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Self scouting report: Brewers' Dylan File

@baseballexis
June 16, 2020

After spending his offseason at the Brewers’ Spring Training facility working a “pretty intense” velocity program, Dylan File saw a significant uptick in his fastball early this year. Suddenly, the low range of his pitch was higher than his peak velocity from last year, settling in between 92-95 mph. The

After spending his offseason at the Brewers’ Spring Training facility working a “pretty intense” velocity program, Dylan File saw a significant uptick in his fastball early this year. Suddenly, the low range of his pitch was higher than his peak velocity from last year, settling in between 92-95 mph.

The 24-year-old right-hander was excited to see how his hard work would play out against competition this season -- after notching 15 wins over 26 starts and 147 innings between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi in 2019, with 22 walks and 136 strikeouts -- but File’s opportunity to do that was thwarted by the indefinite suspension of baseball in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

As someone whose game has been built around his command and control, Milwaukee’s No. 24 prospect continues to look forward to seeing what he can do with his newfound velocity.

“I feel like the biggest thing in baseball right now is to step on the mound and throw as hard as you can, and I don’t think that works for a lot of guys,” he said. “A lot of guys either No. 1, can’t do it and throw strikes, or No. 2, burn themselves out. I like the mindset of not throwing hard and putting the ball where you want it, and then getting the velocity.”

Evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and the 20-to-80 scouting scale, basing his grades on the standards set by the Bureau, File offered insight into what his future might hold.

Top tool
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Arizona native gave himself his highest future grade in his control, jumping the tool from being presently above average to being well above average in the future.

“Last year, I was 88-91 mph, and obviously everyone in baseball can hit that,” File said. “I never really tried to throw hard because I knew that I wouldn’t, so my way of getting people out was to pitch to them, rather than to throw to them. Control has been one of my key focuses through my whole career, to be able to throw the ball where I want it and execute my pitches the way I need to.”

Room for improvement
Jumping his changeup a full grade from present to future, File offered an average evaluation of the pitch currently, with potential to turn it up a notch and become above average.

“I didn’t really throw a changeup until I got drafted [in the 21st round in 2017], so it’s still new to me,” he said. “I’m still learning everything I need mechanically for a changeup, learning what makes a good changeup, spin rate, all that kind of stuff. I have a bunch of things to play with and figure out for the changeup, and last year I had quite a bit of success with it so I know it can be a good pitch. But I have a lot of room to grow and develop off of a good pitch, and make it better.”

Scouting the scout
Offering insight into his own game, the right-hander had little experience in the realms of scouting and grading when he filled out the evaluation.

“I don’t have a lot of familiarity with reports,” File said. “I haven’t ever seen another team’s scouting report for me, but I have seen how the Brewers like to view me. But I just try to be me because I figure at the end of the day, they drafted me for who I am and it got me to Double-A last year. At the end of the day, I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten doing what I’ve done.”

What the scouts say
“His numbers are off the charts in terms of command,” one Major League evaluator said. “He’s a four-pitch guy with a pretty good repertoire, pitches across his body and hides the ball well. He works fast and is hard for hitters to set up on. He was inconsistent in spots, especially with his breaking pitches, but he can change speeds with the fastball very well and step it up when needed. He’s not a hard thrower, but has a chance as a fifth starter.”

What’s missing
“I’m a competitor,” File said of what the report doesn’t say about him as a pitcher. “I know I don’t have the best fastball, I don’t have the best offspeed stuff, but at the end of the day I’m going to give my heart and my 110 percent. It’s me versus the batters, and I’m going to put myself in the best situation to win those competitions. That starts off the field. People don’t really see that. That starts before the game, doing scouting report stuff on other teams. I’m a competitor, I show up to the field, and before I even pitch I make sure I have every tool I can to succeed.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter for Baseball Development and Special Projects for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.