Scouting Angels Draft Pick Tyler Skaggs
Continuing our look at some of the draft’s top high school left handed pitching prospects, we turn our sights to Tyler Skaggs.
Tyler Skaggs | LHP | Santa Monica High School in California
Label – The Sleeper Pick
Signability – I believe Skaggs is considered to be a signable high school pick
Teams Linked to Skaggs – Many teams in the bottom portion of the first round have a link to Skaggs. Arizona has been mentioned as have the Angels, Brewers, White Sox as potential landing spots for Skaggs. The Mariners are a potential fit as well.
Body Type – Very projectable at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds
Fastball – Mostly ranges between 88 – 92…works down in the zone and has pretty good tailing action…definitely a candidate for a potential increase in velocity
Curveball – Big breaking 12-to-7 curveball…has the potential to be a knee-buckling pitch, but it needs some tightening..an average offering for now, the pitch has above average, maybe even plus potential
Change-Up – Doesn’t have much of one at the moment as it’s still in development…the lack of a change-up is one thing that places him below Purke and Matzek on draft boards
As a whole, I really like his mechanics. His delivery is repeatable and relatively compact. Skaggs drifts through his balance point and leads with his hips, using momentum to his advantage. He takes a long stride and really does a good job of finishing his pitches and getting extension out in front. The benefit of that stride and extension is the ball is getting on hitters a little quicker than his velocity would indicate. Skaggs had a problem landing stiffly on his front leg, but he’s fixed the problem by landing in a more athletic position.
Two flaws I see in Skaggs’ mechanics is an inconsistent finish as well as inconsistent front side mechanics. What are ideal front side mechanics? Well, it varies by the individual, but the basics of it is for the pitcher to firm up the glove in an effort to keep the front shoulder from flying open, which helps with a pitcher’s command and ability to stay healthy. The glove should be held out firm in front of the pitcher’s chest and the pitcher should bring the chest to the glove instead of the other way around.
Here are two side shots of Skaggs during the same outing.
*Credit to the MLB Scouting Bureau
Neither version displays good front side mechanics, but the one on the right is worse, as he lets his glove drop down by his knee. Skaggs is a little lazy when it comes to firming up his front side. He firms up, but he does it more out by his side than in front of his chest. If he can clean up his front-side mechanics, he’d lessen the pounding his shoulder takes and improve his command, especially on his breaking ball.
It’s also easy to notice the different finishes possessed by Skaggs. He lands stiffly on the left, while the leg is more bent on the right. Ideally, a pitcher’s mechanics should be consistent in every aspect. Otherwise, the pitcher usually will battle inconsistency in his performance and may be a higher risk for injury.
Like Matzek and Purke, Skaggs is a good athlete and coordinates his movements well, especially for a guy his size. He features pretty good control of all his pitches, but inconsistent command. He generally has a good idea of what he wants to do on the mound and how to mix-and-match his pitches.
Best Case Outcome – Solid middle of the rotation starter with a small chance to develop into a front of the rotation starter
More Likely Outcome – Middle of the rotation starter…if he fails to develop his change-up, he could be used in a relief role.
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