In addition to his fastball, Newcomb also features a slider/curve and a change up. His slider, which could also project as a curveball because of his arm slot, is effective against both right and left-handed batters as it features sharp bite and late movement. The lefty's changeup does not feature a ton of movement but he features the same arm slot and arm speed as his fastball so the pitch is still deceptive as a third pitch.
One of the issues plaguing Newcomb entering 2014 was his command. He walked 37 batters in 72.0 innings in 2013 but improved in 2014 walking 38 batters in 93.1 innings of work. The improvement from 2013 to the Cape Cod League last summer to 2014 are apparent in his numbers. Newcomb was 5-4 with a 3.75 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 92 strikeouts in 72 innings in 2013. He bounced back in 2014 going 8-2 with a 1.25 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and 106 strikeouts in 93.1 innings of work.
A knock on Newcomb, who turns 21 next Friday, is that he played against inferior competition at Hartford and got away with pitches left up in the zone because of that. While it is a valid concern, there are also some benefits. Newcomb is a Northeast arm who grew up in Massachusetts making in near-impossible for him to play baseball all year round and wear down his arm. With Major League Baseball looking into the Tommy John epidemic, many doctors believe it is because pitchers are putting too many innings in at a young age. Newcomb would enter an organization with a big frame and fresh arm.
Fit With the Phillies:
Newcomb's college experience should give him a jump on some of the younger arms in the system allowing him to advance at a faster rate. With the Phillies aging core, they need someone young who can get to the majors fast with good stuff. Newcomb has that potential.
It is unlikely Newcomb is off the board when the Phillies select at seventh overall so he could be there for the taking in Philadelphia so chooses.
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