Frisco, Texas —— After the 12th start of his season on Thursday night, Seattle Mariners right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Unsworth is now 4-6 with a 4.26 ERA in time split between the Double-A Arkansas Travelers and Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, with 59 strikeouts against 78 hits and just 12 walks in 67.2 innings pitched. I observed the Seattle Mariners’ farmhand during his June 3 start on the road at Frisco, in which he threw six innings and allowed four runs on nine hits and no walks while striking out seven batters; below is Baseball Census‘ full report on South Africa native Dylan Unsworth.
Dylan Unsworth Scouting Report — Video
Here is our Dylan Unsworth scouting report video, taken from several angles during that June 3, 2017 start on the road against the Frisco RoughRiders:
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Dylan Unsworth Scouting Report — Notes
Seattle Mariners righty Dylan Unsworth won’t wow you with velocity, but his changeup is above-average with phenomenal movement and above-average command, and he’s not afraid to go to it early and often as a way to get ground balls and weak contact. Unsworth sits 85-87 mph with his two-seam fastball, and will run a four-seam version of the pitch a bit higher (88-90 mph). His control of it needs to be good considering his lack of velocity, and it is; Unsworth isn’t afraid to pitch inside and he can run two-seamers from off the plate glove-side back over the inside corner to lefties as an interesting wrinkle to back them off the plate. His changeup is his calling card, though: a 78-81 mph circle version of the pitch that has exceptional fade and great, late tumble. It’s a good enough pitch that Unsworth gets some swing-and-miss from it, and it has enough life and above-average command that he can throw it to both lefties and righties in virtually every count.
While his fastball-change combo is tantalizing, Unsworth’s breaking balls are in need of some improvement. He throws a curveball (71-75 mph), and a harder slider (80-82 mph), but neither one is consistent in command and he’s liable to leave them up over the plate, especially the slower curveball. He struggles to maintain arm speed on the breaking balls, and each one has a comparatively lazy break with no real late, hard bite, making them liable to get hit hard when left in the strike zone. Couple that with Unsworth’s below average velocity and hitters have the time to adjust between fastball and breaking ball in their approach, leaving only the changeup a devastating pitch that’s tough to pick up. In general, Unsworth’s control is ahead of his command right now, but he has enough feel for his changeup and two-seam fastball that his command profile should continue to improve in time, despite inconsistencies in his breaking stuff.
Dylan Unsworth Scouting Report — Projection
At 6’1″, 175 lbs., Dylan Unsworth is undersized compared to an ideal starting pitcher, and it’s unlikely he’ll gain too much more velocity as he ages. He’s already 24 years old (this is his eighth season with the Seattle Mariners), and his ceiling likely isn’t too much more than low-leverage relief in the big leagues. He’s hittable, and while he does himself every favor (good control, decent command, exceptional pitchability, and a penchant for challenging hitters), the relative lack of walks is overlooked by hitters’ consistent ability to get their barrels on virtually everything in his repertoire. Both of his breaking balls are a long way from being even average for the big league level, and without a rapid improvement in arm speed and feel, it’s unlikely his curveball will ever be suitable there.
Unsworth might be best served by scrapping the curve altogether and hardening his slider into almost a cutter. He already has the great changeup and good arm-side run on a two-seam fastball, so having a cutter or hard slider that breaks glove-side could give him a more consistent third look with which to survive on the first base side of home plate. Regardless, although he’s been a starter his entire minor league career—and even put together some halfway decent summers doing it—he’s probably too hittable to start at the highest level and should profile out as a long reliever, or more likely an up-and-down depth chart option. If/when he does make it to Seattle, though, he’ll have made history as the first African-born pitcher to ever reach Major League Baseball.
In this Seattle Mariners / Dylan Unsworth scouting report:
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