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CLASS OF 2017

RHP

Chris
Troye

UC Santa Barbara
Heritage (HS) • CA
6-4 • 225LBS • R/R

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8-1-2018: WhenChris Troyeshowed up on campus last fall, the UC Santa Barbara coaching staff thought he could be a righthanded version of former Gauchos slugger Austin Bush. And when you watch Troye take batting practice, you can see why he garnered comparisons to the hulking Bush, who hit 31 home runs over his last two seasons at UCSB. Built like Achilles of Troy, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Troye has big raw power from the right side — but that particular asset has become an afterthought for him.

Midway through the fall, the Gauchos determined that Troye’s future was on the mound, where he had serious arm strength but was very raw.

“I showed up as a catcher. Pitched two and a third innings in high school,” Troye said. “It was pretty early in the fall, I can’t tell you exactly how early, I threw a bullpen, and from there they told me I was going to keep working on it. And then probably halfway through the fall, I knew it was something I could help my team out with, so that’s when I committed to it for sure.”

Troye made 19 relief appearances as a freshman for the Gauchos in the spring, posting a 4.95 ERA along with 29 strikeouts and 20 walks in 20 innings. UCSB coach Andrew Checketts said there were some ups and downs with the conversion process — particularly with his strike-throwing ability — but the Gauchos saw some serious velocity early in the spring, and he showed flashes of dominance.

“(Troye is) made of the right stuff,” Checketts said. “Looks like he’s starting to figure it out.”

Indeed, Troye has turned the corner in a big way for the Mystic Schooners this summer, posting a 1.40 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 17 walks in 25.2 innings. The walk rate is still on the high side, but he’s given up just eight hits, allowing him to escape jams. Troye did not need to escape a jam in the all-star game, when he struck out two in a perfect 1-2-3 second inning for the South team.

“I’ve been working hard, just on my command and trying to fill up the strike zone. It’s obviously gotten a little bit better, but got some more work to do,” Troye said. “I’m working on (my breaking ball) a lot in catch play, that and my changeup. My fastball, I’m not really worried about velo or anything like that, just trying to throw strikes, get ahead early in the count. But my offspeed stuff’s been coming along.”

Troye sat comfortably at 91-93 mph during his inning in the all-star game, working downhill from a high slot with minimal effort in his easy delivery. He worked mostly off his fastball but also mixed in a couple of promising slurvish breaking balls at 78-79 with solid three-quarters break. Asked if he calls it a curveball or a slider, Troye shrugged and smiled. “I don’t really know yet,” he said. “I just kind of throw it.”

That’s the answer of a pitcher who is still very early in his development process — a reminder of how much upside is still in the tank for Troye. He truly is just scratching the surface of his exciting potential.

But as for that batting practice display — Troye isn’t holding out hope that Checketts will let him hit in the spring.

“I would love that, I would love that,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t think he will, but it’s something I enjoy doing, so I’ll probably keep swinging.” (A Fitt)

8-2-2018:Suffered the tough-luck loss after only giving up one earned run across six innings. On that particular day, his fastball showed a little bit more velocity than it did at the All-Star game. He was up to 95 mph and routinely sat 92-93. The fastball was so overpowering that it limited his need to go his developing breaking ball. Refining the feel and command of his 11/5 slurve that sits 78-80 mph will be crucial to his development moving forward. Already shows the ability to repeat his simple delivery and has a lightning quick arm. If he continues to progress as a pitcher, it might not be long before his batting practice privileges are revoked for good. (D Jurik)

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