Over the next few days I will have a few of these what to expect articles running. I already covered Rookie Davis, so if you missed that you can check it out here. Amir Garrett was originally selected in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft by the Cincinnati Reds. They gave him a multi-sport signing bonus of $1M. Garrett also played college basketball at St. Johns, and when his baseball career first began, it seemed that baseball was his secondary sport.

In his first few seasons of minor league baseball it was clear that Amir Garrett had the raw ability in his left arm. However, it was indeed, raw. That began to change in 2014 with the Dayton Dragons. That was when he decided to full commit himself to baseball and move on from a college basketball career. However, it was 2015 where the left hander put together his first big season. Garrett took home the organizations pitcher of the year award with a 2.44 ERA for Daytona. Last season, splitting the year between Double-A and Triple-A, it was more of the same. He posted a combined 2.55 ERA in 144.2 innings during the year. His performance wasn’t as strong in Triple-A as it was Double-A, but a few starts really skewed those numbers for Louisville.

Performance this spring

In the first four starts of the spring, Amir Garrett allowed one earned run over a span of 11.1 innings pitched and he had just two walks to go with nine strikeouts. The next to starts were a bit more of a struggle. In 10.0 innings he allowed nine earned with four walks and five strikeouts. He rebounded well on Saturday in the Reds vs Future Reds game in Dayton. The lefty was dominant in his 3.0 innings of work in his final tune up for the regular season. He finished the spring, including the exhibition game, with a 3.70 ERA in 24.1 innings with six walks and 17 strikeouts.

What to expect

There’s no denying that Amir Garrett has a big league arm. He performed well this spring for the Reds. After having some hiccups at times in Louisville in the second half with control, that didn’t really show up in the spring. Over four starts in Triple-A, Amir Garrett combined for 21 walks. In the other eight games he had 10 total walks. With only 12 games at the highest level in the minor leagues, and some consistency issues in that time, there is always going to be some concern that you will see that in the big leagues until the player shows otherwise. That’s no different for Garrett.

As noted, we didn’t really see that in Arizona over the last six weeks, and we’ve seen Amir Garrett take big strides forward in short periods of time. In the past, the lefty has been mostly fastball-slider, while tossing a change up in every so often. He’s still likely going to be a fastball and slider guy, but we’ve seen him go with the change up more. Garrett’s become more comfortable and more confident with the pitch in the last year. He’s generally going to be 91-94 with the fastball with more at the top end and the change up and slider will both be in the low 80’s.

There will probably still be some inconsistency for Amir Garrett in 2017. There aren’t many rookies that come into the Major Leauges and just perform every day from the start. The key will be limiting the number of days when he doesn’t have it. In the minor leagues he’s been very good at doing that. When he’s on top of his game, he’s capable of dominating. The fastball andslider combo will be plenty to get most guys out. If he can continue to progress with his change up it could take him to that next level. As long as he’s able to throw strikes, he should be solid, but likely better than that. How many innings the organization will let him throw is a minor issue, as he should be capable and ready to handle 175.0 innings this season. That may require skipping him once or twice to get through an entire year if that is the kind of limit they choose to set for him (he threw 144.1 last season).

6 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    I see Garrett as the best Reds pitcher not named disco. And iggy has more talent than both combined.

    • Doug Gray

      Honestly, I could see a wide variety of outcomes for Garrett. If you made me bet on it, I’d say I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he were very Brandon Finnegan like in terms of numbers posted. Right around a 4.00 ERA, stays healthy, has some real good stretches, but some inconsistency too. Can dominate at times. Maybe not as many walks.

      At the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me much if he went out and performed better than that, either.

  2. Brennan

    Sorry to be off topic but any word on how well arroyo did today? Thought he was pitching a game today but couldn’t find anything on it

    • Doug Gray

      He was supposed to pitch. No idea how it went.

  3. MK

    I know the Dragons were getting to town this afternoon. We should have some rosters soon.