Meet the Prospect: Jake Odorizzi

Are you an owner who are always looking for the next big pitching prospect?  With Trevor Bauer and Martin Perez recently recalled, you’ve probably already missed the boat on them.  Jake Odorizzi could be the next pitcher to reach the Majors, so let’s take a look at him:

  • 22-years old
  • Right-Handed Pitcher
  • Listed as 6’2”, 185 lbs.
  • Selected in the supplemental first round (#32 overall) of the 2008 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Was considered a good athlete when drafted, as he was a pitcher, shortstop and wide receiver in high school
  • One of the key pieces of the trade that sent Zack Greinke from the Royals to the Brewers
  • 9-2 with a 3.01 ERA, 85 K and 22 BB in 77.2 IP between Double & Triple-A in ‘12
  • Has been even better since his Triple-A promotion (Pacific Coast League), going 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA, 38 K and 12 BB in 39.2 IP
  • Possibly the most impressive statistic is that he’s allowed just 2 HR in the hitter’s paradise of the PCL (for minor league career has posted a HR/9 of 0.72)
  • Posted a 10 K game on June 7 against a lineup that included Leonys Martin, Ryan Spilborghs and Julio Borbon
  • Over his minor league career has a 9.57 K/9 and 2.70 BB/9
  • Baseball America ranked him as the #68 prospect overall; mlb.com ranked him #38
  • Mlb.com gave the following scouting report, “In his first year with the Royals, coming over in the Zack Greinke deal, Odorizzi showed four pitches that have the chance to be average or better. He can get his fastball up to 95 mph and sits in the 92-93 mph range with plenty of sink. His curve is a plus pitch at times, though it’s a bit inconsistent, his slider is above-average and his changeup grades out as average. He doesn’t walk too many, though he can improve his overall command and the consistency of his stuff. He’s not far from knocking on the door.”
  • In regards to his fastball, which is his best pitch, Baseball America said, “Odorizzi sits at 91-93 mph and touches 95 with his fastball, which seems a little firmer because he has a slow, easy delivery with a quick finish. He misses a lot of bats with his heater, which has sinking and running action, and he maintains its velocity deep into games.”
  • Will pitch in the 2012 Futures Game

Conclusion:
While most reports have his upside as more of a mid-rotation starter, you wouldn’t guess that from the numbers he’s posted.  He does a good job of firing strikes and clearly has swing and miss stuff as he’s shown it at every level he’s played.  Is he going to be an ace?  Probably not, though it’s hard to call it impossible also.

While the Royals have tried to slow his progress and keep him in the minor leagues, injuries and inability may soon force their hand.  With Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino out of action and numerous other options simply being ineffective, Odorizzi should soon get an opportunity.

With strikeout potential and good control, he could become a viable option in all formats before long.  If you have room on your bench and are in need of strikeouts, now would be the time to stash him.  Obviously he could be a risky play, but the potential reward is too great to ignore.

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