A twelfth round selection by the Chicago White Sox in the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Cincinnati, right-handed pitching prospect Connor Walsh split the summer of 2017 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, notching 39 relief appearances and finishing 3-3 with a 3.36 ERA and three saves. In 56.1 innings pitched over that span, the hard-throwing reliever allowed just 40 hits (6.4 H/9, .203 opponents’ batting average) and 33 walks (5.3 BB/9), while striking out 63 hitters (10.1 K/9). After the season, the White Sox sent Walsh to the Arizona Fall League, where he pitched ten times in relief for the Glendale Desert Dogs.
A power reliever with the some raw, late-inning wipeout-stuff, Connor Walsh could profile well as a back-end reliever up with the Chicago White Sox over the next few years. Already 25 years old (DOB: October 18, 1992), the righty will likely break through into the big leagues at some point in 2018, and his arsenal gives him the chance to stick there as a high-leverage bullpen arm, though command and control have proven a problem thus far in his career and may ultimately limit his role. Below, Baseball Census a full Connor Walsh scouting report, including tool and pitch grades, game video, and a projection breakdown for the relief prospect.
Connor Walsh Scouting Report, Chicago White Sox — 2017
Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League
Connor Walsh Scouting Report — Chicago White Sox — 2017 Game Video
Connor Walsh Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection
One of the harder throwers at the Arizona Fall League the last two months, Connor Walsh brings it from a high three-quarters look with two hard breaking balls to boot. Between those three pitches, he’s got the stuff to match up against hitters from both sides of the plate, but command problems have robbed him of some ability to execute consistently and it’ll probably be that issue going forward that could limit his ultimate big league potential. Obviously, anybody who throws in the uppers 90s with an upper 80s slider has room to wiggle a bit on missing spots, but there’s a fine line there, and Walsh needs to fill the bottom half of the zone more consistently if he’s to be relied upon in a late-inning role in the big leagues.
He should spend most of 2018 with Triple-A Charlotte, likely bouncing up to the Chicago White Sox as needed, and the power profile will draw him the attention and opportunities to prove himself on the south side. My hunch is he’ll ultimately settle into a middle/late-inning relief role (or as an up-and-down middle reliever) because of inconsistency in command and control, but if he refines considerably there, he’s got the raw stuff to work his way into a closer role at ceiling.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Stereotypical power relief profile with two hard breaking balls; command/control issues likely limit ceiling to 7th/8th inning set-up work (50)
MLB ETA: 2018
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