Grand Junction, Colorado —— Entering play on Friday night, Colorado Rockies right-handed pitching prospect Will Gaddis is 3-1 with a 5.58 ERA in ten games (eight starts) in 2017 with the Pioneer League‘s Grand Junction Rockies, with 23 strikeouts against 59 hits and six walks over 40.1 innings pitched. I observed the Furman University product in a start earlier this week for Grand Junction at home against Ogden; below is Baseball Census‘ full Will Gaddis scouting report, including video.
Will Gaddis Scouting Report — Video
Our video of Colorado Rockies right-handed pitching prospect Will Gaddis shows an open-faced (third base side) view of his pitching mechanics in that September 3 start against the Ogden Raptors at Suplizio Field, where he allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks against three strikeouts spread over 4.1 innings pitched:
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Will Gaddis Scouting Report — Notes
A polished third round draft selection from Furman, Will Gaddis is doing exactly what a college pitcher ought to do in rookie ball: throw a lot of strikes and challenge every hitter with multiple pitches in his arsenal. That Gaddis is being hit hard while doing it is likely somewhat a product of the hitter-friendly environment in the Pioneer League as much as anything else, but it does need to be noted moving forward as to whether it’s just that, or Gaddis is throwing too many strikes, or he lacks a true wipeout pitch that can miss bats in pro ball.
For now, the Colorado Rockies prospect sits 88-93 mph with his fastball, though he has reportedly thrown harder in the past and his easy arm action with good arm speed suggests there’d be more velocity there if pressed. Gaddis complements the fastball — which has arm-side life and some late sinking action — with an 85-87 mph cutter that’s a very effective look against lefties. He also shows off a 76-78 mph changeup, and a 71-72 mph curveball, both of which in my view lagged somewhat behind the fastball/cutter combination that sets him apart right now, though both of which he was able to throw for strikes consistently with comparable mechanics and arm action to his fastball. He works primarily off his fastball and wastes little time nibbling, as his stats might suggest, often dispatching hitters in three or fewer pitches with little time to go too consistently to his off-speed, even the second time through the order.
Gaddis lacks size, and so there’s concern he’s destined for the bullpen if he proves unable to handle the physical rigors of the rotation. The bullpen may further crystallize as a fit if he adds velocity and proves he can work effectively in the mid- to upper-90s as he ages. For now, though, with a four-pitch mix—all of which are distinct from each other for sequencing–Gaddis ought to stay in the rotation into 2018. Beyond that, he’s likely targeted for the ‘pen in low-leverage, long relief situations with the possibility that he could transition to high-leverage, late-inning work if his power stuff continues to develop. I’d like to see Will Gaddis as a short reliever in high leverage situations out of the bullpen, because I think his velocity would tick up enough to make him a fascinating relief prospect, but he’s too polished right now not to keep bringing along as a starter, at least for the time being.
There’s a chance he can still be a back-end rotation arm, though, and at his ceiling, Will Gaddis may turn into something of a poor man’s Peter Lambert for the Colorado Rockies: tons of strikes with a deep arsenal and an innate ability to challenge hitters with anything at any time in the count. Either way, he ought to move fairly quickly through the low minors on account of his college background and ability to fill up the zone. I’d expect Will Gaddis to see at least some time with High-A Lancaster during the 2018 season.