Connor Seabold puts up good numbers, and nice charts, but there’s one chart in particular that gives scouts pause.
- Born: January 24, 1996
- B/T: Left/Left
- 6’2″, 190-lbs
- Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft out of California State University, Fullerton (Fullerton, CA). Traded to the Red Sox.
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Looks good, doesn’t it? Oh, the K% could be better, but it stabilized at a decent 25–26% level. The BB% is great. The WHIP is fantastic.
He looks solid against both righties and lefties.
About as even as can be, other than the triples toward right.
This chart also looks good. Right about the 20% level.
Looking in the BaseballHQ.com Minor League Baseball Analyst book, we see that Seabold has three pitches in his arsenal:
Here it is! This is the chart that makes the scouts pause: No plus pitches. Thus he cannot be anything more than a #4 SP in the majors unless he develops a plus pitch. A 93-mph fastball without plane is not likely to ever be that. Maybe the slider will improve, or the changeup will step up, but until it does, this is not the profile of a great pitcher, but an average arm.
He does have good command, and that will serve him well, and it has served him well as we see in his great walk rate.
This is the graphic that informs the scouts. They see the good results on the lower levels of the minors, and they think, yeah, but what will he do in AAA and the majors with nothing plus?
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400.
- BaseballHQ: Not on their Top 100.
- Fangraphs: Not on their Top 120.
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their dynasty list.
- Prospects365: Not on Ray Butler’s Top 200.
- Imaginary Brick Wall: Not on the Top 487.
- Fantrax: Not on the Top 250.
It would be nice if he struck out more batters, but with no plus pitches, that’s going to be difficult.
When you see a pitcher putting up great numbers, but the scouts warn us, you listen to the scouts. The only time that’s not true is when the pitcher keeps putting up great numbers even once he reaches the majors. The scouts will adjust at that point, and there will be an explanation. But that’s rare. The scouts usually nail these sorts of things.
He’s going to be a command and control pitcher, not one who blows guys away. And it must be said that he did very well in the Arizona Fall League where facing 62 batters he struck out 22 and walked only three. We wanted to see a higher K% rate, and there it was. His FB was up to 94 as well, so there’s that.
If his secondary pitches take a step forward, and at age 24 it’s not impossible, but the clock is ticking, and he holds that 94mph FB, he could be a mid-rotation arm the Red Sox can use. If he doesn’t step forward, he will be a #5 up-and-down type.