When the Cincinnati Reds drafted Michael Lorenzen last season in the supplemental first round they originally said that they were going to let him play in the field as well as pitch. By the end of the season it was apparent that he was only going to pitch and he was sent to the Arizona Fall League to begin his transition to starting pitcher. While things didn’t go well in Arizona in terms of results, it would be difficult for this season to have gone any better for the right hander.

After having no experience as a starting pitcher outside of 17.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League and very little experience overall as a pitcher in general, the former college outfielder and closer has posted a 3.09 ERA this season in Double-A Pensacola with 41 walks and 81 strikeouts in 116.2 innings pitched. Only in August has he had an ERA over 3.70 for a month. With the lack of pitching experience and the placement at the Double-A level, it’s been an incredibly successful season.

While I was in Pensacola earlier this month, I took some video of Lorenzen from behind the plate to get a good look at his pitches. I put together a quick video to show each of his four offerings, though the change up is tough to see given the angle I was at and the left hander in the box. Unfortunately I didn’t see one against a right hander when I went back and watched the video.

The pure stuff was impressive even though he struggled on the day that I saw him. In that start he allowed six runs in 3.0 innings with two walks and no strikeouts. Still, the stuff was there to see.

Scouting Report


Fastball | As you can see in the video, the pitch has late sinking action to it and some good armside run to it. On this day the pitch was working 91-95 and touched 96 a few times. With the velocity mixed with the sinking action, it’s arguably the best fastball in the system.

Slider | The second best pitch for Lorenzen, and the one he chooses to go to most among his secondary offerings, the slider comes in in the 78-83 MPH range. The pitch has late biting action. He was able to throw the pitch for strikes and able to bury it when he wanted to. It’s an above-average offering.

Curveball | His second breaking ball that he just learned this year. You can tell that it’s still a new pitch still, as he doesn’t go to it often. It’s a usable pitch, but lacks behind the fastball and slider. It could be an average offering in the future.

Change Up | A much improved pitch from last season. The pitch comes in in the 81-83 MPH range and shows sink and armside run. He sells it well with the same armspeed as the fastball and it gets a little extra run and sink. For a pitch that was

Other | Lorenzen is very athletic and he repeats his mechanics well. The mechanics are very simple and bode well for future improvements in control and command. He is still another year away from being ready for a full starters workload. His strikeout rate is going to climb in time and he is going to generate a high rate of groundballs thanks to the fastball/slider combo.


9 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    He has a hitch in his delivery which messes up the hitters but could also lead to a arm injury. When you have a hesitation in your delivery, it puts more pressure on the arm
    (versus following through with one continuous fluid motion)

    • Doug Gray

      The hitch isn’t with the arm action though. It is with his lower half. I don’t see that leading to arm injuries.

      • Alan Horn

        It stops or slows down his momentum which puts more strain on the arm than using his whole body. Tom Seaver is the best example of using the whole body. Most of the stress of throwing is on the larger leg and back muscles versus the shoulder and arm. Seaver’s motion was a
        near perfect follow through with the arm from the momentum created from the thrust of his legs. Any break or pause in your motion causes you to have to get more out of your arm as far as velocity goes.

    • KyWilson1

      Looks similar to Kershaws leg hitch and it hasnt affect him. His arm is free and easy through the motion, almost looks effortless. Got to like that.

  2. MK

    Think he has too many innings to go to AZ Fall League again?

      • MK

        Seems like that is the case with many of the true prospect pitchers. Who might the Reds send?