Nathan Eovaldi Scouting Report (2011)
Dodgers pitching prospect Nathan Eovaldi entered 2010 with plenty of helium from prospect mavens and proceeded to struggle mightily. In 98 1/3 innings, Eovaldi surrendered 108 hits and managed only a 72/37 K/BB ratio causing those same mavens to simply move onto the next big thing leaving the right-hander somewhat of an afterthought. After scouting Eovaldi in late April, I can comfortably say it’s time to start paying attention again.
Through the first half of the Southern League season, Eovaldi has posted a 2.84 ERA (2.47 FIP) in 63 1/3 innings pitched, while allowing only 50 hits. Pair this with a 72/23 K/BB ratio and it appears as if the evaluators buying into Eovaldi were right all along. Sometimes it just takes a pitcher a little longer to put it together. Especially when that pitcher is, and has always been, young for the level of competition. Eovaldi turned 21 in February.
- Excellent size; Eovaldi looked closer to 210 lbs. than his listed weight of 195
- Well-proportioned frame; Size through the quads and shoulders; Athletic pitcher’s frame
- Fluid delivery with good pacing; Generates easy velocity
- High 3/4 arm slot; Limits movement on his fastball
- 94-96 MPH 4-seam fastball
- 4-seamer lacked movement; Worked pitch in-and-out effectively
- Maintained velocity throughout the start; Still touching 95 MPH in the 5th
- 91-92 MPH 2-seam fastball; Some arm side run
- 84 MPH slider; Best breaking ball; Used as out pitch
- Pitch featured late cut; Depth improved throughout the course of the game
- 78 MPH curveball; Threw sparingly; One CB was thrown behind RHH to backstop; Below average offering
- 83-84 MPH Changeup; Threw sparingly; Slowed arm action
From a velocity standpoint, Eovaldi nearly matched Rubby De La Rosa pitch-for-pitch. As impressive as that statement is, Eovaldi’s fastball lacked the movement to make the offering elite. Add to this a plethora of breaking pitches in need of further refinement, and Eovaldi is on his way, but not ready for Los Angeles yet. As one of the youngest pitchers in the Southern League, he has plenty of time to improve and become more than a fastball/slider pitcher.
In terms of repertoire and peripherals, a good comp for Eovaldi is Ryan Dempster who has parlayed a fastball/slider heavy arsenal into a long and pretty successful big league career. I could argue Eovaldi’s ceiling is even a little higher based on velocity and present command, but Dempster has proven himself as a 200 inning workhorse where Eovaldi has yet to throw 100 innings in a season. To reach his ceiling, Eovaldi needs to prove durable enough to warrant a shot at the rotation. If that does not materialize, then Eovaldi is a late inning reliever with closer possibilities.
21 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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