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2017 #11 Prospect Tanner Scott - LHP


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By: Chris Slade

 

 

Tanner Scott - LHP

6' 2" 220

Bats: R Throws: L

Age: 23

2017 Teams: Bowie (AA), Baltimore

 

Most Likely Major League Role: Low Closer / High Setup (50)

Ceiling: Mid Tier Closer (55)

Floor: Middle Relief (40)

 

Background: Scott was drafted by the Orioles in the 6th round of the 2014 draft out Howard Junior College in Texas and signed for $650 K. He began his career that summer in the GCL where he pitched to a 6.26 ERA and walked 20 over 23 innings, flashing a triple digit fastball while striking out a batter an inning. In 2015, he held opponents to a .211 batting average in 21 1/3 innings, with 31 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP at Aberdeen before a promotion to Low-A Delmarva. There, Scott also posted a high strikeout rate — 29 in 21 innings — and earned himself a spot in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is where Scott began to turn heads and jump onto the prospect radar, striking out 10, walking five and allowing two earned runs on six hits. He was one of four pitchers named to the league's All-Prospect team. Scott began the 2016 season with the Frederick Keys. After a brutal start in April in which he pitched to a 12.19 ERA over 10 1/3 innings, Scott was much better the remainder of his time in Frederick posting a 2.37 ERA with a 27-51 BB-K ratio while holding batters to a .119/.277/.167/.444 slash line. After a promotion, he finished with a 5.63 ERA for the Baysox while striking out 18 and allowing a .303 opponent average.

2017: The Orioles transitioned Scott to a starting role with the Baysox, where he typically worked in three innings stints. They hoped that with a systematic routine, he would have an easier time making and applying the mechanical adjustments he needs to improve his strike throwing ability. While he still walked 6.11 batters per 9 innings, that technically qualifies as an improved performance for Scott who walked 8 batters per nine innings last year. He worked 70.2 innings over 26 starts with a 2.42 ERA, .190 opponent average, and 11.33 strikeouts per 9 innings. This impressive performance earned him a promotion to Baltimore where he appeared in 2 games, allowing 2 runs over 1.2 innings.

 

2017 stats (Frederick and Bowie)

ERA: 2.42

IP: 70.2

H: 47 (5.99/9)

HRA: 2 (0.25/9)

BB: 48 (6.11/9)

SO: 89 (11.33/9)

AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS: .190/.324/.239/.563

RHB Slash: .201/.320/.243/.563

LHB Slash: .167/.333/.231/.564

GO/AO: 1.39

 

Scouting report (now and future)

FB: 60/70

SL: 40/50

 

What we know: Scott brings some of the hardest heat you’ll find from a left-handed pitcher in professional baseball. He regularly sits upper 90’s with his heater and it’s not uncommon to seem him reach triple digits in an outing. He has some deception in his delivery as well which makes him virtually unhittable to lefties when he locates. When is the key variable. To date, he has walked 6.9 batters per 9 innings in his minor league career and it’s unlikely that control of the strikezone ever becomes a strong suit. He pairs his dominant fastball with a low-90’s slider that can generate some whiffs but is a below-average offering due to lack of consistency. The Orioles have worked hard to simplify his delivery and put less stress on his arm. Unfortunately, he still has well below average command and control despite the better pitching mechanics.

What we don't know: While he made strides, at least for his standards, with his control in 2017, can he maintain those improvements working in a traditional bullpen role where his usage will be unpredictable unlike the starting routine he grew accustomed to this year. Can he develop adequate enough control where he can be relied upon to get outs with inherited runners or will he be constantly walking the bases loaded in these situations?

What he needs to improve: Command and control. The talent is there for Scott to be a weapon but consistently walking 6 batters per nine innings will hinder his upside if that trend continues. He’s fastball reliant and will need a more reliable slider to keep major league hitters off balance.

Summary:  Despite his inconsistencies, Scott is still extremely difficult to hit. It’s hard to imagine he can’t stick in a major league bullpen. The question is can he cut down the walks enough to be relied upon in late innings and other pressure situations, such as getting a tough lefty out with a couple runners on base. If not, then he may just be a solid-average multi-inning reliever that you bring in to start the 5th or 6th inning if the starter needs to come out but limit his appearances in pressure situations where his control problems are a risk for blowup innings. He made strides in 2017 working as a starter. He’ll likely begin the season at Norfolk and could quickly join the Orioles if he can build off his performance in 2017.

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23 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

I don't think his floor is middle relief. It's AAAA tease.  The control MIGHT never be good enough to last a full season in the majors.

