especially arm side. Changeup (82-84mph) is his best present pitch, showing excellent arm speed and quality sink, will throw for strikes; impressive for Low-A.
Watson is a polished, high school lefty who shows impressive command of the strike zone and an advanced approach to attacking hitters. Both his fastball and changeup are quality pitches and project as above-average future offerings. Curveball currently lags, but he can spin the pitch and locate it for strikes – could be an average future pitch but more likely fringe-average.
The biggest risks in his profile are distance from the majors, the development of the breaking ball and the assumption he will add a tick or two of velocity as he matures. Watson profiles as a back-end starting pitcher, with a ceiling of a #4 if the curveball significantly improves with development; medium floor, medium risk prospect. Should spend much of 2017 in Hagerstown, and could reach the majors in 2020.