by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There’s always been significant hype surrounding Pirates’ pitcher Tyler Glasnow, long considered one of the top pitching prospects in the league. However he’s continued to stumble upon reaching the Majors, and his latest go around certainly didn’t get off to a promising start:
2.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 6 BB, 3 K
Control continues to be the biggest issue, as he owns a 5.53 BB/9 over 13 starts in the Majors this season (5.38 BB/9 over 80.1 IP over his MLB career). Things were looking better at Triple-A prior to his recall, where he had a 13.50 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9 over 93.1 IP. So the question is, what was different?
For one he appeared to be toying with Triple-A hitters, generating a gaudy 16.2% SwStr%. Last Wednesday night he managed just 6 swinging strikes and owns an 8.1% SwStr% in the Majors this season. When coupled with his 26.0% O-Swing% it makes sense, and Glasnow needs to figure out how to take his swing and miss ability from Triple-A and get similar results in the Majors.
You can point towards his 6’8” frame, which makes control always a question mark, as MLB.com said:
“Glasnow has a clean delivery and arm stroke, but at 6-foot-8, there are a lot of long parts, making it hard to consistently be on time to the plate, particularly with that breaking ball. Glasnow already has swing-and-miss stuff. A little more consistency with his secondary offerings should allow him to become the frontline starter all are projecting him to be.”
While Triple-A hitters haven’t proven disciplined enough to lay off his electric stuff when outside the strike zone, it’s a different story in the Majors (or maybe it’s nerves being on the biggest stage). That doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen, and in time we’d expect it to. In 2017 though? That’s going to be hard to believe, and certainly impossible to trust with fantasy titles hanging in the balance.
Glasnow could prove to be a must use option as soon as ’18, and the intrigue is there, but don’t trust him for the final few weeks of ’17.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com