By Contributing Writer: Chuck Boemmel Jr.
Bowie Baysox (Class-AA) left-hander Tanner Scott is off to a solid start in 2017. While starting every fifth day, the hard-throwing southpaw is projected as a late inning reliever if not a closer. His numbers so far suggest the ability to close out games.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
MLB Pipeline currently lists Scott, the Baltimore Orioles 2014 sixth round draft pick, as the organization’s 11th ranked prospect. Scott is #7 on BabyBirdland’s top 15 list as well.
Scott’s 2017 numbers through two games are: 6.0 innings pitched, 0-0 record, one run, 1.50 ERA, two hits, 1.17 WHIP, five walks, and seven strikeouts. He has limited Eastern League hitters to a .105 batting average. He has not allowed a hit in his last 3.2 innings. Left handed batters have a .100 batting average against Scott while right handed batters have done slightly better with a .111 batting average against him. He has also been credited with two wild pitches.
Possessing a plus fastball, Scott is starting on a regular basis in order to work on both his control and off speed pitches. The Orioles used this approach with him during the 2016 Arizona Fall League season. Reports from his latest game were that he hit 99-101 mph on the stadium radar gun. In that game he was able to use his slider effectively.
Scott does need to limit going deep in counts as he has thrown 106 pitches in his 6.0 innings pitched (24 batters faced). Batters either cannot keep up with his fastball or they are simply confused by his slider; Scott has a SO/9 innings of 10.5 and 55.7% of his pitches have been strikes. Batters who have managed to reach base against him have been left there (85.7% stranded).
In the end, Scott is expected to move to the bullpen later in the season. He has the potential to be a dominant closer once he develops control of his fastball and shows consistency in his off speed offerings. We all saw what a consistent slider can do during the 2016 MLB postseason.
Keep a close eye on Scott’s progress this season; it should be fun to watch.