NorCal ProCase Spotlight: RHP Thatcher Hurd

Blaine Clemmens
Northern CA Director of Scouting


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LINCOLN, CA. - Long known as a talented defensive catcher with intriguing ability on the mound, Hurd chose to only pitch at the Norcal ProCase on 6/28/20, due to having a bit of a banged up left wrist that was going to make hitting and receiving a little problematic. Given how he performed on the mound in front of nearly 50 MLB personnel, there's a good chance that in their reports, he's a primary pitcher for their 2021 draft pref lists.

Much of Hurd's defensive chops were honed over the years of catching his older brother Logan (LHP), bound for Loyola Marymount this fall. It seems that he's also perhaps picked up a few things that he's now translated to the mound. His four-pitch repertoire is well rounded and all four pitches have a chance to develop as average MLB pitches, at the very least. If he ends up in college at UCLA (UPDATE: changed commitment from UCSB in mid-Sept), he'd likely continue to develop his defensive and offensive abilities, which given how much work catchers have to put in, could affect what appears to be a very significant ceiling on the mound. Time of course, will tell.

Hurd is presently the 6th ranked catcher in the 2021 class in California and the 36th ranked player overall in the state. For the next rankings release we will have to decide which position to rank him at.



Body: 6-foot-4, 195-pounds. Long body with visible strength/size gains in lower body and still plenty of room in his upper body to fill out.

Delivery: Simple, starts in modified stretch position, small rocker step toward 1B line, easy knee lift with good hand/feet rhythm. Clean on the backside, maintains good body control throughout the delivery, lands with stability which provides him the ability to maintain a consistent release point with all four pitches. High-3/4 slot. 

FB: Pitched comfortably in the 90-91 mph range, topping out at 93 mph on a couple of occasions. His average speed of 91.1 was the highest among the pitchers at the ProCase. Average spin rate of 2312 on the heater, ranking third among the pitchers. Average inverted break of 10.9, indicating his ability to get angle on the fastball and pitch down in the zone. Average horizontal break of 15.1 was third highest. Flashed arm side movement that can make RHHs a little uncomfortable.

CB: Utilized as a sneaky pitch to keep hitters off the fastball and set up the slider, he threw it with feel in the 74-75 mph range (threw two of them). 11/6 type shape, averaged 2796 spin rate w/max of 2850 rpm.

SL: Hurd's best pitch (75-77 mph), not only has high spin rate on this pitch (average 2802) but also throws it with feel and ability to locate it in strikeout situations. Top spin rate was 2887 and that number is sure to get the attention of the MLB industry. Negative inverted break of -5.8 for his breaking balls, reflecting the short quick bite late in the zone that gets swings and misses.

CHG: Threw just one of them (84 mph) and like his other pitches, it came out easy and he flashed feel of the pitch. Much lower spin (1673) than his fastball, resulting in some downward movement at the plate. Enough decrease in velocity off the fastball and with his ability to repeat the delivery and consistency of his release point, this pitch has a chance to be the quality third pitch of a starter.

Summary: Results of his four competitive ABs were F7 (Blake Burke), 1B (Davis Diaz), K (Aaron Parker), K (Jake Sapien). Both Ks came via the slider. The ability to finish hitters with the slider will give him the ability to pitch for strikeouts. The fastball, while firm and still with future velocity gains, will need more life through and in the zone. The entire repertoire suggests that a future as a starter is entirely possible. The challenge will be developing the type of arm stamina for that role. Through high school and travel ball he's not been utilized as such. It stands to reason that if he develops into an offensive contributor in college then he's going to be used on the mound in relief situations. If the bat doesn't come along, it's entirely possible we see him drafted as a pitcher in the 2024 draft.