Introducing uber pitching prospect Carlbert Owenolito
Taking one tool from five Minor Leaguers, MLB Pipeline creates the ultimate hurler
Now it's time to head back to the prospecting lab and create the ultimate pitching prospect. The concept is similar to last week's, but with pitches: Taking the best pitch, plus control, from five up-and-coming arms.
We're once again referencing the 20-80 scouting scale used by the industry to grade each pitching tool.
Who would this super prospect be, with the best, fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and control?
Fastball: Lucas Giolito, Nationals
The No. 6 overall prospect, and No. 1 on the right-handed pitchers Top 10 list, has yet to make his 2015 debut, but only because Washington is monitoring his innings. He's one of three in the Top 100 with an 80 fastball. Giolito gets the nod because he commands it better than either Tyler Kolek or Mike Foltynewicz.
Curveball: Robert Stephenson, Reds
Stephenson and Giolito are the only two top pitching prospects with a 70 curveball. The right-hander has a sharp, hard-breaking ball that's almost as good as his plus fastball is. Worst-case scenario, Stephenson could be an elite short reliever with those two pitches alone.
Slider: Carlos Rodon, White Sox
This was about as close to a no-brainer as there is in this experiment. Rodon's slider, which he relied on too much in college, was ready to get big league hitters out when he was still at N.C. State. It was the only 70 slider on the Top 100, and it's a reason why the lefty is in the big leagues now.
Changeup: Henry Owens, Red Sox
Two pitchers and their changeups came to mind when contemplating this: Zach Davies of the Orioles and Owens. Both got 65 grades, but Owens got the nod because of his ability to miss bats (10.6 K/9 in his Minor League career) with his changeup as his only plus pitch.
Control: Aaron Nola, Phillies
There were actually more pitchers to choose from than one would think, with nine members of the Top 100 earning a 60 grade for their control. Nola was considered the most advanced pitcher in the 2014 Draft class, and he's making his full-season debut. Unlike some command specialists who might be closer to the bottom of some team Top 30 lists, Nola has pretty good stuff across the board that he locates with precision.