Profile: LHP - 6'3" - 210lbs - BT:L - TH:L - 2011 Age: 23
• FB 91-92: Gets flat when he leaves it up but he can reach back for 94. (40-55)
• CV 78-79: Very good 12-6 action with refined feel. (65-70)
• CH 83-84: Needs work but flashes average (40-50)
Signed in 2009 to the second richest 4th round signing in history at the time, Dwyer was able to leverage the fact that his age made him a rare draft eligible freshman into a 1.45m deal. Thankfully the Royals weren't as scared off as other teams were by his asking price and in signing him, managed to land a first round talent in the fourth round. Dwyer is really just one more example of the Royals have successfully utilized their strategy of being willing to spend more aggressively on the draft than anyone else to build a loaded farm system.
When the Royals took him, Dwyer was more of a thrower than a pitcher, and that remains true today. His delivery is fairly clean but he doesn't repeat his mechanics consistently and he has a tendency to leave his fastball all over the place which causes him to get into hitters counts and walk far more batters than ideal. It's something he's going to have to work hard on improving.
Dwyer isn't going to light up the radar gun, but works comfortably in the low 90s which is still good for a lefty and can reach back for more when he needs it. He doesn't have great command of his fastball yet, and the pitch lacks the ideal movement you want to see in a pitcher who can induce a lot of ground balls. He'll need to improve in both regards for me to consider the pitch to be league average, but the talent is there for him to do that.
His real bread and butter is his curveball, which has great tight rotation and gets very good depth, routinely getting hitters to swing and miss. He also throws a curve that shows the potential to be a league average pitch and should help keep right handers honest, though unlike most curves, his should play against right handers as well as it doesn't run into their swings the way most curves do.
The good and the bad are pretty obvious here. Dwyer has always shown the ability to miss bats and that was on display again in 2010 when he dominated A ball competition. His brief stint in AA wasn't ideal but the strikeouts kept coming, hinting that he should be fine there as well. But I'm still concerned about his walk rate at High A Wilmington - 3.52 is a long way from ideal. It's not awful, but it gives you pause and it's certainly something he's going to need to improve.
I'm no as high on Dwyer as some analysts, I actually see him as more of a #3/#4 than others. Yes, he'll miss bats in the minors, but he's not really ahead of the age curve and his control is still spotty despite being old enough that it's something he should be rounding out. I think Major League hitters will have a much easier time with him unless his command improves. 2011 will be a telling year - can he improve his control and maintain his strikeout rate?
Corey Ettinger is a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus.