When you have a good fastball and good control, what do you have? Troy Melton.
- Born: December 3, 2000
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’4″, 210-lbs
- Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2022 MLB June Amateur Draft from San Diego State University
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:
We cannot learn much from his draft year of 2022 since it’s just five innings of great results. Noted.
He repeats A-ball to start 2023, and the strikeouts remain elevated, and the walks finally decide to show up, though at a low level. So off to High-A it was to challenge Mr. Melton.
Challenge accepted. His strikeout rate dipped, his walk rate (still great) rose, and the end results were good, just not as great as in A-ball.
The monthly splits show us that at the season went on the strikeout rate eroded until by late summer it really wasn’t very effective. Meanwhile his walk rate careened up and down and up and down, and sometimes it coincided with his giving up hits (bad WHIP) and sometimes he got away with it (good WHIP), but when you are not striking out guys enough, this is the variable nature of results you experience.
Handedness K% and BB%
A (vs RH): 34%K and 5%BB. (vs LH): 24%K and 7%BB.
A+ (vs RH): 23%K and 4%BB. (vs LH): 23%K and 9%BB.
He clearly has very good control against righties, less so against lefties, and the strikeouts became the same low level at High-A. And no, there was no late surge, it just kept getting worse.
It would be smart of the Tigers to let him spend a month at High-A to see if his great fastball can get those strikeouts back at that level. Then promote him when he gets hot and let him face Double-A batters.
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400
- Fantrax: Not on their Top 400
- RotoProspects: #464 on Top 500
- Toolshed Fantasy ($): Not on Top 500
- PARSlist ($): 65.6 (SP5 range, 80th-best SP prospect)
- PLIVE+: 91 (314th-best SP prospect)
He’s not the highest-rated pitching prospect, but he does get noticed.
Let’s see that strikeout rate rise again, shall we?
Let’s see how he does at Double-A before passing judgment.
He sits mid-90s on his fastball and can reach back to get to 98 mph. Combine that with good control and you have the makings of a major leaguer. In what role?
If he gets two of his slider, curve, changeup to improve, he could be a back-end starter.
If those secondaries don’t improve, he could make a nice reliever.
He’s young still, there is time, and 2024 will tell a lot.
Here is a nice interview of Melton on FanGraphs.