For all 2016 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one a day over the offseason).

The season couldn’t have gotten out to a much better start for left hander Amir Garrett. The 23-year-old posted a 2.41 ERA in the month of April in 18.2 innings with just five walks and he struck out 24 batters.

He followed that up with a month of May that was pretty similar. In six starts he posted a 2.40 ERA that spanned 30.0 innings. His walk rate did jump up to 10% on the month, but he kept a high strikeout rate (23.6%) through the month. Garrett also finished the second month in a row without allowing a home run.

June was a bit of a struggle. The left hander watched his ERA jump up to 4.18, in large part due to an increased walk rate. He walked 13% of the batters he faced and also allowed the first home run of the season in his first start of the month. In July his ERA rebounded quite well as it dropped to 2.10, but his walk rate was a little high as he walked 11.4% of the hitters on the month and his strikeout rate dropped to 19.5%.

The final five weeks of the regular season were a nice rebound as he posted a season best 1.64 ERA in August and the first day of September. In 38.1 innings he walked just 10 batters (6.7%) and had 29 strikeouts (19.6%). That was just a tease for what was to come for Garret in the playoffs. In his first start, in game 1 of the opening round series he allowed just one hit over 7.0 innings with 12 strikeouts and no walks. In the Florida State League Championship series he would make another start, this time allowing two runs over 6.0 innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Garrett would finish the season with a 2.44 ERA in 140.1 innings to go along with 55 walks and 133 strikeouts. His numbers in the playoffs were even better. He finished second in the league in both ERA and in strikeouts.

ERA IP H HR BB K WHIP
2.44 140.1 117 4 55 133 1.23

Scouting Report

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Fastball | The left hander worked with his fastball in the 91-95 MPH range, picking up velocity from where he had been in the past year. He would routinely hit 96 in most starts and topped out at 98 MPH. It was the third year in a row that his top end sitting velocity as well as his top end touching velocity has improved.

Slider | The pitch was hit go-to pitch for strikeouts. It flashes itself as a plus offering, but can be average at times as well. It generally works in the 82-84 MPH range.

Change Up | A clear third offering for Garret. It’s generally a below-average offering and one that he doesn’t show too often. In some starts he would throw it fewer than five times in a game.

Other | While his slider may rate out at times as his best pitch, it’s the fastball that plays the best. It’s the pitch he has the most control of, though it’s no more than average control of the pitch. Control of his slider did take a step forward in 2015, but it’s still a pitch that is more of a chase pitch than one he can consistently throw in the zone. How more advanced hitters will handle that is still an unknown, but improved control of the pitch may be needed against those types of hitters. The lack of usage with his change up must improve. He’s able to rely on the fastball and slider combination at this point, but a third pitch he has faith in and can go to will be needed in the future.

There could be more room to grow for Garrett in the velocity department. He’s still working on getting his body into pitching shape after spending so much time bridging things in the training room to be in shape for basketball. He’s put on plenty of good weight in his lower half over the last year. The upside with the left hander is very high, but there is some work to do in several areas as well.

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6 Responses

  1. sultan of swaff

    From what I saw of Garrett, his fastball/slider combo is his bread and butter. Doug, how would you rate his changeup? Does its usage pattern suggest it’s just a show me pitch and how will that affect his projection as a major league SP?

  2. The Duke

    How often do you think a third pitch needs to be thrown to constitute a good three pitch mix? 10%, 15%? I agree he needs to get his changeup more consistent and be able to throw it for a strike without it being a meatball pitch for hitters. AA should be a nice eye opener for him in regards to having to set up hitters more and needing that third pitch.

    You have to love his progress over the last two years though.

    • Doug Gray

      I think throwing it 10+ times a game is probably necessary at the big league level on most nights.

      The progress he, Travieso and even Romano have all made since that first go-around in Dayton has been impressive. That’s been a real fun trio to follow.

      • Victor Vollhardt

        Watching the video–it seems like very little of his “power” comes from his lower half—rather a lot of strain and snap on his shoulder and arm. Doug what’s your opinion of his delivery/motion?

      • Doug Gray

        I think he’s using his legs just fine, but I do understand where you’re coming from. If you focus more on the upper body you can see his arm sort of pop through there. Take a sheet of paper though and cover up his upper half on the screen and just watch his legs. You can see them also pop through.

  3. Troy McKevitt

    The reports on his third pitch kind of remind me of Travis Wood coming up. Wood had a great fastball/changeup combo, but really just threw a curveball for show. Obviously Garrett’s fastball is much better than Wood’s, so if he can develop that third pitch any, he could be a top end starter for the Reds for a while. Hopefully he keeps getting better, as he continues to pitch more.