Milwaukee Preseason I.D.: Left-Handed Pitching Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

We took the pitching prospects and broke them up into LHP’s and RHP’s. We start with the southpaws, and 2017 Ben Dragani (Catholic Memorial) took the top spot. When you talk about projection, Dragani is it. His frame, arm action, athleticism, breaking ball and command are all on the upswing and should develop him into one of the premier left-handed arms in the Midwest.

Here’s a look at the top five left-handed pitchers.

Top Left-Handed Pitching Prospects

1. Ben Dragani, LHP/1B, Catholic Memorial, 2017
Long lean projectable frame, 6-foot-4, 190-pound two-way player, high ceiling on the mound, prototypical pitcher frame. Delivery is free and easy, very balanced, minimal effort, smooth and directional. Arm action is clean, loose, high ¾ slot, comes out easily with no effort. Commands fastball well, late sinking action, pitched at 82-83 mph, good action in the zone, advanced pitch for age. Slider is vastly improved, plus pitch for age, 78-79 mph, late sharp action, tight rotation, excellent arm speed, good feel stayed around the zone, swing and miss action. Changeup has advanced feel, showed ability to command it, fastball similar arm action, 75-77 mph. High follow 2017 prospect. Offensively hits from a tall setup, short stride, lower half works well, excellent balance at contact. Loose easy hitter, repeats well. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed good footwork around the bag, fluid easy athlete, 74 mph across the diamond, 7.59 runner in the 60.

2. Troy Hickey, LHP/OF, Wilmot, 2017
6-foot, 180-pound left-handed throwing two-way player, medium frame, solid build. Tall and fall delivery, slight effort, in rhythm, finishes to third base side. Arm action is clean, short/loose, high ¾ slot, deceptive out of hand, hides it some. Fastball showed occasional boring action, sat at 83 mph, touched 85 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, occasionally steeper action, 68-72 mph, flashed good action and command. Changeup flashed slight arm side run, 72-73 mph. Projects well on the mound. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, simple setup, lets hands work. Good path, short to the ball with extension, line drive gap to gap approach. 80 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed arm strength from the outfield, 85 mph, over the top slot and accurate, showed carry, kept on line, arm played well. Showed the ability to play through the baseball, ran a 7.23 in the 60.

3. Ryan Davila, LHP/1B, Warren Township, 2016
6-foot, 187-pound, left-handed hitting LHP/1B. In the field has a short arm action from a high ¾ arm angle with some carry. Decent footwork, with slower actions, and a quick release. Threw 78 mph across the infield. At the plate hits from a tall, balanced setup, with a smooth load and short stride with good balance. Line drive hitter, with a fast bat, and fluid rhythm. 79 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.50. On the mound works form a high ¾ arm angle, short arm action, quick arm, with some effort. Falls off towards third base, slight crossfire, with a closed landing. Fastball with armside run that sat 81-83 mph. Curveball with slurvy action that sat 70-71 mph. Maintained armspeed on changeup with sink and fade that sat 76-78 mph.

4. DJ Ellifson, OF/LHP, Oak Creek, 2016
5-foot-9, 157-pound left-handed two-way player, athletic build. Defensively plays through the baseball with a step behind, hands worked, showed athleticism. Arm action is long, high ¾ slot, showed some carry, worked through the baseball uphill. Arm played at 84 mph from the outfield. Left-handed hitter, open stance, smooth, longer loading action, good balance. Hands are quick, whippy swing, good bat speed, path has some length, 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Tall and fall delivery on the mound, minimal effort, smooth delivery, squared landing. Arm action is long and loose, high ¾ slot. Fastball showed cut action, slight sink, 80-82 mph, touched 83 mph. Curveball has 1/7 shape, 68-71 mph. Changeup flashed sink, 68-71 mph.

5. James Grassl, LHP, Waukesha West, 2017
6-foot-3, 165-pound left-handed pitcher, thin build, long limbs, plenty of room to fill out, projectable build. Easy delivery, smooth, squared landing, can load over rubber better. Loose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball is mostly straight, 76-77 mph, topped out at 78 mph, projects for more in the tank. Curveball has depth, solid feel, 1/7 tilt, showed the ability to drop in for strikes, 63-65 mph. Changeup has feel, near fastball arm action, slight sink, good feel, 69-72 mph. Has projection, shows good feel for secondary pitches.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Zach Campbell, OF/LHP, Burlington, 2017
5-foot-11, 155-pound left-handed outfielder, lean build, medium frame. Left-handed hitter, open stance, longer stride, slightly dives, lower half works, good balance through contact. Athletic hitter, hands are loose, throws the bat head, line drive hitter, occasionally hits off front foot, some pull side tendencies. 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively played through the ball, mechanically sound footwork, natural outfield actions. Arm played at 84 mph from the outfield, loose arm action, high ¾ slot, good crowhop and arm action. On the mound delivery showed balance, worked on line, squared landing. Fastball has slight sinking action, 74-76 mph. Curveball has 1/7 shape, 67-70 mph, backup action. Changeup sat 70-72 mph.

Logan King, LHP/1B, Cedarburg, 2018
6-foot-1, 175-pound, left-handed hitting LHP/1B. In the field has a short arm action from a low ¾ arm angle. Slower footwork, threw 65 mph across the infield. At the plate has a tall, balanced setup, with a high back elbow. Short stride with good balance. Line drive hitter, with average bat speed and a short, uphill swing path. 69 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.91. On the mound works from a ¾ arm angle, with some stiffness in the arm. Tall at balance point, shoulder tilt, short stride to the plate, lands closed. Fastball with occasional run and sink that sat 72-73 topping out at 74 mph. Sink changeup that sat 65-68 mph. Will continue to improve with maturity.

Jonah Nosek, LHP, Kettle Moraine, 2016
Long limbed frame, slender build, lean 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed pitcher. Delivery has good tempo, smooth, high front side, some deception. Arm action has length, loose arm, high ¾ slot, hides it. Fastball has arm side run, filled up the zone, some ability to command it, 75-76 mph, topped out at 77 mph. Curveball has 1/7 tilt, showed some feel, 66-68 mph. Changeup was best secondary, sinking action, 67-70 mph, good arm speed. Good upside, 2016 to follow, left-handed arm who can project.

Chase Nyborg, LHP/1B, Janesville Craig, 2016
6-foot, 160-pound, left-handed hitting, LHP/1B. In the field has a short arm action, from a high ¾ arm slot. Has average arm strength throwing 71 mph across the infield. At the plate hits form a tall stance, with a short stride, and shows average balance. Pull hitter, 78 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.63. On the mound pitched from a high ¾ arm angle, with a short arm action. Threw strikes with his fastball with sink action that sat 75-76. 1-7 shape on curveball that sat 67-68. Firm changeup at 73-74.

Daniel Schiff, OF/LHP, Nicolet, 2017
5-foot-7, 138-pound, right-handed hitting OF/LHP.  Defensively in the outfield showed a long arm action from an over the top arm slot, with a good crowhop, throwing 76 mph. At the plate hit from an open stance, with a short toe tap stride. Showed average bat speed, with a long, uphill path, 75 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.62. On the mound worked from a high ¾ angle with a loose arm. Showed a smooth, online delivery featuring a fastball that sat 71-73 topping out at 74 mph to go along with a curveball that sat between 64-68 mph. Showed some projection on the mound.

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