BRADENTON, Fla. – I’ve been under the weather this weekend, which means I didn’t get a chance to go to instructs yesterday, and I’m just now getting to my notes from Friday morning. There wasn’t a lot of action, but I did get my first look at two of the 2016 draft picks, and another look at a 2016 pick I wrote about last month.
First up, there is John Pomeroy, who was drafted in the 13th round, and features a lot of fastball velocity. He threw two innings, and was sitting mostly 93-96 MPH, hitting 97 and 98 once each. He worked primarily off his fastball, throwing only two curveballs out of his 44 pitches.
Pomeroy is an interesting project because he has very little experience on the mound. He threw 14.1 innings in three years as a reliever with Oregon State, walking 14 and striking out 14. He almost matched that total in Bristol this year, throwing 13.2 innings, while walking 19 and striking out 18.
That was what I saw from him on Friday. He has a lot of velocity, but very little control. When opponents made contact, they couldn’t do much with it, and that was the case in his 2016 debut, when he had a .191 BAA. But he mostly hurt himself with walks, while also blowing a few pitches by the opposing hitters. Here is a brief video of his outing.
The next pitcher I saw was Matt Frawley, who was one of the few pitchers I missed in Morgantown this year, as he was getting a break during the series I was watching the team. Frawley had a good season, putting up a 4.18 ERA in 28 innings with Morgantown, along with a 33:9 K/BB ratio, and moving up to West Virginia at the end of the year, where he threw three shutout innings. He relies on a fastball that was sitting 90-93 MPH and had some good movement, and worked two efficient innings on Friday, needing just 25 pitches to get through his outing.
Frawley had some good numbers with Purdue this year, with a 2.78 ERA in 74.1 innings, along with a 58:27 K/BB ratio. He was a 17th round pick by the Pirates, and will likely remain in his long-relief role going forward. I didn’t really get much of a feel for his secondary stuff, as he primarily threw fastballs, but he does seem like a guy who could make it to Bradenton as a reliever next year, even if he starts in West Virginia, and that’s entirely off of the command of his fastball.
Finally, I saw Dylan Prohoroff again, who I saw this summer in Morgantown. I wrote about his delivery last month, and how he’s an extreme “head whacker”. The pre-draft reports had him hitting as high as 97, although Prohoroff said he only hit that once. He usually works in the 92-94 MPH range, touching 95 and 96. When I saw him in Morgantown in early August, he was sitting 91-92 MPH. The velocity was lower on Friday, ranging from 86-90. I chalk both of these up to pitching late in the year, and will only be concerned if he comes into the 2017 season with the same velocity.
There is some promise here, as Prohoroff has some good downward movement on his fastball. Add some velocity, and he could have a nice fastball to work off of in the bullpen, pairing that with a promising slider. The biggest concern is the lack of control, which I believe come from the head-whacking. The way he aggressively tucks his head into his armpit is a problem, as some pitches it seems like he’s not even looking at the plate when he releases the ball. That will be something to work on, and at least reduce (as you can see in the video above, Pomeroy does the same thing, although not as extreme as Prohoroff).
In non-pitcher notes, Will Craig played first base again on Friday, which is where you can expect him to play throughout instructs.