Logan Verrett Scouting Report by chris zaccherio April 17, 2016 Stat Line: 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 SO, 2 BB In the New York Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins, Logan Verrett showed why he would be in the starting rotation for 29 of 30 Major League teams. Verrett attacks opposing lineups differently than the Mets’ big three power pitchers, looking to induce poor contact early in at-bats rather than inducing a high whiff/miss and strikeout rates. Logan Verrett continues showing more than scouts prepared us for, exhibiting an above-average breaking ball while keeping four pitches low in the strike zone. Repertoire Verrett’s breaking ball (slider and curveball) is a viable MLB strikeout pitch, inducing a strong 16.6% whiff/miss rate (swing and miss rate). His breaking ball, particularly his slider, shows sharp, late, downward movement and has enough velocity to deceive the hitter into thinking the pitch is a four-seam fastball. The reason behind defining it as a breaking ball is because it’s tough to decipher the difference between his slider and curveball. Verrett’s four-seam fastball sits 90 to 93 mph while his two-seam fastball, also referred to as a sinker, dials in at 88 to 92 mph. At times, Verrett’s two-seam fastball/sinker seemed to move 6 to 10 inches with sharp 10-to-5 downward movement (think of 10 to 5 on a clock). Although he didn’t show consistent fastball command on the corners of home plate, Verrett kept his pitches between ankle and thigh high. Staying low in the strike zone with two pitches having sharp downward movement makes it nearly impossible for opposing hitters to lift the baseball for hard hits and extra base hits. Verrett’s Four Keys to Success Verrett has to focus on four aspects of pitching to be successful with a fastball/sinker primarily sitting 88 to 92 mph: Command fastball low in the strike zone because any misses in the strike zone will be hit hard. Rely more on a two-seam fastball/sinker with downward movement rather than straighter four-seam fastballs further reducing hard contact and naturally helping keep the ball down. Throw many off-speed pitches (45%-50% of total pitches) making his fastballs appear harder than reality. Throw at least 70% to 75% first-pitch strikes otherwise Verrett will be forced to throw predictable fastballs to climb back even in counts. Verrett commanded his fastball thigh-high or below on 46% of fastballs but excluding the five intentionally thrown high four-seam fastballs the percentage moves to a respectable 52%. However, Verrett only threw 34% two-seam fastballs/sinkers, another reason his “fastball low in the strike zone” percentage wasn’t higher. Verrett threw 52% off-speed pitches at an outstanding 70% strike rate. Lastly, Verrett threw 77% first-pitch strikes. Three out of four isn’t bad for his first spot start of the 2016 season. Cause for Concern Verrett showed a stronger out pitch than scouts reported but didn’t exhibit fastball command on each corner of home plate needed for a pitcher throwing in the low 90s. In fact, he threw 27 of his 85 pitches (31%) on the inner half of home plate or inside to hitters but only eight of those were commanded well on the inside corner. Understandably, Verrett lives on the outside corner but must learn to throw inside with a purpose and control. Lacking control and a presence on the inside corner allows MLB hitters to feel comfortable in the batter’s box and gives them the ability to look for predictable outside pitches. When an MLB hitter is able to predict or feel comfortable guessing a certain pitch type or pitch location, the more aggressive and confident their swings become. This makes Verrett vulnerable to higher home run, hard contact and walk rates.