I seem to be agreeing with everything you say tonight.    I feel the same way.

By the way, are these write-ups of 11 and down all going on the MiL forum, unlike the top 10 that went in the plus members section?

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31 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I seem to be agreeing with everything you say tonight.    I feel the same way.

By the way, are these write-ups of 11 and down all going on the MiL forum, unlike the top 10 that went in the plus members section?

Yes, 11-20.  The rest will have notes, but not a full profile.  

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13 minutes ago, MDtransplant757 said:

If he figures out his control, then we got ourselves a quality prospect. 

I know there are people who won't agree with me, but I think the control he showed in AA this year will play in the MLB with his stuff.  The slider has improved significantly.  

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Just now, phillyOs119 said:

I know there are people who won't agree with me, but I think the control he showed in AA this year will play in the MLB with his stuff.  The slider has improved significantly.  

It is hard to tell. There were literally 2 sides of Tanner Scott when it came to games I saw in person.

Some games, he was pretty much the top pitching prospect. Solid command, multiple strike outs, fastball hitting 99+, maybe 1 hit in his 3 innings, ect. Then other games, it was painful to watch. Walk, walk, home run. Or a hit by a pitch. He would still get a strike out here and there, mainly because the batters would see their teammates trying to avoid being drilled on inside pitches.

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13 minutes ago, Legend_Of_Joey said:

It is hard to tell. There were literally 2 sides of Tanner Scott when it came to games I saw in person.

Some games, he was pretty much the top pitching prospect. Solid command, multiple strike outs, fastball hitting 99+, maybe 1 hit in his 3 innings, ect. Then other games, it was painful to watch. Walk, walk, home run. Or a hit by a pitch. He would still get a strike out here and there, mainly because the batters would see their teammates trying to avoid being drilled on inside pitches.

You didn't see walk, walk, home run much.  He only allowed 2 home runs all year.  He also only hit 2 batters, believe it or not. 

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3 minutes ago, phillyOs119 said:

You didn't see walk, walk, home run much.  He only allowed 2 home runs all year.  He also only hit 2 batters, believe it or not. 

Didn't literally mean it was all "walk, walk, home run." He did struggle with his command mightily on the games he was off and it was usually right from the start. The 1.32 WHIP is actually surprising to me. Guess sometimes stats can surpass the eye test.

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7th inning. 2 outs. Bases loaded. Lefty coming up  

Who would you rather bring in?  Hart or Scott?  Until he beats out Hart, we have to worry that he's just a LH Jim Hoey. But, he's on the 40 man, has options, so he will likely get a chance to show what he can do in MLB games next year. Hope he excels. 

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4 hours ago, phillyOs119 said:

You didn't see walk, walk, home run much.  He only allowed 2 home runs all year.  He also only hit 2 batters, believe it or not. 

I saw him on quite a few outings. He was definitely not that person described in any of them. 

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5 hours ago, phillyOs119 said:

I know there are people who won't agree with me, but I think the control he showed in AA this year will play in the MLB with his stuff.  The slider has improved significantly.  

I'm one of those people. :)  With the quality of hitters dramatically better in the majors - particularly in batting eye and the ability to work pitchers with control issues - I just don't see it working out for Scott.  People are tantalized because he's a lefty who's hit 100 MPH, but you can't survive in the majors walking that many people, imo.  He's young enough so that there's hope for him to improve the command, but at this point - I'm not excited.  I really hope he proves me wrong - much like Felipe Rivero proved the Nats wrong.  

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45 minutes ago, Ruzious said:

I'm one of those people. :)  With the quality of hitters dramatically better in the majors - particularly in batting eye and the ability to work pitchers with control issues - I just don't see it working out for Scott.  People are tantalized because he's a lefty who's hit 100 MPH, but you can't survive in the majors walking that many people, imo.  He's young enough so that there's hope for him to improve the command, but at this point - I'm not excited.  I really hope he proves me wrong - much like Felipe Rivero proved the Nats wrong.  

This is my worry as well.    Whatever his BB rate was in the minors, it’s likely to be 25-30% higher in the majors, and I just don’t see how a major league pitcher will get away with that many free passes.    But, maybe he’ll be Mitch Williams (in this context, that would be a good thing).

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I have very real concerns with Scott as well, but his improvement with his slider and the fact that guys don't barrel him very often makes me think he might just be one of those guys who can work around the command issues because of the quality of stuff.

Saying that, he's going to be fun and painful to watch at times. He'll need to be consistent enough that the manager feels like they can trust him coming out of the pen. If not, he won't be able to pitch in any kind of meaningful situation which would relegate him to long reliever. 

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