Profile: LHP - 6'5" - 230lbs -BT:L - TH:L - 2011 Age: 22
• FB4 92-94: Pretty straight, good velocity, average command. (45-65)
• FB2 90-92: Good arm-side run, average command. (45-65)
• CV 78-82: Command/feel is fringy, movement is impressive and variable. (50-70)
• CH 82-84: Has the makings. Decent fade, solid differential, lacks feel. (40-55)
A power lefty and the consensus #1 college pitcher in the 2010 draft out of the University of Mississippi, Pomeranz was taken by the Indians as the 5th overall pick of last years draft. He set school records for strikeouts and finished 2010 as the SEC pitcher of the year - beating out fellow AL Central top prospect Drew Smyly of Arkansas who is now working for the Tigers for the honor. The Indians and Pomeranz weren't able to come to terms until the last day, when he signed for 2.65m. The delay in signing meant that he wasn't able to make his professional debut for the Indians in 2010, though like all prospects, he got time with the club during fall instructs.
In college Pomeranz was able to dominate hitters with his fastball/curveball combination. He'll throw both fastballs but seems to prefer the four seamer. He'll need to make strides with the pitch in order for it to work as well in the Majors. Specifically, he could stand to get better run on the pitch. I have concerns that unless he can learn to command the pitch better within the zone or add movement that MLB hitters will feast on it. But he should be just fine with reps and refinement.
His curve of course, is his calling card. He throws the spike curve that's become quite popular over the past decade and when he stays on top of the pitch it gets fantastic fall-off-the-table 12/6 drop. The thing is, sometimes he'll come off on the side and it'll move in unpredictable ways, including back across his arm. He doesn't seem to have consistent command and feel for the pitch yet, but that seems like something that should continue to improve with repetition. He'll also show a changeup, and while it projects as only average or slightly better, the development of the pitch will be the key to his reaching the Majors. Once it's ready and he has a second weapon against the platoon advantage, the Tribe will bring him up.
Borderline #1, solid #2.
Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as 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. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery.